Chuck Shute Podcast

Episode #39 - Musician Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie)

June 04, 2020 Rob “Blasko” Nicholson Season 2 Episode 39
Chuck Shute Podcast
Episode #39 - Musician Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie)
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Chuck Shute Podcast
Episode #39 - Musician Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie)
Jun 04, 2020 Season 2 Episode 39
Rob “Blasko” Nicholson

Musician Rob "Blasko" Nicholson who has played bass for Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:01:15 - Living Next to Rudy Sarzo 

0:01:55 - Growing Up a KISS Fan 

0:04:35 - Parents Supportive of Musical Career 

0:06:58 - Having a Record Deal at Age 15

0:09:57 - Possible Metallica Replacement 

0:10:55 - The Club Days- Drown, Suffer, Killing Spree

0:14:03 - Prong 

0:15:55 - Danzig 

0:17:10 - Joining Rob Zombie's Band

0:20:55 - Recording with Rob Zombie 

0:24:02 - Staying the Course

0:26:04 - Rob Zombie as a Visionary 

0:30:30 - Helmet 

0:31:30 - Joining Ozzy Osbourne's Band

0:34:53 - Picking Ozzy Over Rob Zombie 

0:36:45 - Ozzy Off Stage 

0:39:35 - Ozzy Done Touring? 

0:40:50 - Working with Gus G and Zakk Wylde 

0:43:33 - Recording with Ozzy 

0:45:20 - Starting a Management Company 

0:47:10 - Black Veil Brides 

0:48:10 - Music Industry on Hold 

0:51:05 - Current Status as a Musician 

0:52:20 - Marketing and Branding

0:53:35 - Internet Shows 

0:55:05 - Cats and Kitten Rescue In Los Angeles 

0:58:46 - Other Bands and Spotify Playlist

0:01:55 - Wrap Up 

Blasko Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/blasko1313/

L.A. Kitten Rescue:
https://kittenrescue.org

Chuck Shute Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/chuck_shute/


Support the show (https://venmo.com/Chuck-Shute)

Show Notes Transcript

Musician Rob "Blasko" Nicholson who has played bass for Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:01:15 - Living Next to Rudy Sarzo 

0:01:55 - Growing Up a KISS Fan 

0:04:35 - Parents Supportive of Musical Career 

0:06:58 - Having a Record Deal at Age 15

0:09:57 - Possible Metallica Replacement 

0:10:55 - The Club Days- Drown, Suffer, Killing Spree

0:14:03 - Prong 

0:15:55 - Danzig 

0:17:10 - Joining Rob Zombie's Band

0:20:55 - Recording with Rob Zombie 

0:24:02 - Staying the Course

0:26:04 - Rob Zombie as a Visionary 

0:30:30 - Helmet 

0:31:30 - Joining Ozzy Osbourne's Band

0:34:53 - Picking Ozzy Over Rob Zombie 

0:36:45 - Ozzy Off Stage 

0:39:35 - Ozzy Done Touring? 

0:40:50 - Working with Gus G and Zakk Wylde 

0:43:33 - Recording with Ozzy 

0:45:20 - Starting a Management Company 

0:47:10 - Black Veil Brides 

0:48:10 - Music Industry on Hold 

0:51:05 - Current Status as a Musician 

0:52:20 - Marketing and Branding

0:53:35 - Internet Shows 

0:55:05 - Cats and Kitten Rescue In Los Angeles 

0:58:46 - Other Bands and Spotify Playlist

0:01:55 - Wrap Up 

Blasko Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/blasko1313/

L.A. Kitten Rescue:
https://kittenrescue.org

Chuck Shute Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/chuck_shute/


Support the show (https://venmo.com/Chuck-Shute)

Chuck Shute :

Welcome to The Chuck Shute podcast. Rob "Blasko" Nicholson is my guest today- 36 years in the music business for this guy. He's probably most well known for being the bass player for Rob Zombie, and Ozzy Osborne, though, pretty good gigs. Although he's played some other metal bands. He also has a management company that's signed up then Black Veil Brides among others. He refers to himself as a hired gun. But he comes off as a really super down to earth guy who's just grateful to be part of two of the biggest heavy metal icons that there ever was. And obviously, he knows a lot about heavy metal and the music business is really awesome talking to him about all this stuff. So hope you guys enjoy it too. And you might even learn something. Hi, how you doing?

Blasko :

What's happening?

Chuck Shute :

Know how much you sound pretty good. I'm pretty crystal clear you just on an iPhone or you gotta run through a studio line or something.

Blasko :

No iPhone.

Chuck Shute :

Okay, sounds good. Can you have like, an amazing career? 30 plus years in the music business? I think you actually know, one of my previous I had Rudy sarzo on. I'm told He's a good friend of yours and you actually live two houses down from him at one point.

Blasko :

Yeah, for like 10 years. Oh, wow.

Chuck Shute :

Is that a coincidence? Is that a coincidence? Or was that on purpose?

Blasko :

That was coincidence, you know, but it was it was funny right? Because it's like he I gotta think of the neighbors just going like full There goes the neighborhood to Ozzy Osborne bass players in very close proximity. But yeah, like he bought the bus or like the super most mellow dudes ever. So.

Chuck Shute :

Okay, nice. So, but yeah, so anyways, going back to your the beginning of this whole your whole life where it all started. There's actually nobody in your family bloodline isn't used. But the first thing that connected you to music was kiss destroyer. Right? Because you thought they look like superheroes and you're a little kid. Yep. And then you saw the creatures of the night tour which this is insane. I didn't know this was a tour. It was Creatures of the Night kiss with motley crew during their too fast for love opening.

