Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
Australian fans recently had the pleasure of witnessing the god father
of shock rock Alice Cooper live in concert once again. I was fortunate
enough to catch up with long time Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie
while the band was resting in Newcastle before kicking off their Australian
leg of the world tour. Ryan is far from a new face on the rock scene.
He has been climbing his way up the rock ladder since the mid eighties
when he was first signed to Atlantic records with L.A. based band
Electric Angels. Ryan has gone on to play with a countless list of
talented musicians & has released some killer solo albums; his
latest ‘Peace Love & Armageddon’ shows just how amazing
and talented Ryan is. I spoke with Ryan about the ten years he has
spent playing on and off with Alice Cooper, the soon to be released
Alice Cooper album Dirty Diamonds, we also spoke about life on the
road, Ryan’s solo projects Dads Porno Mag & Roxie 77, the
Metal mania petition that Ryan is supporting and much more. I hope
you all enjoy reading this interview. I had a lot of fun conducting
Metal Fanatix: Hey Ryan thanks for taking the time
out this morning to speak with us, How's things mate?
Ryan Roxie: I’ve got a millions things runnin’
through my head at the moment, what’s goin’ down?
Metal Fanatix: To be honest I can’t believe
you guys are up so early?
Ryan Roxie: Well I came from Stockholm & then
went to the states, that put me behind Stockholm time & then we
flew out to Australia which put me ahead of Stockholm time so my heads
about as screwed up as Glenn Close is in ‘Fatal Attraction’
right now, I’ve got to be honest with ya!
Metal Fanatix: You have got plenty of time to get
use to the time adjustment; you guys are here in Australia for a couple
of weeks aren’t you?
Ryan Roxie: Maybe a little over three weeks so that’s
gonna give us a chance to really see Australia the way you’re
supposed to see it.
Metal Fanatix: Now is this your second or third trip
Ryan Roxie: Uh! It’s my third time actually
I came here with Alice Cooper in 1998 we did the Rock Carnival tour
here, then we did the Brutal Planet/Dragontown tour here & now
we are doing the ‘The Eyes Of Dirty Diamonds Are Forever’
tour [laughs]. We always come down here to Australia with a hybrid
show. We’re bringing back the guillotine, bringing back a couple
of illusions a lot of the theatrics. You can imagine that half the
people who go to the Alice Cooper show are into the vintage, classic
Alice Cooper. People who enjoy Alice for songs such as Schools Out,
No More Mr. Nice Guy, Brutal Planet & the heavier music &
then you have the people who appreciate Alice Cooper from the ‘Welcome
to My Nightmare’ era and that theatrical show. I think there
is something for everybody in these shows.
Metal Fanatix: Speaking of the soon to be released
album ‘Dirty Diamonds’, how much input did you have in
terms of writing for the new album?
Ryan Roxie: Alice was very cool about co-writing
with the band on the last couple of albums. I was able to be a contributor
on this record & I’m really happy about it. It’s truly
a nice feeling to look up & see your name right next to Cooper
in the credits. There are a few Roxie/Cooper co-writes that I’m
really proud of. Alice has said in interviews that he understands
that a lot the fans expect certain songs & I know he’s really
excited about playing the new material to which makes me happy because
I know we had a big hand in the writing of it.
Metal Fanatix: When you prepare to do an album like
‘Dirty Diamonds’ what comes first the lyrics or the music?
Ryan Roxie: Ahh! The chicken or the egg [laughs]
an age old question. As far as the writing with ‘Dirty Diamonds’
& ‘The Eyes of Alice Cooper’, we had a lot of guitar
riffs that were Alice based. They had that really cool Alice sounding
influence to them. Alice would come in sometimes & say “you
know what, were going to pick a subject to write about & I’m
just gonna do my thing & were gonna jam over the riff a million
times”. He would start putting in a word here & there, all
of a sudden he got the catch phrase for the title of the song &
then it became an Alice Cooper tune. If one of us bought in a tune
that we thought was done, Alice would take it to the next level &
make it an Alice Cooper song.
Metal Fanatix: Has there been a release date set
for the album?
