Todd McKenzie Interview

I met Todd McKenzie along with his brother Drew at King of the Deathmatches 2015!

Todd’s Facebook page

80’s Bush: Facebook, YouTube

Chix: Facebook, Official Site

Particle Don: Hi Todd! I can’t wait to find out more about your band 80’s Bush and your resturaunt Chix. It was great seeing you at King of the Deathmatches! I always use the 80’s Bush koozie you gave me! How did the concept for 80’s Bush originate?

Todd: I remember seeing Paul Stanley on the Kiss Animalize Live video from 1984. From then on, I wanted to be a rock star. Life didn’t really pan out for me to chase that goal.

I met a friend in 2008 who shared my interest in hair metal, so we started formulating a plan to start a band. In 2014, we found 2 other members ready to make a go at it. It’s been a total blast ever since.

Particle Don: Where can we see you play live?

Todd: Currently, we are playing around Central Illinois. We have played a few summer festivals and are hoping to break into the Chicago and suburban market.

Todd onstage with 80’s Bush!

Particle Don: Are there any plans for a studio recording?

Todd: That is also a goal. I doubt we are going to try and record an entire full length LP. We do have groundwork set for a few tracks. We are excited to spend some time in a studio and get some songs out there in iTunes!

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite 80’s bands?

Todd: Kiss, Motley Crue, and Ratt. I’m also a huge fan of Winger (they get a bad rap in the music world…great, great musicians).

Particle Don: Do you know of any “rare hair” bands from the 80’s you think people should check out?

Todd: I’m getting a chance to see one of them this weekend: Babylon AD. I also strongly suggest checking out Wildside (though technically their album came out in the 90’s) and also Spread Eagle. All great, rockin’ acts!

Particle Don: What are a few other genres of music you enjoy besides 80’s rock?

Todd: Genres? Really none. I’m a huge fan of the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and ZZ Top.

Todd during a live performance!

Particle Don: Are you aware of Major League Eating professional eater Joey Chesnut’s new record of 70 hot dogs eaten? How many wings do you think he could eat at Chix Restaurant?

Todd: Great question! I hope Joey Chestnut never comes to Chix! LOL. I can’t imagine how many wings that guy could down. We had a high school kid eat close to 70 wings in one sitting. I would imagine Joey could eat 200?!?

Particle Don: What would you recommend to someone who is new to Chix Restaurant?

Todd: The Boneless Wings and the Chicken Tenders are hugely popular. We also serve a Pot Roast Bowl (smashed potatoes, pot roast, carrots, and gravy all mixed together). Just plan for a nap afterwards!

If you’re ever near Streator, IL, make sure to eat at Chix!

Particle Don: How long have you been watching wrestling?

Todd: I started watching wrestling in 1978. I was 5 or 6 years old. My earliest memory is Cowboy Bob Orton piledriving Greg Gagne on the concrete floor during an episode of AWA Wrestling.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic-era wrestler?

Todd: Ric Flair, Dynamite Kid, and Bruiser Brody are just a few that come to mind. But, I’m a huge fan of many different styles and territories. I could write all day about the classic era.

Particle Don: Who is your current favorite wrestler?

Todd: Currently, Chris Hero. He can work any style, any opponent, any crowd. It will be a travesty if this guy doesn’t get a huge pay day from some promotion at some point. He’s too good to not be seen by the masses. In WWE, I go out of my way to watch AJ Styles matches. In NJPW, I enjoy Kenny Omega and am really starting to like Shibata.

Particle Don: When did you see your first deathmatch?

Todd: On tape it was 1993. Funk vs. Onita, exploding ring match from FMW.

My first time live was in 1997. I drove 300 miles one way to go see the first IWA King of the Deathmatches in New Albany. From then on, I’ve been hooked on the style.

Particle Don: Incredible. You witnessed the first ever American deathmatch tournament live. What was your first live wrestling show in general?

Todd: I don’t recall who or when, but I know it was an AWA show at the Richwoods High School in Peoria, Illinois.

Particle Don: Do you have any notable memories from this year’s King of the Deathmatches?

Todd: I thought this year’s show really upped the ante on the violence. It was the most violent spectacle I have seen in my 19 years of going to Deathmatch wrestling shows.

Two bumps from the Suicidal Beast in the first round are really what I remember most. The guy took an incredible amount of punishment.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite piece of wrestling merchandise?

Todd: My Wrestling Observer collection (I’ve been a subscriber since 1986) and probably my autographed “Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express” wrestling scrapbook.

Particle Don: What is your favorite sports team?

Todd: I’m a New York Mets fan since 1983. I also follow the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Particle Don: Are there any other hobbies you enjoy besides rocking out with 80’s Bush and going to wrestling shows?

Todd: I have been recently working on a tabletop wrestling game to get published at some point. I also was an avid fantasy sports player, but have taken a hiatus on that as of late.

Particle Don: What a great concept. I hope your tabletop game becomes a reality! Where did you hear about Particle Don?

Todd: I saw you perform live at KOTDM 2014. I’ve been a fan of your music since and also got to speak with you at KOTDM 2015 and immediately liked you.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?

Todd: Without question, Oklahoma Stampede from Volume 3. I also liked Always Makin’ Big Waves from Volume 3. I’m a fan of Bleed for a Living (Danny Havoc theme) also.

Particle Don: Who should I write a song about?

Todd: I think you should write a song about Jim Cornette and perhaps it could get used as an opening on his podcast.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite candy?

Todd: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, without a doubt.

Particle Don: What’s your favorite food?

Todd: Pizza. I could eat it 7 days a week. I owned a pizza restaurant from 2006-2009. I think I did eat it 7 days a week!!

Particle Don: What is your preferred beverage?

Todd: Pepsi from the fountain or a cold Michelob Ultra.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 80’s TV show or cartoon?

Todd: I was never into cartoons much. My favorite TV show from the 80’s would probably be Different Strokes. As I got older, I really liked Cheers.

Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90’s TV show or cartoon?

Todd: Seinfeld. No question.

Particle Don: Do you watch Ancient Aliens? What’s your opinion of the Ancient Astronaut theory?

Todd: Never heard of it.

Particle Don: Do you watch South Park? What’s your favorite episode?

Todd: I’m not into cartoons. I’ve only seen 1 or 2 episodes.

Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite movies?

Todd: Planes, Trains and Automobiles is my favorite film. I’m also a fan of the original Batman movie from 1966.

Particle Don: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Todd: The few times we’ve met, I really enjoyed talking with you. I look forward to seeing you at future wrestling events and I hope that you continue writing and creating music. You have a great talent.

I wish Todd the best with his band and restaurant!

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