Friday, Oct. 24, 2003 | 5:23 a.m.
WEEKEND EDITION Oct. 24 - 25, 2003
If you're craving a different flavor of Vegas-style entertainment, a sprinkle of cheese might fill the bill.
Southern California-based lounge singer Richard Cheese has become a frequent Las Vegas performer in recent months. Tonight he and his band, Lounge Against the Machine, bring their act to the Sunset Station, as they do on the last Sunday of most months.
The comedic Cheese (real name: Mark Davis) has gained a national following by turning modern pop, rock and hip-hop radio hits into swanky lounge numbers.
His two albums, 2000's "Lounge Against the Machine" and last year's "Tuxicity," have included such covers as Puddle of Mudd's "She Hates Me," Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and Radiohead's "Creep." Work is under way on a third CD.
In May, Cheese and his group spent two weeks as the house band for NBC late-night talk show "Last Call with CarsonDaly."OnMonday, Lounge Against the Machine will play live on radio stations across the country in conjunction with the "Radio Music Awards" show at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts.
On Tuesday, Cheese hammed it up during a telephone interview.
Las Vegas Sun: How's the new album coming along?
Richard Cheese: It's coming out January of 2004 and we're very excited. But I'm unable to tell you anything about it. It's top secret.
Sun: Nothing at all?
RC: I can tell you that there will be songs, there will be music and there will be singing. And there will be special celebrity guests. And there will be cuss words, a lot of cuss words. We're trying to put at least one cuss word in every song on the album.
Sun: You must really want a parental-advisory sticker.
RC: We've got the sticker. We're trying to get two.
The best part is the album is going to be free, totally free, plus a $15.99 handling fee. So all you pay for is the handling fee. The album is free. We're passing along the savings to you.
Sun: How do you pick the songs you cover?
RC: I see that this question is sort of a sneaky way to get me to reveal some of the songs on the album, and I'm not going to fall for it.
No actually, we have requests that people can give us at our website, www.iloverichardcheese.com. We have also requests given to us at our shows.
There are some very popular songs that we get a request for every single show. So we decided well, give them what they want (on the album). Let them eat cake. Is that the right quote? The squeaky wheel wants some oil, and there's no one oilier than Richard Cheese.
Sun: Would you be interested in a more regular gig in Vegas?
RC: We really do want to have a permanent home in Vegas, and we actually are in talks with a certain casino, whose name rhymes with funset nation, to do a regular weekly thing beginning early next year.
I personally really like staying in Vegas, but the guys in the band have already slept with all the groupies in Vegas and they're really looking for some new talent.
Sun: But you haven't conquered the groupie scene here personally?
RC: Not many people know this, but I'm a practicing monk. Some of the most beautiful women in the world come to our shows, and they watch me and they get very excited and very turned on and they hook up with some other dude in the audience. It's kind of sad.
Sun: Carson Daly hinted that he might want Lounge Against the Machine to become his permanent house band. I'm guessing you'd be up for that.
RC: We would love to be the house band on any TV show, especially a show like "Last Call" in New York.
Sun: Your website lists a Vegas show on New Year's Eve. What can you tell us about that?
RC: I can't tell you where it's going to be yet, but it will be open to the public and we're going to sell advanced tickets. Because the way I see it New Year's Eve is a night that I can really raise our price.
We're either going to charge something like $30 a ticket and let in 100 couples or $300 a ticket and let in 10 couples or -- and this is my favorite -- $30,000 a ticket and let in one couple. But we'd really prefer that it be a couple of girls. They don't have to be lesbians, but two girls would be great.
Sun: What sort of feedback have you received from the artists you've covered?
RC: We've had nothing but positives. Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit is a big fan. The guys in Puddle of Mudd are great to us. Rapper Mystikal is a big fan.
I was hoping Britney Spears would contact me. I did the song "(You Drive Me) Crazy" hoping that it would call her attention to us. I know she has a crush on me from afar. And I wanted her to know that I care about her, and I am open to a relationship.