Ryan Roxie: I’ve been hearing august for Europe
and maybe later for the United States but you can’t quote me.
As far as the label goes I know it’s coming out on New West
Records in the states & I think it’s coming out on Eagle/Spitfire
everywhere else. The best way to go to find any of that information
out is to go to the official Alice Cooper website http://www.alicecooper.com
or you can go to my site http://www.roxie77.com.
Metal Fanatix: I was looking at your website this
Ryan Roxie: Oh you’re that one guy [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Yeah I was that one guy.
I was reading up on the album you released last year “Peace
Love & Armageddon” what can you tell us about the album
& the other guys that played on it?
Ryan Roxie: Yes of course, Roxie 77 is a continuation
of the last 2 solo records that I did & they are available through
the website & I will have them while I’m out on the road
also. Luckily enough Alice is cool enough to let us move a lot of
our merch. I’ve got a couple of albums out. There’s one
called ‘Dads Porno Mag’ and I’ve had a few fans
out there email me & they’ve been really supportive of that.
D.P.M. I think its still a continuation of that & the songs were
written & recorded over the course of a couple of years. The range
of subjects are from being an idiot rock ‘n’ roll guy
to actually coming of age & having a kid & realizing that
we are all mortal. The subject matter means a lot & very little.
Every person that listens to it will get something out of the songs.
As for the different members of the band, I got a group of guys that
I’ve been playing with throughout the years, the same drummer
from D.P.M. Mike Fasano played the drums on the Roxie 77 album, my
good buddy Jeff who I met going on 20 years ago now, he was one of
the first guys I met when I moved to Los Angeles when I was 17. He
played bass on it, he normally plays guitar. I told him I needed someone
for the bass playing side of it & he stepped right in. I really
wanted to see what ‘Roxie 77’ could sound like with one
guitarist, one keyboardist, one bassist & one drummer I hadn’t
seen that line-up in a little while. I thought we made a really good
Metal Fanatix: Another thing I came across on your
site was the MP3 samples from the Roxie 77 album. There are some really
catchy riffs on there, all you need is for one song to break &
Boom! It will hit the roof!
Ryan Roxie: That’s the whole thing I keep telling
myself man, you’ve gotta be in the game to have a chance at
winning it. Just record it. Put it out & see what happens because
you never know. Maybe it will get played or the right person hears
it at the right time & boom. I just want to concentrate on continuing
to write songs that mean something to me & songs that I feel I
would want to listen to then when that shot comes & you get that
chance to let the world see it. You’re off. A lot of people
go “Oh who’s Ryan Roxie”? Or “I’ve just
found out about him”, a lot of people don’t realize that
I’ve been in the trenches of rock for quite a long time, I know
what its like to tour on a skateboard [laughs]. Charter jets to rent-a-cars
I know the whole gamete.
Metal Fanatix: A lot of people probably don’t
realize that your first major band ‘Electric Angels’ was
back in the late eighties?
Ryan Roxie: Yeah that’s right we were signed
to Atlantic in the late eighties. Like I said I’ve been in the
trenches & a lot of people think it happens over night. That age
old cliché, but nothing happens over night baby [laughs].
Fanatix: This is true; you have to really work your ass off
to get there!
Ryan Roxie: The good thing about that though is for
me is that I wouldn’t change a thing in the world. I wouldn’t
change the experiences & the longevity of it. There’s a
lot of people who have success very early into their career &
then three years, four yeas later it’s done, & your like
“what am I gonna do”? Luckily for me the way I look at
things, I’ve been able to steadily increase my workload, increase
my exposure every single year & gain more of a popularity fan
base & get to meet a lot of these people.
Lets admit it not many people get to travel the world every year playing
rock n roll & I’ve got to tell you its one of the best jobs
in the world that anyone could ever ask for. It does get hard being
away from the family & that is defiantly a big issue for me but
look at what I’m doing! I’m playing rock ‘n’
roll & entertaining. Unfortunately there are a lot of other unfortunate
people A.K.A. the brave troops out there that are away from their
families for much longer & under much more dire circumstances.
That always puts things in perspective for me.
