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Andy McCoy (Hanoi Rocks)

Interview with Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks
by Grigoris Chronis at 08 October 2007, 6:17 PM

The band's newest Street Poetry album is an excellent release and Andy McCoy is half of the HANOI ROCKS legend. Really an honour to talk with him, in brief. Nuff said! Roll it.

Andy, hi from Metal temple magazine! Congrats on your latest album, Street Poetry! I must say I find Street Poetry to be a fitting title for the new CD. I mean, I always considered HANOI ROCKS to be a ’raw’ band but with a delicate/cultural way of writing songs and lyrics. How did you come up with this title? Was this title chosen after the songwriting period or it was found in the end? Does it have to do with homeless people (just a thought that crossed my mind)?

I came up with the title and the song in the mid 90’s. It was just sitting in a drawer. I remember this guy Mike and I used to see around Ladbroke grove tube station in London. He would be sitting on the steps writing poetry, that he would every now and then recite. I just thought wow, what a great idea for a song. This guy truly inspired me. Yes, maybe an outcast, however I do not judge people by wealth or misfortunes.

How long did it take you to write the song for the new alum? Are there any songs dating back to the Another Hostile Takeover days (you know, outtakes etc)? Are all the songs coming from the Monroe/McCoy fountain (laughs)?

How long to write the record? Well, some of it took me back to my teenage days and some songs were written quite prior to the recording of the album. Well, we have a deal with Mike that everything is 50/50 (McCoy/Monroe), even though Conny (bongo boy) had song ideas as well.

What was the mood while writing/recording for the new album? This is the third album after the HANOI ROCKS reunion. Did you have something specific in mind for the 21st century generation?

The mood was really effortless. The songs seemed to just fall in to place very easily. A great vibe in the studio, and we finally managed to capture our live sound on record. For the 21st century we really wanted to remind the kids were R ’n’ Roll came from originally.

You believe lyrics are still important for some listener/fan to focus on? Why do I have the suspicion that limited music fans read a song’s lyrics nowadays?

I think lyrics are very important. I have always liked word play and double meanings. Regarding the fans reading in to the lyrics, in my opinion I feel it depends on the person and his or her IQ. The younger generation seem to first listen to the melody, and then get in to the lyrics, which was definitely not the case with Bob Dylan (in his heyday!).

Andy, was there a specific reason for picking up Fashion as the first single off the new album? I though it was too ’mature’ for a first single, even if radio-friendly. I’d release them vice versa with This One’s for Rock ’n’ Roll, to tell you the truth (but who cares what I say, anyway…!)

Fashion just happened to be the first song ready in these album sessions. I would have liked Transcendental Groove or High Wired as the first single.

Fashion has a very ’clever’ video clip, by the way. Who was the general manager for this shooting?

The general managers were Jaako and Kusti Manninen outta Helsinki.

Do you think it’s worth the money to shoot a video in our days?

Yes, videos are important, but touring (live performances) is where it is still at!

As for Lacu, Andy Christell and Conny Bloom? How would you describe their contribution to the ’reborn’ HANOI ROCKS? Meaning: the band is solid as hell & there’s even more chemistry in Street Poetry; do you consider that they kinda brought ’fresh air’ in the (already) classic Monroe/McCoy duo?

The band balance is so important and now, it is the closest to perfection that I have ever experienced. Conny has a very happy aura and always makes me laugh. A/C is more of a thinker and Lacu, well, is a true pro. A hard hitter with a helluva groove and another one that just loves to play!

Out of the blue: the last track – Fumblefoot And Busy Bee - is maybe the weirdest HANOI ROCKS I’ve ever heard. Did that tune came off some jammin’ night? Was it intentional to record it as an instrumental?

Well, for Fumble Foot And… Conny had the basic idea from his teens. We sat down and finished it. It was always an instrumental. It is a song that would be great in a movie soundtrack for instance. And yes, It’s very tongue in cheek.

As for Tootin’ Star?  I firstly thought I’d hear a cover version of the BAD COMPANY classic, and then I considered it was a spelling error (???) and eventually ended up asking you now (laughs)!

I suppose the names are similar, but two very different songs.

We see your country still praising HANOI ROCKS releases. I assume in the rest of Scandinavia the same ’warm’ response is present with every CD/CDs you release. I’d like to ask you bout the rest of Europe plus the American continent. What’s the feedback so far for Street Poetry and – to your knowledge – both Another Hostile Takeover and Twelve Shots On The Rocks? I’m rather curious ’bout America, to tell you the truth…

The response has been overall very positive here in Scan and Europe. As you well know, you can not please everyone though. America? We are waiting for the right band to tour with. We don’t wanna end up being an 80’s nostalgic trip, as most of the bands from that era have become. As you can see, we keep working on new material all the time. I miss (my) our fans in the US and can’t wait to play there again, and it will happen. It’s just about the timing.

It was recently announced that L.A. GUNS had to pull out from a scheduled European tour with HANOI ROCKS. Or – as we can read at your official website – there never was a final confirmation for this tour?

Yes, that was some talk, however nothing official. We never received any contracts etc… Seems like some amateur promoter thought he could just put a tour together, and he proved to be a failure. They are cool guys and it would have been fun. Maybe in the future, when everything is organized professionally.

On way or the other, what the future holds for HANOI ROCKS onstage? Finland, Japan and…? Are you thinking – or is there a chance, in other words – to visit countries you’ve not performed neither in the 80s nor the last years?

We played Hungary and we had never played there before. We had a camera crew from Scan with us and it’s on heavy rotation. A mini diary of the visit, kinda. There’s talk of Russia and Australia amongst many other places, but that is still in the air.

 Andy, thanks a lot for your precious time! Waiting to see how poetry is spread in the streets this fall!

Well, HANOI ROCKS has the Poetic license to spread the word! Thank you very, much Greg! And, to all the fans, we hope will be playing your town soon! Love and peace, Andy McCoy.


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