Blasko :

Yeah, pretty radical now. Yeah. The interesting part, my good friend, Andy, he's a fucking kiss maniac and knows everything about it now, as a kid, growing up with kids and being not your, you know, most favorite fan and seeing them on TV when you could and, you know, listening to their records or, you know, you know, there was, you know, seeing them in magazines, right. Like it was like, you just kind of imagine what it was like I was really young when I went to that tour and, you know, grade school, and and there was there was no understanding arena rock, right? Like there's, there was nothing to compare it to. And so and I, and I thought, Andy goes, like, do you realize like, during that tour, like, they were like, they were hurt by it, you know? And then and then and then I didn't you know, obviously I didn't even think about time because it was like, I thought that was the greatest moment of my entire life. And, but, but in hindsight now looking at going like wow, they played the universal amphitheater, which was a capacity of 6000 people, right? So you think of Kiss, being in a band that would play the forum, right, which is 12,000 people, you know, and L.A. probably being one of their, you know, their biggest markets besides you know, probably like, you know, New York and Japan or whatever, but like, it, it you know, it was true, like when you look back at the, you know, the factual history of information. That was a that was a low point, you Know that for them but whatever man I thought kids with their makeup on and you know they blew fire and spit blood and the drum riser was a tank and and motley crew opened up and and I like I said I was in grade school man. It was like I was the coolest moment of that part of my life, that's for sure.

Chuck Shute :

Did you even know Motley Crue at that point or like, oh, some unknown band or were you? Are you? I did?

Blasko :

I did? I did. I did have. I did have that record.

Chuck Shute :

That's cool. Yeah. So I mean, your influences. It's like a lot of the people that I've interviewed ACDC priest, maiden kiss crew, Motorhead, all that corrosion of conformity later, but it sounds like your parents were supportive of your musical dreams. They paid for your bass and I guess drum lessons. You tried the drums first, but then you switch to bass.

Blasko :

Yeah, I mean, you know, logically feeding on stuff when you're a kid seems like the right thing to do. So, but yeah, they were, you know, they were they were definitely supportive of me. I think I think it's one thing, you know, a kid going, like, I want to learn drums or I wanna, you know, it's like, you know, it's one thing, but I think, you know, further down the road whenever I actually get in a band and actually put out a record and actually go on tour, but I go on tour before there is cell phones, right before there is, you know, before there is the internet, right. And, and before there is like the connection to home was dropping a couple of quarters in a PayPal. Like, like it, you know, I mean, like, they couldn't get me on tour. Right, where were they calling we like we slept on people's floors and, you know, played, you know, dinky plugs. So, you know, so I think that's a real level of support to let your teenage kid that hasn't even graduated high school yet to get in a van with his friends his bandmates and toured the country in a in a van that they rented disconnect. To the odometer so that they, you know, so that it wouldn't get charged that you know the mileage when they returned it.

Chuck Shute :

No, I didn't you kind of have a little bit of blackmail on your parents too, because even though your dad your stepdad was a banker, and they were in some sort of escrow business, they also grew weed and sold weed on the side. So they couldn't really be like, hey, you can't be in a rock wrangle you guys grow weed, so

Blasko :

yeah, totally true.

Chuck Shute :

Take some of that weed and smoke it or were you forbidden one day let you

Blasko :

Oh, they didn't know. The hilarious part of it. They didn't know that I smoked weed. Right. That was That was hilarious.

Chuck Shute :

Man. They didn't think that.

Blasko :

Wow. Yeah, I mean, you know, I don't know. I mean, so maybe they just pretended Yeah, what are you gonna do? Yeah, so yeah, of course I stole from them.

Chuck Shute :

Your kid? Yeah, kids make mistakes. So walk me through this. Oh, so you're so you switch to base unit. Be planning do you plan some a couple other bands before you join cryptic slaughter? Because how does that work? I mean, you guys are you're 15 years old and you get a record deal and you're on tour. I mean, how does that whole process work with being 15 and being under age like your parents have to sign off on you being able to go on tour and stuff? Or did they sign the record contract

Blasko :

or? No, no. I mean, it uh, yeah. I mean, I don't know, maybe simpler times. You know? So, yeah, trust. Yeah. Having a core family value of trust and communication. Right now maybe that has a lot to do with it. But I mean, we need and and the, the cryptic slaughter ban. All of our families were relatively similar in that way. You know, we we had a kind of a lot of variation. All family base you know, we stopped the drummer we rehearsed in his garage for years you know and his pet and his family supported that you know they didn't park their cars in the garage you know set up shop in there and and you know jammed away and tops you know show up from time and you know what it was like? Like I said, Man, I think it I think it might have just been easy to kind of gloss over is just simpler time. And but um, but ya know, we got we had a demo tape and send it in metal blade sent his contract and reminded I maybe maybe Bill's dad looked at it. I don't I don't remember we definitely didn't have an attorney attorney. Look at it. You know, or anything? Yeah. Yeah, man. We make records and go into the studio bill, mentor and make records and put them out. We do shows and tour when we could I did this one time, you know, for sure. I mean, that was, there was definitely no other way I would have liked to have gone through my high school years. Oh, yeah, I

Chuck Shute :

can't imagine I was I grew up such a metal fan. I mean, I just I was never good enough to like be in a band or get signed. I can't imagine. Were you ever able to go on tour with some of the other bands that the you had looked up to that you were a fan of?

Blasko :

Wow. Yeah, I mean, I feel like we were either read or toured with friends or, you know, the people that became friends. You know, who we did shows with or toured with? And, you know, and then obviously did then, you know, fast forward a few years. Yeah, and that's that's all completely different scenario

Chuck Shute :

But so while you're in Cryptic Slaughter, is this true that in so this would have been around 87 so you've got three years into the band. Cliff Burton, Metallica, Obviously, we know the story that he died. But because you are known as metal blade records, Lars called metal blade records and asked for some options and they threw your name out there. But you had just cut your hair so you thought you couldn't be in Metallica because he had short hair. Is that true?

Blasko :

That is a true story.

Chuck Shute :

So you didn't even try to push for yourself to audition or anything though?

Blasko :

No, and I wouldn't have been good enough either. To be totally fair. Yeah, but I was. I was no and am no Cliff Burton. So but um, but yeah, that is a funny story. That actually did happen.

Chuck Shute :

Well, let's kind of still be either way. So that's a super compliment that they even your name was being considered among those guys.

Blasko :

Well, among Metal Blades.... not amongst Metallica.

