Storm Large's memoir, Crazy Enough, is so blunt and so revealing it sort of reads like Viagra for your eyes. The rocker, arguably best known for her appearance on the Idol-esque and now-defunct Rock Star: Super Nova, chronicles her life growing up with her mom Suzi being bounced around mental institutions and psych wards and her fear that one day she'd end up like her (a doctor telling her she very well might didn't help).
Feeling as if she was racing against the clock of mental stability, Large discusses cramming as much into her life (sex, drugs, and rock and roll) as she could before the ticking time bomb of mental illness exploded. Case in point: she candidly discusses losing her virginity as an early teen, joining a band, and getting hooked on heroin in her twenties.
Crazy Enough , which was originally conceived as a one-woman show, takes us on her ever-evolving journey in life and music. I spoke with the wild and "crazy" rocker last month, and discussed the ride.
You're very candid about your childhood or lack thereof one. Were you ever concerned you were sharing too much information in the book? Was there such a thing?
I write exactly as I speak, though I do know how to tone it down around kids and conservative family members. I don't have Tourettes. When I started writing the book, I wrote everything down, warts and all. It was my editor who thought maybe I had one or two too many stories that were a wee bit intense ... or had poop in them.
Sex drugs & rock and roll is a cliche of sorts usually centered around male musicians/rock stars -- you totally kill that myth in your book. Would you agree?
I don't think so. Certainly not the sex part. Men have cornered the market in being sexual conquerers in any position of power ... None quite as sexy as being the guy on stage, lit and electrified, with thousands of screaming girls begging to be anything to that guy. The twist of the story is, most guys want to be on stage because of the girls ... because of the power. And girls are a major driving force in the music industry. If girls like the artist, the boys will follow ... ( I am generalizing here ... but it is true in most cases). The drugs and rock and roll part has been vaginally infiltrated from the beginning of time.
How did Crazy Enough start out? Did you first start penning it as a show or as a book? Perhaps both?
Crazy Enough started as a show and got shanghai-ed into a book proposal. I didn't want to do it, only because I thought book writing was for the very educated. At least for more patient people, with homes and schedules that allowed for some time at a desk. The book was written over a year plus while I was in Portland, NYC, Los Angeles, Scotland, Australia, Brazil, and I think I finished it in San Francisco with a couple edits (written on my BlackBerry) while on tour in France.
Your book talks a lot about mental illness. Do you think anyone is really mentally stable? I think everyone is a little mentally ill , no?
I think it's irresponsible to say everyone is mentally "ill." I have more confidence in declaring we are all very different via nature and nurture, and most of us have experienced some sort of rejection or alienation, where we conclude there must be something "wrong" with us. Fact is, even the hottest girl ever has done terrible things to herself out of low self esteem or loneliness, at some point, and the most together, powerhouse dude you can think of has probably been spanked and had weird things put in him by a dominatrix.
We all feel weird and different at times, we all have secrets, and thank God we do, otherwise we'd all be living in a non stop stretch of beige, white noise and Stepford Wife predictability. Not sexy.
What is the greatest piece of advice you ever got?
The thing that scares you the most, artistically speaking, is the very thing you should do.
Are you surprised the TV show Rock Star failed? Perhaps if it came out now with The Voice and other shows out it might've made it?
From my layman's perspective, I think Rock Star was a very expensive show, and that was its biggest problem. The reality aspect had us all living together in a gorgeous haunted mansion in Silverlake, they had to feed us and give us booze, follow us all with cameras and lights all the time, and then put on a big huge rock show a few times a week. If it was just the rock show without the reality, it may have been able to go on.
Talk to me about that show and your appearance on it -- did it open the doors you expected it to?
I was very happy with my time on RSSN. It was like a three month Storm commercial, where all I had to do was sing and not be an ass. The latter being a challenge, but at the end of it all, I had a much wider fan base than I ever would, just being my little indie self singing about my vagina in Portland.
Where do you go from here?
Not sure. My motto is always to "Follow The Yes." If everything in me hollers 'yes this feels right' I throw myself in. Unless of course I have been drinking tequila, where the yes might be, 'punch that cop in the face before you makeout with him' ... so ... ummm ... right now it's singing with my band and the band Pink Martini, re-writing the show Crazy Enough for NYC, and gear up for the madness that is SXSW! Then somewhere in the near future, I need to learn how to take a vacation.