Tigman of the Q103 radio station in Albany, New York recently conducted an interview with POISON drummer Rikki Rockett. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band’s current co-headlining tour with DEF LEPPARD:
Rikki: “It’s been great, honestly. We get along with both TESLA and DEF LEPPARD really well. As far as that part of it goes, great. POISON itself, we’ve been getting along really well, too. It’s just all about the shows and the fans and making it happen out here. It’s been awesome.”
On THE SPECIAL GUESTS, the band that featured Rockett alongside fellow POISON members C.C. DeVille (guitars) and Bobby Dall (bass), plus vocalist Brandon Gibbs:
Rikki: “What it was, a couple of gigs came up that we got offered and Bret [Michaels, vocals] committed to some things and he tried to get out of it and it didn’t work. He went and did that and we just grabbed, I’ve been working with Brandon Gibbs for a long time because we’re both in DEVIL CITY ANGELS. Bobby likes him and C.C. likes him and I’m like ‘Look, maybe we can just do this and it might be fun.’ And so we did. And it was fun and it did work out. Nobody’s feelings were hurt, everything was fine.”
On being declared cancer-free after he was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015:
Rikki: “Believe me, that was a very scary part of my life. It still is a little bit, because the next doctor’s visit, you worry something is going to get sideways, but that’s something you live with, unfortunately. But yeah, I’m good to go now and I’m out here and feeling good. That hasn’t really gotten in the way, except it’s hard to swallow a little bit; I have saliva issues because it killed some of my salivary glands, some of that treatment, but outside of that, I’m good to go.”
On whether POISON is considering recording new music:
Rikki: “There has been some talk. It’s acting on it is always the key thing. [Laughs] I would love to do it. I’ve been wanting to do new stuff for quite a while. I’m always thinking about ‘Okay, what would we do?’ Throwing ideas out there and stuff like that. I hope, I really, really hope, that maybe in the fall that we could go in and at least cut a couple of songs. Even if it’s not a whole record, we could get out there and do a couple of things.”
On the origins of the POISON name:
Rikki: “Believe it or not, it was one of our road crew guys who spit it out. But it was with another name, like, it was ‘POISON something’ he said and we wrote it down and nixed all these other names and went back and said, ‘What if it’s just POISON and not ‘POISON anything else’?’ I forget what it was, what the extra word was that we threw in there. So we wound up shortening it to ‘POISON‘ and went, ‘You know what? No one else has done it.’ And I love one-word band names. They’re easy to remember.”
On whether groupies still hang around the band:
Rikki: “We’re lucky enough to have that floating around us, yes.”
On whether Rockett is still involved with animal rights organizations:
Rikki: “I do lots of stuff. I’m on the board of the directors for Last Chance For Animals. I’m still involved. As a matter of fact, we were just at a place that still had elephants in a circus and I photographed some of the people that were protesting it, which I thought was good because they really need to get animals out of entertainment, that type of entertainment. There’s other ways to do it. It’s an old idea anyway and we’re past it. We’ve figured that out a while ago; those animals are worked to death. They go from one circus to another. They’re just on those trucks and they travel for hundreds of miles. They go psycho. They’re sitting their shaking their heads back and forth, that’s because they’re going crazy. That’s a sign of it. They should be in the wild, just loving their life.”
On whether POISON is worthy of a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination:
Rikki: “I think we are, but I’m biased. [Laughs] Listen, honestly, I think the criteria for that is longevity, having lots of songs that have impacted people, which I think [we have] both of those things, and also a social impact. I think we have all three of those qualifications. So, really, I do. I think we should [go in there], for the sake of our genre.”
POISON‘s last album of new material was 2002’s “Hollyweird”. Back in 2007, they released “Poison’d”, an album of covers.
POISON kicked off its North American tour with DEF LEPPARD on April 8 at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The trek will wrap on June 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
POISON and DEF LEPPARD first hit the road together back in 2009, and then again three years later.