Chuck Shute :

Okay, well, still the metal blade thought highly enough of you. Yeah, for sure. Of course. So then so you're in that band and you're in some other bands. And but you're also having to work you work. What retail and you worked in bars during this time. And this went on for for quite a while right with the you were in a band called, what did you do from I didn't figure this out. There's like a gap between cryptic slaughter because I in 88 and then you joined the band drown in 93. What went on for 88 to 93? Were in some other bands at that time.

Blasko :

Well, in that time period was the period of the 90s whenever you're playing clubs with your band trying to get sign. Yeah. And we did a lot of developmental stuff. There was a label that put us in the studio a few times and was really trying to develop us and get us to a point to where we were assignable. And that situation never materialized. But then at the end of it, here comes Michael Lago, you know, and if you want to know more about Michael Lago, you can watch his documentary on Netflix, or read his book, but, you know, he said Metallica, he signed white zombie and, and, and he came around and he thought what we were doing had some type of energy that he really resonated with and, and he finds it, you know, to, to electrical records you know so yeah, so in the infirm it was a matter of finding a group of guys to be in a bandwidth and then putting that thing together and then, you know, in hindsight, you know as I guess yeah, it was a bit of a process and, you know, kind of finding our own thing and, and then and then like I said and then at the end of the day we're we finally we finally get it right we finally we finally get that deal and make that record and get that manager put it out and nothing really happened.

Chuck Shute :

So, so yeah, so

Blasko :

yeah, but that but that was very that was very typical in the 90s. Like, a lot, you know, for every Every tool Rage Against the Machine. You know, there was another hundred of us that, you know, didn't have that same story.

Chuck Shute :

Right? Well, you had a deal in that band suffer that you guys had a deal with the Walt Disney music company. So and then that one just fizzled out as well.

Blasko :

Yeah, yeah that that was very short lived. Okay.

Chuck Shute :

So that was a short live one then there was this band that you were in called killing spree. I found this interesting. You contributed lead vocals? Was that for the whole album or just some of the songs?

Blasko :

Wow, the whole album? Yeah, that was shorter than that. I don't even remember who put that thing out. But yeah, all records right. Was it? Maybe it was that's interesting, because I just talked to them this morning. Wow. I don't even know that. They know that. That's hilarious.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, it had the picture a body count basis. Vincent Dennis or aka Vincent Price.

Blasko :

Oh, okay. I don't know.

Chuck Shute :

The Internet, there's all sorts of things right now.

Blasko :

It's foggy.

Chuck Shute :

One point you were in prong, right?

Blasko :

Yeah, so that's kind of where things made it a turn. Mm hmm. And that was sort of the beginning of the next 20 years of my life, more or less, and that that kind of did happen because brown happened. And what even though drown in and of itself was a sick, you know, a successful failure. What What, what it did do is it did put me in the crosshairs of the influential people like the management that we had. Yeah, it was Walter O'Brian, and Andy Gould and they collectively managed cantera and white zombie and prong itself and it And so so whenever I'm looking for a bass player though, we know this dude that we managed for five minutes. He was cool. He lives in LA. And Rob Zombie's looking for bass player, same kind of thing. Ah, there's a bee that we knew, and he was wrong and drown and whatever. And, and so so. So the drowned thing really has the association with the management is what then put me in the line for these other gigs that just kind of kept going up and up. Right. Yeah. And and so so that was, you know, I think the takeaway from that is, I can't imagine you never know who your most reliable asset is. So just be cool, everybody.

Chuck Shute :

Good advice, good advice. And then you were in before the rubs on thing, which we'll get to that. You're in Danzig for a short little while with also the drummer who happened to be one of the To be the drummer of the Queens of the Stone Age JVC. And then Dave Kushner, who was the guitar player from Velvet Revolver, so that's kinda like an all star band. And then obviously, Glenn Danzig? What's it like? Working with Glenn Danzig? what's what's he like, behind the curtain I've never seen i don't think i've seen interviews with him before. He was the singer and misfits. He's kind of a legend.

Blasko :

Oh, he's certainly a legend. And legendary, but yeah, I mean, like, once again, man, that was a that was a short lived thing to even say I was in the band is kind of maybe stretching the truth a little bit. I mean, I mean, I'm months, right. I mean, I was in the band, but the band did one show like so my contribution to Danzig is you know, an hour and 10 minutes set at the whisky on Halloween one year, right. So it's okay. It's, it's like I think maybe there's two photos that existed prove that I was even new. The same room?

Chuck Shute :

No.

Blasko :

So, you know, it was, you know, it was kind of too short name, but I think maybe it served the purpose is that it was the stepping stone to get into Bob's day.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, I mean, that's a good resume builder for sure. So, so take me through this. So let's get now let's get to the this is the big call. So you actually met Rob before because drowned head open for white zombie or Rob Zombie? No, I guess it would have been worth it. Right.

Blasko :

So like zombie. Yeah. So once again, connecting the dots with that management connection.

Chuck Shute :

So does he give you a call personally, or was it as manager or Who?

Blasko :

Who calls you up? Ooh, good question. I don't, I don't remember, honestly. But

Chuck Shute :

really, I thought that would be like the like crowning one of the crowning moments that he never forget. Like, I would be so excited if I got that. I mean, because you'd have to audition though first, right? I mean, I'm assuming that the first call Oh, that's

Blasko :

the hilarious part of it. is like, I think it was maybe him, but through Andy the manager, but I'm pretty sure Andy was the one that reached out was like, hey, Rob wants to meet you. And so we met up at a diner. And, and he was like, he's like, Yeah, he, he really just kind of wanted to make sure that I was down with the program. Right that I know that that that he was the visionary. And I was down with his vision. And I wasn't going to get in the way of anything that he wanted to do and that I was just a team player. And that is exactly what I was.

