VIXEN has announced less than a dozen tour dates for this summer and fall.
The only remaining member of VIXEN's "classic" lineup is drummer Roxy Petrucci. She is joined in the band by singer Lorraine Lewis, bassist Julia Lage and guitarist Britt Lightning (a.k.a. Brittany Denaro).
Jul. 26 - York, PA - York State Fair
Jul. 27 - Anapolos, MD - Rams Head Live
Jul. 28 - Vineland, NJ - Landis Theatre
Jul. 30 - Worcester, MA – Rascals
Aug. 11 - Three Forks, MT - Rockin The Rivers
Aug. 20 - Indianapolis, IN - Indiana State Fair
Aug. 21 - Gaitinburg, TN - Monsters On The Mountain
Oct. 22 - Las Vegas, NV - Fremont Street Experience
Oct. 29 - Nov 3 - Los Angeles, CA - Kiss Kruise
Last month, Lewis confirmed to SW Wall Interviews that she and her VIXEN bandmates are planning to release a new single soon. "I want people to understand: this is not an album release yet," she said. "We've decided that we're releasing singles. So that's what our plan is. Will there be a VIXEN album eventually? Of course there will be. But we've decided instead of taking all the time to really do things right, which would mean all of us being together probably in the same place for quite a while, and it's not really conducive for all of us… Even though myself, Julia and Britt, we're all in California. But I'm in Palm Springs now. It's only a 45-minute flight. But Roxy is in Michigan. So for us to really do a full record would mean us being locked away for a couple of month all together, and I would love to do that, but we don't really have that luxury. So instead, we are releasing singles. So my guess is within the next two months — I don't think it's gonna be longer than that — we're going to be bringing you, everyone a new VIXEN single. It's Fred Coury [CINDERELLA drummer] that is producing. And, yeah, it's gonna be really, really fun, and I can't wait for people to hear it. I laid my lead vocals down about two months ago, and I'm really happy with it. And Fred was really happy. Fred was really great to work with."
Asked if she and her VIXEN bandmates began working on new music relatively quickly after she officially joined the group in early 2019, Lorraine said: "Right away. I would say within six months we were in the studio. We were in a rehearsal studio in the Valley and we were working on ideas. And then Britt and I, during COVID, we were working together just on Zoom, at least trying, 'cause there's a weird feedback thing. But we wrote quite a few songs together. And so there's another song that we're hoping to get recorded very soon, and that is possibly going to be with [producer] Toby Wright. So we've got things cooking. But it didn't take long. When we were in the rehearsal studio together, working on music too, and this is when Share [Ross, longtime VIXEN bassist] was with us, [it was] just super natural. They'd lay down something and I would just come in with something over it and Share would add a vocal line and a melody line and words. And it was just easy peasy. We haven't had that luxury to do it with Julia yet, but I'm sure it will happen. And I know Julia is a prolific songwriter herself, so I think that we'll get some new music going with her as well."
Five months ago, Ross announced that she was "taking a hiatus" from VIXEN. Her replacement is Lage, formerly of the Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian rock group BARRA DE SAIA and wife of Richie Kotzen. Lage made her live debut with VIXEN on February 8 at the pre-Monsters Of Rock cruise concert at Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida.
When Ross made the news of her departure public at the aforementioned pre-Monsters Of Rock cruise concert, she told the crowd that "life got a little complicated" and that "something has to give," resulting to her decision to "step away from VIXEN for a while." She then introduced her "amazing" replacement and urged the VIXEN fans to "graciously" open their arms and welcome Lage to the group. At that point, Julia and her new bandmates launched into the track "Streets In Paradise" and played the last couple of songs of the set with Ross watching the proceedings from the side of the stage.
During a February 11 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Julia spoke about how she ended up hooking up with VIXEN, saying: "Share is taking a hiatus. She wants to do her thing [and focus on her real estate career]. She's kicking ass. She's gonna be writing and playing forever — I mean, she's a badass artist and bass player, singer, everything, songwriter. So I got the invitation, and I'm, like, 'Yeah, of course I'm gonna join. Of course.'"
Asked how the other members of VIXEN reached out to her about joining the band, Julia said: "Well, actually, funnily enough, before Britt joined VIXEN, me and her tried to put together a band, right when she moved to L.A. But that didn't work out, and then she joined VIXEN, and I was super happy for her. So, fast forward, she actually called me a few months ago and she told me about the scenario, and I was, like, 'Yeah. I would love [to do it]. I mean, it's an honor for me to join VIXEN.' So that happened. And that was it. It was that quick. And I was just, 'Okay. Sign me in. Where can I go?' [Laughs]"
Lage also reflected on her first performance with VIXEN at the pre-Monsters Of Rock cruise concert, saying: "[Share played] a little more than half of the set, and then [before] the last three songs, she stopped [the show] and talked about [her plans] a little bit and told everybody what's gonna happen and introduced me. And then I stepped in and played the last three songs with them. And then actually she came back for the last song and sang along with us. It was just very nice. I thought it was very emotional too. It was a good way to transition."
Pressed about whether her position with VIXEN is just a temporary one or she will join the band permanently, Julia said: "We didn't really discuss that, but [Share is] taking her time. She might come back; she might [not]. I don't know. Whenever they need me, I'm there for them. And I'm gonna do my best to honor her bass lines and everything. And I'm gonna be having with it, that's for sure."
In January 2019, VIXEN recruited Lewis as its new lead singer following the departure of Janet Gardner.
Lewis had already performed with VIXEN in March 2018 in Durant, Oklahoma while Gardner was recovering from surgery.
Prior to Lewis's addition to VIXEN, Petrucci, Ross and Denaro vowed to "expand upon the VIXEN legacy while remaining true to our musical roots."
Gardner, Petrucci and Ross are considered to be part of VIXEN's classic lineup, along with founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who died of cancer in October 2013.
Gardner contributed lead vocals to VIXEN's most commercially successful studio albums — "Vixen" (1988),"Rev It Up" (1990) and "Tangerine" (1998) — as well as the group's latest release, 2018's live album "Live Fire".
Photo credit: Mark Weiss