Interview With Michael Monroe

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Michael Monroe does not really need an introduction, but for those who do not know; Michael is vocalist for Hanoi Rocks, who recently released a new album called “Another Hostile Takeover”. He has also worked on various other projects in the past.

28th August 2005

Name: Michael Monroe
Instrument: Vocals, Sax & Harmonica.
Current Bands: Hanoi Rocks
Former Bands: Michael Monroe, Demolition 23, Jerusalem Slim

1. Alice Cooper is one of your biggest influences, are you a fan of all his work, or just the 70's stuff? What are your opinions on his last couple of albums "Through The Eyes Of Alice Cooper" and the new one "Dirty Diamonds"?

Well, Alice Cooper could do no wrong in my eyes...I especially dig the 70's band period, "Love It To Death","Killer","Billion Dollar Babies" & "Welcome To My Nightmare" are Definitely some of the greatest Rock And Roll albums of all time. I think "The Eyes Of Alice Cooper" is excellent! Some of his best work yet. He’s gotten back that cool Rock’N’Roll sound from the early days that I love so much-while still sounding fresh &new. We (Hanoi Rocks) had the great pleasure of being special guests opening for Alice a couple of weeks ago at the Tampere Ice Stadium in Finland. Which was a perfect combination. I might add. I received a copy of the “Dirty Diamonds” and it sounds cool too, although time hasn’t allowed me to really sink my teeth in it yet...

2. As a fan of both Hanoi Rocks & Motley Crue it sometimes feels like it is Hanoi Vs. Motley, do you ever see yourself reconciling with Nikki Sixx and the rest of the guys?

There’s nothin’ really to reconcile. We’ve never been the best of friends but there’s no war between us. As far as I’m concerned.

3. While on the subject of Motley Crue.. it was rumoured after Razzle’s tragic and untimely death, Nikki asked you to join his band, as it looked like Vince was going to prison for a long time, was there any truth in that rumour?

At the time right after the accident while me & Andy were still in L,A. We aere all very upset & confused. Nikki & Tommy (Who are the only guys of the band I ever met) seemed to be interested in maybe getting something together in the future, but I think it was mainly out of musical interest, As opposed to a “C.Y.A.” (CoverYerAss) Plan B type of thing. 1st of all - no one really knew for sure, what was going to happen to their singer. 2nd - As I said, we were all in a state of shock and could hardly think straight. Let alone make cool calculative career decisions. With all their “Evil” reputation, even they are still human after all... musically I think they’re way more Heavy Metal than us, so I doubt that it would’ve worked anyway. Plus for a band to be born out of such a tragic twist of fate... not a very nice starting out point, right?

4.”Reggae Rocker” off the new album, seems a very diverse choice to put out, I also hear a dash of Bob Marley on “Devil In You”, what made you experiment with the Reggae style?

“Reggae Rocker” and “The Devil In You” were the result of co-writing with the Finnish funky/dance/reggae/hiphop etc. band called “Beats And Styles”. More specifically “DJ Alimo” & “DJ Control”. Check out the video for the song “Renegades (Funk You Up)” on featuring me & Andy. They were a fresh “Shot in the Arm” and a visit to a different kind of music world. A Great inspiration. The guys are hysterically funny. I can hardly recall ever having as much fun in the studio as I did at the “Renegades”-session.

5. “No Compromise, No Regrets“ (Also off the new album), is a very inspirational and beautiful song, can you please explain the story behind it?

Thank You. I’ve just had the verse-part for that song since the early 80’s. I just finished the song over the last couple of years. It’s about staying true to your heart and not compromising your integrity, no matter what. Musically its inspired by Stiv Bators/Alice Cooper. The title “No Compromise, No Regrets” was Stiv Bators motto in life.

6. “Another Hostile Takeover” has more of an Andy McCoy touch to it than the last album, did you make a conchious effort to write more together?

On this one me & Andy started writing the whole thing from scratch, as with “12 Shots On The Rocks” I had a bunch of songs already written for my solo record at the time.

7. Which album in your opinion is the definitive Hanoi Rocks record?

Probably the next one.

8. On some of the earlier Hanoi records you took on a Cockney singing accent, why do alot of Rock N’ Roll bands from Finland/Scandinavia, sing in either an American or British accent?

I dunno, it’s not a conscious decision. Living in London I guess I had more of an English accent. Over the 10 years I lived in New York City I must have developed more of an American accent. I suppose one is influenced by one’s environment...

9 What are your opinions of Marilyn Manson, aside from the Alice Cooper comparisons? (I believe he once reviewed “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes...”, before he became a rockstar)

Is there anything other than the Alice Cooper comparisons ? 2 words: Stiv Bators.

10. Demolition 23, is regarded as some of your best work, but the album is very hard to find, do you ever see yourself, re-releasing it?

Thank you, I agree it’s some of my best work. I’d love to have it released in the states which it never was. Right now I wouldn’t have the finances. Even if I wanted to. It is owned by me & Little Steven 50/50. I could talk to him about it, I guess...

11. You performed the song Taxidriver live with Backyard Babies, would you ever consider guesting on a full Backyard Babies studio song or maybe doing a side project with Dregen?.. It could be interesting.

As a matter of fact, I did and it was interesting indeed. We co-wrote & recorded the song “Rocker” which me & Nicke Borg sang as a “Duet” -Live, face to face in the studio. I also played some blues harp & a sax horn section on it. It turned out pretty cool. It was released as a bonus track on the U.S. version of their “Total 13” album plus on the EP “Highlights”- maybe on some other releases as well. I also guested on their recent record on a song called “Friends” which featured Joey Ramone, Kory Clarke & others as well on vocals.

12. On the song “People Like Me”, you proclaim, “Radio & MTV you need people like me”, doesn’t MTV go against everything Hanoi Rocks stands for? It would be really strange seeing Hanoi alongside the 1,000,000 rappers and Britney Spears, they play constantly.

For that reason I really don’t give a shit about being on MTV. However, you gotta start somewhere - one cool rock video among a million lame ones would be better than none...

13. If you could eliminate one band and their discography from existence, whom would you delete?

No one. Why should I? There’s plenty of room for everyone. We all have the right to exist & do our “thang” whatever it may be.

14. You have being quoted many times as to hating the Jerusalem Slim album you made, I have heard the demos from that album, they sound 10 times better, I feel “Rock 'N' Roll Degeneration” is a very strong track, looking back would you have been happier if just the demos had being released?


15. Thanks Michael, any final words for your fans?

Thank you, Raiven. Yes : - Sincere thanxx for your continuing support. Hope to see you soon at the Hanoi Rocks live show. Stay Cool. Love & Respect.

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