It’s Bret Michaels
How’s it going?
I’m good. How’s it goin’ buddy?
How’s the tour prep shaping up?
It’s really, really, really going good. They’re just putting in all the dates and running us all the way through. Started out we were just going to do end of May until September right now, then we’ll probably take a break there and after that I’ll go out solo.
I saw the dates last night and was wondering how come there is no Canadian ones?
Don’t give up on us yet. You know I’m a big Canadian fan of women and tour dates and one house in Vancouver so I’m all good. I’m a fan of Canada so I want to be up there. If I’m not up there with Poison I’m up there by myself solo. One way or another I’m pushing for Poison to get up there, getting to Canada. I love playing there and if for any reason that doesn’t happen I’ll be back in the fall with myself.
What can we expect to hear from the new album live?
I don’t know the tracks that we’ll pick out to do live yet. I think the record came out great. I had allot of fun going back into the studio with the guys and working with Don Was who’s a legendary producer, that made it great. One of the cool things I think we did on this record was that each guy came in and gave his influence of what he wanted to listen to and we tried not to pick out…you know obviously we’re big fans of Kiss and AC/DC and Aerosmith. We tried not to pick out the songs that have been covered 2000 times. We tried to pick out some obscure deep album cuts like “Dead Flowers” by the Stones and just some stuff people may not have heard. Allot of rock bands will cover the same 10 songs, which is great but we tried to add in some bands like The Cars, we added in Marshall Tucker with “Can You See”. We just put songs in there that for us really came out great. We did some Alice Cooper but we did an obscure track called “I Never Cry” which is a really, really good cut and people just kind of forgot about it and we brought it back on this record. We worked real hard on it and I think it came out good.
I just heard a few samples on MySpace.
Its got some great, great tunes on it, some really good tunes. What was fun, after the last tour, we had a really, really great tour but unfortunately at the very end Bobby and I got in a fight onstage. It was good for us to…going back in and trying to hit the first day of rehearsal with all of us arguing over creative ideas. It was actually kind of fun to go in and do a cover song like we had done with “We’re An American Band”. We went in and kind of kept that vibe. Let’s just have fun doing this thing. You know me, I’m always pushing for us to do original stuff, write our own which we did most of our career like that. So I’m anxious to do that at some point as well.
So we will get a new release of original poison material in the future?
Yes, here’s the dream, yes. If the fans get a chance to go to the Bret Michaels myspace or bretmichaels.com I got a brand new TV show on VH1, which will be Much More Music for you. It’s called “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels” and it’s a two and a half month series starting July 15th. The theme song is called “Rock of Love” which is the song I Have on the site or will have up this week, and it’s a brand new single that just rocks. And I’m the new person and voice in the new game called Guitar Heroes three. Are you familiar with that at all?
Check out this game it’s called Guitar Hero’s. It’s incredible and its really fun and on the new voice and person and likeness they’re using in guitar hero 3 and the song will probably be featured in there as well.
Your songs have either a real serious tone such as “War Machine” or a more humorous look at yourself as in “Party Rock Band”. Which are more enjoyable or are they both on par with one and other.
They are both on par with each other, because it’s both part of who and what I am. In another words I grew up in a family that served in Vietnam, Korea and WW2, so I come from a family that always supporting our troops. The real term is we all pray for a perfect world. Pray for peace and it just doesn’t always work like that. No matter what I do, I support the men and woman that are over there fighting, regardless. On the other side of me, there’s a side of me… I have a very self deprecating humor. You know I make fun of myself first and what I’m doing then I realize that part of my life is I got to do exactly what I wanna do. At the same time, I know I’ve never been, or the bands never been the critics darling, but we’ve survived 21 years. Most of the bands that were critically acclaimed have long since died away. We stuck through our guns through think and thin, did what we wanted to do, we had fun doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I feel there is something I gotta say. I feel blessed that I got to do what I want to do, but I also want people to know, I worked really hard at it. Believe me, I was born with no silver spoon and anything I got, I had to go 100 yards to get 50. That’s the way I’ve survived. Believe me I wished I wake up in the morning and it fell right into place, but normally for me, its a lot of hard work and then it falls into place. (laughs) you know what I mean.
It always seemed that critics passed you guys off over the years as more image based than music. 20 years later you’re still here and there long gone.
And were still selling music. You know what one of my best quotes was? I always laughed at that. I said shit we sold fuckin’; bare with me, 25 million records so along the lines, someone liked the music. Its not like we sold 25 million t-shirts, we sold 25 million cd’s, dvds and stuff. It is about the music, the rest of it is icing on the cake. The music always comes first. Part of what Poison was, is that we wanted t o enjoy what we were doing. Why can’t we come on stage and work really hard at rehearsal and practice and get the music right and come out on stage and party and have a great time. That’s what rock and roll is supposed to be. Part of it is reality and part of it is fantasy. Your gonna want to live your dreams out and for some bands there show wasn’t meant to be as big. That’s cool for them and you gotta do what works for you. What worked for us is that we would go out on stage and have a great time. What fans didn’t get to see when we spent 3 weeks in a fuckin grungy rehearsal hall going through the music, learning the songs, getting the guitar tones right, playing day and night didn’t just happen by accident.
