Interview by Tony CannellaThe Queen of Metal is back (again)! After her breakout LP “Living Like a Runaway”, Lita comes back with a kick-ass live album called “The Bitch Is Back… Live” so we have took the occasion to get more updates about this fantastic live CD and her next projects! Hey Lita. I was just listening to the new live album, “The Bitch is Back… Live” and I think it’s really awesome. Are you pleased with the way the live experience came through on the record?
Yeah, I am. You know, live albums are tricky. You can feel everything that goes on and hear everything that goes on, you really can’t cover shit up on a live album, so it better damn well be real. This album has a lot of energy, it has true energy. We are truly happy to be playing and truly happy to be on that stage rocking and it shows. It’s kind of a funny album; too, it has a little twist of humor to it. We’re really happy with it.Yeah, it definitely sounds like there is a lot of enjoyment. You left in a lot of the between song stage banter which is pretty cool. It does come across as an authentic live album.
You feel like you’re there when you listen to it. We did record in a small club for that reason because we wanted the people to be in our face. We didn’t want our audience to be twenty miles away from us, we wanted to be able to say something and have them right there. You can hear people shouting. It’s intimate.A cover of the Elton John song “The Bitch Is Back” opens the album. It’s odd to start a show with a cover – but it works. Why did you decide to open with that?
When I say “The Bitch is Back”, to me it takes on a whole different meaning than what Sir Elton John might have meant when he wrote it. So for me, it’s like saying “yeah, I’m back”, because there was a point where people kept asking me, “Are you really back, now or are you just going to do a couple of songs then disappear again?” I kept saying “No, I’m really back!” When I heard this song come on the radio one night I thought, “You know what? I’m going to cover this tune”, and it’s appropriate.Why did you decide to release a live album at this point in time?
It was a gift to the fans. It’s not something that we had planned, it was just something that we did and wanted to do. We were going to record it during the Def Leppard/Poison tour, but because the set was so short during the tour and they were arenas, we wanted to wait until we could actually just do what we wanted to do, play what we wanted to play and for as long we wanted to play and make it more intimate and personal, make it a real live album.Are there any plans to do a live DVD in the future?
You know, we just did a show in Moline, Wisconsin of all places. This like wacky little place out in the middle of nowhere, it was a festival and it was a torrential downpour, but it was the coolest show. They videotaped everything and put it on the big screen so that the audience could see it, but they didn’t tape it tape it, it was just sent through like a monitor so the audience could see it and I said to the guys, “this show was magic.” I asked if we could buy the tape and they said, “We didn’t record it”, and we went nuts on them, we were like, “NO, you’re kidding me. You didn’t record this? This would have been the perfect show.” We’re waiting for that perfect moment to capture something live and put out a DVD.Another thing that I loved about the new live album is that there is a good cross section of older and new material. A lot of bands only play the hits live, but you also drew a lot from the “Living Like a Runaway” album – which is a great album.
Yeah. I think there are four tracks off the “Living Like A Runaway” album: “The Bitch is Back”, “Living Like a Runaway”, “Relentless” and “Hate”. I was very grateful for that they made it into the set.How was the crowd response throughout the tour to the new stuff?
They loved it. I’ve gotten the best ratings from everyone on that record. Even Amazon gave me five stars.Yeah, I haven’t heard anything negative about “Living Like a Runaway”. It’s almost like the perfect comeback album.
I don’t know. I just did everything right. I used all the right people. You know that saying, “the more cooks in the kitchen, they spoil the stew?” we kind of kept it to a minimum as to who actually got to work on the record and it paid off in the long run. It was pretty much just Gary Hoey and myself and we had help from Michael Dan (Ehmig) who is a lyricist. The three of us put together this amazing record.Will the same people be involved with the next record?
Michael Dan is my lifelong friend and partner. I love working with Michael – he’s there, for sure. I would love to work with Gary Hoey again too. Our schedules keep crossing; we keep trying to get to each other to write. I’ve got a couple of songs in my back pocket for the next album, we just need to get together to record them, but because of us trying to finish the book and the holiday season and everything coming up, it looks like we might have to put it off a little while longer.
Lyrically, “Living Like a Runaway” was a really personal record. Will you go that route with the lyrics on the next album?
I think every album is pretty personal. It doesn’t really matter who is singing it, they’re all personal. You can pick any band and they’re singing about personal stuff. But yeah, I have a lot to say and I think it’s going to spill over into the next record.Earlier, you mentioned that you are working on a book?
Yes!How is that coming along?
It’s good. It’s like any other process, trying to find the right people to work on it and make sure they gel with you as an artist. You can’t just go out and hire any writer; you have to make sure that you work together as a team. Through my agent, he found me this wonderful writer named Marissa Matteo who has two number one best sellers with HarperCollins and she’s an absolute godsend. So far, since we started writing, we’re just having a blast together.Back to the live album. Do you plan on doing any extensive touring in support of the “Bitch is Back… Live”?
We did already tour last year. In 2014, I’m hoping to get some good tours and good packages – I think we will. We absolutely kicked ass in 2013. The album is great and we’re hot right now, so I think we’re going to do good for 2014, I think we’ll get on some good package tours.You’ve recently added Bobby Rock (Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Nelson) to your line-up as your new drummer. What do you feel he adds to the band?
Bobby is impeccable. He’s absolutely impeccable with his drumming. He takes pride in the timing and the feel of a song. When you look at a drummer, it’s almost like they’re on a wild horse and the drummer has the reins and can make the horse go fast or slow or crazy or whatever may be and I look at a drummer in the same way, where as the drummer came make the song go faster or slower. Bobby is a perfectionist. He hits harder than any drummer I’ve ever heard and he’s just a beast (laughs), so I couldn’t have asked for anybody better than Bobby Rock.Which do you prefer writing and recording or playing live?
Shit, I like all of them. Writing is work. It’s hard, because you’re creating something from nothing. Sometimes God will throw a title in your head and you’re off and running. Recording live, I love. I love to record live, because you get to build the song and you get to make it what you hear, you get to create what you hear. Usually if I don’t hear a song, I don’t know how to build it, it’s almost like looking at a picture of a diagram on how to build something, if you don’t have that diagram, you don’t know how to build it. I have a mental diagram of the song and how it should go. The payoff is when the song is finished and you can play it for somebody and say, “Hey what do you think?”Do you have any idea when you might start working on the new album and what direction it will take musically?
Yeah, I do. I’ve got the whole concept in my mind and I know exactly what I’m going to do with this next record, but I can’t tell you (laughs). Let’s just say, it’s probably going to be on the dark side.I’m sure the one question that you always get asked is do you ever foresee a Runaways reunion?
No I don’t. I don’t foresee one unfortunately. I’d like to, but we need everyone to agree on that or it won’t happen. I don’t see it happening unfortunately. Hopefully I’m wrong.Thank you Lita for taking the time to do this interview and congratulations on a great live album. To finish this interview is there anything you would like to say to the fans?
I’ve missed you and I hope you like my new live album.
Live Photo by Kitty Rossander (Accessrock.se)