by Lexa Vonn
Lexa Vonn: It’s so great to have you back in the states. Just to clear up any rumors, what was the official reason you weren’t able to play here for so long?
Michael Monroe: Thanks! It’s great to be back in the States. The reason I didn’t play there for so long was not up to me. As it turned out, one of the members of Hanoi Rocks could not get into the country and that’s why we could never play there with the new Hanoi.
LV: Have you been in touch with Sami this whole time or were you reunited?
MM: Yes. We’re like brothers.
LV How did your current line-up come together?
MM: Sami and me hooked up last summer, when he visited Finland with the New York Dolls. We started talking about working together again and started e-mailing song ideas back and forth and did that throughout the fall. I also hooked up with Ginger around the same time and we worked on a couple of song ideas. Then in early December Ginger approached me about joining the band and me and Sami agreed that it was a great idea. The rest is history.
LV: Any chance of a Hanoi reunion tour/new album?
MM: No chance. Not anymore.
LV: Do you have any other projects in the works after this tour ends?
MM: No, only this one.
LV: How was it to play at a venue so close to where Razzle passed away?
MM: The thought of it felt a bit heavy at first, but then we ended up dedicating the show to Razzles memory and it was a positive thing after all.
LV: Do you think there is something cosmic with the date, December 8th? (Also the date of John Lennon’s assassination and the gunning down of Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell)
MM: It certainly seems to be a heavy date…
LV: You’re so energetic onstage, where does all the energy come from? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
MM: From the joy of Rock’n’Roll. Also, probably some frustrations and stuff from over the years get turned into positive energy on stage.
LV: You look amazing as ever. How do you keep in shape?
MM: Thank you very much! I guess the answer is discipline.
LV: Have you ever had a mishap with your onstage acrobatics?
MM: Sure. I’ve broken my right ankle twice and sprained the left one really badly once. I always get a bunch of cuts and bruises during the shows.
LV: Where do you currently live?
MM: in the city of Turku, Finland.
LV: What are your favorite cities to visit in the US and what do you like to do when you are here?
MM: I love New York the best, LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston etc. I love it everywhere in the States. Mostly I love to play shows while I’m there.
LV: Hanoi Rocks made a lot of references to Vietnam and Asian culture, what’s the connection?
MM: We were kind of fascinated by the Asian culture, I especially love Japan. Also we wanted to create imagery to go with the name, of course.
LV: In my opinion, Hanoi is one of the most underrated bands of all time in America. I think it is very ironic because so many of our legendary rock bands were obviously influenced by you (Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, etc) Why do you think you had so much more success overseas than here?
MM: Thanks. I think it’s probably because we never got to play that much in the States, due to the circumstances.
LV: What bands are you listening to right now? Are there any new artists that you enjoy?
MM: I love Cheap Tricks new album and lot of my old favorites are still doing great, like Alice Cooper, Warrior Soul etc. Out of newer big bands I like The Foo Fighters, Linkin Park and stuff.
LV: Did you ever think of writing an autobiography?
MM: I’m actually working on one as we speak, slowly but surely.
LV: What do you feel is your all-time greatest accomplishment?
MM: Maintaining my integrity throughout the years.
LV: Did you ever think in the early days that you’d still be playing and have so many avid fans today?
MM: Well, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and I feel lucky for still being able to do this and especially for still having so many fans around the world.
LV: Besides music, how do you spend your free time? Hobbies? Other forms of art?
MM: I like to spend quiet time at home with my wife and cat, take long walks and stuff like that.
LV: Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
MM: I want to sincerely thank all my fans for their continuing support and loyalty. Stay with me – you won’t be disappointed!
Lots of Love, Peace, Rock and Respect to all.
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