After this summer’s “20 Years of Rock Tour,” Poison will leave the road and get back into the studio.
Front man Bret Michaels recently talked about that plan as well as family life and the road.
AP: Can you believe it’s been 20 years since you first teased out your hair?
Michaels: It’s been a pretty shocking and awesome career. It started in Pennsylvania in small towns and small bars. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be doing it 20 years later.
AP: Musically, Poison has had some outspoken critics.
Michaels: (Laughs) We’re not one of the most critically acclaimed bands! We’re not putting U2 or R.E.M. out of business. I enjoy what I do and that’s important to me. We’ve had a long run with fans who saw past the bashing. I’m the first to say if we had a bad show or wrote a bad song. I also say go out there without fear. Our success and our failure is our own.
AP: Will you keep making music with Poison?
Michaels: I’m not going to say the words “farewell tour,” but after this it’ll be a two- to three-year hiatus. I firmly believe our band has to go into the studio as friends and write great new music again — regardless if it’s played or how it’s perceived.
AP: How have things changed for you personally since you started?
Michaels: I have two beautiful daughters. It changed my life for the better. They look up to me and respect me. I’m a good dad. I like being around them. ... I show them how to play music. Life and music was always a way to express myself. That’s what I give to them.
AP: What’s essential to have on the tour bus with you?
Michaels: I take a trailer and my motorcycle and my mountain bike. I’m big into sports and anything I can do on the road I love. It helps with my diabetes. Insulin and syringes.
AP: What’s your biggest diva request backstage?
Michaels: My most demanding thing is to make sure there are beautiful woman backstage for the hospitality room to have a good time. I’m pretty anti-diva. We’re pretty down-to-earth guys.
AP: What’s the most out-of-control rock-star thing you’ve ever done?
Michaels: Let’s go to early in the career. Walking up to Texas Stadium to play. It’s Aerosmith and Poison. [Kiss’] Paul Stanley is going to come up on stage. Walking up to the stage with Steven Tyler on one side and Paul on the other, that was really cool. Afterwards being with one of the hottest Texas strippers ever and getting so drunk ... As we left town that night, after playing for 83,000 people, not an hour outside of town we stopped at a truck stop in Carl’s Corner, Texas, and there wasn’t a truck driver or anyone in there who even remotely knew who we were. It evened it out. It let you know you’re living a bit of a fantasy and to get grounded now. It was my best lesson ever.