Are 'Hair Metal' Bands Making A Comeback?

July 10, 2003

Daniel Shearer of The Princeton Packet reports that for those who will cheer, even those who will sneer, the undeniable fact remains: Hair bands are making a comeback.

Propelled to mega-stardom by nearly 10 years of continuous airplay during the '80s and early '90s, the genre bore the brunt of countless jokes as grunge bands captured national attention with new, less-manicured images.

Years later, chart-topping rocker Mark Slaughter bristles slightly when asked if the term "hair band" is still appropriate for his music. He'll soon head out on the road for gigs in 26 cities with VH-1's Rock Never Stops tour, featuring vocalist David Coverdale and WHITESNAKE, WARRANT, KIP WINGER and SLAUGHTER. The show will roll into Trenton for a stop at Sovereign Bank Arena July 13.

"It's just one of those labels that a lot of people have put on that whole genre," Mr. Slaughter said from a gym near his home in Nashville. "There's some really good musicianship. I mean, you can't find a better drummer than Tommy Aldridge, who's played all the way from OZZY OSBOURNE to WHITESNAKE to TED NUGENT. There are always great musicians within these organizations.

"I think it's kind of a misrepresentation when you say hair band, because it's as if it was only to grow hair and not to make music. But that was the criteria at the time, to have a big mane of hair and be able to do what you do."

"I think that all music goes in cycles," Slaughter added. "David Coverdale was playing with Jimmy Page, and I know he hasn't been doing WHITESNAKE stuff for quite some time.

"Some of these bands are just now coming back, but SLAUGHTER is one of those bands that continuously has been playing. In fact, our only year that we took off was last year, so it has been a crazy thing for us. People just want to have a good time, and I think this music reflects that."

"If we'd have spoken six months ago, I wouldn't really have had any idea what to discuss with you," Coverdale said from his home near Lake Tahoe, Nev. "After 12 years, who knows if anybody wants to hear your music again. I know that my music is consistently played on the radio because I receive checks, and I still sell a lot of records, which is very nice. But I haven't worked out there, so I didn't know the marketplace, for want of a better expression.

"The idea of going out and co-headlining was a kind of almost saving face aspect for me. I've had six months out there now. I've just toured Europe, it was extraordinarily successful. We played half a million people in less than six months. Nobody could have anticipated that kind of thing. It's as if people have missed the music as much as I've missed performing for them." Read more.

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