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SUPERGROUP
Review by Cartoonist Jeff Swenson
Porn Addicted Alcoholics Play Together in a band and occasionally beat each other up.

I came into watching this show on the second episode but it looks like I didn't miss much. In the first episode the "SuperGroup" came up with their supergroup band name: Damnocracy. The stupidest band name ever.

The concept behind this show is a good one for reality TV fans like myself--yes, we know reality TV isn't necessarily reality in it's purest form (that would be boring)--get rock stars who have already made it, the ones with big egos and dwindling talent because they're no longer starving artists, and put them in one room and make them play together. Thus we have on drums Jason Bonham; on bass Evan Seinfeld (no relation to Jerry); on rhythm guitar Ian Scott; Ted Nugent on lead guitar; and Sebastian Bach on lead vocals.

All of these guys, while having name quality, I think it would be safe to say don't have the musical reputations of other rockstars who probably would never agree to bare their personalities on a VH1 show.

Jason Bonham is the son of John Bonham who played for Led Zepplin but that's pretty much what he's known for even if he is a good drummer. I honestly didn't know who Evan Seinfeld was musically. I did know that he was married to porn star Tera Patrick and that he was in the HBO series OZ. He is the vocalist and bassist for Biohazard which I have only briefly listened to. Maybe I'll give the band another listen because in the show he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Then there's Ted Nugent who again I can only think of one song: Cat Scratch Fever. Otherwise he's known as being a gun nut. I've actually never had a problem with Ted Nugent shooting guns or hunting. I mean for me to criticize a guy for killing his own food while I pay some corporation to do it for me with underpaid illegals is pretty hypocritical. And guns don't kill people, people kill people--whether it's knives, a pipe upside the head or a handgun. Guns just make it easier to kill people. So again: Guns don't kill people, guns make it easier to kill people. With that said Nugent is a nut, regardless if he has a gun in his hand or not. Scott Ian is probably my favorite as far as a musician in the group, obviously known for playing guitar for Anthrax and for producing Stormtroopers Of Death. Lastly we have Sebastian Bach who was lead singer for Skid Row which did well for two albums but the only song that comes to mind is "18 and life".



Sebastian Bach

Scott Ian

Ted Nugent

Evan Seinfeld

Jason Bonham
Space Reserved for
new lead singer
You can read all of the Damnocracy bios at the official site
So let's face it. These musicians aren't the cream of the crop but they are talented. I know many people will consider guys like Ted Nugent or Sebastian Bach to be losers simply because their bands aren't topping the charts anymore but I've never thought that way. To have climbed to a momentary success is nothing to be ashamed of. Very few artists can maintain the kind of momentum you need to stay in the public eye and often that requires antics that are non-musically related such as sleeping with Pamela Anderson or giving Britney Spears a lesbian kiss. I define long term success by how you take what you've been given and put it to use. If you had a one hit wonder that made a million bucks did you take that money and reinvest it on something worthy or did you blow that money on hookers and booze? Many former one-hit wonders are living productive lives such as directing, producing, teaching , running small labels and so forth. I applaud them. Those that wasted their money and life whining about how they can never reach the heights of fame they once had to me are on the losing end of life and need to grow up. There are always opportunities for talent and ingenuity but not necessarily at the top of the ladder of rockstar fame. Get over yourself and do something interesting instead of appearing on a "Where Are They Now?" show using drugs.

With that said, the problem with any supergroup is that they are probably not going to be hungry enough to make a good album. Pride might possibly enter the picture in order to replace hunger for success and fame but pride can also rip the group apart. I'm just not sure the incentive is there for these guys go to be good. All of them have already succeeded in other bands as well as side projects and they're certainly not young enough to have youthful ambition. The best you could say is that some of the members are seasoned professionals who won't put out some of the shit that young bands do for the sake of a commercial hit. A band has to have a certain chemistry and even ideology in order to function. I'm doubtful these guys do. I could see Scott Ian, Jason Bonham and Evan Seinfeld coming up with a good song. Sebastian Bach and Ted Nugent...??? I don't know about those two.

