For a guy who’s been member of best-selling band Sugar Ray, a host on Extra, Rock & Roll Jeopardy! and Don’t Forget The Lyrics and appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice and The Office, you wouldn’t think that Mark McGrath has many unrealized aspirations as a performer – or many untold stories from his entertainment career.
But following his appearance on the premiere episode of Billy Morrison’s new FilmOn show, Dirty Little Secrets, McGrath quickly formed a plan to follow in the footsteps of his Royal Machines bandmate to host a show of his own. “I think that something like this where you can come in, it’s not a giant financial investment to sit down and have a show and see if it could fly,” he told TV Mix. “It’s a dream of mine to have a show and talk about things.”
Following his appearance on the show alongside Dave Navarro, McGrath sat down for a few minutes to talk about Morrison’s new show, Dirty Little Secrets. In addition to exploring the appeal of its unstructured, free-flowing but still professionally-staged format, he revealed what his approach would be with his own show, and what kinds of tales from his own decadent days as a rock and roller he might reveal.
What did you think of the experience of doing the show?
It was really cool, man! You’re coming to Beverly Hills and it’s kind of chi-chi, frou-frou, and then you come into FilmOn and you’re like, ahh, man, I could get down in this place – down and dirty, in a good way! Have some fun. I like the irreverence of it. It seems like there’s a lot of smart people behind the scenes who have done things in film and TV who know what they’re doing. A lot of times you step into some of these startup places, these web channels, and it’s almost too loose sometimes. But there is a looseness to this that is fully surrounded and supported by professionalism, which I think is something that’s really going to suit this whole vision well.
You, Billy and Dave complement each other so well. What were some of your favorite things to talk about – or what was most surprising?
I love Dave and Billy so much and it’s such an honor to be a part of this Royal Machines thing we’re doing – performing is fun, but these guys make me laugh all day long. I mean, Dave Navarro, you never know what’s going to come out of that guy’s mouth! He’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met in my life. A lot of people see Dave and think he’s kind of dark, kind of a “goth” guy, but he’s one of the funniest, brightest people I’ve ever met. And it’s fun when you get around him and it’s something like this where he’s just off the cuff – he really shines. So when I was sitting there and I’ve got Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison, two of the funniest guys in the world, I’m just going to take a back seat and chime in and laugh. I feel like I’m on the show, but I’m watching it at home, you know what I mean? It’s kind of weird. But I think the show is great, and you never know what Billy can bring in. I mean, one week he’ll have Ozzy [Ozbourne] on that chair, and then he’ll have unfortunately me (laughs). But he’s got a diverse group of people, so I’m curious to see where the show is going to go. The sky is the limit.
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How would you compare this to the sorts of hosting and TV panel gigs you’ve done in the past?
This is interesting, because like I said it’s loose – people are eating cake and drinking and knocking over glasses. It’s professional, but it’s loose. Usually when you’re doing television everything’s on a budget and you can’t retake, and you’re really carefully about what you’re saying or doing. But here you’re just like talking to your homies. You’re at home, you’re in a living room, or it feels like you are – we’re on a couch for Christ’s sake, but there’s cameras. I mean, I think it’s the future, definitely the future. It’s how things are going to be done, and I think what’s going to happen is if you have a great show and you know how to talk to people, it’s going to rise to the top. It’s charisma – if you’re compelling and you’re charismatic, then you’re going to do well here. But what’s scary about things like this is that everybody thinks they can do it now. “Welcome to my show in the garage!” It’s what kind of killed music – anybody can be in a band now, and that’s great, but that’s also the bad news. And I think something like being on the internet, anybody can have a show now, that’s the good news and the bad news. I think FilmOn is really the cream of the crop of these kind of shows that are happening, and I think the sky’s the limit with this place.
You were saying to the show’s producer that you would like to do one of these shows yourself. What kind of content would you have if you had your own show?
My opinions are just lame, you know what I mean? But some of my favorite guys on the radio in the world are guys like Howard Stern, or even Jason Ellis, guys like that. They literally sound like they’re talking in your living room and commenting on things. I’ve never been short on opinions, and I let it go, and whether you agree with me or not, because you’re watching. I mean, I read once that people that like Howard Stern listen for an hour and a half, and people that hate Howard Stern listen for two and a half hours a day. So I just think it’s having an opinion and a passion behind that could maybe lead to an audience. And I think that something like this where you can come in, it’s not a giant financial investment to sit down and have a show and see if it could fly. It’s a dream of mine to have a show and talk about things – sports, we were like, “who wants to talk about the Olympics?” I do! I want to talk about the Olympics. Anything current, I like to talk about. And why I love Howard Stern so much is not because he shows the midgets and the boobs and strippers – that was always the most boring thing in the world. It was his narrative, his commentary about what was going on, which always attracted me. So I would never say I am at the level of Howard Stern, but I certainly could talk about contemporary issues. So I would see my show being something like that, but obviously I’m a music guy so it would be music-oriented, about things in the past I’ve done. I’ve got some incredible stories – that I can actually tell here! As opposed to when you get those kooky questions like, what’s the craziest thing you’ve even done on tour?” I can actually tell you here, but I can’t tell you on Extra. So I think that would be great, to really get into what I’ve done where I’ve been and where I’m going.
So it would give you more latitude—
To hang myself is what you’re saying! Exactly (laughs). To go, “oops! I shouldn’t have said that.”
Watch Billy Morrison’s Dirty Little Secrets — and a host of other great programs on FilmOn TV Live:
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