Susie Hatton Interview
(“Body and Soul.”)

Imagine your debut album being produced by Bret Michaels (lead singer of "Poison"), released by Giant/ Poorboy/Reprise Records (distributed by Warner Bros.); and being managed by HK management, one of the most prestigious management companies in Los Angeles.
Susie Hatton doesn't have to imagine, for her it's all come true. Susie's debut album is titled “Body and Soul.”

Q - Susie, before I talk about your career, I have to ask you, has Poison broken up? Is Bret Michaels seriously ill and in the hospital? We keep hearing rumors, and Poison did cancel a show here.
A - Neither one is true. You know Poison has been out on the road since last August. And, what happened, starting in the Spring time, around March I think, was the first time Bret had a little trouble. He had gotten bronchitis, and played the shows any¬way, and what that led to was, he blew out one of his vocal chords. So, they had to come back to L.A. and he had to have treatment for it. He had about 2 weeks off. Then they started back-up again. And then in June, he had another problem, and he had to come back for another treatment. So, the doctor said, take another week off. So, they pushed those shows back. Everything was fine. He took his week off. Saturday night they were supposed to fly to Boston, and pick up the tour. They were going to start in Iceland, and finish the summer tour in the States. And, Saturday night before they left, Bobby Dall broke his left hand (laughs). And, they had to end up cancelling the rest of the summer tour. There wasn't that much of it left. There were three or four weeks left, and they would've completed a year. Ironically, Bobby broke his hand, and Bret was better. Bobby couldn't play for six to eight weeks. They just decided to wrap it up and pick it up next spring and start over again. That is the God's honest truth. He's perfect, and everything's fine.

Q - What is Poorboy Records? Is that your own label?
A - 0. K. I don't know if you know the situation as far as my album, and how I got signed. When I first started writing with Bret, he wrote maybe four or five songs and I started working from there, on the melody line. Eventually, over the course of nine, ten months we had thirteen songs. And, at first when we tried to get those songs signed, no one was interested. So, that blows the whole theory about being Bret's girlfriend getting a record deal, and all that stuff. I felt real good about the songs. It was my first time to ever write with someone like Bret. Bret felt good, and Howard (Kaufman) who manages me is real, real supportive, so we decided to go ahead without an official record deal, and do the album. Howard was gonna finance it, and so Bret started a record co. just so I would have a name on the album, in case we'd get signed when we were done. Anyway, we used Poorboy. After the album was done, we shopped it again, and right then Irving Azhoff who owned Giant Records, had opened his label, so we signed with them. So, that's why it has four different names under it. It's like Poorboy/Giant/ Reprise. Since Reprise is part of Warner Bros, that's why Warners is distributing. So, that's kind of the story.

Q - You really want to get out on the road. How do things look for you?
A - The tour starts October 1st. We just found out last week. We're gonna start, and this isn't official, probably in Northern Ohio and we'll work our way through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, up the east coast. Tentatively, it's a month and a half. If we get out there, and a buzz starts, we'll certainly start booking more dates than that. We'll stay out for sure. I'm real excited. We start rehearsals September 9th.

Q - What type of venues will you be playing?
A - I'm definitely gonna play the clubs. Now whether someone is gonna headline or come behind us, we don't know yet. That's still not settled.

Q - What kind of reaction are you getting from the songs on the album?
A - It's really weird for me to actually read a letter, where a kid says "Oh, Susie, I love this song. This song is just my favorite and I play this one when I broke up with my boyfriend." That means a lot. When you read that, it really sets you back, and you realize that's what's important - the kids. So, I've gotten such support from the ones I have so far, and hopefully the list will grow, through their friends and word of mouth. I think I'm more anxious than anything to meet all the kids in these different areas, face-to-face. Be able to play for them.

Q - In your hometown of Middletown, Ohio, were you a part of the local music scene?
A - Not at all, I had friends that I grew up with and went to high school with, and we played together. But, we never really had a band that actually went into a club and played.

Q - So, you'd rehearse in a basement?
A - Yeah, actually my dad had an old, old P.A. system, like he had, I don't even know what kind of an amp it was. This amp was like white wood. We used to hang out downstairs, and play. I never actually went into a club and played, or did that kind of scene. When I got out of high school I went straight to college, wasted a couple of years there, and then I was gone.

Q - Why do you think Bret asked you to write songs with him? What came out in that conversation?
A -1 think it was the fact that we had a lot in common. We did like a lot of the same music. I think it took him off guard that a lot of my favorite songs were old Lynyrd Skynyrd Songs, old Elton John songs.

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