POISON's RIKKI ROCKETT: 'TAYLOR SWIFT Has More Bravery Than Most Rock Bands These Days'

October 1, 2023

During a recent appearance on the Sunset Strip-themed episode of the "Totally '80s" podcast hosted by Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! Entertainment, POISON drummer Rikki Rockett touched upon the subject of whether or not "rock is dead." He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think every great musical movement has been sort of a cultural social movement. Like punk rock was extremely social. And what we were doing was a social cultural movement. I mean, you really had to commit to be into what we were doing. People would get thrown out of school and getting fights with their parents and 'we're not gonna take it' — all that stuff. It really set America and the world on fire in a lot of ways. And then I think that grunge had a social cultural movement. I think Marilyn Manson had a social cultural movement. Now, I don't think rock has any social cultural movement and that's the problem. Nobody stands for anything right now. Actually, Taylor Swift has more bravery than most rock bands these days, not afraid to open her mouth and go against the man. Rock bands play the game now, man. So I think that for rock to really come back on top, it has to have something behind it, just like any great art. You can't just do art just to do art. If there's something behind it, that's what really makes it great."

He added: "I always say in all my videos, 'Take care of each other. Keep rock alive.' I'm trying desperately to keep rock alive. I wanna see it more than anything in the world. It's so important. But sometimes, in retrospect, somebody will say… I remember the headline, I think it was in The New York Post or whatever, 'from the rock era,' like it's gone in journalists' mind. It's very frustrating."

Rockett previously talked about the state of the rock scene during an April 2020 Cameo "Iconic Rockstars" panel conversation. At the time, he said: "I think that organic rock music is absolutely going to go into the forefront again — it just is. But I think it needs to reinvent itself a little bit. People need to be a little more creative in the rock genre. It's a little bit too, like, this guy could be in that band or he could be in that band or he could play with this guy, and everybody looks the same and plays the same. There needs to be a little more of a movement, a little more of a scene."

He added: "When I was growing up, there was a punk scene and there was a rock scene, and then metal came along. There were scenes, and it created a lot of energy. Rock's been a little stagnant for a while. It's there. I mean, even people like Steve Miller can put on tickets for sale and sell fucking out — it's amazing. So it's there. But as far as newer bands, I think rock is gonna have to reinvigorate itself just a little bit and not just copy what other people have done that came before them."

POISON exploded into the highly competitive Los Angeles music scene in the 1980s, making a name for itself in the clubs on the Sunset Strip. POISON has sold over 50 million records worldwide, releasing eight studio albums, four live albums, and four compilations. The band has charted 10 singles on the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and one Hot 100 number-one smash hit, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".

Rockett was was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015. In July 2016, he was declared cancer free after undergoing experimental immunotherapy, which eradicated the tumor.

In the summer of 2022, POISON completed "The Stadium Tour" with DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS. The 36-date trek was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus crisis.

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