Will Lackey's double life is the stuff of superheroes. He manages the video production team LumiVid in the daylight, but when the sun goes down he becomes Drake Darrington, lead singer of the spectacle act Metal StudZ. Or, at least he will channel his inner Def Leppard for one last show at Helen Fitzgerald's (3650 South Lindbergh Boulevard, 314-984-0026) on Saturday, December 10 before he leaves to pursue his new project Platinum Rock Legends. Lackey took some time from the Clark-Kent-ian activity of attending his daughter's volleyball practice to talk about Metal StudZ, the corporate rock scene, and his exagerrated bulge.
Ryan Wasoba: Will you please describe Metal StudZ to the uninitiated?
Will Lackey: Metal StudZ is a hard-rocking parody circus of a show of an '80s hair band. It's a comedy and it rocks really hard and it's built up quite a following in the past seven years. Spandex, wigs, eye makeup, the whole thing. Stage antics. I've electrocuted myself, hung myself, severed my head, I've swung hanging upside down from the rafters. I once took a shower onstage singing "Cum On Feel The Noize," so it's that kind of a show.
How did you get started doing an act like that?
I worked as a network manager for Sisters of Mercy and I had a system administrator working with me, and I found out he played drums. We found a guitar player and started playing in the basement. So here we were, these three computer guys and they talked me into doing this hair band thing. I was against it at first because I was saying "I can't wear spandex and wigs. I'm a grown man. I'm a member of society. I have kids. I live in the suburbs." And as I was explaining to him why I couldn't do it, I realized I had to do it because I was so bored with what I was saying.
Did Metal StudZ become an escape for you?
And at first I thought it'll be cool, we'll put on these disguises and then we can go back to our normal lives and nobody will ever know. But then people got so curious about this thing. I mean, I don't know if you can understand this, but we'd go up on stage and for four hours we were bona fide rock stars. And then after I was up there I discovered "Oh my God, these girls think I'm sexy!" I actually wound up getting in shape. I lost twenty pounds to put on that spandex. I'd say about four years ago I was at a point where I was going shirtless on stage. I'm in the best shape of my life, and it's all because of Metal StudZ!
Was it difficult to negotiate the parody aspect and still take it seriously as an act? Well, this is how it worked. We would go on stage and you could hear people laughing, which is fine. We originally thought we were going out there to do this parody, to be a comedy. Then we'd be on song three or four and people would stop laughing and start pumping their fists. People would grab us between sets and say "Oh my God, you guys rock!" So that's kind of how it turned out. Now we have this big following and it's all about the rock show, the big rock concert and people don't really see it as a comedy anymore. But I'll get people who come up to me and say, "You're the funniest guy I've ever seen on stage" because I have this enormous bulge down there in my pants. Everything is an exaggeration for me. I play off the size of my bulge quite a bit.