Bret Michaels Interview

What happens when glam rock meets heavy metal? The answer is Poison. Fast becoming a much talked about item in L.A. we talked with Poison's lead vocalist, Bret Michaels.

Q. With all the competition that exists in L.A. anions groups, how did you know that Poison would get noticed?
A. Because we're outrageous. We don't have the same influences as do L.A. bands. We have something different to offer L.A. in our songs, stage show and attitude. We brought $42.50 and a station wagon filled with equipment to L.A. That's it. We took what we could get and then some.

Q. You've said that in L.A.. people look for new bands coming up with talent and originality. I'm sure that many people, myself included, will notice that many of the bands coming out of L.A. have a tendency to look and sound alike. What's the story here?
A. So many bands are trying too hard to be the next Motley Crue or Ratt. Therefore, there's an abundance of heavy metal acts and they really offer nothing new. But. Poison is different. We actually smile, yes. smile on stage! We're havin' a great time and we want our audience to feel the same way. Sure we 'bang our heads' just like everyone else. But that's not the core of our act. as is other bands. 'Bang your Head' bands come a dime a dozen out here.

Q. Your drummer, Rikki Rockett, made the comment, "We want all types of people at our shows, no matter what they're into." How do you intend to do that? Not even Michael Jackson or Prince has managed that. The Beatles were probably the last group to pull something like that off.
A. You do it by taking a chance and playing with different types of bands. Prince has broken down the barriers. At his shows, you see age ranges of 5-60. White, black, Japanese people, punks, rockers, rastas, jocks. That's what Poison is trying to accomplish as well. When we started out, we only-got rock 'n roll types at our shows. But now, we've got punks and death rockers at our shows too. Hell, some kids even bring their moms to our shows! Why? Because, what it comes down to is that everyone goes away feeling good after they've seen Poison.

Q. In the beginning of your career. Poison was playing 3 sets a night, two copy and one original. Who came up with that idea you or the clubs?
A. The clubs. That's how it is back home (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Original material isn't wanted or accepted back East People expect to hear lots of cover songs. But, in L.A. people want original material.

Q. You guys have become the Number One draw at the Troubadour. What does that mean to a group, or do for a group?
A. It causes an air of success, a mystique to form around the band. Obviously, we're doing somethin' right!

Q. "Poison - Love us or hate us: You'll never forget us." That's what your ad says. Why is Poison unforgettable.
A. Because, there's no in-betweens with our band. Either people love us or hate us. We're anything but boring onstage. There's so much going on that the fans don't know where to look.

Q. What's Kim Fowley's involvement with Poison?
A. Fowley heard our demo tape and loved the songs. After working with him about a month, we simply parted ways.

Q. When Fowley says you're going to take abandoned cars onstage with you, is he just joking?
A. We'll take anything onstage that fits'

Q. What is the "right or refusal" deal you have with Atlantic Records? Why would a record company spend $5,000 to make a demo tape? What was wrong with the demo tape you already had?
A. They paid the money for the demo to see how we'd sound in the studio. They then had first right to sign our band, or refuse us.

Q. How did you meet your engineer. Jim Faraci?
A. Faraci came to a show and loved the band.

Q. Bret, what's ahead?
A. The world, or at least a decent percentage of it.

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