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  • RIKKI ROCKETT Doesn't Know Why POISON Can't Make New Studio Album
    on April 23, 2017 at 23:04

    POISON drummer Rikki Rockett spoke to "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" in a new interview about the possibility of the band ever returning to the studio to write and record a new album of all-original material. He said: "I really wish that we would… I've been wanting to do that from the beginning. I mean, I love going in the studio and I love creating and writing songs and things like that. It's why I started DEVIL CITY ANGELS [Rockett's side project] — because I was very frustrated that POISON wasn't doing anything creative in that way. It's always on my radar to try to get the rest of the guys to get on board and work again like that. I don't know why we can't just get together and make that happen. It just seems like it's just this huge thing that is this obstacle. I don't know why." Rockett acknowledged that part of the reason POISON hasn't been motivated to work on new music has been the fact that fans rarely show interest in hearing fresh material performed live when classic rock groups go on tour. "That's the thing about being a band that's been around for a while. It's hard to break… I don't wanna say 'break free from the past,' 'cause you don't wanna do that — at least I don't. But at the same time, you wanto be able to move forward, and that's a very gray area, that's a slippery slope," he explained. "Because we could write the second coming of 'Talk Dirty To Me', and I don't know if people wanna hear it or not, and that's a frustrating thing; it really is. AEROSMITH was able to do it, but not everybody is. I mean, even THE ROLLING STONES have had problems with that in the last few years. So… I don't know. But I do think it's important to stay viable. For the 'über fans,' it's always a really, really good thing. And that's what you do it for — you do it for you, you do it for the real fans, the real true fans. Not, like, to really change your popularity at this stage. I don't really think that moves the needle these days. [Laughs]" Rikki also expressed a desire to perform more of POISON's early catalog, possibly as part of very special tours that would each focus on a specific period in the band's career. "If it were up to me, for the next several years, we would just go do each record from top to bottom," he admitted. "Let's do 'Open Up and Say... Ahh!' [1988], let's do 'Flesh & Blood' [1990], let's do 'Look What The Cat Dragged In' [1986]. I think it would be great. And at the end, you can come back out and do the hits that came later, whatever, just to wrap it up. But it would be great to go from top to bottom, track to track. I would be all over that." Back in 2015, Rockett and fellow POISON members Bobby Dall (bass) and C.C. DeVille (guitar), plus vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brandon Gibbs (CHEAP THRILL, DEVIL CITY ANGELS), played several shows as THE SPECIAL GUESTS in what was widely perceived as a not-so-subtle message to POISON singer Bret Michaels that they weren't willing to remain completely inactive while he pursued a solo career. Rikki explained: "It was sort of like… POISON isn't POISON without Bret; it's not POISON without any of us. However, we got offered a few gigs, and they were gigs that we all really wanted to do. And Bret had some other things that he had going on. And we didn't dicuss it with him, we just said, 'You know, let's go out and do this. And we're not gonna do it as POISON, because we're not gonna try to pull the wool over anybody's eyes, we're not gonna try to fake it, like this is the new POISON.' But everybody knew I was working with Brandon because of [DEVIL CITY ANGELS], if you were into rock and you were paying attention at all. And Bobby and C.C. both liked him. So we were, like, 'Why not do this gig? Why not do a few gigs with him? Let's just do it. Why should we sit home while Bret does things?' You know what I mean? That was the only message: 'Hey, Bret, we're not gonna sit around either.' It wasn't like, 'We're replacing you, Bret,' but it was kind of like, 'We're not gonna just sit on our thumbs either.' That's more or less what it's about… And honestly, we didn't do it as a message to Bret, but that message, I'm sure, [came across]. Honestly, we just wanted to go do it, and when he said, 'Hey, I've got some stuff going on,' it was, like, 'You know, I'm tired of this. Let's just go do this anyway. I wonder if they'll have us, though, if we have somebody else.' And the answer was yes. And the fans actually really liked it. Brandon did an awesome job." POISON's last album of new material was 2002's "Hollyweird". Back in 2007, they released "Poison'd", an album of covers. POISON kicked off its North American tour with DEF LEPPARD on April 8 at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The trek will wrap on June 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. POISON and DEF LEPPARD first hit the road together back in 2009, and then again three years later. Rockett was recently declared cancer free after undergoing an experimental treatment. He was diagnosed with oral cancer back in 2015. […]

  • MIKE PORTNOY Says He Is 'Not Too Busy' To Rejoin DREAM THEATER On 'Images, Words & Beyond' Tour
    on April 23, 2017 at 21:08

    Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy says that he is "not too busy" to rejoin his former bandmates on their "Images, Words & Beyond" tour, but notes that he hasn't been invited to take part in any of the shows. DREAM THEATER is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its milestone RIAA-gold-certified album "Images And Words" with a special tour on which it is performing the LP in its entirety along with fan favorites from the group's renowned catalogue. During a recent question-and-answer session, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess were asked by a fan if they would be willing to play with Portnoy again, possibly at a show celebrating a band anniversary. The DREAM THEATER guitarist responded: "There's no plans to do anything like that. Mike's great, and he's doing many, many projects right now." Rudess jokingly added: "He's too busy for us." Petrucci continued: "Yeah, he's in twenty bands. I don't think he has time. But, yeah, this tour celebrating 'Images', we won't be having any past-member guests." Asked by TNT Radio Rock if it's true that he is "too busy" to play with DREAM THEATER on the "Images, Words & Beyond" tour, Portnoy said (see video below): "I think [Petrucci and Rudess] were making a joke, saying I'm too busy for them. That's not true. I always have time for anybody from my history." Portnoy went on to say that he has "a very good relationship with John Petrucci and Jordan, and we stay in touch and we remain friends. The other two [singer James LaBrie and bassist John Myung] I've barely heard from. I've tried to reach out. But anyway, I have very fond memories of all those years and it's a huge part of my life." He added: "I'm not too busy for them. I always make time for everybody. I'm in eighty-seven bands, so, obviously, I'm very capable of juggling a lot of things. I just need the invitation. They haven't invited me to any of the shows. So that's up to them." Portnoy also talked about his decision to perform DREAM THEATER's "Twelve-Step Suite" in its entirety for the first time ever on the Cruise To The Edge, which sailed out of Tampa, Florida on February 7. The music documents the musician's battle with alcoholism, and is an ensemble of five songs recorded by DREAM THEATER from 2002 to 2009, with titles that reflect his struggles: "The Glass Prison", "This Dying Soul", "The Root Of All Evil", "Repentance" and "The Shattered Fortress". Portnoy said: "Well, the reason the SHATTERED FORTRESS came about — and it's not even a band, it's not even a project; it's just kind of an event, it's not like an ongoing thing that I'm going to do beyond these very special shows. The way it came about was because I was doing a fiftieth-birthday concert on Cruise To The Edge, and at that concert, or actually two concerts, I was basically playing music from my entire career, and, of course, inevitably, a lot of that was gonna be DREAM THEATER music. And I decided it was finally time to play the 'Twelve-Step Suite' that I started fifteen years ago, back in 2002, and never got to play it live in its entirety. So it really all began because it was originally just gonna be part of my fiftieth-birthday celebration, and once we announced that, suddenly I got offers to play these different festivals, and then some select other shows throughout Europe and America. Basically, I figured it's my fiftieth birthday this year, and it's a good time to just do it. And rather than do it only once for my fiftieth-birthday concert, maybe share it with fans around the world that have been wanting to see it. So this is it." He went on to say: "I never had any intentions of continuing with DREAM THEATER music. Obviously, everything I've done over the past six or seven years is I've done everything but DREAM THEATER music — I've done THE WINERY DOGS and FLYING COLORS and ADRENALINE MOB and TWISTED SISTER and THE NEAL MORSE BAND and METAL ALLEGIANCE. So I've never revisited DREAM THEATER material, but this seems like the right opportunity to finally do it. So it's kind of just a one-off event and a special treat — not only for the fans, but for myself as well." Asked what it has been like to revisit DREAM THEATER's "Twelve-Step Suite" more than half a decade since his exit from the band, Portnoy said: "Well, it's very therapeutic, I guess, maybe, to say. It was one level of being therapeutic for me to write all of these songs, 'cause it was coming out of my life and about what I was dealing with, with the twelve steps of sobriety. So it was one level of therapy to write all of this and release it, but now to actually put it together and perform it, it's another level of… It's kind of like unfinished business, it's kind of like closure, I'm getting some closure on this, because I never had the opportunity to do it once I completed all of the songs." He added: "It was always a dream of mine to perform them from start to finish. It would have been nice if it was with DREAM THEATER, but the circumstances are what they are, and I'd rather do this and get it out of my system, not only for myself but also for the fans to enjoy. I'd rather do it this way than not do it at all." Regarding whether there are plans to film and record any of the SHATTERED FORTRESS shows for possible release, Portnoy said: "Believe me, I would love to release this for the fans, but I can't guarantee that I can release it for the fans, because of legal issues with my other band, with DREAM THEATER. So if I can release it in some form, I would love to, but there's no guarantees. There's a lot of red tape involved." Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than thirty years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI). Portnoy later revealed that he tried to rejoin DREAM THEATER, only to be rebuffed. […]

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