On Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. PST, Billy Morrison’s new show Dirty Little Secrets premiered on FilmOn. For two hours, he and cohosts Chloe Dabbles and Rick Canny sprinted through a marathon of topics, spoke to guests Dave Navarro and Mark McGrath, and survived studio temperatures that Canny said got as high as “8,000 Kelvin.” How did Morrison feel like the first episode went?
“I think the show was beautifully chaotic,” Morrison told TV Mix after the show wrapped. “I definitely am not in the business of slick, well-produced television, but I am in the business of intelligent debauchery… So we hit that on occasion.”
Morrison recently formed the all-star covers band Royal Machines with Navarro, McGrath, Donavan Leitch and Chris Chaney, and previously toured with Billy Idol and The Cult. Lighting up a cigarette as the show ended, he spoke briefly to TV Mix about the concept for the show, and his general approach. He also offered his thoughts about the ongoing commentary posted on the show from internet viewers, and how he hopes to create a program that could earn the title “the Howard Stern of rock & roll.”
How do you think the show went?
I think the show was beautifully chaotic. I definitely am not in the business of slick, well-produced television, but I am in the business of intelligent debauchery. My plan on this is intelligent debauchery. And there is a difference between mindless debauchery and intelligent debauchery. So we hit that on occasion. There’s definitely room to tighten it up, but I love doing it, so thanks to FilmOn we get to do it.
What was the original concept for you, and what kind of content did you want the show to have?
This show was born out of an FM radio show me and Dave had about eight years ago on Indie 103.1. Me and Dave hosted a show that was basically irreverent chat – we would talk about whatever we want. And then with the new wave of technology, cameras and web streaming, people started getting offered shows. Dave’s been doing it for a little while – he went off and did his Dark Matter show. And I got another idea of doing a show called Dirty Little Secrets, got offered the show, did it for a while and then [David Nussbaum] approached me when I left that place and said why don’t you bring it to FilmOn. And FilmOn is a chat-based, social interactive network – and that’s not what I do. But I do like the technology involved, the people here, the fan base, and we’re going to figure out a way where we’re all comfortable doing it.
What do you feel needs to happen for you to get comfortable with that varnished interaction with viewers and people online asking questions?
Not do it (laughs). No, all of us have voices in our heads that tell us things about ourselves. What I don’t need to do is see the voices in my head come to life in a fucking chat window. God bless them all if some 17-year-old is sitting in his parents’ basement in Peoria, Illinois, with nothing better to do than invisibly and anonymously slag people off – that’s up to them. But that’s not what I want in my life, and I don’t have to have that in my life. However, the vast majority of people that are following on Twitter, following on FilmOn, following on Battlecam actually what I hope will watch because what we do is interesting. And gradually, I think as those people take over that social arena, we will be able to bring more and more of that in. Definitely the Twitter feed works for me, and next week we’ll have the chat window up so that I can see it and just not pay attention to people slagging off. I want to bring as much of it in as possible, but I am not going to give people the time of day just to say, “get your tits out, Chloe.” We’ve all seen Chloe’s tits already.
One of the things Dave talked about on the show was the idea of concerts being a forum for a specific, intimate commitment between a performer and his or her fans, while TV is much broader. How do you plan to cultivate a specific audience, or connect on a more personal level, as opposed to maybe trying to bring in as wide a viewership as possible?
That’s a very good question. I think that content is so immediate these days that you have to provide something that perhaps someone else would want to watch. I have been brought up with the music business, which is like I said on the show – if you make a record thinking about what other people are going to think when they hear it, you’re making a dumb record.
[The interview is interrupted when a gentleman in a sports car pulls up to the curb and says hello. After exchanging brief pleasantries, he drives away.]
I actually paid him to roll past (laughs). That was John 5, Rob Zombie’s guitar player, and I paid him ten bucks to roll up and make me look good.
So as I was saying, if you set out to make something that connects with people, you’re going to fail. I am secure that I’m not alone in my madness, and I’m not alone in my darkness, or my lightness – and there are many other people who think what I think and feel the way I feel. So what I can do it be honest on my show, talk about things that I like, tell my opinions, play the music I like, bring the people in that I like. I believe there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that feel the same way and will start to chill out on the, “dude, my chat was just on TV!” and start to listen to what’s being said and go, “ah, that’s really fucking interesting.” But that happened to me – I’ll call in, I will break that barrier and connect with people just by being myself. Hopefully.
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In terms of executing that intelligent debauchery, what kind of preparation or structure do you have in mind? Do you assemble a list of topics to discuss, for example?
What you just saw was 100 percent improvised. We had not topics other than the fact that I bought a really ridiculous pair of sneakers. And the thing I find is that too much preparation for the kind of show that I want to do will ruin it. It’s not a slick TV show – maybe it’s the Howard Stern of rock & roll. I don’t know. I’m able to talk to people – I have a knack of talking to people – and I think that having a topic is one thing. Rick brought up a topic, and I am intelligent enough to listen to give an opinion, and listen to other people’s opinions. I will embrace topics. But as to sitting at home working on the show, no no no. What I’m working on is, is this technology going to work? Is this video what I want to play? That kind of stuff. I’m not here to pimp myself out. In fact, talking about shows that I’m doing is the last thing I want to do. I want to talk about scuba diving and guns and motorcycles and sneakers and art and watches and all of the things that I love, that the whole fucking world loves. Yeah, it’s a little bit materialistic, but when we put our heads on the pillow at night, when we are alone, all of us on this planet have thoughts that we will not share with other people. I will share my thoughts, in the hope that other people will respond with “I feel the same way.” Or, “I don’t feel the same way – and this is why.”
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