MARQ TORIEN Was 'Taken Aback' By What His Original BULLETBOYS Bandmates Had To Say Following Latest Split

March 17, 2023

In a new interview with Waste Some Time With Jason Green, vocalist Marq Torien spoke about why the BULLETBOYS original lineup fell apart in December 2021 following a two-year reunion. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm just gonna be really honest. I have a lot of love and will always have love for them, but there's nothing really to say. I wish them the best in their musical endeavors. I hold no ill will toward anybody. I love them with all my heart. I just was talking with Lonnie [Vencent, bass] a couple of days ago; we chat all the time."

When host Jason Green asked Torien if he has spoken to the other two members of the original BULLETBOYS lineup, guitarist Mick Sweda and drummer Jimmy D'Anda, Marq said: "No. I was taken aback by some of the things that they both had to say [after the latest split].

"Listen, I will never bash anybody or speak disparagingly about people that I love or maybe something that didn't work out musically," Torien added. "But like I said, I wish them the best with everything they do and good luck in this crazy business. But we move forward, and we've gotta do what we've gotta do."

Marq went on to say that some of the past issues between the other members reappeared once they got together for the latest BULLETBOYS reunion.

"I had a great time playing with them," the singer clarified. "I love them. We had great shows. I loved it. I walked into the thing for the fans, to do something really special.

"There was a lot of turmoil before I even came back to the band that I didn't know about," Torien claimed. "So when I walked back into it, there was already this friction of the three of them that they hadn't even spoken in months before I even came back to it — for things that they had gone through in some other project they were playing in. But I didn't know about any of those things. I came in with an open heart, ready to work and ready to do some things. We tried to put together something to release for the fans musically, and that was very difficult. I don't know why… It just wasn't in the cards at the time.

"You'll never hear me bashing those guys. I love them; I love them dearly," Marq repeated. "And I don't feel it's right, being in the business so long. You don't come up and talk disparagingly about people that you love and that you work with. And I don't. I have nothing but love for those guys. And like I say — not to be redundant — but I wish them the best in the future and the best in their musical career."

Last December, Sweda toldMarko Syrjala of Metal Rules about the dissolution of the latest original BULLETBOYS reunion: "Well, anytime we get together — and we've tried to do reunion things over the years — we know there's a shelf life. We know that there's going to be a moment when everything either implodes or explodes, one or the other. And unfortunately, it happened sooner than we had all hoped. There are some pretty interesting personalities in the band. Very strong, for better or worse. So yeah, it was really unfortunate that it came to pass. I was really looking forward to going out and doing a lot of dates that summer, and we had a lot of things lined up. But it's such that some people don't want to deal with that sort of negativity."

Sweda went on to say that "there are some very deep foundational cracks" between the original members of BULLETBOYS and added: "I'm never going to do anything with BULLETBOYS again. It's just been so… I don't know what the right word is. I suppose that it's just tainted by all the different people that have been in it. It doesn't even make sense for me to even think about it… And it's unfortunate because there was some good money coming with BULLETBOYS if we had stayed together. There aren't many bands that are all original. And that was a big thing — the promoters like that. But unfortunately, it wasn't to be. So yeah. And it's funny, too, because every time that happens, and it's happened a few times where I've had to leave the band again, it's like, 'Thank you. Now, I can clear my head. I don't have to take the calls. I don't have to stay up at night. I can just do something else.'"

Sweda previously opened up about his most recent departure from BULLETBOYS in an interview with "This That & The Other With Troy Patrick Farrell" more than a year ago. Speaking about the personal differences that ultimately caused the reunited BULLETBOYS to fall apart, Mick said: "It's very difficult to explain. I know there's a lot of external noise, I know that there are voices whispering in everybody's ear, and once everybody gets away from that buzz [from playing together], it starts to set in. I'm not gonna speak for anybody else, but you start wondering what's happening. And then you hear something happened and somebody did this or somebody did that or said this, and it all just starts manifesting in this… I suppose it is insecurity, I suppose it is distrust. And for me, I have to be able to trust the guys in my band; I have to be able to know that somebody isn't gonna go behind someone else's back and say something or do something. And that just starts to dissipate, I suppose, with the time away. It's funny — when you get back together, all of that just sort of subsides into the background because there's a bigger goal in mind and a bigger picture; you want to achieve that and you don't wanna let everybody down. So it's easy to overlook that. But there comes a time where it just feels like it's toxic and poisonous, and nobody needs that in their life, especially at our age."

When Sweda first discussed his exit from BULLETBOYS during a January 3, 2022 Facebook Live stream, he said: "In the past, I know it's been brought up that anybody who isn't in BULLETBOYS has quit on the fans. And that may or may not be something you'll hear in interviews or whatever. And trust me, it has nothing to do with quitting on fans and everything to do with just not wanting to travel down a path that is fraught with strife and distrust and bitterness and everything else.

"It's really, at this point in our lives, imperative — at least for me; I'll speak for myself here — that I just remove all forms of toxicity," he explained. "And I'm sure all of you understand it just can't be a part of my life anymore. And the fact that we were all original and having some good shows and having a great time playing the shows — there's no doubt about that; I had a wonderful time and I was looking forward to doing it all of 2022 — but once it gets to a point where it's poisonous, you can't have it in your life…

"I'm grateful that everybody understands, and I apologize to you. I was really looking forward to this being a nice run, being a nice year and finding a way to make our way through it. But that is not to be."

The original BULLETBOYS lineup made its live return in December 2019 with a sold-out performance at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

Aside from one show in 2011, original BULLETBOYS members D'Anda, Sweda, Vencent and Torien had not performed together since 1993.

BULLETBOYS formed in 1988 at the very peak of the Los Angeles glam metal movement. As a collection of talented musicians, BULLETBOYS were able to quickly capture the attention of music fans around the world. Unlike other rockers of the day, the BULLETBOYS possessed more hard rock-blues fusion than pure hair metal. Thanks to comparisons to the likes of AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN, talent scouts came running and the band quickly received their first major label contract.

BULLETBOYS' self-titled debut was released in 1988 via Warner Bros. and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two hit singles, a cover of the O'JAYS classic "For The Love Of Money" and "Smooth Up in Ya", both of which charted on the Mainstream Rock chart and saw regular airplay on MTV. BULLETBOYS went on to release two more albums, 1991's "Freakshow" and 1993's "Za-Za", before splitting up.

The new BULLETBOYS lineup, featuring Torien, guitarist Ira Black (OF GODS & MONSTERS, LIZZY BORDEN, METAL CHURCH),bassist Brad Lang (Y&T, BURNING RAIN) and drummer Fred Aching (POWERFLO, BILLYBIO),made its live in January 2022 at RokIsland Fest in Key West, Florida.

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