TRIUMPH's RIK EMMETT To Release Long-Awaited 'Lay It On The Line' Memoir In October

March 8, 2023

TRIUMPH guitarist/vocalist Rik Emmett will release his long-awaited memoir, "Lay It On The Line - A Backstage Pass To Rock Star Adventure, Conflict And Triumph", on October 10 via ECW Press.

Asked in a new interview with "Etcetera With Kelly Barrett" if there's a deep level of vulnerability that goes into writing a memoir, Emmett said: "I never have much of a problem with being honest and being candid. I really didn't. I used to teach songwriters: 'Your job is to get naked and get on a high wire without a net. That's what you've gotta do. You have to put something of yourself at risk in the work that you do for your work to be able to speak emotionally to other people.

"A memoir, I must admit, it was a challenge; I had no idea how hard it was — it was really hard work," he continued. "Even in the eleventh hour, I had to have beta readers, like friends of mine. I had to have a lawyer go through some of the stuff — the TRIUMPH chapter and stuff — and I had a good friend of mine who had been a member of parliament who sort of understood about sticking your foot in your mouth. And I said, 'Can you just two of these chapters for me and make sure…?' … There were certain things where I had my wife read it, because I didn't wanna say something that she might go, 'How dare you say that about us?'

"I think I'm a fairly good judge of what might hurt people and what might be not diplomatically correct or proper, so that I can say what I wanna say but say it in a way that it doesn't do damage to others," Rik added. "If there's gonna be any damage, it'll be to me. And that's okay. I can take it."

A little over a year ago, Emmett was asked by Dr. Music how his memoir will compare to the band's documentary, "Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine", which was produced by Banger Films and directed by Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli. Rik said: "I think they're gonna get real Rik Emmett, so they're gonna get some truth that might hurt, or that they might go, 'Ooooh, shit. I didn't realize that he was like that. I didn't realize Rik was that kind of guy.' But I'm not afraid anymore to speak truth. What am I saving it for? [Laughs]"

He continued: "I was doing an interview the other day talking about the documentary. And the guy was saying, 'Oh, so we're gonna get a true insight.' And I go, well, let me make sure that you understand this. You're gonna get a documentary made by Banger Films, and that's essentially Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli. And those two guys, they know what they're doing — they've done plenty of these: RUSH and IRON MAIDEN and ZZ TOP and Alice Cooper, and you name 'em. But they're gonna tell a story. They know that, as a filmmaker, that's what they need to do — you need to sort of tie everything to a story. So the story of TRIUMPH is gonna be the story that they decide to tell. And it's gonna be based on whatever footage they have available and whatever they decide [the angle should be]: 'Ooh, Rik quit the band at its height,' and, 'The band disappeared overnight.' And I go, 'Well, that's not what it felt like to me. That's not my story.' And when my memoir comes out, there'll be an opportunity for me to tell more of my story as opposed to the one that's the TRIUMPH story that Banger Films is telling you in a rockumentary. Which is not to say that [the documentary is] not great — it is great — but it's their story. And my story isn't [drummer] Gil Moore's story, and my story isn't [bassist] Mike Levine's story, although there was a story that was the three of us."

Moore, Levine, and Emmett formed TRIUMPH in 1975, and their blend of heavy riff-rockers with progressive odysseys, peppered with thoughtful, inspiring lyrics and virtuosic guitar playing quickly made them a household name in Canada. Anthems like "Lay It On The Line", "Magic Power" and "Fight The Good Fight" broke them in the USA, and they amassed a legion of fiercely passionate fans. But, as a band that suddenly split at the zenith of their popularity, TRIUMPH missed out on an opportunity to say thank you to those loyal and devoted fans, a base that is still active today, three decades later.

After 20 years apart, Emmett, Levine and Moore 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.

Back in 2016, Moore and Levine reunited with Rik as special guests on the "RES 9" album from Emmett's band RESOLUTION9.

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