March 24, 2024

In a new interview with Jeff Gaudiosi of MisplacedStraws.com, Rik Emmett of Canadian rock legends TRIUMPH was asked if he think he and his bandmates will ever get inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think you're dreaming in Technicolor. And the reason is because — first of all, in Canada… I mean here's the truth about TRIUMPH in Canada: We never won a Juno Award. We did get to go in the Juno Hall Of Fame, but it was really because the Juno, the CARAS [Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which administers the Juno Awards] people kind of went, 'Well, they've stuck around and they lasted so long and they got back together again. And yeah, they did that. And the [Canadian Music] Industry Hall Of Fame took 'em… So, okay, we should give 'em a Hall Of Fame award.' So, we got that, and I think it was literally just for persistence, for living long enough. And the reason for that was because in the Canadian pool, in the early days, it was, like, 'Well, you're not gonna win. RUSH is gonna win.' Of course, RUSH is gonna win. And then it was more, like, the Canadian music business had shifted, and it was, like, 'Well, you're not gonna win. GLASS TIGER is gonna win.' 'You're not gonna win. PLATINUM BLONDE is gonna win.' Things shifted."

He continued: "Years later, I did a thing where I did a tour and I did an album with Pavlo and Oscar Lopez. It was like a guitar trio kind of a project, and we toured the country and we were up for an instrumental Juno of the year. And I said to those guys, I looked at the thing, and I said, 'We're never gonna win.' And they went, 'Oh, Rik, you're so pessimistic.' I go, 'No, I'm not.' I'm actually not. Professionally, I'm known as an optimist. 'The reason that I'm pessimistic about this is,' I go, 'there's a couple of people from ARCADE FIRE that did a little offshoot thing, and they have a voting block of a much larger label than the distributor for ours. We're never gonna even get close. We won't get within sniffing distance politically."

Emmett added: "In the United States, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame politically… I mean, we were on RCA Records, which was — of the seven major labels, they were number six. And then we sued them, and we lost, and then we moved to MCA, and they were the seventh largest. They were the smallest and they had the least impact of all the labels. Now, once they combined their publishing division with their record division, and then they went on this spree where they bought Motown and they just kept acquiring catalogs and they became — now the only game in town is Universal; most of the other labels don't even exist. But at the time, we were with these small labels — not small, but the weakest ones. So voting-wise, we were never that big, we didn't sell enough records, we didn't have enough of a commercial, industrial kind of impact to have it be that the people go, 'Oh, yeah. Well, I remember when they went quadruple platinum.' We never did go quadruple platinum. We struggled to get gold up to platinum, and it would eventually happen with some of the records, but not very many of them. And then you're in a world where there's JOURNEY. Well, they went, like, seven times platinum, 10 times platinum. Oh, there's FOREIGNER. There's some noise this year about FOREIGNER. I don't think there's probably nothing in their catalog that was under five or six times platinum. They deserve to be in there; they really do. There's a good reason why [Paul] McCartney is swearing [in producer Mark Ronson's compilation of videos from famous friends vocalizing their support for FOREIGNER's induction into the Rock Hall]… They should have been in a long time ago. But there was a huge prejudice that [Rolling Stone co-founder] Jann Wenner, it bled throughout the entire board of that thing, which was, 'No, we're only gonna recognize the truly great, and the thing that defines truly great is what I say is truly great.' And he thought FOREIGNER and RUSH and STYX and TRIUMPH, he thought all that stuff was crap. And he would hire writers to write stuff in Rolling Stone that would say, 'Yeah, these bands are shit. They're terrible. They're crap.' And so that became the sort of the standard thing of, 'Yeah, well, no, we're not gonna put them in the Hall Of Fame. They're shitty.' There you go."

Emmett recently completed radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

Rik, who quit TRIUMPH — acrimoniously, in 1988 — over music and business disputes, went on to pursue a solo career, while TRIUMPH carried on with future BON JOVI guitarist Phil X for one more album, 1992's "Edge Of Excess", before calling it a day the following year.

Emmett was estranged, both personally and professionally, from the two other members of the legendary Canadian classic rock power trio for 18 years before they repaired their relationship.

Rik's memoir, "Lay It On The Line - A Backstage Pass To Rock Star Adventure, Conflict And Triumph", came out last October via ECW Press.

After 20 years apart, Emmett, Gil Moore (drums) and Mike Levine (bass) played at the 2008 editions of the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma. A DVD of the historic Sweden performance was made available four years later.

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