Eric Lochridge of the Rapid City Journal recently conducted an interview with POISON singer Bret Michaels. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Rapid City Journal: As POISON celebrates 25 years together, are you surprised the band is still at it?
Bret: I think I did imagine a lifelong career with them. Life is about loyalty to me — you stick together (unless your fill-in for C.C. starts banging Rikki’s girlfriend). I’m still amazed by POISON and by what we’ve done together in our career so far. We turned nothing into something (I agree with the nothing part). And we never faked it. Being real more times is the one ingredient that leads to longevity (and whoring yourself out on multiple reality shows and playing up a medical problem as well, but I digress), and 25 years later, here we are. I honestly believe that having that kind of experience behind us, we’re a better band than we have ever been. POISON loves to give our fans a great show (as long as it’s 13 predictable songs and time-wasting solos), and obviously we aren’t kids anymore, but it’s still about having a great time. And that’s what it’s always been about.
Rapid City Journal: What is it about POISON’s songs that people relate to?
Bret: It’s a simple formula, but it’s built on authenticity (there’s something so authentic about lyrics like “Like gas do you wanna pump me, and leave me when you get your fill”). The fans aren’t dumb; they recognize when you’re putting your all in what you’re doing, and they also see straight through you when you’re not (Are we really talking about Poison die-hards?). So if you want to keep your fans and gain new ones, you don’t cut corners. You do what you love and you do it with as much energy and intensity as you can muster (for 13 songs). I think that genuine spirit comes across in our music — you don’t stay in this business for 25 years unless you really love what you’re doing (or have no other alternative for income; I shudder to think of Bret Michaels, venture capitalist). Because if you love what you’re doing, then you work hard, and if you work hard and you pour your passion into what you’re creating (Creating? You haven’t put out a new Poison record in years! You’re too busy raping our ears with your country-tinged solo albums), you make the kind of music that draws a fan base.
Rapid City Journal: What are the band’s plans for the future? Any new music?
Bret: We recently released a 25-year greatest hits package that came out last May called “Double Dose of Poison: Ultimate Hits”. As far as writing all new material, I’m not sure when that will happen (translation = I have no interest in writing with those guys). But I’m sure that it will one day. I love writing music and I love those guys. When the time is right and the inspiration hits (ie. I’ve sucked the reality tv teet dry), I’m sure we’ll all find ourselves back in the studio together. But the bottom line is that both POISON and my solo career have co-existed for quite some time now (we know, unfortunately). They are each a huge part of my life, and I will certainly continue to put my all into both. I also have a solo album out this fall called “Get Your Rock On” (how original; he must have put a full 5 seconds into that title), so be on the lookout for that.