The Buffalo News recently conducted an interview with POISON frontman Bret Michaels. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Q: Congratulations of the birth of [daughter] Jorja. How is everything with her?
Bret Michaels: "Thank you. She is beautiful, she is healthy and obviously with me being diabetic that was the first thing we checked and so far everything is great and she’s just being a baby and totally healthy and that's a good feeling."
Q: How is your first born daughter Raine doing and how is she handling having a new sister?
Bret Michaels: "Raine is actually handling it really good and for this reason, I involve her in everything I do with Jorja so she doesn't have the jealousy factor going on. In other words, if you push one kid away the other one feels left out. She's just been so good with Jorja, so far so good."
Q: The one question that POISON and Bret Michaels fans are wanting to know is why the change from metal to country with your new solo record?
Bret Michaels: "The first thing to address is that it's not really a change, it's not that big of a departure from what I did on 'Songs of Life', my first solo record. Obviously I'm a huge rock fanatic that also loves country music. I grew up listening to country with my father when I was young. If you listen to any of the POISON songs, you hear those influences. This album is not a country album, this is a rock record with what I consider some good, contemporary southern rock and country songs on it. So it's not like all of a sudden your going to pick it up and say, 'Wait a minute, he never played any of this stuff before.' 'Open Road' is not that much different than 'Fallen Angel' and 'All I Ever Needed' is not that much different from 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'. It's really not that big of a departure."
Q: Now you say you’re a rock fanatic and in 2004 you guys went on tour with one of your personal favorites, KISS. Did it exceed it your expectations?
Bret Michaels: "Let me tell you, on two levels. I been friends with Gene and Paul for a pretty long time and obviously I love KISS and here is what's great about it. Not only did they treat us great, as a band they treated us great, they were very respectful but what was also cool about it, to me, they were great to my little girl Raine, I had her out with me on the road for a couple of shows and they treated her great. I have the best picture of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons picking her up and walking around with her in full makeup, and she has a KISS 'Destroyer' shirt and Gene and her are looking at each other and they both have their tongues out and the metal hands up. So on a personal level and a professional level it was great. But the most important thing, when POISON finished our set there wasn't one night I missed, I went up and watched KISS play every night and I was thinking, I would be paying to do this if I wasn't doing this. How many people can say that they get paid for watching their favorite band play?"
Q: What was your initial reaction when you heard about the murder of Dimebag Darrell from PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN?
Bret Michaels: "Actually I was extremely close to Vinnie [Paul, Darrell's brother]. It was pretty devastating for me. What kills you was that it was such a waste. What an idiotic stupid thing. Now it scares people to have backstage parties and do stuff. It was such a waste."
Q: What's the future for POISON? Next year will be your 20th anniversary for POISON right?
Bret Michaels: "Yeah, let me put it this way. I'm someone that loves to play the hits, you have to always play the hits but I also want to continue to write new material. And next year Capitol Records is going to release a huge box set with all of our stuff from 1986 to 2006 and a bunch of stuff that has never been heard or seen before and we're going to go out and have a great 20th anniversary tour. I always want to state this to POISON fans: in no way, shape or form do I ever want to leave the band. I love doing solo stuff but I can do both and make both work. This summer of 2005 we decided that all four of us need a break and to come out with our 20th and do something special."
Q: What are your thoughts on downloading from the Internet? Are you for it or against it?
Bret Michaels: "I'm mixed. Here's my feeling. As an artist, I feel we owe the fans at least the ability to download a couple things for free. To hear a couple of the songs, check out the record before they buy it. But on the flipside, I think that if the fans like what they hear they should go out and pay a reasonable price for the record. With me at BretMichaels.com, I try to give say here's a video, here's a song, here's some clips. I surely don’t want them to buy it, go home and say, 'Hey this sucks.' I want them to know what they will be getting."
Q: POISON was bigger then most "hair bands" of the time obviously, how do you think you guys achieved this and how do you think you stood out more then any other glam band of the time?
Bret Michaels: "No matter what happened with our band, we were always passionate when we hit the stage. In other words we had plenty of train wrecks off the stage but when we hit that stage we were passionate and gave it everything he had. Number two, I think we had good solid songs. Without good songs, it doesn't matter if you're NIRVANA, METALLICA or POISON, no one is going to come and see you. We have passion for what we do and had a great stage show. And I think most importantly, no one could quite put their finger on POISON. We were a glam band but we were really, really great to the fans."