Interview With Ryan Roxie
(Alice Cooper)

Shannon W - What made you want to pursue music as a career?


Ryan Roxie - “Well, when I was a little kid, I used to cover my walls with photos of rockstars and football players. Basically I just wanted to be the posters on my wall and I quickly found out that being a musician would get me less injured. So I chose that path.”


Shannon - As a kid, what bands influenced you most?


Ryan Roxie - “Oddly enough, I was mostly influenced by the Beatles because they were my parents favorite band. But then I found throughout my life that I like bands that like the Beatles. Cheap Trick was my favorite band growing up, then later on bands like Oasis really moved me. There was a band in Canada called Sloan that was Beatle-influenced. Anybody that likes the Beatles is good in my book.”


Shannon - How did you get the gig with Alice Cooper?


Ryan Roxie - “People always talk about being in the right place at the right time. I was in the wrong place at about a thousand wrong times before I actually got to that one moment where I got to try out for Alice Cooper. Empty club shows and hard touring and traveling in a small car or a beat-up van until that opportunity. That happened because I got a gig playing with a musician named Gilby Clarke who was in Guns N Roses. Alice Cooper liked what I was doing to help out Gilby and he thought I might be able to help out his own band. Luckily it all worked out.”


Shannon - What made you want to start a podcast?


Ryan Roxie - “Well currently my podcast is called ‘In The Trenches with Ryan Roxie’. I first started a podcast in the early days of podcasts. I had my first podcast in 2005 and I called it ‘Big Rock Show with Ryan Roxie’. I was influenced by an article I had read by this guy named Adam Curry who had started a podcast. I thought it would be an interesting type of media to pursue because I would be talking about music all the time but not actually playing it. I thought I would find out what’s in the heads of other musicians as much as I could just by talking to them. It has just evolved since then and now I’m very happy to be doing ‘In The Trenches with Ryan Roxie’ these days. We’re getting a lot of cool artists and people who are on the same wavelength and position I am in. They might not be household names themselves, but they play for people who are. For example the guitarist of Bon Jovi which is Phil X or the guitarist of Whitesnake which is Joel Hoekstra or the guitarist for Billy Idol which is Steve Stevens. They are people who I know and I want more people to get to know them as well.”


Shannon - If you could play one rock festival in the world, what would it be?


Ryan Roxie - “I’ve actually played it. I’ve been lucky enough to play Wacken in Germany with about 80,000 people in the crowd. I’ve also been able to play the Sweden Rock Festival, I live in Sweden, a few times with Alice and my own band as well, so that’s a dream come true. I guess if I could play one rock festival in the past, I would’ve loved to play the US Festival.”


Shannon - What do you wish you could tell your 13 year old self?


Ryan Roxie - “I would tell my 13 year old self to be patient. To not try to rush things because you will eventually get your shot. If you are good enough and you focus on it and work on it every single day, there is no doubt that it will happen for you. And also to enjoy the moment instead of saying ‘it’ll be better when I do this’ because it’s never gonna be better if you’re always thinking of the future. When you’re enjoying the present is when it is the best. I’ve tried to live by the saying ‘enjoy the ride’. I don’t always succeed in that but I try my best.”


Shannon - After the coronavirus settles down, what do you believe will be different about the music scene?


Ryan Roxie - “It’s a strange situation right now. As musicians, we are looking for new stages to play. As rock guitar players, we’ve always been under some sort of financial crisis. You don’t get into being a musician solely for the money, it can’t be. For 90% of musicians, there isn’t money. For a long time, you do it for the pure joy of bringing music to people and seeing what it brings to them and yourself. Our new stages are interviews and podcasts or online concerts. In a way, what this situation has done is it has taken away the stage we are used to playing on. So we need to find different ones and we will. I’m not sure if it’s going to ever go back to exactly the way it was. It might be a hybrid of more digital performances and live performances. I feel like music videos will be getting more popular now because if people are going to be isolated and not be able to travel as much in the future because of restrictions, visually you’re going to have to put a lot more focus on putting out music videos. Because you’re 13, you don’t really know MTV as a music channel, you know MTV as more of a programming channel, but it might go back to just playing rock n roll videos the way it started out.”


Shannon - In 2021, you will be going on your first Monsters Of Rock Cruise. How do you feel about that?


Ryan Roxie - “Obviously the thought of going on a cruise ship in this exact moment kind of freaks you out a little bit because you wanna be able to get off the boat eventually. They will sort it out and I have no doubt that by the time 2021 rolls around we will be able to go on this cruise with full confidence and excitement about playing it. We’ve played other cruises before and I’ve played some boats in Sweden, but obviously Monsters of Rock Cruise is sort of the gold medalist of all the rock cruises. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully they will involve all the bands Alice has encompassed within his band. Not only that Alice plays, but Beasto Blanco and Tommy Henriksen Band and Nita’s solo band and my solo band.”


Ryan Roxie - “I’m seeing more and more young Alice Cooper fans and I credit that to either really good parenting or really bad parenting, I’m not sure.”


Ryan Roxie - “My kickstarter campaign is going on right now. I have a guitar lesson series that I put together with a team of other teachers, I’m sort of the face of it. It’s called the System 12 Guitar Method and it’s a simple, straight-forward and easy to learn method to play guitar. In 12 weeks you’ll learn 12 songs and riffs and if you’ve never even touched a guitar, you’ll be able to play it by the end of those 12 weeks and I promise you that. You can go to www.ryanroxie.com and click on the kickstarter link. I have that going on and also my ‘In The Trenches’ podcast at www.ryanroxie.com/podcast .”

 

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© 2020 by Shannon Wilk.

Located in Connecticut, USA
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