Metal Fanatix: It has come to my attention that more
than 3000 Rock/Metal fans worldwide have united & signed a petition.
Artists such as Judas priest, Neil Turbin, Bob Daisley & yourself
to name a few are among those in favour of a Metal Mania Channel with
no “nu-metal” to be played. Many fans & artists believe
that VH1 & MTV will never approve this, not because of ratings,
but because of the genre of music which would be featured. Can you
share your thoughts on the matter?
Ryan Roxie: I completely believe that if you show
people the numbers of the demographics of what type of people are
going to be listening & viewing these shows it would be a slam
dunk & anybody wouldn’t want to pick it up. It’s probably
not going to be MTV or VH1. When it comes down to those big companies
it’s all about dollars & cents now, The people they would
be selling to are still a record buying public, yeah it’s not
the teenage crowd that buys everything that’s put in front of
them, its more of a mature crowd that usually does there homework
but there still a buying. If you explain it to companies in a much
more business oriented sense I think you will get much more success
instead of going “well you just have to play it because the
fans need it & the fans like it”. Yeah the fans do need
it & do want it & obviously it keeps me employed. I heard
about the idea that’s being bounced around with the petition
& I think it’s awesome, I really support. If VH1 or MTV
don’t pick it up there’s so many other options on cable
nowadays, it will work. Just look at those bands you mentioned earlier
Judas Priest, Iron Maiden & so on, all those bands have got really
good numbers & large fan bases around the world. Alice cooper
is another, if I’m doing ok with my Roxie 77 stuff, my merch
when I’m the little guy on the Alice tour just imagine what
Alice does. His fans are really supportive. I would be happy with
a channel that’s gonna give us all more exposure & more
of a chance for us to continue to work! If we can have channels dedicated
to making food & dog grooming than there is no reason we can’t
have a channel dedicated to our old school rock ‘n’ roll.
Metal Fanatix: In your honest opinion, what do you
think about the direction that hard rock & metal music has taken
in the last few years?
Ryan Roxie: I’m actually quite positive about
the whole thing. What were noticing at least at the Alice Cooper shows
is that were getting a younger & younger audiences, the kids that
are coming to the shows now have seen the Marylin Manson show &
they’ve seen the Rob Zombie show & now they’re actually
doing their homework & there going “well who influenced
these guys”? then they find out that Alice Cooper was a big
driving force behind bands like that & he’s still touring
“oh my god”, “I can actually go and see the godfather
of all these bands”?
I’m happily discovering that the fans are happy & willing
to discover the roots. Now it’s really trendy to have the old
Ac/Dc & Led Zeppelin t-shirts from a marketing view, but the bottom
line is the kids are doing the research on them. Nowadays on the net
you can be much more apart of a bands career & find out information
then you could when I was a kid. When I was a kid you had to write
a fan letter, lick a stamp & wait for a year to get a response.
Now with a couple of clicks you can find out basically Ace Frehley’s
home address [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: Out of all of the newer bands who
are you listening to?
Ryan Roxie: Because I live in Sweden now I think
there are a few really great bands that are coming out of Stockholm.
An Australian band I’m into is Jet, I got to meet those guys
last year, they’re really nice guys & they’ve got
the right idea. They’ve taken all of the influences of bands
like The Beatles among others & made it there own, that’s
really what you’ve got to do in rock ‘n’ roll. There
are only so many chords you can play & there’s only so many
times that you can talk about the same things, but if just twist it
enough to produce a classic song or a classic band I think you have
a really good chance of achieving great success.
Metal Fanatix: While you guys are in Australia you
will be playing a couple of side shows without Alice under the title
Eric Singer & friends, what can you tell us about that?
Ryan Roxie: We have been working so hard trying to
get this Alice Cooper show together that it will be nice to go to
a club & blow off steam with some songs that we’ve been
inspired by. Obviously we will be playing some of the Kiss classics,
we’re also going to play some old glam songs from T-Rex, The
Sweet, we’re gonna be doing some Cheap Trick & other bands
that I was influenced by. The shows are going to be great. I’m
looking forward to them.
