On November 4, “Metal Zone” host Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone conducted an interview with PAPA WHEELIE, the “stoner punk metal” crew consisting of former METALLICA/VOIVOD bassist Jason Newsted (a.k.a. Jaylor) on guitar/vocals, Steven Wiig (a.k.a. Swiiglor) on drums and Joe Ledesma (a.k.a. Joefus) on bass. You can now watch the 28-minute chat below.
PAPA WHEELIE originally emerged from a mountain biking-based friendship between Jason and his friendly neighborhood bike shop owner Joe Ledesma, and was founded on the simple premise that at least two bikers must be jamming together for it to be justified as a PAPA WHEELIE session.
In the early stages of the project, Jason started out playing the drums — a period during which a number of guest performers were sitting in on guitar, including Raymond Anthony, Ken Ingersol, Jason Wisenor… and some guy from the Midwest named Steven Wiig. The project’s current lineup came together when Steven Wiig finally decided to move out to Northern California and Jason decided to reshuffle the deck. Jason now took over the guitar, Joe continued to play bass, and Steve officially joined the project full-time on drums.
By September 2000, PAPA WHEELIE had transformed into a full-on stoner rock-lovin’ power trio that would eventually spawn the psychotic alter-egos of Jaylor, Swiiglor and Joefus. PAPA WHEELIE‘s motto (taken from the infamous Fathor Wheelor) is “Upon the same ground twice shalt not thy Wheelie tread!” The premise is that whatever the group plays on the day has never been played before and will never be played again. No pre-written material. Nothing scripted, nothing planned. Simply raw, unadulterated music from The Chophouse as it bleeds. No overdubs. No B.S. According to Swiiglor, “Simply put, we just turn the amps up high, the lights down low and let it rip.”
Steven Wiig is Lars Ulrich‘s former personal assistant who earlier this year sued the METALLICA drummer claiming years of unpaid overtime. That lawsuit has since been settled.
PAPA WHEELIE played its second-ever concert on October 22 at Time Out bar in Concord, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.