When Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian was asked by his wife, Pearl [daughter of Meatloaf] Aday, what he would like to do to celebrate his 50th birthday, Ian decided that he would like to play a set of generally forgotten songs by under-rated LA band Mother Superior. That was handy, because Aday had been writing music with Mother Superior frontman Jim Wilson for years. The three of them pulled in Joey Vera (Fates Warning/Armored Saint) and John Tempesta (White Zombie/The Cult), and did the show. It went so well that Metal Blade, a renowned metal record label, offered to put out an album and they jumped at the chance. Naming the band Motor Sister after a Mother Superior song, they recorded the album now called Ride and are enjoying the, ahem, ride, seeing exactly how far they can go with this group. We spoke to Ian and Aday to find out more…W
Yellow Scene: Plenty of people won’t be familiar with Mother Superior – what was so cool about them?
Scott Ian: They were just so pure. I loved the work they did with the Rollins Band, and that made me want to go out and buy everything else they had done. There was no look, no image, nothing. There was just three guys writing songs and playing music. It very much reminded me of AC/DC, because you can go back to the beginings of that band and, other than Angus wearing his actual schoolboy outfit, you just had a bunch of guys that looked like they were at a pub, which is what they were. That’s what I loved about Mother Superior. They were the essence of rock ‘n’ roll.
YS: Pearl, you had been working with Jim [Wilson, Mother Superior frontman]?
Pearl Aday: I had been working with Jim for years, writing music together. We wrote an album together called Little Immaculate White Fox, which is a hard rock album. We got to open for Velvet Revolver on their last run, and we opened for Heart. We were on the Jimmy Kimmel Show here. So we’ve been working together, trying to move forward in that capacity as well. He writes melodies and I write the lyrics, and it’s kind of a match made in heaven in terms of how the music turns out. It’s something that we’re still working on, we’re still working together – not only in Motor Sister but we also have an album on the side that follows up our last one. Jim and I are friends and music writing partners.
YS: Is it cool for the two of you to be working together?
PA: It’s really cool for me. We get this question all the time because people seem to be marveled that a husband and wife can wok together in such close quarters, live together and have a child, and it seems to work and we don’t tear each other’s throat out. It’s wonderful. It’s great for us – we work really well together.
SI: I look at it this way – getting to be in a band and on tour with my wife is much better than being out there and missing her. It’s awesome. I love making music with my wife. Pearl said this earlier – because both of us have been doing this for so long, with Pearl traveling the world when she was four or five with her dad, we both speak the same language when it comes to doing this and that certainly helps, I think, in the relationship. It’s not like I do this and Pearl has no idea what it’s like to be in a band – she knows everything about what it’s like to be in a band. It makes it that much better.
YS: When you were first putting the band together, Scott, for your birthday party, did you envisage an album?
SI: No. Not really. I think that would been a bit presumptuous. In my brain, I wanted to do this because I love the songs. I love Mother Superior – I picked my 12 favorite songs and I knew that this lineup that we put together would totally kick ass playing these songs because we’re all very like-minded and we’ve all been incestuously playing music together for years now, the five of us. I knew this lineup would be great, and then we had the party and we played this set in front of 15-20 people at our house. It was even better than I could have imagined. But no, I didn’t expect a phone call the very next day from Metal Blade Records saying, “Would you like to make a record?” I didn’t think that was going to happen, because generally that’s not how it works.
PA: I don’t think we were thinking ahead of that night, actually. This was really just like, “Scott, you’re turning 50, what are the things you want most to do.” One of those things was to play Mother Superior music, to be a part of it, and this was something we were doing to celebrate. That energy and passion obviously translated and made an impact. They say that you find true love when you’re not looking for it. We weren’t looking to make an album, we weren’t thinking in those terms as all, and that made it so much better. We just wanted to celebrate Jim Wilson and his music, to resurrect it.
YS: Are you going to tour it?
PA: We would like to. The issue is that everybody has their day jobs. There’s Anthrax, there’s Armored Saint, Johnny’s got his thing – it’s scheduling. But everybody wants to. That’s something that we’re talking about right now. We just played a show in Brooklyn, NY, that was awesome. Not to toot our own horns, but we had another great party and the room was packed. Everybody was over the moon about it. We’ve got two more gigs booked – one in Los Angeles the day after the album comes out, and one in San Francisco. We’re looking beyond that now to play more live shows.
YS: Scott, what’s going on with Anthrax?
SI: We’re recording a record right now, and we’re deep into that. We’ve got a lot of work to do but it’s going really well.
Motor Sister’s Ride is out March 10 through Metal Blade.