Chuck Shute :

So was a fan of drown or why did he choose you? I mean, he just, I mean, you'd met him once. But I mean, he liked the way you play it or other people that said he only I'd be good, he'd be good or

Blasko :

I don't know maybe I think it's just kind of like he knew that I Plain and wrong he seen me play with, with drowned. I was in dancing for me there was some small level of credibility there but the fact of the matter is, is that I had done European festivals with Truong and I had worked with cool people on drown. And, you know, Danzig is Danzig and whatnot. So, it's like, it's kind of like, he knows that I can pick up the instrument and play it and he knows that I have played in front of people and I've been on a tour bus before and, you know, whatever, right? I get was like,

Chuck Shute :

you have a good reputation. My business basically is reliable.

Blasko :

my resume was intact. Yeah. And my and my references were credible.

Chuck Shute :

So anything that Rudy sarzo said when I had him on, he was saying that that was one of the most important things in his career. He kept getting all these good gigs was not only can you could play the bass, but he was trustworthy. If you hired Rudy, you knew he was gonna show up to the gig. He was gonna Be you know, on time, all that stuff. So it sounds like same thing, right?

Blasko :

Yeah, exactly right. Yeah. Our, our careers are very much aligned in that way. And we can kind of very pinpoint the reasons for that is exactly what he said. And yeah, so I met up with him at a diner and he was like, are you in totally into this? And I was like, Yeah, man, totally. And he's like, Okay, cool. Let's go to the studio. And so we got in a car and drove up to the studio where he was making his first record now Billy Deluxe, and he's like, Yeah, we got the song we're working on which was Dracula. It has kind of moved based on me and yeah, I kind of plotted along and, and, you know, that was that.

Chuck Shute :

So as you're not going on tour, you didn't record the song for the Howard Stern soundtrack that I think that ended up being his soundtrack, the great American nightmare. Is that not you on that song?

Blasko :

No, no, I really didn't play much on those records. You know what, once again, you know, I mean, it's kind of like, you know, it was his vision, the producer was there to implement the vision and, you know, from time to time I get a call and I'd show up and I, you know, put my fucking fingerprint wherever I could. And, you know, look man, it was it was it was a great time and, and, and I was there when I needed me. And you know, I think it was pretty much that simple.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, but it ended up being a long time. I think the expectation they told you don't get too comfortable because he's just doing the solo thing. It's kind of a one off thing and then he's gonna go back to white zombie, but you ended up in advance, like eight years or something right. Or Yeah, years.

Blasko :

Yeah, I mean, yeah, that was very much the thing is like, I think that, you know, the hot, the people sort of in that higher up the food chain, were very much kind of thinking this was going to be a thing that wasn't going to last very long and white zombie was the was the thing that was the machine that, you know made the money? Yeah. And that this would be a little side endeavor and, and that he would be going back to white zombie and it's you know, in a short amount of time. Yeah, for this record came out but that's just not what happened. Right the record came out and exploded. He broke up the band. And here is Rob Zombie formerly of white zombie 20 years later.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah. Did you think at the time when you were making this, like the hillbilly Deluxe album, like, I mean, there's just some classic songs like Dracula and living dead girl. Did you think at the time when you heard this, you're like, holy shit, this thing's gonna blow up or you just like, had no idea like, I mean, because you probably like a lot of stuff. Like you said that didn't you know, never took off or whatever.

Blasko :

Yeah, man. I mean, you know, I don't know that I've kind of given a lot of thought just because I just kind of just stoked to be going along. For the ride, right, you know, for however long it lasted, it was good. It probably be the, you know that the peak of my career is kind of really what I was thinking at the time. And, you know, I don't know if I was thinking in terms of I mean, yet, obviously, the songs were great, and it's so great and the timing feel great. But I don't know if I really kind of thought that it that blowing up was an option or, and honestly, when that was happening, I don't even know that if I thought about it. Like maybe I wasn't surprised. Maybe I just kind of in half inherently knew that it was going to be successful. And if I'm trying to put myself in that frame of mind, it's time. I mean, I kind of think that's what I would have been thinking. Yeah, I would have been I would have been thinking like, I don't think he's going back to izombie like I think this is good to be successful. I think that he Yeah, doesn't need them. I think this is this is how it's called To end up, I mean, I think that's probably what I was thinking.

Chuck Shute :

And are you thinking at this point like you finally made it because I mean, you there's like 14 years in the music business at that point. I mean, you feel like at that point, you kind of earned it or I mean, was there ever a time in the 14 years before that you had kind of felt like maybe giving up and trying something different or opening up a music club or doing something else in the business?

Blasko :

Very rarely. Yeah. I mean, there was definitely times when I was kind of going like now like a dude my life. But I always thought I was kind of stayed the course. I always kept playing music and always was trying different things. And I was just, you know, kind of trying to put myself out there. You know, a lot of I attribute a lot of my success to my geographical location of Los Angeles. It In that all these situations really kind of happened in my backyard. And had I not been there. I'm not so sure that I would have been a consideration. So, yeah, so good point. You know, I was just I was I was there, you know, I mean, it's like if you think of she know that the intersection of where preparedness meets opportunity. That was, that was me at those moments in time,

Chuck Shute :

right. So it was it was two fold and it wasn't just location, you had to be prepared and ready to go I mean, in play and you like, like you said, You're reliable, you had the references, they had all those other things, but you're saying that there's probably a lot of people that have those things that you have, but maybe they live in Nebraska, so they might not get the same opportunities. Without it out?

Blasko :

Yeah, see at that time, you know, I mean, that was you know, we're talking free Instagram pre YouTube, like, how did you even how did you even how did you even know or get connected or Write something to someone that wasn't in sort of arm's reach proximity.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, definitely. So you're in Rob's zombies band for eight years. At this point, do you become friends with Rob Zombie during this time? Because I gotta say this is on my bucket list is crazy sound. I want to have a movie night with Rob Zombie. Did you ever get a chance to do that? I feel like he would just be able to like show me a lot of like really cool underground indie horror films. Do you ever do that? or do any other like fun things with Rob Zombie?

Blasko :

Yeah, I mean, we're still, you know, friendly to the day I run into them. We, we, when he lives in LA, our houses are in a sort of general, same area. And we run into each other from time to time at a restaurant that we both go to. And so that tends to be our area of ketchup. You don't want to

Chuck Shute :

say the name of the restaurant? No.

