Thursday, July 19th, 2012 | 0 Comments
When you’ve been a wrestling fan for 20 years and you’re given a 10 minute interview with one of your favourite wrestlers, chances are you don’t spend 9 minutes talking about music. Unless you’re me.
Interviewing would be the wrong word to describe my candid chat with “The Cowboy” James Storm. He’s one of only two active TNA Wrestling Originals who has been with the company since it first debuted in 2002. Considering about 4000 miles separated the two of us, this could have easily been done in the local bar or pub (a word that I was surprised that James knew!)
I could talk for hours about music so trying to fit it all into 10 (well, 9) minutes was tricky. Still, hearing James talk fluently about his love for music and 80’s rock such as Skid Row, AC/DC and Motley Crue was a refreshing pleasure.
James has already starred in his first music video with country superstars Montgomery Gentry and his admittance in keeping his options open for “life after wrestling” were honest and sincere. When he was asked to “show up, have fun and drink beer” and then get paid for it then I can understand why he’s considering more in the future.
When I find out someone’s first live gig was Skid Row and their favourite concert was AC/DC, I feel an immediate similarity to them. Granted, James Storm and I lead pretty different lives but it seems that we both enjoy similar things about England, for example, the fact that we still have live classic rock bands playing gigs and 80’s rock music playing in bars…“That’s why I like coming to England, you’re still alive and well over there”. Maybe that should have been the big marketing push for 2012 rather than that Olympics thing.
“I’m more of an old-school guy” acknowledges James when it comes to music and how he listens to it, also going on to say “I really enjoy the small places” to listen to live music, something I can vouch for as a photographer and a music fan myself. When asked to compare music nowadays to when he first started listening to it, James produced my personal favourite soundbites.
“They lived it”, explaining how and why he got into rock music. “They lived the songs that they did… People now just sing about stuff because they think its cool, they’ve never lived it. How are you gonna sing about something if you’ve never experienced it?” I don’t need to explain this to anyone, do I?
James, like a lot professional athletes, listens to hip-hop before hitting the ring, whether that’s the TNA Impact Zone or any of the venues they take over in the US and worldwide. “I feel immortal listening to those songs”, something I think we can all attest to with our own individual songs, be they hip-hop or any other genre. Staying on music, and like a lot of people, James said he’d like to see Elvis (“not donut-era Elvis”) if he could choose his dream gig.
I had to throw in a couple of wrestling questions (remember, I am interviewing one of my favourite wrestlers here and I had 1 minute left). Speaking of TNA and the momentum it’s building in the UK, James conveyed how “When we go overseas, I’ve noticed a huge difference… there’s more and more people that recognise me”. He’s also complimentary of the British wrestling fan, simply pointing out that “they’re there to have fun” Any UK wrestling fan care to argue with that?
“There ain’t nothing bad about it”, summarised James when explaining the best thing about being “The Cowboy” James Storm. “I am who I am… I’m not a fake. I drink my beer cold, my women hot and my cars fast” After chatting to him for 10 minutes, I can’t find fault in a word he said. He truly is who you see on TV, probably the main reason he’s still around after 10 years and at the top of his game.
Be sure to catch “The Cowboy” James Storm on Challenge TV every Sunday night at 9pm. For more TNA Wrestling, go to their official site at impactwrestling.com.
Words: Danny Pardoe
Photos: Courtesy and Copyright of TNA Wrestling