POISON frontman Bret Michaels has told the Lancaseter Eagle-Gazette that the band is still together, despite the fact that is focusing on his solo career.
“We have never broken up, even though we all go on and do other things,” he said. “We are brothers. Next year will be the [32nd] anniversary and I’m sure we’ll do something special.”
In a recent interview with Sleaze Roxx, POISON and DEVIL CITY ANGELS drummer Rikki Rockett spoke about the formation of THE SPECIAL GUESTS, the new band featuring Rikki alongside fellow POISON members Bobby Dall (bass) and C.C. DeVille (guitar), plus vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brandon Gibbs (CHEAP THRILL, DEVIL CITY ANGELS).
“When I was out touring with DEVIL CITY ANGELS, Bobby Dall came to one of the shows we played in Florida and jammed with us,” Rikki said. “He got the chance to get to know Brandon a little bit. We got offered some shows that [POISON singer] Bret [Michaels] either really wasn’t interested in doing or if he had shows of his own scheduled — I can’t recall exactly. In any event, Bobby and I looked at each other and said, ‘Why don’t we just get Brandon to do them?’ Now we’d never call it POISON, but we did think it was good to offer the promoters a chance to work with the three of us with Brandon fronting the band. They took it — we did it and the response was amazing. It makes you really think. Is this something that we could do moving forward? I think we could.”
Asked if it’s frustrating for him, Bobby and C.C. to continue waiting for Bret to play the occasional gig with POISON while Michaels continues to tour the U.S. as a solo artist, Rikki said: “It’s very frustrating and that is the main reason that I started DEVIL CITY ANGELS. I like to play and record music. That’s become a little bit of a problem recently.”
According to Rikki, he doesn’t have a clear idea as to why Bret is continuing to avoid any touring and recording activity with POISON, but he makes the following educated guess: “I just think… I don’t know for sure, actually. I haven’t spoken with Bret in months and months. I just think that at this point in time, he just prefers to do his own thing.”
Rikki continued: “Bret has his own way of doing things and I’m getting the feeling that he’d prefer not to deal with the three of us if he can avoid it. Look, I’m making that up in my head. I can’t think of any other reason.”
Asked if he thinks there’s some damage being done to the POISON name with Bret going out performing “watered down” versions of POISON songs, Rikki said: “The number one complaint that I’ve heard about Bret‘s show is that he doesn’t play ‘Bret material’ and he plays ‘POISON material.’ I’ve heard that over and over from fans. I haven’t stepped out of POISON until DEVIL CITY ANGELS — because I believe that a band is more potent when you keep it together. I’m very loyal like that. I’ve been practicing jiu-jitsu for 16 years now and I’m driving to Santa Monica, which is 42 miles from me each way, because I’m that loyal to my team. That’s the kind of person I am. Having said that, there isn’t a whole lot you can do when everyone don’t feel that way. I think we are kind of at that point — if we’re going to continue with POISON, we have to look at other ways that we can do this. Brandon isn’t a bad choice. It’s all I can say.”
POISON appeared at the 2013 Indy 500 Miller Lite Carb Day, but has otherwise been mostly playing private shows, including one this past January. The band’s last major dates were with LITA FORD and DEF LEPPARD as part of the 2012 “Rock Of Ages” tour.
Michaels is continuing to focus on his solo career and recently released the video for “Girls On Bars”, his new rock-and-country-crossover track which was written with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Luke Laird.