Blasko :

But, but but, uh, but yeah, I mean, we, you know, we were on a tour bus together for, you know, months on end. Yeah, I mean, of course you, yeah, he ends up, you know, putting on a movie or, or, you know, something, but I think, I think for the most part, the thing that I kind of took away from him is, is just understanding the mind of a complete visionary. And, and also to understanding someone that someone that understands their career and, and is dedicated to their career and moving their career forward. You know, I haven't met a lot of dudes like that, you know, just because just because you're in a band and you rise and fall and you put off record, same thing, right, like, he's very instrumental in everything that he does, from beginning to end. I mean, you know, I mean, if you if you if you consider that he writes songs, he does the artwork. He does, he writes the lyrics You know, he designs the stage setup, right? If he's talking about his movies, he writes it. He directs it, he edits it. Right. He produced like, he's, he's a hands on do with every aspect of his career. And I admire that. You know, I don't I don't see that very often. And you also got to you got to take into consideration that what he's done as an artist, at no point, did he he fell out into the mainstream, meaning that he never compromised his vision and his values is what he wanted. What he wanted his art to represent into the into the world right

Chuck Shute :

now. He's never making kids movies, or

Blasko :

did his albums and movies eventually get mainstream success? Yeah. But on his own terms. Mm hmm.

Chuck Shute :

That's right. Cool. He So yeah, he just seems like one of the smartest people like I've seen him on the Headbangers ball and stuff back in the day when I was a kid. I was like, this guy's like, really, really smart. Did you have a lot of like, deep, intelligent conversations with him?

Blasko :

Oh, yeah, for sure. And now, like I said, I, you know, I gotta, I gotta attribute a lot of my future successes is just maybe maybe even more of observation of him in action. Right. As opposed to just like, Hey, man, what did you do when this happened? Like, you know, I'm saying like, yeah, I think I think I think my knowledge was more like, you learn by watching I, I absorbed it more by sort of observation than then than direct communication over the industry at the time. I, I don't think that I, I knew what I was looking for. Whereas if I know what I know now, and I could put myself in that position. If I could, if I could go back in time and put myself in that position. I certainly would. have asked different things I would have inserted myself in different situations I would have, I probably would have been able to extract more information out of out of this situation. And, and, you know, I don't know, but it's like it was. It was a very valuable time in my life. It certainly contributed to the following years to come. Oh, for sure. So

Chuck Shute :

then that band kind of it kind of dissolved for a little bit, right, because he went on to go make movies. Yep. And then you this around the time he joined in helmet, another great band.

Blasko :

Yeah, they're, they're, you know, once again, another, another sort of, kind of footnote on my career that you know, I there's really no, there's really no visual proof of contribution to that project. Deliver. Yeah, but uh, but I You know, I would say that I was in a rehearsal room with Pedro Hamilton on more than one occasion. Okay, that was very and that was very exciting. Yeah, but um, but yeah, I mean, there's there's no, there's no, there's nothing you know. So yeah, Agent ham and helmet are highly influential on my, you know my life or whatever but I didn't I didn't bring anything to that table. Gotcha.

Chuck Shute :

Cuz Yeah, the reason that you ended up quitting helmet is because you got another phone call. And this one was to join Ozzy Osborne's band. So, take me through that process. Do you remember that phone call was that? I mean, I'm assuming that that could have been Sharon calling you or?

Blasko :

Yeah, or someone from the office. You know, but it was kind of it was sort of very, sort of very black and white of, we got this tour coming up. We don't have bass player. Could you could you fill in? Yeah! I'm not doing anything else. And and so I got the gig, but then it turns out that there was no gig. So that just kind of evaporated until a few years later,

Chuck Shute :

right because he had an accident and then around when he did get better, he ended up being in Black Sabbath. So they did that for a while, but like, Rob Zombie got his band back together and you came back to that one for a while, you're kind of doing both right?

Blasko :

For a short while, I was kind of straddling the line. I was making an album with Rob and I was doing these these little kind of fly in like weekenders, whereas like, "Ozzy's doing this award show and you need to play one song." And there was a lot of those for some reason. And so he's just doing these like little kind of one off, fly in one song things. And that was cool... And then that eventually became a real thing. But I was on tour with Rob (Zombie) at the time, but then I was like " hey, I got this gig. It's an opportunity for me and, I'm not gonna leave you high and dry. I'm going to put someone in my place and I don't think anyone will know that I'm gone." And I call my friend Matt and I said "You should fly out here. I'm going to show you all the songs and give you my bass and you're going to join the band and no one will know I'm gone." And no one did know, I'm gone because one of the very first tours that happened after that was an Ozzy Osborne, Rob Zombie tour, and a lot of my friends were like, Dude, it's so crazy. You're playing in two bands. It's like after seeing the show. I was like, yeah, I'm not....

Chuck Shute :

Did they make him look like you then? No, but it was just because like we both we both just kind of look similar, right? And that's why I knew he was the perfect guy. And yeah, but you know, look dude, Matt's awesome. He's been there this whole time and he's he's contributed significantly to that band and everything and he's been there he's been there longer than ever I was, so and he's a great dude and we're great friends we talk like a couple times a week and like I said man like I didn't leave Rob high and dry right it worked itself out and Matt got a career out of it and Rob didn't have to he didn't have to stress over it. That's got to be a tough decision though because between Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osborne.... Those are two they're both huge legends like what made you decide Ozzy as opposed to just sticking with Rob cuz I don't know. I think you've said that before- obviously knew that Ozzy at some point was Gonna have to retire and Rob's younger. So there could have been more of a future with Rob or did you think about that or just wanted something different? Or

Blasko :

you know, those are all very practical and logical thought. And I had to weigh all those up like, everything you're saying was definitely shocked that I thought... but....I feel like....at the end of the day, it came down to, Ozzy being Ozzy being sort of the godfather of heavy metal and to play those songs to play Black Sabbath songs to be sort of in that conversation. It just felt like what my career trajectory needed, right? It started with Sabbath.... and so it kind of kind of needed to end there. Right. No discredit to Rob's legacy or his catalog or anything but it just kind of felt like..... I want to play Black Sabbath songs with that dude.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah.

