But considering the years since Skid Row, how has your identity changed as you’ve tried new things, had a family, and new experiences?
Less than you’d think. I really think I’m the same guy that I was who started out in Skid Row. If somebody would’ve asked me, back then, to do something like Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway, I would’ve been too busy, but I still would’ve done it. I don’t have any rules and, to me, rules are meant to be broken. That’s how I look at everything, as far as expectations go. I just have that same fun spirit that I’ll never let go of and I like to make records that capture that spirit of rock n’ roll fun.
So I just feel like the same guy and I feel that I was blessed with a voice that, when I listen to Angel Down, to me it sounds the same as the first Skid Row album or Slave To The Grind. And that’s not just me saying that, that’s a lot of people. I can’t believe, with the way I’ve treated my voice over the last 20 years, that I can sing and make records like that. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
What do you do for your voice?
I warm up all the time, to the point of annoying my band and my road crew. I know how to make my voice work. It’s a very simple equation: The more I do my Italian opera scales in the correct way, the better my voice gets. It’s really that simple. It’s the same way for my body. Literally, the more I go running, the better I look. If I don’t take a day off, I look great, but if I lounge around and watch DVDs and eat Mexican food, I’m gonna look like shit.
So it’s real simple, but there are also no shortcuts, no magic potion or anything like that. You have to sing properly and sing a lot. If you’re singing properly the better control you’ll have, more range and power over your voice. If you sing it wrong and don’t warm up and just kind of go for it, it’s not going to work. In my experience, you have to come prepared.
I’ve read that you want to leave an extensive body of work behind. I’m sure, over your career, you’ve amassed quite a lot to show for your career and successes. First and foremost, you’re a singer, but where do some of the other interests come in? Acting, Broadway, reality TV?
I just do stuff that I like, another simple equation. When you see parents telling their kids to find something they love to do and they’ll always be happy, well I don’t feel like I’ve ever worked a day in my life, except for telephone marketing and landscaping that I did for a few weeks. (Laughs) Other than that, I just dig singing and I love putting on a show. I could never, in my band, have the budget of a Broadway show, that’s like more than a KISS show or Pink Floyd, with sets flying in and out and staging and costuming and 60 people in the show and the orchestra–it’s astonishing. That’s a show! I love putting on a big show.
I’m going to be at PNC Bank Arts Center with Poison on Aug. 12–I’m playing over 40 gigs with them–and we’re also at Jones Beach Amphitheater July 30. It’s my first time in my entire career playing both of those venues. I’ve never played PNC before so this is really cool for me. I drive past it every fucking day (laughs). I’ve played everywhere else in the tri-state area but this will be the first time singing ‘18 & Life’ in PNC. I know it’s going to go down good in New Jersey, that’s for sure! I’m also very excited because we are re-releasing Angel Down. We’re at almost 100,000 sold in worldwide sales and we’re about to put it out again with a DVD enclosed–two- disc set, one CD, one movie.
The DVD is a movie called Road Rage that encompasses the making of the CD and five live songs, 100 percent live. It’s very funny and cool. Anyone who’s a fan of the old Skid Row VHS tapes, Oh Say Can You Scream and Road Kill, will definitely like Road Rage since it’s very much along those lines. It’s going to be an FYE exclusive, in FYE stores this summer. They’ll also have a booth on the Poison tour where I’m going to be autographing the limited edition CD/DVD set. I’m just really excited about that. I love making stuff! It’s fun! (Laughs) It’s part of my personality too, being an Aries.
Aries get all fired up to make stuff, to create stuff. Then if they get bored, they fucking split! That’s me. 100 percent! (Laughs)