Metal Fanatix: Now you have been playing on &
off with Alice for ten years now, are there still days where you wake
up & pinch yourself?
Ryan Roxie: I'm becoming the Bruce Kulick of the
Alice Cooper band, I don’t know what the hells going on [laughs].
Yep, but that’s not because I play with Alice Cooper [laughs].
No I don’t pinch myself but I do sometimes I do sit back &
take a deep breath & say to myself “you know what”?
“It’s a good thing”. There’s moments like
right now, I think how lucky I am to be just hanging out. The rock
‘n’ roll lifestyle doesn’t stop right after the
shows. We get together after the shows do the after parties, play
poker & then in the morning we get to wake up & play a round
of golf which I recently got into. Then after that we get to go &
do some interviews, that’s not hard work, it’s actually
fun, obviously I like the sound of my own voice [laughs] then we play
the rock show again. The whole lifestyle for me is a really good time
& to be doing it for as many years as I’ve been able to
do it with Alice is a really cool thing.
Metal Fanatix: What’s the most embarrassing
thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
Ryan Roxie: [Laughs] well the list goes on &
on, oh I remember a story from the club days. I think it was right
after we [Electric Angels] got our deal with Atlantic. We celebrated
the gig by playing a club that had a bunch of bar tables out on the
floor. I got a little angry that there were people eating salads while
we were playing, so I wanted to walk across the tables & eat somebody’s
salad at the end of the line of tables. Of course I didn’t understand
that the tables weren’t bolted down to the ground & they
were strategically placed. So what happened? I slipped on a fork &
almost killed myself [laughs]. The whole table went down mid song,
Les Paul up in the air it was ugly it was kind of a bitch cause the
record label had just signed us & they had brought up a bunch
of their people to see us “this is our new band”. “Look
at the idiot with salad in his hair” [laughs]. We made it through
though & on went the show. Oh here’s another one for you
from the last time I was I here in Australia. I just had knee surgery
& I was being really careful with it. I was careful on the plane.
I got onstage & started spinning around like an idiot & all
of a sudden the knee gives out. Bang, right on my ass [laughs]. That
kind of stuff happens all the time.
Metal Fanatix: What’s the most ridiculous thing
you have ever asked for on a tour rider?
Ryan Roxie: I’m pretty normal when it comes
to that sort of thing. There’s no brown M & M’s or
green M & M’s or anything like that. We might be pushing
it a little bit by asking for golf balls [laughs]. “What does
that have to do with the show”? They say [laughs]. So for anyone
who’s reading this if you want to bring Roxie something nice,
just bring him a little pack of golf balls & he’ll be wrapped
but don’t throw 'em onstage [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: I know you’re heavily influenced
by Cheap Trick. Later this year you will be on the road with those
guys, you must be happy about that?
Ryan Roxie: Yes, it’s going to be amazing.
They are the coolest guys in the world. It’s always great when
you get to meet your idols & they don’t disappoint you.
Metal Fanatix: If you could put a band together consisting
of musicians passed on & or present who would they be & what
would you call the band?
Roxie: Wow, wow that’s a great question. There has
been so many guys that I have seen over the years that I would hand
pick. To be honest, it starts with the lead singer. My favourite voice
in rock ‘n’ roll has always been Robin Zander [Cheap Trick]
he got one of the best voices in rock n roll, oh for a guitar player
I’d have Brian May [Queen], on bass I’d probably get John
Taylor from Duran Duran as far as a drummer wow where do you find
that perfect drummer? I’ve played with so many great drummers
I think you would have to make your own Frankenstein drummer. To sum
it up I’d have Robin Zander on vocals, Brian May on guitar,
myself on guitar, John Taylor on bass & Dave Grohl on drums who
I think is one of today's greatest. It would be as weird as hell.
Metal Fanatix: What would you call it?
Ryan Roxie: Weird as hell [laughs]
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] hey that works, its quite
Ryan Roxie: [Laughs]
Metal Fanatix: Well Ryan thanks again for your time
today mate, it’s been great talking to you this morning. Do
you have any last words for our readers?
