MICHAEL MONROE (Eng.)

– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything into your band’s camp right now?

Everything’s pretty good, thanks.

– You have recently released your new album, the follow-up to the successful “Sensory Overdrive”, entitled “Horns and Halos”. How is its feedback being thus far? And are you personally satisfied with the final outcome?

Horns And Halos has gotten great feedback so far. Great reviews and stuff. For example, it entered the UK charts at #19 and in Finland it went straight to #1 and sold gold in only 4 days. Personally I’m very happy with the record.

 

– Digging a bit deeper into this new record, first off I would like you to tell us about it’s title, as it’s made up of two opposite terms. Did you want to reflect any kind of equilibrium? Or rather the opposite maybe? What’s the meaning behind it?

“Horns And Halos” was Dregens suggestion for a song title and I thought it was a brilliant new way of saying “yin & yang”, “Black & White”, “Devils & Angels”, “Hell & Heaven”, the 2 opposites – the infinite balance of the universe. It’s a statement that pretty much covers everything. There’s a little bit of both in all of us, which is cool as long as you control your demons. In the end the positive always trumps negativity. Love conquers hate. Light overpowers darkness.

 

– The cover artwork is simple but quite strong, focusing on what I guess is like a Michael Monroe sign/logo. How did you come up with the idea?

Dregen came up with the idea for it. It’s a cool simple logo that’s good to establish to present the name of the band on its own without having to write the entire name “Michael Monroe”.

 

– Before writing this album Ginger left and Dregen stepped in. Why did you choose Dregen as the new guitar player for your band? What has he brought?

He was the only one I could think of to fit the part perfectly. He’s got it all from great playing, attitude, looks, stage performance etc. to being a hell of a nice guy. He’s added to the great positive vibe within the band and a bit more blues-punk to our sound.

 

– After giving “Horns and Halos” some spins, I would define it as “diverse”. In fact I read this opus was more like a band effort. Maybe this had something to do with that?

Probably.

 

– Due to this I would like to know how was the songwriting process like. Did you give creative freedom to your musicians?

Yes, everyone’s allowed (and encouraged) to write as much as they like and bring stuff to the table – the more the better.

 

– The first single for the album was “Ballad of the Lower East Side”, dealing with your years in New York but, what do some of the other lyrics on this release deal with?

Life as we know it in the present time.

 

– And the second single is “Eighteen Angels”. It has a Blues feeling and a nice groove, which I think makes it work perfect as a single but, why did you choose it?

It’s one of my and the band’s favorites on the album. It was a radio single, but I wanted to make a video for it too. Well, maybe later.

 

– Talking about such; do you have any personal favourites on this record?

Apart from “Eighteen Angels” I especially dig “TNT Diet”, “Horns And Halos”, “Child Of The Revolution”, “Soul Surrender” and “Stained Glass Heart”.

 

– All this about “Horns and Halos” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

I’ll give you 5 words and then some: Honest, authentic, energetic, melodic Rock at its best.

 

– HANOI ROCKS was the band that brought you to fame, and maybe anything you do with your solo career will always be compared to that band. Does this bother you or affect you in any way? Anyway I guess to certian extent can be natural, as you were the singer for HR for a lot of years. What balance do you do of your years as the singer for HANOI ROCKS?

The original Hanoi Rocks was unique and the band of my life and I can always be proud of it, so it doesn’t bother me at all when people bring up Hanoi Rocks. Mind you, the original Hanoi only lasted about 5 years and the “rebirth”- version about 7, so altogether 12 years. My solo career on the other hand has been going on well over 20 years and I did properly discover my songwriting talents during my solo career plus I really made my mark during those years which also helped keep the Hanoi legend alive.

 

– You are a legendary musician, with lots of experience both on stage and on the studio. How has the music industry changed since you started?

Music has had less and less to do with the music business throughout the years.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans? Next October you will be touring both Finland and the UK but, any other dates planned?

We’re also going to play in Japan in November and other countries are in the works.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanks, my pleasure. I wanna send my best to all my fans – Thank you for your patience and loyalty. See you soon down the road!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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