(Oct. 11, 2011) By Erik Ofgang
Bret Michaels knows a thing or two about survival. As the front man of the glam metal band Poison, Michaels sold more than 25 million albums and helped create chart topping singles such as “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Something To Believe In,” “Nothing But a Good Time” and the #1 smash hit “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” While most 80’s glam metal bands have since found themselves in a forced early retirement, Bret Michaels has stayed more active then ever (having just wrapped up a 25th Anniversary Tour with Poison), but also as a solo artist to be reckoned with. In 2010, his survival instincts were forced into high-gear when he suffered a near fatal brain hemorrhage, and many news-outlets reported Michaels was fighting for his life. Luckily, he’s since made a complete recovery, and 2011 finds Michaels back on tour with a stripped-down solo show, and he’s rocking as hard as ever. Michaels’ success has also made waves on television on the VH1 reality show “Rock of Love”, where women competed for Michael’s affections. In a recent interview Michaels talked about his current show, overcoming life’s challenges, and finding love after his show “Rock of Love”. Here’s our conversation…
What is your current show like/ what can fans expect to see?
BM: I’m out on my “Get Your Rock On” solo tour right now and it’s been a blast so far. The show is stripped down and a little more raw than Poison. We just give it to the crowd 1000 percent without the pyrotechnics. It’s a more personal vibe, I talk a little bit about the songs and the stories behind them, because there are always stories and they are so much fun to share with the fans- we’re like an electric version of “Storytellers” (a VH1 show) with a lot of energy. I play all the hits from both Poison and my solo career as well as some cover stuff that meant a lot to me growing up. The show is a ton of fun, and I’m just so stoked to get up there and perform each night. It’s really a great time for me, out here right now.
What is your songwriting process like in general and can you take me through what inspired the writing of “ Every Rose Has Its Thorn?”
BM: I write about the things that happen to me in my everyday life. You never know when inspiration will hit. “Every Rose” is just such a fan favorite. It’s about a low point in a relationship with one of the first girls I ever loved. I was in a laundry mat waiting for my clothes to dry at the time and I was devastated about how things were going in our relationship, and I just started writing and it became “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
How did the show “Rock of Love” come about?
BM: I was actually the executive producer of the show and we had three really fun seasons. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the girls- they were the real stars of the show. “Rock of Love,” I think actually made me grateful that reality dating shows don’t work – because, look, I have this incredible family now and I’m engaged to Kristi (Gibson) the love of my life and the mother of my gorgeous daughters and none of that came from a dating show.
Do you mind when fans recognize you on the street? What’s the craziest thing a fan has come up to you and said or did?
BM: I honestly think I have the best fans in the world and I’m always happy to have the opportunity to meet them in person, so I love getting recognized. To be honest with you there’s not a whole lot that can faze me at this point. People will throw things on stage, people will scream, it’s all love, and nothing makes me happier than knowing the fans are excited about the music and the show, so it’s great.
Are there any moments in particular that stand out as highlights of your career?
BM: I’ve had a lot of incredible moments and a lot of unbelievable things happen to me throughout the past 25 years. Poison and I just wrapped our 25th Anniversary tour, and that was really a special thing for all of us – to have made it 25 years and still be up on stage, playing arenas. What’s most rewarding is knowing that my fans like what I’m doing and having them come out to see me year after year. That’s really how you know you’re doing a good job. I have a new solo album coming out this fall called “Get Your Rock On,” which will be another highlight for me this year. I also had the opportunity to create my own signature line of guitars for Dean Guitars, which is also a dream come true for me. And as a lifelong diabetic, my work with the American Diabetes Association is extremely rewarding as well because I have such a personal connection to the cause. So winning (Donald Trump’s) “Celebrity Apprentice 3” with my Diet Snapple Trop-a-Rocka drink was really rewarding as well because it raised over $250,000 for diabetes research.
Given the health trials you had last year how does it feel to be back on stage performing?
BM: There are three things that keep me going no matter what: my family, my music, and my fans. Those are the biggest blessings in my life, and without them I’d be nowhere; those are the things that inspire me to get up and get out there, and give it my all day after day after day. 2010 was, without question, a roller coaster year for me. But when you have an amazing family, and you still have a lot music left to make, and you have such incredible and supportive fans behind you, you’re going to fight until the very last breath before you throw in that towel.
For more on Bret Michaels around the web:
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