What Ted Nugent needs his own band where he sings about his conservative politics otherwise I'm not sure he's going to be interesting or his music alone would be worth listening to. I like strong viewpoints, even if they are not my own so I might give a Ted Nugent propaganda album a spin. Sebastian Bach, however, doesn't have an ideology or ideas that you can pinpoint. He's not a deep thinker. All I know about him is that he wore a stupid shirt that said: Aids Kills Fags Dead, and then later apologized for wearing it. I doubt he was even being homophobic. Most likely he thought the shirt would be shocking and rebellious and "cool." I think the word "cool" probably sums up Sebastian Bach. Whatever looks "cool" or sounds "cool"--let's go with it, man.

So I'm counting Sebastian Bach out as solid talent. Ted Nugent is probably competent but Sebastian Bach is a diva who never grew up and achieved fame before he could process it. Which is probably why there are hints that he's an alcoholic. In the second episode he is drinking large amounts of what is probably expensive wine and starts to horseplay with Evan Seinfeld. Evan does not look like the kind of guy you horseplay with (he was in Oz after all). One thing leads to another and Evan cracks his head on the back of a stair. Then he almost pops Sebastian. I think his fist made contact with Bach's head but at the last moment it looks like Evan restrained himself. I think if he really wanted to do damage to Bach he could have wailed on him at that moment. Bach is taller but seems wimpier for some reason. Whatever the case, this is just one example I expect out of many where Bach will be a problem for the band. The guy doesn't look like he's a professional.

Of course Evan Seinfeld and Sebastian Bach kiss and make up (not literally) and of course Evan Seinfeld looks somewhat uncomfortable as Bach babbles on about how his father died too soon and that was why the incident happened--who the hell knows what Bach is talking about? He's crying which is another sign this guy is still back in his teenage years. Not that a guy can't cry over his dead father but turning a drunken wrestling match into an apology involving your dead father seems to expose Bach as a drama queen. I've met these kinds of guys before. They are all talk, they never solve their problems and you have to continually listen to them spew on about how they're going to make changes in their lives and why they act the way they do. Just shut-up and show me by your actions. Like Hyde said to Kelso on That 70's Show, "No offense, dude, but you sound like a chick."

At the end of the second episode the band played their first live gig. It appears that they had to "drum up" an audience at the last moment because no one was showing up. Not sure how they eventually got the moderate crowd that they did but they launched into their songs and because of the editing and voiceovers I couldn't tell if they were any good. I could just hear bits and pieces of some familiar songs. I'm betting it mostly sounded like amateur night. There was very little practice as a "SuperGroup" and that was sure to have an effect.

I have no doubt that "Damnocracy" could put out a decent album if it has high production values. You can mask a lot of problems with numerous engineering tricks. My main doubt is that this will ever be a good live band. I'm not a Rock purist. If someone puts out a slick, heavily produced album with catchy songs I'll listen to it regardless if it is all sound engineering tricks--doesn't matter if the band can play live. But if a band claims to be a touring band and plays badly on a live stage I'm not going to pay to go see them and they should just be honest about the extent of their talents as a group.

I've probably gotten off on a tangent as far as musical abilities. The question is if SuperGroup is a reality show that captures interest. For the most part, yes. If you're not a heavy metal fan or even a rock fan you may find it boring. I think there are enough fans of this genre to gravitate towards watching it. The plot of this reality show is simply: Will this Supergroup be able to play. Whether they succeed or fail, who cares from a couch-potato perspective? Watching them fail could be as much fun as watching them succeed. And it doesn't hurt that Evan Seinfeld's wife Tera Patrick is in the show as some much needed eye candy (let's face it, these rockstars aren't a pretty bunch--even Bach has lost his pretty boy facial qualities that bordered on girly).

The rockstar who is going to benefit most from this show is Sebastian Bach. He's a drama queen. He will focus the attention on himself probably in every show unless the editor decides otherwise. I don't care too much for this guy as a lead singer of any band. As a drama queen, however, he's a good choice for entertaining TV.

Images were used for the purpose of review and are copyrighted by Damnocracy





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