During a recent interview with Pwinsider, Frankie Kazarian commented on AEW making its debut in California this week, the company selling out the Kia Forum which is a difficult thing to do as it pertains to pro wrestling, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On AEW making its debut in California: “Yeah, you know what man, the last week in Vegas is a drive for me as well. And this week in Los Angeles and in Ontario, all drives. So for two weeks out of the 52 week year, I’m not getting on a plane. So I’m very, very grateful for that. That’s cool. And yeah, man, like, as a kid that grew up in SoCal, being able to perform at the Forum and the Whisky back to back, that’s literally a dream like scenario. You know, I never would have thought I would have been on the stage at the Whiskey. I dreamt it, I never thought I would have been performing in the Forum but those dreams are literally coming true. And it’s a little cliche, but it’s very cool man and I don’t take these for granted and am very psyched to be part of AEW’s debut in SoCal, it took long enough. Here we are, and we’ve got a lot of stuff planned this week and I’m ready to go.”
On the company selling out the Kia Forum: “Well, so for anybody that lives in Southern California that followed basketball, this is where Showtime started. This is where the Lakers had that run in the 80s-90s and all those games they played and it’s a legendary venue just for that. Oddly enough for pro wrestling, I actually never watched a match in the Forum for pro wrestling because when I was a child, I was primarily a fan of WWF television and WWF ran the Los Angeles Sports Arena which is down the road a bit. I used to go watch house shows, a couple of seminars and events and all that there. And again, the Forum was WCW running every once in a while, and I wasn’t necessarily a big WCW fan, just because I didn’t really get WCW television here in SoCal, so I never actually got to see a wrestling show at the Forum but I have seen a lot of concerts with Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Korn, Ice Cube, a bunch of concerts there and just being in that building, just walking in and seeing the banners and the jerseys and just knowing the history there, it’s just cool. It’s just one of those historic venues you know, likened to an MSG, obviously it doesn’t have the cache that that building has but for the West Coast, it kind of does. So it’s just really cool. It’s really cool to be in that building. As a performer, you know, being a kid watching games in there and, you know, taking somebody to be in that building is, again going back to the word surreal, so that’s really cool. It’s a staple in SoCal. You know, I don’t think they’re ever going to do anything with that venue. There’ll be sacrilege. Obviously, we got Staples, which is a bigger venue and closer to downtown but the Forum is always going to be there man, and I’m happy to be there.”
On his band performing tomorrow at Whiskey A Go Go: “[It’s] cool for any fans that might be in town in between Rampage and Dynamite. It’s a day off and it’s, you know, right there in Hollywood and it’s a good spot to go. Yeah, I mean, obviously I have been there, I’ve seen shows there, obviously as a fan, and I’ve been fortunate enough to play the Whisky twice. This one, however, is going to be very special, very different, very unique, because I mean, like, you got my band Gutter Candy. And there’s another band who’s friends of ours called We Are Wasted who are really cool. And then you got Jeff Hardy, headlining the thing and unbeknownst to me, I didn’t know Jeff was still actively gigging or doing the performances, he’ll be doing an acoustic performance. So when I found that out, I obviously jumped at the opportunity. Because a lot of fans, you know, they always, you know, whether it’s Jericho or me or Jeff or Mickie James, anybody that does music there was like, oh, we need to get a big collaboration. Again, that would be really cool, because you could bring those two worlds together. So we’re kind of doing that right now. So when I found out Jeff was headlining, Jeff was psyched that we were going to be there. I was psyched that he was going to be there. He’s never played the Whisky so he’s really happy about it. And like you said, it’s like this venue is when you walk into that building, it’s very small, but you look at that stage and just the bands that have been on the stage is literally a who’s who of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or even hip hop, everybody who’s anybody has come through played the Whisky. So it’s going to be really cool. And dare I say, this might be the only time this pairing is going to happen. So anybody that wants to kind of witness a little bit of history, I would definitely say check it out. Anybody that wants to just go to the Whisky and experience it. Check it out. It’s going to be a fun gig. My band Gutter Candy brings a lot of high energy, a lot of a lot of really fun party vibes. We’re all about a good time. You know, Jeff coming out and performing his music, again, is very cool, very inspiring to be somebody that you know, keeps one foot in pro wrestling and one foot in the music profession. So it’s going to be cool. It’s the way it’s all laid out. It’s a pretty stacked week for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like spinning a lot of plates and this week’s definitely one of my busiest but it’s also going to be one of the most fulfilling.”
