RIKKI ROCKETT On POISON: It's Time For Us To Do Something
December 17, 2015
Rikki Rockett says that "it's time" for POISON to return to activity, explaining that the group will "get killed off if we don't do anything."
POISON appeared at the 2013 Indy 500 Miller Lite Carb Day, but has otherwise been mostly playing private shows, including one this past January. The band's last major dates were with LITA FORD and DEF LEPPARD as part of the 2012 "Rock Of Ages" tour.
POISON lead singer Bret Michaels is continuing to focus on his solo career and recently released the video for "Girls On Bars", his new rock-and-country-crossover track which was written with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Luke Laird.
During an appearance on the December 14 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", Rockett stated about POISON's current status: "There's talk of a tour. There's been some discussions here and there. I don't know where that sits yet. I mean, it's the thirtieth anniversary [of the band], so it would be good [for us to get back out there]."
He continued: "Well, you know, we wanted to get out there and do something. We haven't toured in a couple of years. We have done some private stuff. Like last year, we did San Diego and a bunch of different corporate gigs. They were cool gigs."
Asked about the current vibe within the band when they get together to play these corporate shows, Rikki said: "It feels a little bit 'business.' There's some hurt feelings, there's some weirdnesses… I mean, there just is. I don't know that we can ever fix all of it or any of it."
The drummer also spoke about the possibility of new music from POISON, whose most recent album was 2007's covers set "Poison'd!", while the band's last collection of new, original music was 2002's "Hollyweird".
"I don't know that Bret wants to do another record with us," he said. "I think he'll do shows, I think he'll do maybe a tour." As for whether he wants to make a new POISON album, Rikki said: "I absolutely do. I've got a lot to write about. I mean, I've developed as a drummer so much more than the last time we made a record. I've developed as a recording engineer since I've made the last record; I could probably engineer our own record. So I do wanna do all those things. I wanna work. I'm not done, but I'm not a kid either. So it's kind of like, 'Shit or get off the pot.' I mean, literally. And I can't hang out in the wings forever. Who can?"
Rockett also talked about the formation of THE SPECIAL GUESTS, the touring project he launched with fellow POISON members Bobby Dall (bass) and C.C. DeVille (guitar),plus vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brandon Gibbs (CHEAP THRILL, DEVIL CITY ANGELS). He said: "You know, there's no reason to say, 'Okay, POISON is broken up.' There's no reason to do that, because [if] the thirtieth [anniversary] comes up and there's some special show [that we end up doing]… But I think that we do need to start looking in other directions, and Brandon was an obvious choice because I had already worked with him [in DEVIL CITY ANGELS], Bobby met him, C.C.… Everybody likes the guy. I mean, he's super freakin' talented, he's great on stage, girls love the guy. And he's not Bret, and he doesn't wanna be Bret; we're not trying to make him Bret. If he would ever replace Bret in whatever capacity you wanna call it, it would be a different chapter, and there would be some pushback from fans. But at the same time, we have this amazing catalog of [POISON] songs, and half of those songs — more than half of those songs — we never play. And there's some great stuff that we could be out there doing."
He continued: "Again, some of this talk about a tour would have been with Bret, or could be, and I hope it does; I mean, I wanna do some stuff. And if it is gonna end, just put an ending to it and move on.
"I have committed to working with Brandon in some capacity probably forever. He's like one of my best friends; I've been knowing this guy almost twelve years. But I don't want that to be my reason to do something — just because he's one of my best buddies. I want it to make sense. But guess what? It does. I mean, if you've seen him, he really is great."
Rockett concluded: "I'm not sitting here saying that POISON's gonna go out and it's gonna be Brandon [singing for the band], POISON's gonna go out and it's gonna be Bret. I don't know. We're trying to figure all this stuff out. And you can't just take the name and just go, 'I'm gonna do this.' It gets legal.
"I'm trying to be as delicate as I can with this, because POISON is my baby, you know what I mean? Thirty years. I don't wanna kill it off. But at the same time, it will get killed off if we don't do anything. It'll just automatically start to suffocate itself. And so, it's time to do something. This year is definitely decision time."
Rockett recently completed nine rounds of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation after being diagnosed with oral cancer this past summer. The 54-year-old rocker will undergo a PET scan in February to determine if the treatment was successful.