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Hellfest / Michael Monroe on his star-studded birthday concert and being mobbed by Slipknot

Following on from his superb early set this Saturday morning on his Hellfest debut, Michael Monroe is in a playful mood.

Interview: Kahmel Farahani

The Finnish rock legend is discussing his brand new album and his upcoming 60th birthday bash. “It’s going to be something special,” Michael told MetalTalk’s Kahmel Farahani. “A big one-off! I can’t really name names, but….if you’re any fan of music, you won’t want to miss it.”

Kahmel Farahani, Micheal Monroe. Hellfest 2022
Micheal Monroe and Kahmel Farahani. Hellfest 2022

The gig is scheduled to take place on 23 September at Helsinki Ice Hall. Monroe also spoke about the influence his music has had on generations of rockers. “It’s not just the obvious bands like Guns N’ Roses,” he said. “I went to see Slipknot a few years ago, and the guy with the long pointed nose mask rushed up to me and said, ‘it’s your fault.’

“I said, uhhh, what? He said, ‘you’re the reason I became a rocker. The first album I ever bought was by Hanoi Rocks’.

“Then he brought Corey Taylor and other guys over and started talking about our music – I was flattered.”

Michael Monroe, Hellfest 2022
Michael Monroe, Hellfest 2022

Monroe was gifted a bullet filled with Lemmy’s ashes recently. “Lemmy was a true blue rocker with a heart of gold,” Monroe said. “Touring with Motörhead in the UK in 2010 was the best tour ever. He was one of my very best friends.”

Monroe went on to discuss his uncompromising, ever-true work ethic. “Always stay true to what you’re doing,” he said, “and never compromise for the wrong reason. For example, my record company wanted to run an ad in 1989 for my solo album with the tagline ‘The brains behind Hanoi Rocks is back’.”

Monroe laughs and says, “Hanoi had no brains. It was a totally natural thing for us, so that felt dishonest to me. I didn’t approve, so they pulled the ad and didn’t make a new one. It really impacted the record sales, but I don’t mind. If you do the right thing for the right reasons, then it’s fine. Money was never my motivation, and it can’t buy the best things in life.”

Michael Monroe, Hellfest 2022
Michael Monroe, Hellfest 2022

Hellfest 2022 will be held over two weekends in June, featuring 350 artists on six stages. For more information visit www.hellfest.fr/en/

You can read all the MetalTalk Hellfest coverage at metaltalk.net/tag/hellfest-2022

This year there is also a virtual edition, Hellfest From Home. For more details visit fromhome.hellfest.fr

Hellfest 2022 - Festival poster

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