Interview with Roxy Petrucci
Drummer Roxy Petrucci has played with Vixen, Madam X and several other bands. I recently got to interview her and ask about her past as well as what she is working on now.
MM-What are you currently working on?
RP-I'm in the studio recording a pretty wild instrumental drum track that will include amazing bass work by Michael Pisculli.
MM-You came from a family of musicians and you used to play the clarinet. How and when did you get into playing the drums? Were your parents upset or supportive when you started playing in rock bands?
RP-I picked up the clarinet in Elementary School and a few years into it my father asked what other instrument I'd like to play. It wasn't WOULD you like to play another instrument but WHICH. My sister Maxine was already playing flute and guitar and had plans for a rock band, so drums it was. I don't think my parents knew how far we were willing to go until we both left college to hit the road. We never let them know how much we struggled because we loved it so much and knew that we were going to make it.
MM-Were you and your sister playing together as soon as you both learned to play your instruments?
RP-Once we honed our skills we started jamming together on Hendrix and lots of Zeppelin.
MM-Were you in any bands before Madam X?
RP-Maxine and I had an all girl band in High School with 2 other sisters which was pretty cool. We also played all over Detroit in a band called Black Lace.
MM-It seemed like Madam X were doing the huge hair and heavy make-up look right before a lot of other bands. How did you come up with the look?
RP-We believed in being over the top in everything from our music to our look to our stage show. The hair started from what we called a 'Rooster' then somehow just kept getting higher and higher...Maxine and Godzilla's hair were both unbeatable and unstoppable.
MM-Madam X were on Jet records and you even did a video for “High in high school”. Why do you think the band never made it big?
RP-We didn't have much business sense and we didn't have a team in place with the same vision to take us all the way. We were a force on stage but couldn't keep it together in the end.
MM-Did you leave Madam X to go straight to Vixen? How did you get into Vixen?
RP-Janet and then Vixen bassist Pia Vai saw me perform with Madam X in Hollywood. Once they caught wind that Madam X broke up they contacted me and sent me a tape.
MM-How was being in Vixen different than being in Madam X?
RP-Wow, major different. They were so tame compared to the chaos (I mean that in a good way) of Madam X, plus working with all women was an adjustment after being surrounded by guys for so many years. I was concerned that their music might be to wimpy for my taste but once we started jamming it felt right...although I remember Jan asking me to settle down a bit. I still had 'Metal in my Veins'...always will!
MM-You were in some interviews in the movie “Decline of western civilization 2:The metal years”. What are your memories of being in that movie?
RP-It was a quick dealio so I don't remember anything mindblowing to tell ya. Vixen was creating quite a buzz at that time and we were being asked to do some cool shit like a cameo in Cagney & Lacey...remember that show? We were also asked to be the band in the movie Ford Fairlane with Andrew Dice Clay. I don't know what happened with that but I knew Vixen was headed for success.
MM-What were some of the biggest highlights for you of being in Vixen?
RP-Meeting Steven Tyler! Touring around the world with rock legends! Selling a million records!...the whole experience was great from the good, bad and ugly.
MM-Why did the band break up the first time?
RP-Janet and Share wanted to replace Jan. I sided with Jan and we tried to work it out but Janet & Share were ready to move on.
MM-When Vixen’s first album came out, it seemed so much was made of you being an all female hard rock band. That was almost twenty years ago. Looking at today’s music scene, do you think it changed much over the years as far as the amount of all female rock bands or they are perceived?
RP-It's still a novelty to see chicks kickin big ass... there are way more gurrls in the scene now than back in the 80s.
MM-What were you doing in the 1990’s?
RP-I was jamming with other musicians keeping my chops up. I reunited with Madam X and recorded a couple of songs that we'll probably release someday. Toured a bit with Hell's Belles, went to Canada and toured with Chrissie Steele, hooked up with guitarist Gina Stile and Janet Gardner and recorded Tangerine. I've never stopped rockin.
MM-Do you approach playing the drums any differently than you did say twenty years ago?
RP-I'm more of a pocket player now. I'm obsessed with feel.
MM-Is there anything that you would have done differently in your music career?
RP-Well, older & wiser now so there are some things I've said and done in my past that makes wonder what the hell I was thinking... but back then I was having the time of my life to give a rat's ass!
MM-*** After this interview I noticed the mention on her Myspace page about trying out for David Lee Roth. So I wrote back and asked when that happened and what it was like.
RP-Yeah, I auditioned for Dave's band around the same time I joined Vixen. The opportunity to jam with Billy Sheehan and Steve Vai was mindblowing. I remember one of the tracks was on the Eat em and Smile CD. I actually saw another drummer's audition, he was great at twirling his sticks around his head and making funny faces. He was certain that he nailed the gig and kept mouthing the words "I got it, I got it" as he was playing....well he didn't get it. DLR's live show with the lineup of Billy, Steve and Greg was unbelievable.
MM-Anything else you want to say about your music or anything else?
RP-I'm diggin the music I'm making with Roktopuss and I plan on recording instrumentals with some top notch players and also recording more heavy kickass tunes with my sister Maxine. It's all about the RAWK my friends...and I dig it!!
Thanks to Roxy for doing this interview.