Interview date

November 2006


Yann G


Hi Angry, thanks a lot for accepting this interview for the french metal webzine http://www.auxportesdumetal.com/

It's a pleasure !

You are here in Paris to promote your next album that will be released in the beginning of 2007.
Can you please tell us more about this album ?

It will be released in the first week of February, possibly called "Once In A Lifetime". We recorded 15 tracks, we put 11 on.
We kept 4 off because they didn't sound like the actual feeling. The 4 songs were either not ready, a little bit "green".
2 of them sound like... they sould be on the next album.

This album is going back to the early days, very bluesy... Yes, a bit more... really grooves with good blues riffs

Which kind of lyrics did you develop on it ?

It's the same sort of things one album to the other. It's always about my approach to how I see things. So, in that way, it's running about the same kind of things. So it's running about the same motivations. But this album has got a little bit of variations on it.
One song is "Creeper", it's about serial killers. "Man About Ten" is like one of the boys, it's a boy song about paying games and about to be a teenage boy.
The track "All Sweet Be" which is about sex. But it's about from when you're young, you think that young girls are great because they go crazy. But when you're getting older, you think that all girls are great because they really know what they do.
There's a song with Dai which is about gangster. Dai is the slide guitarist who replaced Pete. We've known him for years, so that was natural we wanted someone in the band that we knew. He came into the band easy.

How would you compare Dai's guitar playing style to Pete's one ?

Pete really liked Dai as a player because, as a slide player, he doesn't play anything like Pete. Which is important because you can't replace someone with such a distinctive playing.
Quite naturally, Pete's will was "Let's take someone who's a very good player, but different". So when he comes in, the band shifted a bit, a little bit with a different sound, a little bit with a different approach and he really suits playing with Mick. Because Mick was at the beginning so the way he plays is just like we started.

Is this new album fully recorded with the new line-up ? I.e. Pete never plays on it ?

No, no. We didn't want any Pete's music on the album because it's too soon. Maybe later... There are some songs that we were writing with Pete from the last album "Pain", maybe later we'll put it as a special EP of just some songs that Pete seemed playing. With the computers we can make a proper song.
But that would be more as a Tribute, because this new album is not a Tribute, this album is our first album with this band.

Your latest EP "Black Eyed Bruiser" contains tracks recorded in Australia at the Pete Wells Benefit concert.
Can you please tell us more about this very special event ?

Three live tracks are from the Pete's benefit concert. We did one a cupple of weeks later and Pete came and played and that was better but we encountered a problem in the recording so it wasn't good enough to use. That would have been better on that EP because he played and that was really good, really ! It just fucked up that we couldn't get it, it was really disappointing for us. But that was from his benefit so he was there, he was actually there, that makes it more real for us.

Do you plan to release one day the full Pete's benefit concert in CD or DVD ?

The whole concert was great because there were so many different acts. It's very difficult to negociate with that many people.
What we wanted is to do it to put that in a DVD and a CD and give all the money to the fund that looks after the musicians and their family if they get sick or have an accident who can't work and who can have an income.
Pete said to me : "You know I support this and I try to make people aware". Pete wanted us to do a public campaign against prostate. I said "Yeah, that's OK we'll do that". We'll make some ads for a community service free, we don't pay for the ads on television.
We give the ads to the television stations and they play it whenever they like. But every year I go and work with the cancer fundation to do on newspaper, on TV, cancer wareness.

Can you please tell us more about the recording process. Do you start by writing the lyrics and then the music ? How do you proceed ?

Whenever I was with Mick I always wrote the lyrics. We wrote 8 of the 11 songs, I wrote 10 lyrics. One of the tune was Steve's original idea but Mick worked on that with him.
And one song with the new guitar player Dai and he wrote that song, music and lyrics.
But sometimes you have a tune, you have a melody so you follow the lyrics, you have an idea of what the song would be about.

Very few bands keep playing raw hard rock n' roll today. Today the trend is more the speed, symphonic, progressive, and neo/core metal. What do you think of / do you like these new generations of metal ?

It's important that rock n' roll is a very clearly defined area. What I call rock n' roll now is not so much about the kind of music, it's the scene.
Some people say "Metal it's rock n'roll". But it's not rock n' roll, real rock n' roll is a certain tempo, a certain feeling, it has to swing like 50s rock n' roll.
But music as a popular genre is rock n' roll. Different kinds of music can fit into that style. But it's important that from each generation that group of young people just coming up find their own music.
It doesn't matter how many different variations or different styles there are, there must be like 18 different metals : death-metal, live-metal, dark-metal.... whatever, it doesn't matter because it's just the music form growing and evolving into something that does this but it grows into something else.

Did you listen to the latest Thunder LP called "Robert Johnson's Tombstone", it's real fuckin' hard rock n'roll ?

No but I will !