Blasko :

That's kind of what pushed over the top but yeah, but you're quite right. I mean, you know, you know here we are potentially looking at you know, obvious creature retirement while Rob is still going strong right. So what is it?

Chuck Shute :

What is Ozzy like offstage? Because I think a lot of people know him, you know from his music career and the show on MTV, The Osborne's thinking his life's pretty crazy or chaotic, or at least it was I mean, this is real life compare to that MTV show at all from what you saw or

Blasko :

No I mean, I feel like that might have spun things in a wrong light. Maybe for all the right reasons? I don't think he wakes up every day feeling bad about it. But, he's a great dude and super funny, super generous. And he's a he's a legend.... I can't say enough good things about him. And But yeah, I think the TV show is a TV show with its purpose of entertaining. The MTV generation, right? It was definitely spun in a way to where it appealed to a certain audience. Yeah but behind the scenes.... That's not my reality.

Chuck Shute :

No, for sure. Well, so. Yeah. And at this point now, Ozzy's a little older, but, he's got to still be the same personality. He's a wild man. He's a crazy guy. I mean, but he's not obviously sniffing ants off the ground with Motley Crue. So how does he channel that energy? You know, because he's not I'm assuming he's not doing too many drugs or drinking at this point. What is he like? Does he play pranks on you guys?

Blasko :

I mean, yeah, I mean, he's a, he's certainly a practical joker... he just likes to have a like to have a good time. I mean, that energy translates into doing shows, making records and having grandchildren and spending time with them. And just all things that a career in life maintenance requires.... it just like at some point if you don't kill the drugs and alcohol, that shit will kill you. And at what point do you realize like, wow, I think I think that's the end. I think that's when I close that chapter of the book because I would like to spend time with my kids and grandkids...with my wife and bandmates, and fans. I want to continue to spend time with all those people. And you have to make a decision... Because you can't do both....

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, no, definitely. Do you know anything about his health? He's probably done touring, I'm assuming? I know he just had a new album come out...

Blasko :

I'm not really sure....There's so much unknown in the world at present. We still have a tour on the books for fall......No one said one way or the other if that happening or not happening, but at present, it's happening. And I think we'll just kind of see how the world returns to itself in whatever form that is. And then we'll see.... I joke that I'm the bass player....So I am the second to last person to know anything. And then....who was the last one to know everything and that's the drummer... The drummer is last and the bass player is second to last. So but, uh, so I you know, I don't know, but We all remain hopeful that if we do tour, it's for all the right reasons, and if we don't....it's also for all the right reasons.

Chuck Shute :

No, that's cool. But so you did do two albums with him "Black Rain" and "Scream" and you got to work with two of his guitarists- Gus G and Zakk Wylde. Zakk Wylde is easily one of my favorite guitarists, what's the differences between Zakk Wylde and Gus G?

Blasko :

Oh, I mean, both totally amazing players in their own regards.... They both interpret the guitar in different ways they both have their own sort of signature fingerprint, as to how they approach it and to what that output is... when you get to that level, no one guy is the same nor can that one guy be replicated.....because their origin story is different.... their amount of of input is different and defined differently and therefore, their output is different. I suppose that maybe visible interesting thing is the age difference and by the age difference.... that was significantly influenced by Randy Rhoads.... given the age and in the scope of when he first listened to Ozzy right? Whereas Gus seemed younger he was more influenced from the Jake E. Lee period by so I think that's a sort of a visible takeaway then that I find interesting. Just because it to me whenever Gus is kind of telling me about that when we were first hanging out and getting to know each other. I found that interesting because I'm more Zach's age and I didn't understand that because I grew up on the Randy era, so I never I first got turned on to it. And the Jake period... I respect totally but I was kind of into different things at that point. And I don't know that I really understood it at the time. So I found that to be really interesting to kind of make the connective tissue between the two of to where, they're great in their own regard. And they're a great Ozzy guitar player in their own regards, but yet their point of impact is completely different. And I find that to be interesting.

Chuck Shute :

He's so good at picking guitar players, especially he's just this list is amazing. But what was it like? recording? I mean, he did record the songs. What's it like recording with Ozzy, does he give you a demo and just say, okay, create a baseline? Or does somebody actually give you like a sheet music or bass transcription to learn or how does that work?

Blasko :

Yeah, it kind of works a lot of different ways. But it giving, getting sort of the foundational elements in a demo form, and can you be enabled to kind of take it home and do your homework with it and show it to the studio with some ideas, generally how it works. Okay? Yeah. Wow.

Chuck Shute :

So and how come you didn't play on the latest album? Because you're still listed...you're still the bass player but just not for the studio album? They have Duff McKagan do it, I think, is that because he wants to write with him or something?

Blasko :

I don't really know, man. I mean, I think that, the interesting aspect. I think Rudy will tell you the same, you know, being a hired gun guy, like, when you get a call when you get a call you show up? When you don't get a call. You do something else. It's kind of really that simple. I don't put much thought into it because I don't feel like I'm entitled to anything. I'm appreciative of the time that I've been able to spend in the Ozzy Osbourne band, but that doesn't entitle me to play on every record or do everything that he does, right? He's Ozzy Osbourne. He should be able to do whatever he wants to whenever he wants to because that's his creative vision. I don't want to get in the way of that.

Chuck Shute :

No, that's, that's smart move. Yeah, I mean, just be grateful. That's worked out for you so far, you've had a lot of great opportunities. So, one thing that you decided that once you'd kind of joined Ozzy's band, you felt like you'd kind of climbed to the top of the mountain. I mean, where else can you go? So you decided I'm gonna do something different. I'm gonna start a management company. You started this? What's it called? Is it mercenary management?

Blasko :

So it was called Yeah, it was it the time? Yeah.

Chuck Shute :

Okay. Was it the time and then that was actually do you said that the day you joined Ozzy Is that right?

