Nikki M. Mascali of TimesLeader.com recently conducted an interview with POISON frontman Bret Michaels. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On how it feels to thumb his nose at their hecklers who said they'd never last:
"We've gone a little bit beyond sort of that critical period — and POISON was never a big critics' darling. But we never expected to be either. After 20 years, even our harshest critics have to tip their hats and say, 'Man, they've been around, they're still giving a great show'…we just went out there and did what we loved to do."
On remaining a solid summertime touring unit in arenas and amphitheatres across the country since reuniting in 1999:
"We've been fortunate that as POISON we've always stayed in these types of venues, but I think sometimes it really depends on where the media is or where VH1 is on playing your videos. The second generation of fans is coming through, while many of the original POISON generation is starting to have kids, we've now bridged three generations — that's an awesome feeling."
On the fights between Michaels and guitarist C.C. DeVille:
"One of the greatest things that happened this year is that it's the first year that me and C.C. are about the closest we've ever been. Imagine being on a tour bus or being around each other every day for nearly 20 years. That's a pretty amazing thing that all original members all get along and still have fun on stage."
On C.C. hitting rock bottom last year, sentenced to serve 80 days in an L.A. jail for a fall 2005 D.U.I.:
"I think for him one of the best things to happen was one of the worst things that could happen. He went to L.A. County, to rehab and then did 'The Surreal Life' right after…he came clean kind of in the public's eye. He was lucky because he has a chance to redeem himself a lot of people get in that situation and never get out of it. C.C. got to see the light."
On Michaels being the target of two shooting incidents: one at a fan-related radio event in Massachusetts last November and the other in L.A. for a taping of the "Adam Carolla" show this past March:
"I don't want to glorify this idiot or make copycats, which is what happened in L.A. I was really upset — my family is out with me a lot of times — and I said a lot of things in the press that I probably shouldn't have."
On still touring with POISON's original members after twenty years:
"Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania, to do any of this is a dream come true. I vowed to never be one of those jaded, bitter musicians. It was always the dream to be around to make music for 20 years — and hopefully 30. You have to take it as a blessing because there were a lot of talented musicians who never got that chance."
On what keeps the band going in 2006:
"We are still passionate and excited about it as when we started. It's really hard for me to watch some big bands go [Michaels adopts a mock put-upon voice] 'Alright here's the set list, trudge through it, let's get paid and get home.' For us, it's just the opposite. The keyword is passion, not always perfect, but we're passionate."
On the possibility of a new POISON album:
"If I have my druthers, I would have it within the next year. I'm always pushing for new stuff, as you can tell by the solo records. I think it's imperative. I got into music to write music, to play music, to make albums and tour. Regardless of the state of radio, MTV or VH1, you still have to go out and make music, even if it is just for us."