VIVE LE PUNK You must be pretty excited, you’ve got a great band together.
Michael Monroe: Yeah, looking forward to playing some live shows and getting into the studio. It’s going to be a while until we get into the studio, but we’ve got a bunch of stuff were ready with, were going to write some more.
V: So youre writing songs with Sammi Yaffa?
M: Yeah, with Sammi and with Ginger (Wildhearts) and stuff.
V: Ginger writes the catchiest tunes in the world, doesn’t he?
M: Yeah, he’s a great writer. We just haven’t had a chance to write much with him, but yeah we have a couple of things, were going to write a lot more, I’m sure. Ginger writes lyrics, I mean, he’s the only one in the band apart from me that writes lyrics as well, so that’s fun for me. Usually, I actually always think that the singer should write most of his lyrics himself, but we think the same way with Ginger. We have the same kind of ideas and stuff.
V: You’ve got the same history?
M: Yeah, we’ve got the same record collection. The same kind of way we look at the world and stuff.
V: So when do you think you’ll be recording the album, and when will that be out?
M: Its too early to say. We were going to try to get something out, you know, summer tour (?) for the summer, but I don’t want to promise anything. Well get something out by the end of the year anyway. We just haven’t decided on…Right now were in discussing different possibilities for producers and we don’t even know where were going to record yet. So were getting there. We are going to play some new songs live though.
V: That was what I was going to ask you. So you’re doing a mini world tour now?
M: Yeah, were doing the West coast, about five or six shows, and then we’ve got the South by Southwest in Austin. Were playing at the Finnish Embassy. There’s like a party for us, but that’s invitation only I guess.
V: Is that in London?
M: No, thats in LA. Yeah, we go down on the 11th and LA on the 12th, and San Diego, Orange County, Las Vegas. Then we’ve got to play at the South by Southwest. Were actually playing, I think, three or four different things, one show with Motorhead.
V: You must be an old friend of Lemmy?
M: Oh yeah. Very good friend, I love Lemmy.
V: Yeah, he’s a great guy to interview. He’s a great man.
M: Yeah. But we’re coming to play in London, we’re playing London April 9th.
V: Wicked man.
M: Yeah, Islington Academy.
V: I’ll be there. So what sort of style are the early songs starting to sound like? Are they punky like Demolition 23?
M: Well, there’s punky stuff and there’s rock and roll kind of stuff. There’s no ballads, really. Just pretty hard rock and wicked melodies and pretty smart lyrics too. Yeah, its pretty hard rocking .
V: Rock and roll style?
M: Yeah. I like that and Demolition 23 and good melodies and good lyrics and there’s a couple of really different kinds of tracks to keep it interesting we’ve come up with. Yeah, so I’m really excited. We have a really really strong record. But we want to take our time and make sure its absolutely perfect.
V: And this is definitely the end of Hanoi Rocks?
M: Oh yeah. Over and done with.
V: You’ve always done a few covers of a lot of English punk bands like X-Ray Spex and Eddie And The Hotrods, UK Subs, haven’t you? You must like a lot of the old English punk stuff?
M: Yeah, I do. And also Crusaders and the Dead Boys. But yeah, the UK stuff, and yeah, I love all that stuff.
V: What’s with the mobile phone application stuff you’ve got going on?
M: Oh, yeah, well that’s the mobile backstage. It’s a thing that fans can join in and have it installed on their mobile phones. They get messages from the band members. We can take photos and write stories or video clips, and we post it up there and, simultaneously, the fans will get it on their phone, get like messages from us, like text messages or pictures and, you know, stories. It’s kind of like the next step up from Twitter. But it’s more personal because if you join it, you just get messages from us to your own phone.
M: It’s a fun kind of thing, yeah. Its fun keeping in touch with, now that Ginger is in England and Sammi’s in New York and I’m in Finland, so it’s also fun to see what everybody’s sending.
V: That sounds good, man. I suppose it’s the next way of staying in touch with your fans a little bit closer.
M: Yeah, and not many bands have done it yet. We’re at the cutting edge I guess you could say.
V: I’d like to ask you a few questions for the tour piece were going to put in prior to the gig in London. I mean, you’ve got a hell of an all-star band put together. What sort of songs can the fans expect to hear?
M: I’d say the best of everything, really. We’re playing, apart from the new songs, we’re playing stuff from my solo career, Michael Monroe, and then Demolition 23, and the best of the old Hanoi. You know, the stuff from the ‘80s, we’re doing a bunch of those too. It really is the best of all worlds. Michael Monroe solo, Demolition 23 and Hanoi Rocks in the ‘80s, and some new songs too.
V: You’ve got a big repertoire of great songs, so that’s going to be cool.
M: Yeah, there’s so much to choose from, its hard to choose. But it’s a pretty hard rocking set.
V: That’s what we want from you, man.
M: Cool, that’s what you’re going to get.
V: You’ve done a lot of tours obviously over the years and been on the road a long time over the years. Is it still all about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll?
M: Well, it’s never really been about that for me.
M: It’s never really been about that for me. I always go to bed early and, you know, its pretty hard work, what I’m doing on stage. There’s not much drugs and drinking and, you know, I don’t even drink, myself. But just, I keep in shape, I exercise. Except, when on tour, you don’t have to exercise that much because you get a good workout on stage. But there’s no sex, drugs and rock and roll. That’s an old cliche. rock ‘n’ roll is more realistic. So, yeah, nope. And these guys, everybody’s pretty much not…we were just laughing at the rehearsal because when we were taking our break, we were just like, everyone’s getting into the little bag of food, and picking all this healthy stuff. And we were laughing like, whoa, times have changed, really. No one’s getting fucked up any more in this game.
V: Are you still playing the saxophone live?
M: Yeah, I’ll pull out the sax for a song.
V: What three things should a fan bring to a Mike Monroe live show?
M: What three things? Well, themselves, mainly. And a good state of mind and, you know, they’ve got to be ready to rock.
MICHAEL MONROE WILL PLAY THE DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL AND RELEASE HIS NEW ALBUM IN EARLY 2011.
EUGENE BIG CHEESE