Let's now talk about your experience with Guns N' Roses with whom you toured in 1993.
Do you still keep contacts with the original line-up of GN'R ? Did you see the new formation live ?

No... we did for a while in particular with Slash and Duff but they're gone. But personally I think that they just let them go.

Did you see the new formation live ?

No, unfortunately but Steven King, the bass player, saw them live and he said it was really good, he enjoyed !

Are you proud that they cover Rose Tattoo's "Nice Boys" song ?

Yes but lots of other bands covered this song too and they've done gone good versions. There's a swedish band, I can't remember the name, did a fuckin' really good version !

Let's talk about your next tour.
Can you please tell us more about the planning and the places you'll visit ?

We'll come back to Europe at the beginning of March. The first gig is the 3rd and the last gig is 28th or 29th April.
So we're here about 8 weeks. And we'll go home for touring, to do some more writing for the next album.
And we'll come back mid-July of next year for festivals. We're also talking about touring in America.

Your latest concert in France was last year. What do you think of the french metal audience ?

Well... I wish the girls to be more friendly. They always stand in the front but later they go :-)
Very enthusiastic, yeah, very very enthusiastic ...

You started the Tatts in 1976

In 1975 ... but in 1976 we started to play.

Rose Tattoo was a mythic band in the 80s. After this long absence, you play in small clubs in Europe. Aren't you afraid to have lost a part of your audience ?

We don't really think about this in these terms. In 1984 in America we decided that we wouldn't go back to America and that what's we really wanted to do. The management and the record company said us "You must come back to America".

Why did you refuse this ? Was it politic ?

Lots of different things. It's not what we wanted to do as a band. We thought that all we had to do is to play the music.
But in the United States it's different, the music's not the most important thing. They told us that we had to write to right kinds of songs and we didn't want to write the right kinds of songs.
Also we didn't want to make the right kinds of videos, also we didn't wand to look the right kind of way.
So we said: SORRY NO!!! They said us : AC/DC did... we replied "We're not AC/DC". They said us : The Rolling Stones did....
But if you don't like what we are, we don't care.

Rose Tattoo started in the 1976. At this time, hard-rock bands didn't care of anything, addiction to alcohol and drugs was very common.
Do you think that new bands in 2006 are less addicted and more serious ?

Yes, I think it's smarter these days. I think it changed hopefully.
You know, you can't do that year after year after year. It just kills you slowly and that what was happening to us, we just needed to have a rest.
Imagine you come back to America and you tour 6-8 months of the year, it would have killed us. Probably me first.

In which year did you stop the addictions ?

In 1984 we went back to Australia and we said "That's enough".
Today we have families and that's just easy.

What would you say to the french metal audience to convince them to buy your new album and to come to your next tour ?

It's not up to me to convince. The music speaks to people. If they hear what the music says then buy it. If they don't hear what the music says then don't buy it.
Really simple, it's like to MTV, it's nothing to do with music, it's package.
I was watching MTV the other night and there was music (because when you come to Europe, you can watch CNN :-((((, ABC :-((((, and MTV).
Then the music stops, there was the show about this young american guy who must choose between 3 girls. This is fucked ! These people are fucked !
It's like he goes there with the 3 of them to pick one as his girlfriend and this is on television. Can you understand how fucked it is ?? That is really, really, really fucked !
These people are fucked !!

MTV is like my three sons : 14-16-19 years old. All in the rap, hip-hop.
My oldest boy is a rap singer, he's very good and he's a good performer and a fuckin' great drummer but he's lazy.
There's a cupple of artists who're actually clever with the music, also clever with the lyrics. The rest of them it's just package ! They're all doing the same thing.

Aren't you sad that there's no more place for heavy metal on TV ?

There remains maybe 1 or 2 hours once a week on australian TV and night. They play a lot of neo-metal but also a lot of old stuff too : Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin ...
Hopefully they play old stuff, something's that not rap... my youngest boy loves the drummer of the rap band 182. I said him it's shit, girls play better than that ! But my boy loves the Tatts :-)) !

As you talked about girls, my last question will be a politic question : in France, a woman seems to be the favorite to be the next president of France.
How do you react to this ?

I think it's time for women to become leaders. I don't think women will any worst job as men did. Margareth Thatcher was a nightmare ! OK that's one thing. I should have flogged her in the street. I wasn't aware a woman could be president in France ? Is she socialist ? Is she married ? Does she have children ?

Yes, she's socialist, not married but with children....(Big silence...) You look doubtfully ??

I don't think it would be a bad thing for America if Hillary Clinton presents herself because we must remember that all presidents lie, even the good ones, they have to.
I think it would be good for America if Hillary Clinton became president because after George Bush and Ronald Reagan I mean get fucked !
I think that naturally women in the future will be leaders.

Thanks a lot Angry for having taken all this time this interview.