Goldmine magazine recently conducted an interview with former HANOI ROCKS frontman Michael Monroe. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Goldmine: A lot of musicians these days don't have the rock-star look; you've always stood out with your hair and your clothes. Talk about why that is still important to you.
Monroe: I think a man with character never changes, and a man with no character changes even less (laughs). I have my style and I've stayed true. Some of these bands that wore makeup in their past — maybe it wasn't their thing, really, because now they look totally different. I don't trust anybody who changes so much: "Oh, we were young, so we wore makeup." Well, women wear makeup when they're older, too, so why shouldn't I? I've always been the same way. It's my style, and I don't change. I evolve, but I don't change my character and I don't change my style.
Goldmine: Speaking of changes, the music industry has changed tremendously in the last 10 years. Lots of veteran acts see that as a good thing because they can take more control over their careers. How are you benefiting from the way things are now?
Monroe: Well, it hasn't really changed that much for me. I play live shows; the records don't sell as much, but I never sold millions of records anyway. There are good points and bad points about it. I've had bad deals and good deals. Right now, we haven't made any deals yet, except for [one in] Japan. But the rest of the world is open. We're going to make the best possible album and not rush into anything. The record companies can come after us after we get the buzz going.
Goldmine: Let's talk about your upcoming album. Have you started recording it yet?
Monroe: We haven't decided where to do it or who's going to produce. We're going to do a few songs first and see who we want to work with and how it goes and what studio we want to use. We'll put out something this year — if not the whole album, then at least a couple of songs and a video. If not by the end of the year, then by the early part of next year we'll have an album out.
Goldmine: There was a HANOI ROCKS reunion from 2002 to 2008. Is there any chance of another reunion?
Monroe: No — no chance. That's it. That was incredible that it even happened. Me and Andy [McCoy] got reacquainted, and the whole thing was born again and we kind of finished what we started. It was interesting to see what we could do now after all these years, with the way we both had evolved. We did three great albums, but after the third album, it wasn't going any further. We weren't writing anymore; we weren't even hanging out anymore much. A year, year and a half went by … so we put it to bed with integrity, finishing the band honorably. That's over and done with now.
Read the entire interview from Goldmine.
Michael Monroe and members of his solo band were interviewed on April 9, 2010 before they performed at the Islington Academy in London, England. Watch the chat in two parts below.