On what fans can expect from his band: “Yeah, you’re definitely not going to see a reggae band or anything like that. It’s just, you know, just fair warning. We used to tag ourselves as the band that 1987 forgot. You know, early on with Gutter Candy we’d play a lot of originals. We play a lot of rock, rock radio hits from the 80s and 90s. A lot of Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, INXS, you know, some Ramones, we’re kind of all over the board with that, mixed with a lot of our original songs and we have a stage show. We’re not just dudes out they’re playing, we do a performance, we have a show. As far as influences, personally my influences, I come from a rock and metal background like my favorite band, obviously Metallica, but I’m also a huge fan of the Rolling Stones and huge fan of The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden. And I kind of wear all those influences on my sleeve. And yeah, Gutter Candy, it’s a party. Anyone that is coming, expect to party. It’s fun. This time we actually got a lot more brand new originals that nobody’s ever heard that we’re going to bust out some stuff that we were just in the studio recording. So this, this I think is going to be our first gig where we’re playing probably more originals than the covers, which is really cool, exciting for us because people are going to be hearing those soon when we release them. So that’s also something really cool. We also have a new guitarist, it’s going to be his first gig with us. So all the stars kind of aligned to this gig and the timing is perfect. And it’s going to be a good time. I know a lot of the AEW talent are going to be at the show. Because like I said, it is kind of the day off in between the two wrestling events. And a lot of people were asking me what you know, where to go, you know what to do in SoCal and you know, a lot of people wanted to hit up the Sunset Strip as it was and it just so happens now we’re playing there so it’s going to be fun, you know, the celebs are going to be out, a lot of talent is going to be out, it’s going to be a crazy a** night man. And I love crazy a** nights so let’s get it done.”
On transitioning into a veteran role backstage: “I still, you know, I’m sitting there in my locker room when I’m changing next to Arn Anderson, Tully and Dean and Jerry Lynn and um, I still feel like a kid. I’m like, I don’t know if I belong here these guys you know, these are legends. These are some of the best ever to do it. You know, and I still just kind of feel like a kid doing my thing. But you know, I kind of look in the rearview and I’m like, oh wow, I do have 25 years and I’ve been a part of every company. I’ve done some pretty cool things. So yeah, I mean, I guess I have earned that through a lot of hard work and dedication. And yeah, and I’m, I’ve never, ever, ever, ever been a guy to go up and give unsolicited advice to people. There’s enough people doing that especially in pro wrestling locker rooms, you know, guys walking around giving their opinions, which is cool. But you know, I’ve always been the guy that if asked to watch a match or asked to critique something, I certainly will, you know, I will absolutely go out of my way and do whatever I can to help that person. To answer your question, yeah, it’s just, it’s strange. You know, I just like I said, I’m still kind of just that kid that loves doing this. You know, now I’m just you know, I’m not just a fan of Jerry Lynn’s, he’s a friend of mine, I’m not just a fan of Arn Anderson, he’s a pal. You know, I’m not just studying Dean Malenko’s matches, I’m sitting with him catering and we’re talking, we’re joking around. It’s really, sometimes one of those, see the forest for the tree moments, you know, it’s uh, well I’m very fortunate to forge relationships with the guys that you know, that were my heroes and still are my heroes and, you know, for often different reasons now, it’s cool. In my advanced age, I really don’t take that stuff for granted, you know, anymore and I think there was a time when I did. Now, I’m very appreciative and very happy that I have these relationships with these guys that are my heroes and now my friends.”