Michael Monroe: Style and integrity

This Finn truly embodies the Rock’n’Roll spirit and is an inspiration for many, definitely not only Hairspray Rock Fans. After the break-up of Hanoi Rocks in April 2009, former singer Michael Monroe gets back in business with a new Solo project, which gave a first impression with the record „Another Night in the Sun – Live in Helsinki“. This Rock Scene bird of paradise found some time to answer our questions – in a nutshell – via e-mail during the recordings of the new studio record in LA.

Hi Michael, how are you doing?
– Hi! I’m doing pretty good.

How about your ribs – everything healed? (STALKER was deeply impressed by your performance despite your injuries at Ankkarock)
– Thanks, the ribs are healing – slowly but surely.

How do you keep in such incredible good shape? Hours in the Gym? Joga? Zumba 🙂 ?
– I do exercise almost everyday normally, though recently I haven’t been able to, because of the broken ribs. I’m getting back into it now, though.

You are in LA, at the moment, recording your new album; can you tell us something about your new record? What can your fans expect?
– A great Rock’n’Roll record with a lot of strong songs with very good lyrics.

On your upcoming record there will be a song together with Lemmy of Motörhead, why did you choose him to join you on this song? How and when did you 2 meet, have you been working together before?
– Lemmy is a legend and a hero and it’s an honour and a privilege to work with him in any capacity. We met in the early 80’s in London – Stiv Bators introduced us to each other. I did sing backing vocals on Lemmy’s song “Born To Raise Hell” back in the day.

You lived many years in USA and came back to Finland, what do you like most on both countries?
– They’re very different, but both have their good points.

In which aspects Finland has changed, in your opinion? Many call it the “European capitol of Metal Music”, would you agree?
– Finland has certainly become more “international” and musically active around the world.

Is it in your opinion nowadays easier for bands than back then when you started?
– I don’t know, it depends on the band and its situation. Some are lucky, some are not.

You have a unique style in your clothes, where do you get that from and where you get the inspiration for your new outfits?
– I just wear what I think looks good, without caring about fashions or trends.

For many young bands YOU are the big influence – in terms of music, performance style, outfit etc, and now it seems there´s another Glam Rock/Rock´n`Roll wave heavily rolling, just considering this year´s Ankkarock billing. Are you proud of that, or rather feel annoyed?
– I don’t think it really affects me that much one way or the other, whatever the current trend may be.

What advice would you give those young acts for their careers? What are the traps they should avoid?
– Stay true to yourself and don’t make compromises for the wrong reasons.

Is there anything else you enjoy doing a lot, besides making music?
– Relaxing during my spare time.

Was there a time in the past you actually considered another career than living+breathing Rock´n´Roll? Or a time you were so fed up with it all that you “wanna quit+become a Monk in Tibet” or something?
– No.

Hanoi Rocks decided to go separate ways in April 2009, how did it come to this decision?
– The band had been taken as far as it could go and it was time to lay it to rest for good.

With Hanoi Rocks you played 8 final shows in 6 days at Tavastia Club Helsinki, which all where sold out. How did you feel about this much support?
– It was a great way to finish it in style and with integrity.

What can we expect from Michael Monroe within the next year? Are you planning a European tour?
– A great new album and some great shows – yes, in Europe too.

You look back on 30 years in rock business, are there things you regret and that you would change if you could?
– Of course there are things I might do differently, but there’s no point regretting, as I didn’t know any better back then.

What is the best memory you have from these 30 years in the Rock scene?
– Just knowing that I’ve maintained my integrity throughout the years, without compromising.

Final question – do you have a funny tour story, a bizarre incident in your career?
– My whole career has been pretty bizarre in many ways at times, but no particular story or incident comes to mind right now, sorry!

Thank you very much for your time and for the Interview, we wish you all the best and another 30 years in business.
Thank you kindly! All the very best, Michael Monroe


Sandy Mahrer

Fresh Act editor, reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Pop-Rock etc. Less Death, Black, Grind Core