Will you be filming the new tour for a full length live DVD?
Ive said this before, I got this thing on bretmichaels.com called the making on Bret Michaels. We film every year and this year I’m just gonna beat the band up until they give into me. There is so much shit that goes on Celtic Bob, I cant even explain this to you. There is so much shit that goes on Robert that I don’t know where to begin to tell you what happens. Like the funniness, the great times, the sad times. I would like to film the show and in between cuts, show you everything else that goes on in the course of our day. The good stuff, the bad stuff, the whole works. Just show you all the shit that goes on.
I spoke to Bobby a couple hours ago and mentioned the DVD to him as well.
Me and Bobby are going to have to fight that one out again.
I think he’s all for it.
You’ll have to be our mediator.
There you go.
I’ll call you in.
You got it.
How’s the new solo cd coming along?
Solo cd is going great. Here is what im excited about. Obviously I feel very very excited about June 5th. We got the new poison cd simply called POISON’D. Its all good cover songs, then theme song to my show is a song I wrote called Rock of love. That’s the title of the song and the show. It comes on VH1 and it’s a 2 and a half month long day to day life in a house with 25 hot women and what goes on, and myself.
How could you argue with that?
I couldn’t. I’m like, wait a minute, what’s the offer now? Let’s see, I’m just newly single, a house, 25 beautiful women and I get to go out on dates that sounds pretty hot to me. I think I can do this job.
Only 2 and a half months?
That’s what I said; it’s got to be longer than that.
Will the new solo disc be more rock like SONGS OF LIFE or more country like FREEDOM OF SOUND?
On SONGS OF LIFE, you get much more rock. On FREEDOM OF SOUND, you get a mixture like contemporary country and some rock songs. On the new record your going to hear more towards songs of life. A lot more rock on it. Your also going to hear good good contemporary… let me say this. There will be one or two tracks with that Americana kinda feel, sorta like a southern rock feel. You’ll feel that on a couple of songs, but some of them are just straight up in your face just great rock riffs. Like the one you hear now called “Go That Far”, you’ll hear stuff like that. Just right up there in your face guitar riffs that are just kickin ass.
Last time we talked you mentioned Kenny Chesney, so I checked out some of his stuff.
He’s got some really good songs. Obviously he has a good mixture of like rock and country. He has a good combination of both. He just got some really good stories in his songs I always find.
I never listened to any country till I got your country demos disc.
Believe me, there is some good stuff out there. There really is. And the stiff you don’t like, like me I don’t listen to it. (Laughs ) You go, nah, that one ain’t for me.
I had a couple of those.
I’ve hit a lot of those in my life. Ill turn one on and go wow that’s a great song, and I’ll listen to another and go nah that one I wont be listening to. That’s what the beauty of music is. Its for us to make that choice, what fits our life and mood. If I’m down and getting ready to work out, ill just turn on Metallica and just go. It just gets me in the mood to kick ass and work out, or ACDC is great for that. If I’m kinda cruising in my car or driving around the desert ill through on like maybe some Kenny Chesney or the Eagles. It depends on the mood I’m in of what I’m listening to.
Do you think you’ll ever do a full length country album?
I don’t know if I’ll ever make a full full length country record. As much as I love rock and I love country, ill never be able to fully not just do rock as well. My first love is rock, there is no doubt about it. I also really like southern rock and some country feel. If you listen to the Poison records we get nothing but a good time and every rose, you get “Unskinny Bop” and “Something To Believe In”. You kinda look at the first record, you had “Talk Dirty to Me”, and “I Won’t Forget You”. Here’s what makes it believable. Is that I believe in making each song have its own life and then you can tell if it’s a poison or a Bret Michaels song, simply by knowing its us doing it, that’s what makes it believable is you go ya I know this guy likes some of the heavy stuff, he also likes listening… he grew up listening to Doobie Brothers, the Eagles and stuff like that. Skynyrd, you’ll hear some of that in music as well.
The “Rock in my Country” and “New Breed of American Cowboy” have the new country aspect to it but still maintain the rock aspect of it as well.
Absolutely. If you get a chance, I don’t know if Kenny or any of those guys would be up in your area. I know they will. In concert they put on an unbelievably good rock show. When you go to it, its big. Like Toby Keith, he puts on a big rock show. Its fun.
Any exclusives you like to share with the readers of Metal Rules?
First of all, its going to be the best concert we’ve brought out. Wait until you see the big screens we had last time and the pyro were bringing more of it this year. It’s gonna be really cool. Let the fans know I’m coming there whether it’s with Poison or solo and I gotta say this, they got to check out this new show, I can’t explain how crazy it is. Its just insane.
Thanks to Janna and Jennifer for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Ashley Corbin (aka.”The Kid”) for help in transcribing.
Live pics by Celtic Bob
Promo pics courtesy of EMI