Rikki Rockett of Poison talks tour, recording & more!
Rikki Rockett & #1 bad boy Bret Michaels of Poison
POISON Drummer RIKKI ROCKETT – “We Have Learnt So Much In Our Career It Amazes Me That We Are Not Putting All Of Those Things Together Into An Album”
By Mitch Lafon
When POISON released their first album back in 1986, the hip rock critics panned the band and gave them less than a year to exist. Well, twenty-five years later the band rolls on and drummer Rikki Rockett looks back on his time in Poison with pride and looks forward with eager anticipation. Bravewords.com caught up with the affable skin man to discuss rock’s greatest guilty pleasure, Poison.
Bravewords.com: You’re on tour this summer with MÖTLEY CRÜE. Fans have been clamoring for this double bill since 1986, but the Motley guys never seemed to take Poison seriously and often put down the band. Has that negative energy passed or will this tour truly be a battle of the bands?
Rikki Rockett: “I never had the negative energy and, honestly, I’ve always been a Mötley Crüe fan. Let me put it to you this way, recently, I read this article about motorcyclists from an outsider’s perspective and if you don’t ride a motorcycle you think all motorcycles are the same. You don’t know the difference between a Harley, Yamaha or a Triumph until you’re in it and then all of a sudden everything seems so different. So for a fan that loves ‘80s music they don’t care about… They like a TESLA song, a Motley song, a BON JOVI song and they don’t understand the nuances between the images or this and that. Your general overall fan just likes good music. They like good songs and you can’t have just one band in your playlist. In fact, most don’t even have one genre in their playlist. Most people like everything. If, for example, you look at my wife’s playlist she’s got everything from Motley to MAROON 5 to country. You can’t live by bread alone. I think too many bands get wrapped up in this stuff. I had a beer one time with Lars Ulrich and at the same time there was a cover story in Hit Parader about METALLICA versus Poison. I said to Lars, ‘are we fighting?’ and he said, ‘not that I know of’. People get too twisted about this stuff. What’s worst is when the band starts to get twisted about it too. I don’t know where this stuff comes from. We’ve always gotten along with Motley, but we went through this little period of time where there were some differences and I do understand Motley going ‘we started earlier in rock and if the whole ‘80s thing is coming down – we need to separate ourselves away from it if we want to continue to have a career.’ I get that, but I do think that if you turn tail and run from who you are that can be devastating.”
Bravewords.com: Especially, when fans grew up loving your music and that image. Is there really a difference between Home Sweet Home and Every Rose Has It’s Thorn?
Rockett: “No, not really. A good song is a good song. Mötley Crüe and Poison have been through similar circumstances. The nuances are subtle from a fan’s perspective and the main thing is fans are going to love this.”
Bravewords.com: Absolutely and fans are going to get a three hour show filled with about forty top ten hits.
Rockett: “Absolutely and these tours work because fans can bank on getting a lot of bang for the buck. That’s why, for example, STYX and JOURNEY go out together. They may not be the hippest bands on the planet, but it doesn’t matter because you get great music and you know you’re going to get great music. Whereas when people see a bunch of newer bands… you might see eight of them on a bill but, at best, get six good songs. That’s why packages like ours work in this touring market. There’s not a lot of money to go around and we’ve done everything we can to keep tickets prices down.”
Bravewords.com: Do you adjust your set list at all because Mötley Crüe is coming on after you? Do you include more of the faster songs and pull out some of the ballads?
Rockett: “You know what Mitch, we haven’t sat down as a band and talked about it yet.”
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