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Confessions: Nick Oliveri

He’s taken on a SWAT team, seen his fair share of ghosts and spent an awful lot of time tripping his balls off. Please give it up for Nick Oliveri...

How did you manage to get so many nicknames?

“Well, I joined The Dwarves in 1993 and got told I had to be ‘Rex’. But it needed to be ‘Rex something’ and one night I smashed something at the bassist’s house, so he pointed at me and said ‘Rex Everything!’ ‘Pierre Pressure’ came from Josh Homme, because he said I peer pressured people into doing things they shouldn’t! He also calls me ‘The Great French Manipulator’.” 

 

What’s it like being in a stand-off with a SWAT team?

“They came ’cos I didn’t want to answer my door. The person I was living with put me on the phone to them, they asked if I had any guns in the house and I said, ‘Yeah, I got three rifles my Dad left me.’ Guns in the house automatically means it becomes a hostage situation. It’s not like I was leaning out of the window taking shots! The police are not my friends, I was just scared and didn’t want to answer my door. It got blown up in the press but whatever.”

 

What was it like when they came in?

“This robot came and broke through my door, that was some scary shit. It had headbeam eyes like RoboCop. The SWAT team were all nice to me after, though, and said they were just trying to protect me. Some of them were huge fans and told me they listen to Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (‘Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana...’) to get pumped up before a drug bust!”

 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while high?

“I’ve hallucinated a lot and seen some crazy stuff. One time I was at a party and there were mushrooms for everyone to eat on the way in. I was answering the door so every time someone came, I’d eat more with them. I was in the kitchen, outta my head watching the walls melt and I thought I was being cooked. It takes a lot to get there and I think they had to change the carpet because of me.”

 

So tell us about crystal meth...

“Some rock stars moved to LA for it! Whatever you get in the UK is different – in the US it’s cleaner. It’s everywhere in LA... it’s what people do. Cocaine is like taking the bus, with lots of stops. Meth is like taking the bullet train in Japan, you get to where you’re going fast. It’s a crazy drug, you can lose your mind on it. It’s gotten really strong.”

 

What is your most memorable groupie experience?

“Back in the day, I would walk around festivals and get up to all sorts of crazy shit. Going back to tents, upstairs on the bus while the girl I was with was downstairs on the same bus. I was a scumbag when I was younger, but I was supposed to do that shit. I was in my 20s!” 

 

Have you got any phobias or irrational fears?

“I was in York not too long ago and was convinced there were ghosts in my room. Spirits are out there. And definitely in places like York – a lot of history, a lot of dead people. When I was a kid, I grew up in a house that had a spirit in it. This guy must have died in the shower, because I used to see him getting out of the bathroom all the time.”

 

What’s your dancing like?

“My dancing is terrible! I can’t dance to save my life and whenever I do my wife just laughs at me. I’m a white boy when I dance and white boys dance bad.”

 

When was the last time you felt starstruck?

“I was at Rock In Rio and Ross Halfin brought Jimmy Page into our dressing room. I grew up on Zeppelin, so I couldn’t believe it. He sat down and was chatting to us, just being the coolest fuckin’ guy you could ever meet.”

 

So what are the chances of a proper Kyuss reunion?

“It’s something I would do in a heartbeat and people would love to see it happen. It’s Josh’s call, I don’t know if him and Brant will ever mend whatever they have. I think lawsuits are a bad idea in music because it kills the chances of anything good happening again. Whenever there’s

a lawsuit involved, I’m like, ‘Later dudes – I’m Switzerland on this!’ Josh owns it, but unfortunately it feels like he wants to own it to kill it.”

 

What would you like written on your tombstone?

“Nick Oliveri... a true fuckup.”

Nick Oliveri's Leave Me Alone is out now via Schnitzel Records

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