Rock N Roll Experience's Interview with MICHAEL MONROE
Michael Monroe is the last true glam rock superstar left on earth! That's how I view him & it's simply because he's maintained the same status for over 2 decades...he's managed to stay out of trouble, he can still sing just as well today as he did back in the day, he's been consistent when it comes to releasing quality music over the years & in 2011 he's still out there tearing it up while in support of his latest release "Sensory Overdrive".
I had the opportunity to speak with Michael a few days after he played here in Maryland & for the most part an interview rarely ever takes place on time...I'm used to having an interview run late & when my scheduled interview with Michael actually went as planned I was in shock!
The way it went down was like this: I received a call 5 minutes early and it was Michael's tour manager asking me if I was ready for the interview & then, as scheduled & EXACTLY on time, the interview took place...if you know anything about the rock n roll world you know that it's rare for an interview to be exactly on time!
Michael was very polite, very pleasant, he answered every question with enthusiasm & the man is a true gentleman!
I kept the questions rolling & Michael answered everything I tossed at him so without anymore rambling from me, here's what Michael had to say:
Rock N Roll Experience: How come you decided to keep Yaffa on bass for alot of your solo projects?
Michael Monroe: I would have to be out of my mind to not keep him in the band! He's the best bass player in rock n roll...him & Lemmy are the best!
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you feel like the cartoon FUTURAMA stole it's name from the song Hanoi Rocks had called "Futurama"?
Michael Monroe: No, ha ha, I don't think they stole it, not that I know of.
Rock N Roll Experience: Where did you learn to do your make-up?
Michael Monroe: Self taught...I just started doing it
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you ever get tired of wearing the make-up onstage?
Michael Monroe: No, that's part of the thing..it's part of the feel & part of the vibe onstage, putting make-up on before a gig makes you feel like..it just adds to the feeling & it's great.
Rock N Roll Experience: So you would never grow a beard & go grunge?
Michael Monroe: (laughs) no!
Rock N Roll Experience: Would you ever work with Lady Gaga?
Michael Monroe: That depends, I wouldn't say no. I don't listen to her music & I wouldn't buy her record but I've got nothing against her, so whatever.
Rock N Roll Experience: Who do you consider to be a bigger influence: Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger?
Michael Monroe: Both of them are great...Jagger was there first but I love both of them
Rock N Roll Experience: How do you keep in such great shape?
Michael Monroe: I exercise regularly & doing gigs is the best exercise
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you run or jog?
Michael Monroe: No, I do different kinds of stuff, I love swimming which I don't get to do much because I don't have a pool where I can swim but I don't do running that much, I do other stuff.
Rock N Roll Experience: How long does it take you before a show to do your make-up?
Michael Monroe: About a half hour
Rock N Roll Experience: Now that you are here in the USA I have to ask, what do you think of the shape of rock music in the States?
Michael Monroe: There's alot of good bands but you don't get to hear them much because mainstream isn't that great. (laughs)
Rock N Roll Experience: At one point in Hanoi Rocks career Andy McCoy had painted his face all white...what was the reason for that?
Michael Monroe: That was the kabuki make-up he wanted to do before the TV show in Japan in '84...he wanted to have white kabuki make-up & he took so long to put on that make-up that in the end they said, ok, we are not going to be on the show unless we go on now & then we said ok, so he was 1/2 finished & he didn't get totally finished with the make-up & that's why it looked so funny (laughs)
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you ever considered putting out a Michael Monroe line of make-up?
Michael Monroe: No I haven't & that's not a bad idea or a clothing line (laughs)...I'm not that kind of business man but maybe I should be, I'd probably be better off. (laughs)
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you design your stage clothes?
Michael Monroe: Yes, pretty much.
Rock N Roll Experience: This next question is a bit touchy & if you don't want to answer it I totally understand, but did it kinda piss you off when Vince Neil from Motley Crue was picked up for drinking & driving again last year?
Michael Monroe: No Comment (editors note: Things got silent after that question & I knew it was a touchy subject by the change in Michael's tone in his voice)
Rock N Roll Experience: If you weren't a musician what would you be doing?
Michael Monroe: Something to do with arts...maybe drawing cartoons or something
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you draw & paint?
Michael Monroe: I draw...I'm not that great at it though, I'm a better singer
Rock N Roll Experience: With Halloween coming up I have to ask, do you still dress up since every day is kinda like Halloween when you take the stage?
Michael Monroe: (Laughs) You said that (laughs) no, I don't dress up for Halloween but I like Halloween, it's great.
Rock N Roll Experience: What did you dress up as for Halloween when you were a child?
Michael Monroe: We didn't have Halloween in Finland...Easter was more like Halloween in Finland & I never dressed up, we didn't have Halloween the same way...nowadays they have more like a Halloween...they didn't start having it till a few years ago.
Rock N Roll Experience: Would you ever do a duet with Paul Stanley from KISS?
Michael Monroe: Yeah...it depends on what song, but sure, yeah, why not.
Rock N Roll Experience: What's the last record that you bought or downloaded?
Michael Monroe: I got it as a gift, but I just got the new Alice Cooper "Welcome to My Nightmare part 2" but I haven't have a chance to listen to it yet...that's the last one I got.
Rock N Roll Experience: What are your plans for 2012?
Michael Monroe: Touring with this band on "Sensory Overdrive" as much as possible & especially in the States..it's great in America.
Rock N Roll Experience: Michael Monroe will be touring the USA in 2012?
Michael Monroe: Yeah, that's the plan!
Rock N Roll Experience: Will it be a headlining tour or will you be opening for a bigger band?
Michael Monroe: We are trying to get on a bigger tour opening up for somebody BIG so we can play to more people at the same time.
Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of the current state of Guns N Roses where the only original member is AXL?
Michael Monroe: Good luck to him, it's cool...I know Richard F. who's in the band & he's a great guy, great guitar player & there's some good musician's there & yeah.
Rock N Roll Experience: What I really appreciated about the Michael Monroe concert I saw was that you took the stage when you were listed to take the stage & you didn't pull what AXL does & take the stage 3 hours late....AXL doesn't respect his fans like you do.
Michael Monroe: That's ashame, it's too bad for the fans, I'm sure AXL has his reasons but I like to go on on-time personally.
Rock N Roll Experience: I also thought it was cool that you made it a point to meet every fan after the show who wanted to meet you...you actually stood outside under an umbrella to greet your fans.
Michael Monroe: I think that's really important, it's just part of the job & I'm happy to sign everything anybody wants me to sign.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is there anything you'd like to say that I didn't ask you?
Michael Monroe: "Sensory Overdrive" is a great rock record worth getting & this band really kicks ass, come down to the show, it's definitely worth it if you like rock n roll you will like this band, it's worth it to come & see & check us out..spread the word!
Rock N Roll Experience: When you played "Taxi Driver" at the Baltimore show that song had soooo much groove & soul & it was so sleazy that it was amazing....you don't see bands playing like that anymore!
Michael Monroe: Thanks! That's cool....our sound guy said the same thing, he was just saying that the other day after the show in Montreal, he was saying that it was one of his favorites in the set.
Rock N Roll Experience: Have you ever hurt yourself doing splits onstage?
Michael Monroe: Not that bad but about a year ago I sprained a ligament on my right leg for a while & then I was only doing them towards the left so I could only do them to one side for a while but I can do them both ways now but that happened just because I didn't have a place to warm up, there was no space back stage.