Former Hollywood Undead Vocalist Talks Going Solo, Slams 'Haters From My Old Band'
When a performer names their album "Nine Lives," the title's meaning is hard to misinterpret. Deuce, a former vocalist with rap/rock posse Hollywood Undead, doesn't dispute that his acrimonious departure influenced the name of his new solo album, but there's more to it than that.
"It's kind of like the nine lives revolves around my fans. We all call each other 'Nine lives,'" he explains. "The album title revolves around my fans and me coming back to life, like I got nine lives. I might have lost one but I'm not gonna lose another. It's kind of like you can't kill me twice."
So far, his single "America" is showing definite signs of life. Current sales of the track stand at 36,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, since the sales week ending Jan. 15. "America" now faces personal competition: It rises to No. 27 and No. 23 on the Mainstream Rock and Active Rock charts, respectively, this week. Hollywood Undead's latest single, "Levitate," debuted at No. 34 on the Rock Songs chart last week. It peaked at No. 38 on Mainstream Rock and last appeared on the Active Rock chart at No. 40 the week of March 10. It has so far sold 57,000 copies since arriving April 10, 2011.
Deuce left Hollywood Undead in 2010 amid accusations on both sides about such issues as obnoxious behavior and credit for artistic contributions to the group's debut album, "Swan Songs," which has sold 887,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Tenth Street Entertainment founder/CEO Allen Kovac was already managing Deuce before he left Hollywood Undead, so it was natural for him to sign with Five Seven Music, an imprint of Eleven Seven Music. (Kovac is also founder/CEO of Eleven Seven Music Group.)
Deuce says of recording and performing as a solo artist, "It feels great. I feel like I underestimated myself and my stuff's better than I thought . . . I think people will be blown away."
Much of "Nine Lives," which is also a rap/rock record, is self-written and -produced. However, guest spots populate the album. For example, Travie McCoy wrote and sang his contribution to "I Came to Party," Falling in Reverse vocalist Ronnie Radke co-wrote "Nobody Likes Me," rapper Truth makes several appearances, and transgender singer/songwriter Jeffree Star is heard on "Let's Get It Crackin" and "Freaky Now." Deuce dives headlong into plenty of provocative lyrics, and so does Star, who sings lines like "beat me like Rihanna" and others that are utterly NSFW. Asked if that's caused any negative feedback, Deuce says no. "Some people are like, 'Oh, that's a little too dirty for my taste,' some people are like, 'Yeah, let's fucking party, this was badass, come to our town, let's have a riot.'"
Outside of his work on Nine Lives, Deuce has collaborated with Blood on the Dance Floor on the dancefloor-heavy track "Rise and Shine" that should soon be released, as well as working with BrokeNcyde on a song where he describes his contribution as "really aggressive rap party fun stuff." He's been chatting with Radke about working together again and would like to team with Machine Gun Kelly (aka MGK) because he's a "sick, sick rapper."
While "America" is gaining heat, Deuce has also created a video for "Let's Get It Crackin," a madcap clip that features him partying in a hotel room crammed with half-naked women before he guns them down in a bloodbath. He thoroughly enjoyed the shoot. "I haven't seen a naked girl since way back, you know what I'm saying?" he jokes. "It's fun to have a bunch of topless girls dancing around you and you gotta grab their boobs and stuff. I'm not gonna lie." The song has been released in the United Kingdom and he's determined to have it released in the United States too, despite its racy content.
"Let's Get It Crackin" received an exclusive premier on IsAnyUp.com. Viewers post mixed reactions, with detractors accusing Deuce of copying Hollywood Undead's style. He attributes the negative comments to "haters."
"Haters from my old band, not a lot, just a couple of them, they just go on forums. There's like three kids that go on those forums . . . they just post and they make new accounts," he says-a tactic that a few members of Hollywood Undead, via a YouTube videoclip, have accused Deuce of pulling. "They have this thing against me, like, 'He can't come out with his own CD. He wasn't as good as his old band.'" Deuce points to his Twitter and Facebook accounts, which currently more than 43,000 followers and 128,000 "likes," respectively, as well as his sales numbers, asking, "How would 'America' sell 3,000 a week?"-a reference to the average amount of copies it's sold each week-if no one liked his music.
"It's like I'm over here, killing it, recording, making bomb shit, and I know it's eaten' you up," Deuce says. "I'm gonna keep making bomb-ass music and I have a good manager, so that music's gonna get out there."