Blasko :

Well, I mean, more or less, right around that time, you know, you were it was kind of just go like, Okay, cool. Well, this whole hired gun, heavy metal bass player thing and sort of reached its peak for real this time. And I love music. You know that much older I'm going to be that much older when this thing wraps itself up. And I don't want to be, I don't want to be 50 years old, looking for a band. Yeah, playing, you know, as a career choice. So, so I just I love music, I love being in music and and so I was like I kind of sort of logically sort of started, you know, put together a company and find artists to work with and develop and get record deals put on tour and now that's nothing. Yeah. And and so, yeah, that's kind of been my primary main gig. You know, I mean, I didn't want to didn't necessarily want to work for someone else. And I still wanted to have that entrepreneurial spirit that is with, you know, the higher gun side and still in music, but I did 30 think that I was gonna play in a band for my whole life sure. I'm gonna be I'm gonna be in music My whole life. Yeah, there's no there's no option there.

Chuck Shute :

So you got you signed the black, the Black Veil Brides. I was on the first bands that you signed was that one that you found specifically? Or did you have like a scout or somebody else go out and find that for you or

Blasko :

so I was sharing office space with my buddy ash Allison a time and he he was their booking agent. And he brought them to me because he's like, I think you guys would be a good fit. You know, that they're, you know, they're, they're kind of hot and they're gonna need the management. And so he put he connected those dots. Okay for the other but I thought right away and I got it. Like, yeah, this is got me written all over

Chuck Shute :

what other bands that you've signed that you're there kind of highlights. Are there new ones that are coming out that you want to talk about?

Blasko :

Um, nothing. I mean, It's I kind of had sort of my, my crew for a while now. And yeah, the industry is in an interesting place right now. So, things are on hold in a lot of situations. We don't know when live shows are gonna come back, we don't know when a good time to put out a record is.... Really don't know the temperature of the fans. Things have sort of taken priority in people's lives right now. So, it's a little undetermined as to what the best course of action is, moving forward or when to move forward, how to move forward. So, I think we've just kind of taken a step back and just taking it day by day and working on music and making records to be released to the point to where it's the right time to release it and continuing to have conversations with the venues and promoters and booking agents and keeping our eye on that when we feel like that's going to reopen. And, it's an interesting time for the business for sure, in a lot of aspects. And so we're just doing the best that we can, what, we'll just weathering the storm and, hoping for the best, are you when it comes back around?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah. So, do you guys get the How does that work with this whole thing? I mean, you guys have to get a loan for your business or can you collect unemployment or how does that work?

Blasko :

It's different for everybody really. There's things that you can do. I mean, t's like, some of it comes down to the individual. And there's really clearly been a lot of options. There's been a lot of people that have put together fundraisers and platforms and everybody kind of trying to look out for one another and stuff but yeah, there's no easy answer.

Chuck Shute :

Did you still make a lot of royalties off albums you did with Ozzy and Rob Zombie?

Blasko :

No... I mean, I get the occasional royalties from time to time but you got to figure like, I didn't write anything on those records, right? So my contribution was very slowly performance based and so it's, by design, I'm not deserving of anything substantial nature anyway. Those albums and those songs still do earn revenue. They still earn royalties to this day. Right. So like, a little bit trickles my way

Chuck Shute :

a little bit. Yeah, but so your main source would be the gigs and since we can't do that, I mean, you got to be like frustrated.

Blasko :

It is frustrating. Yeah, to say the least.

Chuck Shute :

Are there any projects that you're working? Are you writing music or people sending you stuff to play bass on like other projects? I know you're in like a you've done Zach Sabbath? I mean, that's probably not recording as much more like a playing live you're in a band, "The Death Riders", it was kind of a one off. Is there anything something like similar to that that you're working on now?

Blasko :

No, I mean, as a musician, I don't do much of anything to be honest. I don't even think there's a bass in my house.

Chuck Shute :

Really? (laughs)

Blasko :

When Ozzy calls, I'll shake off the bass and go on tour, then short the rehearsal and know the set... all that. There's a reason, I'm not I'm over here kind of honing my craft, like, I've got the responsibility to my client to make sure they're taken care of. And, when it comes to, you know, Ozzy songs like, I know how Crazy Train goes. Yeah. At no point Am I gonna play that song any better than I play already.

Chuck Shute :

Right, So your main focus right now is still more than management. And you said that 100%. You said you really don't have a lot of other interests besides music, except marketing and branding, which goes along with the management. So you said you've read a lot of books about marketing and branding. And like, maybe like looking outside of the box. Did you learn you must learn stuff from Ozzy and Rob Zombie on that stuff, too, right.

Blasko :

No, absolutely. I think a lot of that is by observation. You know, and, and, yeah, but I'm very much I'm very much you know, enthralled with branding and marketing, advertising. You know, all things that kind of go along with you know, selling banned products. You know, tickets and T shirts and records and, you know, everything that's kind of associated with that. So, you know, I'm very much immersed into that those tactics and those strategies, just to kind of keep myself aware, because, you know, the digital landscape is forever changing and rapidly forever changing. So you got to kind of keep up on you know, what's happening because, you know, a way that you released the record two years ago is different than the way you're going to release a record two years from now. And so, you know, that's just the way it is.

Chuck Shute :

What do you think about that some musicians and some comedians too I'm seeing are doing these zoom meetings and live internet shows... Are you a fan of those or Do you feel like it takes away from, the genuineness of the actual art?

Blasko :

Well, what was good about what this time period has done, it's got us to explore a little deeper into the digital platforms that we're already on anyway, but to go a little bit deeper into how we can engage with the fans, and how we can provide access to the fans and so I hope those trends continue right. I hope live streams continue, I hope we can reach more fans and more places that maybe we don't get a chance to go play live to. I hope that, chat zooms and zoom meetings and things of that nature. I hope that this is something that continues because I think that it's productive, to be able to grow a network or grow a fan base or, in terms of communication and engagement. We've learned a whole new depth to the tools that are at our disposal. And I hope those things continue awesome.

Chuck Shute :

Well, besides the music I know one thing that you are interested in is cats. So tell me about your work with cat how many cats you have, by the way?

Blasko :

I have to I get that question a lot, because people might think that I have like, 20 but yes, I I have two.

