Mitch Lafon (senior writer and staff photographer for BraveWords.com) interview

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How old were you when you got into music and how exactly did you get into music?

I’ve always been into music but my earliest recollections go back to when I was 7 or 8. I would play the Beethoven and Abba vinyls that were sitting by the turntable. I remember having a great love of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

One day, I saw a KISS record sitting by the turntable. The Love Gun album. The inner jacket had KISS written in dripping blood. I was intrigued. Though I feigned disgust, I listened to it. Then I listened some more. Then one day, KISS’ Double Platinum showed up. I was hooked. It wasn’t long before I was begging my parents to buy the just released KISS solo albums, then Dynasty, then the t-shirts, the remote controlled car, the dolls, etc. Ah, KISS – it was the music and so much more.

What were some of the first bands/artists that you got into and why?

In the late ’70s, I was hooked on Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and KISS. Tom Peterson left. Peter Criss left. Joe Perry left. Brad Whitford left. Ace Frehley left. Then, Music From The Elder came out and I was done with KISS. I started listening to The Cars, Bryan Adams, Huey Lewis, etc. but those albums wore thin quickly. KISS’ Creatures Of The Night provided relief. Finally, the Sunset Strip came calling. Quiet Riot, RATT, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and KISS’ Lick It Up album broke. Hard rock was back in my life and hasn’t left.

What are some of your favorite bands/artists and why?

I’ve always been very loyal. I love KISS for the music and the spectacle. I love early Aerosmith for the vibe. I love all Van Halen for the musicianship. I love ’80s hair metal because Poison, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard represent my youth and the music is fun. I love Metallica – except their albums. Live, they deliver the goods. On album, they always seems to have production issues. Death Magnetic clipped. And Justice For All had no bass. Stuff like that. But live, NOBODY beats them.

At what point did you decide that you wanted to work in some capacity in the music industry and why?

I think when I was 7. Who doesn’t fantasize about being a world renowned rock star? But I was way too introverted to be in the spotlight. Behind the scenes works for me. I love doing it because I love the music and the more I talk about it and write about it, the more I keep that love alive in other fans. And ultimately, I keep it alive for me. Selfish perhaps.

When and how exactly did you land the Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (BW&BK) writing gig?

Thanks to the Internet and email. It was 1994 or ’95. I had a lot of friends in the music biz and I would see articles that I knew weren’t as accurate as they could be or I had news to offer that I would email in. They kept saying to me, “how are you always 100% right?” Because “I knew who I knew”, I would say. Eventually, they said, “do you write?” Of course I said yes. I was doing a Master’s in Psychology at McGill University in Montreal. How hard could it be to write a couple hundred words about a rock star?, I thought. So, I started writing. But my first ever interview was in June of 1980 when I interviewed Gene Simmons of KISS (without makeup) in NYC – www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mj-yajkYFI

Who have been some of your favorite BW&BK interviewees and why?

So many, but I love interviewing ROB HALFORD because he’s so kind and gracious.

Other than that:
David Coverdale, because he always makes you feel like you’re his best friend.
Anybody in KISS because it’s somebody from KISS.
Glenn Hughes is always great to me.
Kirk Hammett from Metallica because it’s Kirk Hammett from METALLICA!!!!
I love interviewing all the people that I’ve talked to. Though those with only yes/no answers can make it difficult.

As a writer, who are some of your influences and why?

Howard Stern. I know that he’s not a writer but his work ethic and the way that he treats guests is an example for all.

What other publications have you written for and what other publications do you currently write for?

Metal Hammer US (before it folded), Metal Edge (before it folded), Classic Rock (still the world’s greatest rock magazine), Roadie Crew in Brazil (I still write for them) and BraveWords.com because BW&BK magazine went all digital a few years back. They are the best online hard rock/metal source because they provide ORIGINAL content (interviews, features, concert reports, etc.). They don’t just aggregate.

Discuss Cinderella Touring Inc. and your role in it.

Not sure I can, but mostly it comes from being friends with Cinderella’s bassist Eric Brittingham.

Feel free to discuss any of your other endeavors (musical or otherwise) here.

I worked in TV years ago – PA stuff on the PBS show ‘The Editors’ and the TV5 show ‘R├ędacteurs En Chef’. I did my very own ‘Mitch Minute’ on radio. It was literally a minute to run down song music news. Loved doing it and would love to do it again.

Be sure to check out Mitch Lafon’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/AngelOfAce

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