Bunni: Mountain Dew?
Bun E: I always have. I don’t like the stuff. I would never drink it off stage, but I drank it at shows because of the caffeine and sugar. The doctors told me that was a bad idea and to drink Gatorade because it has the electrolytes your body needs. So now I eat a banana and drink Gatorade.
Bunni: What’s your favorite flavor?
Bun E: They all taste bad. The green is the closest to Mountain Dew. But to answer the rest of the question, I walk around [before the show]. I used to stretch out more. I used to warm up about 30 minutes, but not anymore. Now I warm up about five minutes. At this stage of the game it doesn’t make a difference for me.
Bunni: I try to stretch out, and warming up varies for me, too. If I’ve been playing a lot I warm up about five to ten minutes as well. What advice would you give my bass player about locking into the rhythm section?
Bun E: To watch your timekeeper. If it’s the hat, the snare, whatever it is that you use to keep the time, she should watch and lock into it too. I feel sorry for your bass player.
Bunni: Really? Why?
Bun E: Because she has to play that 12-string!
Bunni: I know, but it really sounds great.
Bun E: Oh yeah, they do. The whole original idea behind that was to have a 12-string guitar and 12-string bass going. Tom [Petersson] had to wait forever for Hamer to build it, but after he got it Hamer started selling them like crazy.
Bunni: Pam [Cheatersson] has a Hamer 12-string. It really makes the sound of the band come alive. We’ve practiced before without it, but when she came to rehearsal the first time and plugged that in it was like: ahhh, that’s the Cheap Trick sound! It was great. The girls are always harassing me to bring the big sticks for the end of the show. What happened to your big sticks?
Bun E: I used to play a Radio King kit with a heavy double-braced tom holder and they could take the heavy sticks. But the new stuff just can’t take the beating. I was breaking parts off the cymbals stands and breaking about a cymbal a week, and that was before I had any endorsements.
Bunni: That can get expensive.
Bun E: I know! The new gear just can’t take the beating — those sticks are heavy. They were promotional sticks from Pro-Mark. The idea behind the big sticks was that I was going to do a really big drum solo that no one could top because I had these huge sticks. But I had to retire the sticks because the gear just
couldn’t take it.
Bunni: I saw you and Torry C. from The Donnas in a Target commercial that was awesome! I got a lot of phone calls when that came out asking me why I wasn’t in that commercial with you.
Bun E: That’s funny. I got a lot of calls from friends thinking that it was a look-alike in the commercial. Yes, we should do a commercial together. That would be great, anytime. I wish I could do three or four commercials a year — then I wouldn’t have to work.
Bunni: Yeah, me too. Well, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out to talk to me.
Bun E: Sure. I’ll see you in Los Angeles the next time we are out there.