Chuck Shute :

And what you do you work with a charity that works with cats.

Blasko :

Yeah, so, you know, I've done a lot of, you know, over the years, you know, I'm friends with a lot of very influential people in the cat community. Whether it's, you know, Jackson galaxy or Henshaw that, you know, kind of really are more, you know, on the mainstream front, whether it be you know, TV or publishing. And then, you know, behind the scenes, like, I know, a lot of people that have built, you know, 501 c threes and in whether it's a rescue or cat cafe, stuff, so yeah, I mean, I'm sort of very immersed in it. That, you know, cat subculture. And you know what, once you look under the hood, we're all we all tend to start to get united in some way. But yeah, I mean, I work with a lot of charities and cafes, whether it's, you know, just supporting or, you know, people have questions and, you know, you know, you know, the advocacy, you know, you know, pet ownership and, and things of that nature. I mean, it's kind of all over the board, but I suppose the primary one that I work with is kitten rescue, and Los Angeles. And I do you know, a five k run for them every year when we raise a bunch of money. You know, this year I raised the most money I've ever raised for them. I've got the advocacy award of the year. Wow. There's there's a gala that they do every year. The year that I was, given that award, we raised the most money that the gala has has Raise, you know, upwards of a quarter of a million dollars. And so, yeah, man, we're, you know, we'll do we're doing some great things but and, you know, so yeah, it's just kind of, it's just sort of one of my, my interest, but you know, because of social media and the connectivity that that brings us I've been able to sort of reach a very wide spectrum, you know, worldwide people that are doing great things in that community.

Chuck Shute :

That's awesome. Yeah, cuz I know there's a there's a lot of cats that need homes. And, you know, I worked over here they have the homeless cats and these people, they spray the cats that they live out in the streets and then you go through and you and you feed all these cats that live out in the wild, which is weird here because in Arizona, it's like really hot, but there's, there's a lot of them that do that. It's all over the valley here. So I'm sure they have a similar thing in LA.

Blasko :

Oh, yeah, no, of course. It's I mean, you know, cat people that the cat colonies, people that TNR Which is fat neuter and return, which is, you know that what we're What what? Those people that that's what their focuses is TNR what they're trying to avoid is, you know, because a cat can turn around kitten pretty quickly. And so they're they're trying to they're trying to get a handle on the amount of kittens that are born every year. And, you know, because once they're feral, it's kind of they just live on the street. Yeah. And so we're, you know, trying to kind of shut that down as much as we can kind of keep a handle on it. So, you know, and there's a lot of people I know that do that. And I respect them wholeheartedly.

Chuck Shute :

Oh, yeah, I respect you for doing that. It's very cool. I'm definitely a cat advocate. So Well, I appreciate you so much for doing this. This interview with me. I think people need to reach out follow you on your on Instagram. Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter any that's ever I know you're mostly Instagram, right?

Blasko :

Mostly Instagram. Everything is same Glasgow 1313. So I'm everywhere but like is in terms of actively it would be, you know, 99% Instagram,

Chuck Shute :

okay, and they can keep keep up with all your latest projects. Do you think that you'll be doing any? I mean, I guess if somebody calls you probably do it if there was a if there was another higher gun opportunity, right to play bass for someone else.

Blasko :

Amen. You know, AC DC calls, you know,

Chuck Shute :

what about Metallica?

Blasko :

You know, I don't know that that's a good fit for me to be completely honest. Yeah. You know, obviously, I you know, I wouldn't, I wouldn't say no, but I'm saying that. I don't know that. You know, I don't. I don't think I'm a good fit there. I didn't point what about me totally. What about Megadeth? Are they

Chuck Shute :

they're probably never gonna get rid of their bass player. It's always been the same

Blasko :

guy. Yeah, I don't think that's a good fit for me either. To be totally honest. is there other bands? Oh, sorry, go on. Yeah, like I'm in terms of playing music like I'm, I'm more of that classic like that classic metal like Judas Priest, you know, Judas Priest Iron Maiden ACDC Ozzy Sabbath, like, in terms of playing music like that. My jam

Chuck Shute :

that's great stuff. Well very cool you've had an amazing career so far so I look forward to seeing what else you do is there other bands though that you that you're fan of the people should check out maybe they're on your label or that they're

Blasko :

not i think i think the easiest thing to do is, you know a lot of people they're like, man, there's no good music out there. It's all a bunch of like pop and rap and and then I can't nothing's come out good since 96. And, you know, and so like I I tend to disagree and I end anyone that's interested in hearing a bunch of cool new music. You I have a, I have a Spotify playlist that I update that I update, weekly, semi weekly, of stuff that I find that is that is a current band with a current record that is put out an album or a song or an EP this year. And I've been I've been doing a yearly playlist for the last, I don't know, five years or so. So yeah, I mean, it's linked from my, from my, my Instagram and if you want to go on Spotify and type in volume forever, though, those are all my playlists and but yeah, I've got a current one going now and there's a shit ton of cool stuff on there. So I don't want to hear the excuses. There's nothing cool coming out anymore because it's just not true.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, no, I think there's a lot of good new bands. So well, thank you so much for doing my show. Is there anything else you want to promote?

Blasko :

I did, man. Thanks for having me.

Chuck Shute :

Thank you. Yeah. If you want to share this on social media with your fans, they can listen. I'll try to share it as much as I can as well. So thanks for coming on. Cool. All

Blasko :

right, appreciate it, buddy. Okay.

Chuck Shute :

So there you go. Rob "Blasko" Nicholson, bass player from Rob Zombie's band bass player for Ozzy's band. What a career that guy's had done amazing things, the management company and everything. Make sure to follow him on Instagram, Glasgow 1313, or Twitter, Facebook, you don't have Instagram. You can follow me on all the social medias as well. If you liked this episode, make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don't miss any more episodes. I got some great guests lined up. And if you want to tell me how great you thought this up or you could tell me how bad it was. You can write me a review, or reach out to me on social media. I love to hear your thoughts on the episode how I can improve it, what you liked what you didn't like. Until then, have a great day or night.