Interview with Tony Kelly from Masque by Ove

When was the band Masque formed?  What is the story behind the name?

Tony Kelly: The band was formed at the height of the Hollywood / Sunset Blvd music scene in 1985. The name Masque along with the bands elaborate costumes were influenced by the festive courtly entertainment which flourished in sixteenth and early seventeenth century Europe commonly known as a Masque.

Hairy Days

Rumors has it that Masque already hit the scene back in 1985? What happened?

Tony Kelly: Masque was very popular in Hollywood when we first began and played shows with many bands at the time including Poison, Warrant, Bullet Boys, Stryper and many others. We had problems with A&R representatives of our record label and it resulted in the record never being released. I broke up the band in 1988

Have the band changed the line up through the years?

Tony Kelly: Due to change in musical direction we replaced original guitarist Dale Fine with Kevin James and drummer Ross Cristao with Johnny Haro in 1986

If I’ve done my homework you released your debut album in 2008 named “Face First” How did that come about?

Tony Kelly: I put up a MySpace page as a tribute to the band and suddenly it became popular again by rock fans all over the world who liked our music and 80s image. We were approached by SunCity Records to release it. I retained the rights to the masters so I thought why not? We released it and it became very popular and began the initial comeback of the band.

Face First (2008)

How many albums have Masque released?

Tony Kelly: Face First is our first official album right now but now recording our comeback album.

Where may we find the albums, where could we buy the music from Masque?

Tony Kelly: Face First is available directly from our MySpace page

You run a radio too? I saw you were interviewing musicians like Jeff labar and Herman Rarebell. Is it so that you will keep bringing “old” stars from the dust?

Tony Kelly: I was approached to do my own radio show. I called it Glam Slam Radio because I play the bands that influenced me the most like Sweet, Kiss, New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and also play new upcoming bands. I plan to continue the show and interviewing many of my favorite musicians.

Glam Slam Radio Show

What is the biggest difference between the band who stood onstage in 1985 and the band we see today?

Tony Kelly: I believe we have matured into better musicians all around. We recently released a preview of our new song Body Mind & Soul on our MySpace page which shows how the band has matured musically. This is only a sample of what is to come!

Who is Mark Jacobs? What is the connection between Masque and Mark?

Tony Kelly: Mark Jacobs is an Emmy Award director – producer who has done many TV shows for VH-1, MTV and films. He saw the story of how Masque became popular again due to the internet has approached us to film a documentary about our return and the history of our time in the Hollywood / Sunset Blvd music scene.

Mark Jacobs

Bruff Brigham, the bass player of Masque, is a guy with a lot of talent. I think I read somewhere that he write a song for “Lost”? What does this guy mean for the band?

Tony Kelly: Bruff has written songs for many shows. Bruff came up with the name Masque and he is obviously one of the original members. Before Masque, Bruff and I were in a Hollywood band called Network. Network was formed by original Quiet Riot drummer Drew Forsyth after Randy Rhoads left for Ozzy. I left Network to form Masque and invited Bruff to join me.

Bruff Brigham

Who write the music and the lyrics in Masque?

Tony Kelly: It is a collective effort. Sometimes we write all together or sometimes a member brings in a completed song. This is good diversity.

Do you have any favorite track so far? Why this track?

Tony Kelly: This is hard to answer but if I had to choose I would say Face First is one of my favorites because it reflects the attitude and mood of 80s Hollywood.

Is it possible to see Masque live on tour?

Tony Kelly: If all goes as planned you will see us on tour next year


Any bands or artists you would love to have with you on your tour?

Tony Kelly: There are so many great bands we would love to play with including KISS, AC/DC, Metallica and others.

If there was one place in the wide world that you could play Tony where would that be?

Tony Kelly: Of course we would love to play in Norway as well as Japan.

Masque is a rock band. Where do you get your influence? Do you feel that Masque got their own style?

Tony Kelly: Like most bands, some of your influences will come out in your music. When the band started in the 80s our influences were mostly Aerosmith, KISS, Sweet, Deep Purple and other 70s bands. Today it is harder to pin point our current style due to so many years apart. We will have to see when the new album is released to see how the public thinks.

From the good decade (1988)

What’s your opinion about the “grudge” is coming back?

Tony Kelly: Honestly I don’t see that very much in the USA. In fact we see the opposite and that is younger people interested in more classic guitar rock bands.

What sort of age group are you attracting with your music?

Tony Kelly: That is what has amazed us the most. Not only fans from the 80s like our music but young fans from all over the world who are just finding out about our style of music.

If you got the chance to have a concert in Norway, what could we expect from Masque?

Tony Kelly: We have always been about providing a great live show experience. Trust that we will bring a bombastic live show!

Do you know any bands from Norway?

Tony Kelly: Of course we cannot forget the first Norwegian band that became popular in the US in the 80s TNT! Raga Rockers, Jokke & Valentinerne. Also Turboneger, Gluecifer and many others!

TNT Jokke(RIP) & Valentinerne Turboneger

Any instruments you would love to learn how to play, that you don’t?

Tony Kelly: I’ve always wanted to play drums. I play a little and enjoy it very much

Would you like Blizz of Rock Radio to play your music?

Tony Kelly: Of course yes!

Is there a funny story you could share with us?

Tony Kelly: One of the funniest moments I remember was at the famous Rainbow in Hollywood one night when Bruff had to much to drink pulled his pants down and put his balls on the table where David Lee Roth and Ted Nugent were eating dinner and offered them as desert! It was the funniest thing I had ever seen! It was just pure Rock n Roll fun!!

Ted Nugent David Lee Roth

If you could turn back the time and choose a new date to start a band, when would that be? And why this year/decade?

Tony Kelly: Honestly I would not change it. The 80s Hollywood music scene was the best ever!

What is the highlight of your career as rock musician?

Tony Kelly: Playing sold out venues in Hollywood during the crazy days of the 80s. It is to this day a great highlight, unlike anywhere else in the world.

Tony himself (Haven't change at all!)

Anyone you would love to meet, that you have not met yet?

Tony Kelly: I have been fortunate to meet many of my rock idols however I have yet to meet Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zep.

Gene Simmons and ?? Oh... Tony Kelly

If the band received 100.000$, and had to give it to a good cause, what or who would that be?

Tony Kelly: We would give it to organizations that help keep music study in schools. There is a big problem in the USA because schools are canceling music classes due to lack of state budgets. Music is just as important in school as any other subject and we cannot afford to take it away from the young students.

Give more money to school, so we will get more Musicians like Tony

What is your opinion about Blizz Of Rock? (

Tony Kelly: It is a fantastic site with many elements for the rock fan. It is very well designed!

Who would you like Blizz Of Rock to make an interview with?

Tony Kelly: You of course!


Thank you so Much Tony for taking time to answer these questions, I wish you and Masque all the best

Tony Kelly: Pleasure is all mine, don’t forget everyone, come listen to our new song Body Mind & Soul at