Here's a new one!
We've had plenty of awesome movie peeps on this site throughout the years, but I dare say we rarely entertain rock n roll royalty 'round these parts. But today we've got a very special treat: an exclusive clip from the upcoming mindf*ck of a film HAPPY BIRTHDAY featuring the Steven Tyler. If that wasn't enough, we were fortunate enough to receive some quotes from the man himself on a variety of topics! Also exclusively!
To get things started, Casey Tebo's HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes like this:
When Brady Baxter finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him, his best friend Tommy decides the only way to get his mind off of it is to take a drug-fueled, death defying journey into the sweaty black heart of darkness that is Mexicali. This is not Tijuana, this is not your fathers Mexico. Things turn beyond twisted when they meet a back alley tour guide named "The Mexican Cowboy", who takes them down the rabbit hole, that is the seediest parts of Mexicali. Cock fights, Shamans, and a make-shift strip club called "Chocho Fuego", it looks to be the most insane birthday celebration in recent memory. When they meet two American girls and head to a desolate hotel, the night is about to end with a bang - but it's clear the girls have other ideas: sex games, drugs, torture, eventually held for ransom by the Mexican drug cartel. How did Brady's birthday dream turn into his worst nightmare?
Sounds nuts, yes? Well, check out the clip below and you'll get a peek at said nuttiness.
Mr. Tyler was kind enough to indulge us and answer a few of our feeble queries, about the character he's playing in HAPPY BIRTHDAY, some of his wacky adventures and his taste in movies! We can't thank him enough for being so accommodating.
Was this character a major stretch for you? In other words, how is Kasape Suka different from you, and how is he similar?
A stretch? No. A stretch would be me playing an insurance salesman. There's obviously a ton in there that came from Casey (Tebo, the film's director) - most of the rants on modern movies in the truck scene came from him not me, but there's also a lot that came from me, or a combination of the two of us working on it together. He slept in my guest room during pre-production and the shoot because they really didn't have much money - so aside from working on the character, he filled up my car's floor with coffee cups. We would be up late laughing about certain things to do, watching certain characters, pulling inspiration from people like Drexel from True Romance. Casey's friend Adam Green (Hatchet) came over one day, and he was telling us this hilarious story about a guy he knew who, out of nowhere, would just go "What?!" and we were dying laughing - so we stole that and put it into the character. It was such a blast - just like riffing in a recording studio. You take the best parts and make a song. It was really fun. Really fun.
Can you relate to the wild adventures the characters have in Mexico in the film? What are some truly memorable experiences you've had there?
Oh boy. How about all of the 70s? I think most of the public knows I've had my share of debauchery so I can relate to the trouble they get into in Happy Birthday. I hung out with Belushi a few times, and Hunter S Thompson (which is funny because the character Happy Birthday character Tommy is such a poser and dresses like Thompson in one scene), but if I got into any details, this interview might be flagged for the wrong reasons. That scene in my office where I offer the guys a "mix of menthol sap and fire ants" was inspired by the time we were on a spiritual retreat at the Toltec pyramids in like 2013, and the Shaman offered Casey and some of our crew that stuff - or a combination of it - and I don't even think they were hallucinogenic. Just the idea of snorting fire ants and menthol sap combined had us laughing for a week, so he put it in the movie. It's the little things in life like that that stand out.
Are you a fan of scary or intense movies? If so, what are some of your favorites and why?
I lean a bit towards comedy, action, fantasy. Most people know the story of “Walk This Way” coming from Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein, but I love everything, and I love all the comic book movies. I mean how lucky are we as an audience that they put out all these amazing films? I wish I was in Guardians of the Galaxy, you know!? Baby Groot hanging out with Tyler... How amazing was that movie?! I don't know... People have different tastes, I guess. That's why I love Happy Birthday - it's not just horror, the first half is hilarious, stupid, and then it gets intense, so it's a ride. Something for everyone. Speaking of tastes – when you tour as much as I do, you see a lot of movies. A LOT. Casey was a roadie for years, I remember we saw Prometheus in Chicago like three times. Haha. Casey and I went to the Arclight in Hollywood one night to see Grand Budapest Hotel, and I'm laughing and I turn to him - and he's gone. Turns out he left to go see that movie where that beautiful girl... Scarlett Johansen? She lures guys into some kind of black tar water death trap, and her skin peels off and she's some kind of alien or selkie... or something, I never saw it. This is just what he's telling me. Casey walked out of the theater, mouth agape like he saw a ghost, so, let's just say I was glad I stuck to Wes Andersen that night. So, like I said, all tastes, that’s what’s great about movies, someone who likes The Lobster may not like Justice League, and vice-versa... and I think that’s amazing. Just like music.
There you have it, a rock god tossing wisdom in our direction. We're not worthy!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY hits cinemas and on VOD nationwide on September 9th.