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
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
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
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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