Hanoi Stops: Why Michael Monroe doesn’t talk to Andy McCoy
Words: Eric Mackinnon
Michael Monroe hasn’t spoken to Hanoi Rocks bandmate Andy McCoy since the band’s last show in 2008 – and insists he doesn’t have any reason to pick up the phone.
The vocalist is riding high with his solo outfit’s latest album Horns And Halos, released after he endured pressure to repeat the success of its forerunner Sensory Overdrive.
But veteran performer Monroe is looking firmly to the future, and doesn’t intend to look back at his first big band, which was “reborn” with guitarist McCoy in 2001.
He says: “Hanoi Rocks is finished. The rebirth felt right at the time and I’m glad we did it. I got to see what I could accomplish working with Andy as an equal partner, because he’d had a different attitude about me writing.
“We made three good albums, but it ran its course. It wasn’t fun any more so we put it to bed.”
He describes the last run of shows, which took place in home town Helsinki in 2008, as an unforgettable experience. “To be honest I was relieved it was over, but I was a little emotional for the fans. At the underage shows especially, the kids were crying as we gained a whole new generation of fans. That was moving.”
As far as Monroe is concerned, that was the end of the band and his partnership with McCoy. “I haven’t seen him or spoken to him since the last farewell gig,” he admits. “There’s no reason to. It was a working relationship – it wasn’t like I had fun hanging around with him.
“It’s not like I don’t like him; but we just haven’t any reason to be in touch. He’s doing his thing, I’m doing my thing and I wish him the best.”
Monroe’s current thing, Horns And Halos, is his first album to feature guitarist Dregen, who’s currently temporarily out of the band while he promotes his debut solo record. The Backyard Babies man replaced Ginger Wildheart, who’d been part of the band for Sensory Overdrive.
“It crossed my mind that there would be a lot of expectation after the success of Sensory Overdrive,” Monroe allows. “But there’s no point trying to recreate the same album. We wanted to move on and make a new record with Dregen on board. We just decided to write some music and it started to come together nicely.
“I feel we’ve grown into a really tight unit. We didn’t suffer any pressure because this has become its own thing. It’s funny, Hanoi Rocks had a band name; now I’m playing as MIchael Monroe, which sounds solo, but it’s more of a band situation than there ever was.”
A Finnish book about Hanoi Rocks’ exploits is to be published in English, and the vocalist predicts it’ll draw an appropriate line under the band’s history. “All Those Wasted Years has been translated and it will be out here soon. It’s the first true story about the band – and with Andy being such an exaggerator it’s crazy. He makes up stuff, even in real life!”