Even though some of the rhythm sections are good, I don't really have a lot of time for people who don't sing. I don't consider moaning and groaning and being Mr. Gruff--that's not what a vocalist is to me. That's not where I came from. Music is a generational thing, and that's not my generation of music. There's nothing wrong with the generation of music that's out there today. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not viable and doesn't mean it's not good. I just have a choice now and I don't have to listen to it.
Discuss the sword and sorcery images in your songs?
It's the stuff I grew up reading as a child--I was a voracious reader and I still am--and I read a lot of fantasy-based things. I started out reading about knights and dragons, then discovered the great science fiction writers from Azimov to Clarke to Moorcock and all the rest. One of my favorites was Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote the "John Carter of Mars" series.
The reason I liked all those things is because it made me use my imagination; it made me think and put myself into those places that were not real. When I started, I wanted to write in that style because at the time, no one else was doing it. I wanted to put people in the place where they had to do what I did--use their imagination. So people tend to think that I walk around with a sword and have a pet dragon and ride a horse--obviously untrue . . . well, except for the pet dragon.
What's the worst advice you were ever given?
Go to school because you're never going to make it doing this.
What advice would you give to an aspiring vocalist?
Make sure you have some talent. If you don't have any, don't do it. It's a hard game--not just singing, but anything musical. The advice I would always give to a singer is learn how to do it properly. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to a voice teacher, because a lot of times the coach will try to make you into what he or she couldn't be, and that takes away your naturalness. Rock 'n' roll is a very natural medium, and I think you have to be unique to be successful. Sing from your diaphragm, not your throat, don't scream unless you have to, and don't drink and don't smoke.
What's the most misunderstood thing about you and your music?
Well, I think it's always been the same--that we're a bunch of devil worshipers and we'll probably sacrifice your children when they come to the show. When I played with Sabbath in the Bible Belt, we'd get picketed.
Why does rock 'n' roll never start on time?
We do. We always do.
Dio, Armored Saint and George Lynch's Lynch Mob at the Ventura Theatre, 26 Chestnut St.; 8:30 p.m. Tuesday; $38 or $28; 653-0721.
It seems difficult to get the blues in Thousand Oaks, but that will change, albeit temporarily, when the 70-something B.B. King plays the Civic Arts Plaza on Sunday night.
The most famous living blues man, King has recorded more than 50 albums, won eight Grammys and been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.
When he was a young man, King left his home in Mississippi, bound for Memphis with his guitar and liquid assets of $2.50. He's been a relentless road dog ever since, still doing about 300 gigs a year, playing everywhere with everybody.
"I do it now because I want to, but there were years and years of working because I had to," King said.
"Would you enjoy working every day? We have no Sundays, no holidays. Christmas? Who had Christmas? That was just Dec. 25, that's all. I'm getting a good salary now, but I didn't up until a few years ago."
B.B. King at the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; 7 p.m. Sunday; $62, $47 or $32; 449-2787.
If your favorite holiday is Halloween, then Fangboy & the Ghouls could be your favorite band. They'll be bringing their souped-up monster music to several venues this week, including Nicholby's in Ventura on Thursday, A&M's Roadhouse in Oxnard on Friday and Bubba's Lounge in Ventura on Saturday.
After five years together, Fangboy remains front man Jason "The Wolfman" Amelio, drummer Talon "The Count" Klipp and bass player Chris "The Monster" Savoy.
They released an album a few years back, "Welcome to the Chamber of Thrills," which has since been downloaded to the MP3 format along with some live tracks and lots of free advice on making an album independently.
The band has plenty of originals, mostly loud and fast, plus they even take requests from the audience during one of their unpredictable and fun sets.
Fangboy & the Ghouls at Nicholby's, 404 E. Main St., Ventura; 10 p.m. Thursday; $3; 653-3220. Also at A&M's Roadhouse, 2515 Ventura Blvd., Oxnard; 9 p.m. Friday; free; 983-2787. Also at Bubba's Lounge, 1664 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura; 9 p.m. Saturday; $3; 653-2815.