Ryan Roxie: Nice talking to you to. I’ve just
got to tell everyone to come out to roxie77.com
and we will embrace you! Come on out and say hello. I’m always
out there saying hello so to everyone, don’t be shy!
Make sure you check out the following websites!
For all the latest news & Ryan Roxie merchandise check out his
official website http://www.roxie77.com
You can also contact Ryan via his My Space page: http://www.myspace.com/ryanroxie
For all the latest Roxie/Cooper news go to http://www.alicecooper.com
To view other rockin interviews I have done go to: http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
Show your support for a 24 hour hard rock/heavy metal channel: http://www.petitiononline.com/01131995/petition.html
Ryan is currently on tour with Alice Cooper you can the guys
live at the following venues:
Wed 07/27/05 Valencia, SPA Jardines De Viveros
Thu 07/28/05 Ciudad, SPA Campo De Futbol
Fri 07/29/05 Barcelona, SPA Razzmatazz
Sat 07/30/05 Pamplona, SPA Pabellon Anatasuna
Mon 08/01/05 Monte Carlo, MON Sporting Club
Sat 08/06/05 Tampere, FIN Sporthalle
Sun 08/07/05 Talinn, EST Habsaalu
Tue 08/09/05 Stockholm, SWE Arenan
Wed 08/10/05 Goteborg, SWE Lisebergshallen
Thu 08/11/05 Skandeborg, DEN Smukkeste Festival
Sat 08/13/05 Reykjavik, ICE Kaplakrika
Sat 08/20/05 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena
Sun 08/21/05 Detroit, MI Michigan State Fair
Mon 08/22/05 Toronto, ON The Docks
Tue 08/23/05 Jim Thorpe, PA Penn's Peak
Thu 08/25/05 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap Filene Ctr.
Fri 08/26/05 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Sun 08/28/05 Farmingville, NY Brookhaven Amphitheatre
Mon 08/29/05 Holmdel, NJ P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
Tue 08/30/05 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair
Thu 09/01/05 Rockford, IL On The Waterfront Fest
Fri 09/02/05 Madison, WI Alliant Energy Center
Sun 09/04/05 Loveland, CO Budweiser Events Center
Mon 09/05/05 Pueblo, CO Colorado State Fair
Wed 09/07/05 Topeka, KS Landon Arena
Fri 09/09/05 Mack, CO Festival Grounds
Sat 09/10/05 Albuquerque, NM New Mexico State Fair
Wed 09/14/05 El Cajon, CA Concerts In The Park
Fri 09/16/05 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
Tue 09/27/05 Hollywood, FL Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Wed 09/28/05 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
Thu 09/29/05 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
Fri 09/30/05 Naples, FL Philharmonic Center
Sun 10/02/05 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Hotel / Casino
Tue 10/04/05 South Bend, IN Morris Performing Arts Center
Thu 10/06/05 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino
Fri 10/07/05 Cleveland, OH Tower City Amphitheater
Mon 10/17/05 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel - The Joint
Wed 10/19/05 Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theatre
Fri 10/21/05 Calgary, AB So. Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sat 10/22/05 Edmonton, AB Francis Winspear Centre For Music
Sun 10/23/05 Red Deer, AB The Centrium
Mon 10/24/05 Lethbridge, AB Enmax Centre
Sat 10/29/05 Tacoma, WA Emerald Queen Casino
Sat 11/05/05 Brighton, UK Brighton Centre
Sun 11/06/05 London, UK Wembley Arena Pavilion
Mon 11/07/05 Cardiff, UK Cardiff International Arena
Wed 11/09/05 Birmingham, UK NEC Arena
Thu 11/10/05 Manchester, UK Manchester Evening News Arena
Sat 11/12/05 Glasgow, UK Clyde Auditorium
Tue 11/15/05 Sheffield, UK Hallam FM Arena
Wed 11/16/05 Nottingham, UK Nottingham Arena
Thu 11/17/05 Bournemouth, UK International Centre
Tickets are available from the usual outlets.
All dates are correct at time of print!
To keep up with all the latest hard rock & metal news, reviews
& worldwide tour dates keep it locked to:
Used with permission. By Cameron Edney © July 2005