As Sweden Rock has finished for another year, I can now reflect on the amazing time I had watching the variety of live music that was offered. This was my third year at Sweden Rock. This time around I was unable to find the time to do any interviews because I got the chance to photograph over 20 bands from the photo pit. This kept me busy along with enjoying many of the performances offered to over 35,000 fans. With the successful images of Madam X, I was able to capture at Sweden Rock 2018, I reached out to Maxine Petrucci to share my photos and see about setting up an interview.
I would like to thank Maxine for taking the time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions as we get to know Maxine in and out of Madam X.
Interview with MAXINE PETRUCCI:
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin – In 2014 after 25 years you got together with your original band mates and played at Sweden Rock Festival. How was this experience playing Madam X songs in front of over 12,000 fans after all the years gone by?
Maxine Petrucci – It started off with Roxy suggesting we record a single with the all original members (Bret Kaiser lead vocals, Chris ‘Godzilla‘ Doliber bass, Roxy Petrucci drums, Maxine Petrucci guitar) of Madam X to please our fans in Europe where Roxy would encounter at all the Meet and Greets when she toured there with Vixen. When I posted on Facebook that we were releasing a single, Johannes Lindström from SRF asked us if we would play SRF 2014. One thing led into another from a single to a full album to more shows and SRF 2018. (For a brief review of the set at SRF see: Decibel Geek in Sweden 2014)
Animalize – Since that show you have played on a couple of Monsters of Rock Cruises. A much different experience than a big festival. How did you enjoy playing on the cruises?
Maxine – It’s a blast playing on the MORC cruises. We play more than 1 show and there are other activities like participating in the cooking shows, jams, etc. We’re all one on one with our fans too. It’s so much fun and everybody is excited and happy during whole cruise. Love being on the cruises. (Madam X was named #2 show of the cruise by one of team Decibel Geek: MORC East 2016 Wrap-Up)
Animalize – I saw you play on the 2016 cruise and most recently Sweden Rock 2018. Have you played many live shows since the reunion in 2014?
Maxine – We play mostly one offs. The ideal situation would be to be asked to tour with another major band.
Animalize – In 2017 you released your latest album Monstrocity. Can you tell us about the recording of the album and the idea of the title and songs?
Maxine – We wanted to record an album that is truly who we were then and definitely are now. We were always a metal/hard rock band. When we were signed by Jet/CBS records in 1984, they wanted us to write more “cute” and appeal to younger teenagers. We were forced to do so by our Manager Don Arden (Sharon Osbourne’s dad). He thought we looked younger then our years and would appeal to preteens. We were all signed to him individually and had to do what they wanted or go home. We figured do what they want and then evolve to what we really want to record by the 2nd album. That never happened. Jet went under and we were let go. So here we are over 30 years later finally putting out our 2nd album. We are larger than life and we are a force like no other. We are Monstrocity! All the songs on the album tie in our “Resurrection” and the “Rise” of Madam X cuz we are “Die Trying” to deliver our “Nitrous” and other “Good Stuff” to our fans. With us the “Big Rock Rolls Heavy”!!!
Animalize – When it comes to the writing and music, who takes care of coming up with the ideas or is this a group effort?
Maxine – We are a group effort. The fact that we live far apart made it more difficult. We were sending ideas back and forth to each other. Sending files back and forth until everything was where we needed it to be. Bret would fly in from Phoenix to record when he could. It was lots of intense hard work, but we did it.
Animalize – Tell us about Maxine. You did release three solo albums in the past, but are you involved in any other solo efforts or groups at this time?
Maxine – I released 3 solo albums 1. Titania, 2. Don’t Hate Me, 3. Back to the Garden. They were recorded from 2005 through 2013 and are available through Cd Baby and all digital outlets. Roxy and I also have a side project ‘ VIP Aftershow ‘. We released two songs with Mark Slaughter on vocals and Mike Pisculli on bass. The tracks are titled “Kilmister” and “Full Metal Jacket”. It’s also available through all digital downloads and EMPMERCH.COM. Our new MadamX Monstrocity is available through all digital outlets and EMP LABEL GROUP.
Animalize – With your solo releases, what were you up to in the years leading up to Madam X reunited? Did you tour as a solo artist or only release material?
Maxine – My Solo band did shows here in the Detroit Metro area. We opened also for bands like Sebastian Bach, Doro Pesch, Dio Disciples etc. Currently working on a single to release in the near future. I have a couple of videos on YouTube “Assassinate” and “Lost Girls”.
Animalize – You and your sister Roxy started this band in 1982. How was it working with your sister and going out on the road together as a band back in the beginning?
Maxine – It’s all I know now. Can’t imagine it any other way. We have been through ups and downs and changes in between but that’s what it took to learn and experience to come together and write a great album like Monstrocity and the VIP Aftershow songs and the new monster songs we are currently writing together. We’re very lucky to be together playing and writing songs at this point in our lives.
Animalize – What is next for Madam X?
Maxine – Working on a new video and more future shows.
Animalize – Do you have a favorite show (location) you have played or one that really stands out?
Maxine – I’ve always loved doing outdoor festivals. SRF is my favorite. It’s the best outdoor festival in the world and we are so honored they invited us twice.
Animalize – I will always remember my first concert. Dio in 1985 had me hooked on live music. Who was the first artist you saw live?
Maxine – It was a band from England called Gentle Giant. My brother Remo took me with him to their concert. I couldn’t believe how outrageously talented they were. Unreal and definitely ahead of their time.
Animalize – With so many musicians that have left us in recent years, is there someone or a band that you wish you would have seen live?
Maxine – I would have loved to have seen Pantera live. I met them back in the 80’s when we had Sebastian lead singing. We were playing Texas and Pantera were right upfront digging and getting into us. They played a tape of Cowboys From Hell for the guys in our band. Never saw Queen live either. Would have loved that.
Animalize – What and where was your first concert you played?
Maxine – Was with Roxy and my all girl band Pantagruel back in late 70’s at The Michigan Star Fair. It was an all girl rock band with two other sisters Denise and Laura LaTourelle. We were great.
Animalize – Any awkward moments on stage that you hope no one was videoing? I have heard many interesting stories with this question from other bands.
Maxine – When I punched Roxy on stage for calling out a mistake I did in a Black Sabbath cover we were playing back in the early Madam X touring days before we were signed. Another was pushing Sebastian off stage when he took out a piece of my chin on my new Hammer Head guitar that was specially made for me. It took two years to get that custom guitar. Anyways that what makes rock what it is.
Thanks for the interview and I hope everyone checks out our latest Madam X CD and album release of Monstrocity.
Also available through all digital outlets.