RONNIE ATKINS Says 'Nothing Is Happening' With PRETTY MAIDS Right NowDecember 22, 2022
In a new interview with Dawn Osborne of TotalRock, PRETTY MAIDS singer Ronnie Atkins, who is battling stage four cancer, was asked if there are any plans for him to do anything again with the long-running Danish hard rock outfit. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Nothing. We haven't seen each other since 2019. And there are some issues within the band that haven't been [resolved]. So nothing is happening. Ken [Hammer, guitar] is doing some other projects. Everybody is doing their own things, kind of. I'm not saying we won't get back together one day. Maybe — I don't know. But time is not on our side. Let's see. It would need some talks — a band meeting and some talk — before we go on."
He added: "I'm a bit like 'I've been there, done that.' I mean, sometimes I miss it. On the other hand, I'm on with something else now, doing my own stuff. And I'm probably gonna do a new [solo] album at some point."
As for how he plans on spending the next few months, he said: "I don't really know what the plans are for 2023. Right now, it's really, really, really tough times for rock and roll. It's really tough setting up a tour, because a lot of people have told me recently that the gigs are not packed for bands of a certain level. And I think we're looking at a very difficult '23, not to be pessimistic."
Formed in early 1982 by Atkins and Hammer, PRETTY MAIDS' third album, 1987's "Future World", is still today regarded as a "classic."
During the ensuing years, PRETTY MAIDS continued to release albums usually followed by European and Japanese tours.
PRETTY MAIDS' latest album, "Undress Your Madness", came out in November 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.
This past July, Ronnie told Chaoszine that he is "living in intervals of three months — from scan to scan. You never know what's gonna happen," he explained. "I never know what they're gonna tell me next time I turn up. I feel okay now, but it can happen pretty fast sometimes. The red light's been flashing a couple of times. They didn't find anything. The last two years I've been cancer-free, so to speak. It's still there; I've got metastasis in my bones — it's spread to the bone now, which is very bad. But I had immunotherapy for two years, which is probably why I'm still here. Now I'm not getting any treatments. I'm just saying that the future is very unpredictable."
Atkins went on to say that he is battling "constant pain issues" but added, "I've got 20 pills a day to keep it under control. It's nerve damage from the surgery and all the radiation therapy. Everything comes with a price. But [at least] I'm alive."
Asked how long he thinks he can keep recording music and touring, Atkins said: "I'm happy every day I can open up my eyes. That's just the conditions of my life now. The cancer thing is totally a game changer, not just for me but for my family too. It's there 24-7 in your subconscious. But I feel good. It's not that I'm whining all the time or anything like that. I just go ahead and try to live my life as I used to, as much as I can. And that's it. It's not that I'm sitting [and saying], 'I've got half a year left.' I don't know how [long I have]. I'm not terminal. I just take it as it comes, really. That's all I can do."
He continued: "If you read the statistics, four or five percent [of the people with my type of cancer] are alive after five years. That's not really good. I'm on my third year now. So I try not to think about that. As I say, I take it as it comes."
Regarding how much of his daily thought process is occupied by his cancer battle, Ronnie said: "It's in your subconscious, 'cause you get reminded every day. Now I'm doing an interview with you, and we're talking about it. So I can never really let it go. I might meet somebody at the grocery store [and they ask you], 'Hey, how are you doing?' and stuff like that. You go on the Internet, and somebody died of cancer. You get constantly reminded about it. So that, of course… it's a bit of a dagger hanging above your head. But it is what is, and I can't change that. I'm alive."
After being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019, the now-58-year-old Atkins underwent at least 33 radiation and four chemotherapy treatments in the fall of that year before being declared cancer-free. In October 2020, he announced that his cancer had returned.
In a 2013 interview with Myglobalmind, Atkins joked that the secret to keeping his voice in shape was "twenty cigarettes a day and little drink now and then."
Ronnie's second solo album, "Make It Count", was released in March via Frontiers Music Srl.
Photo credit: Tallee Savage
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