Interview by Robert BradyIt certainly does not feel like 30 has passed since I first discovered Maxine Petrucci– former MadamX and now solo artist along with her sister Roxy Petrucci- Vixen and now RoxyJanetShareGina or RJSG. Many of us consider Maxine as a pioneer of Women In Metal although as you will see in the interview she personally does not see herself that way. Recently Maxine Petrucci stopped by and gave Femme Metal Webzine the great honour of giving us a very in depth interview. Maxine discusses the creative approach to her new album “Back to the Garden” set for a Spring 2013 release. She discusses her disappointment in today’s musical landscape with digital sounding music, her inspiration of the track “Gingerman” that is a tribute to the legendary band The Who, the fact she loves to change her sound with every album she records and the possibility of some vintage MadamX material seeing the light of day if given the right circumstances. Anyone who has ever followed Maxine from the begining knows she holds nothing back as far as the music industry is concerned. This interview is no exception. For older fans and supporters like myself this will be like talking to a old friend. For the newer generation this will serve as a introduction of a ‘True Legend’ who helped to shatter many barriers for Women In Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Maxine also has some advice for the newer generation of young women carrying the banner of metal proud today. I want to thank Miriam and the staff of Femme Metal Webzine for this privilege to interview a great legend in the industry. Now without any more delay I present to you Maxine Petrucci in her own words. Hello and welcome Maxine to Femme Metal Webzine. This interview is not only a privilege for me but a labour of love. I have been a fan for 30 years. Your current album “Back to the Garden” seems to be a rebirth or recharge for you, what inspired the title of the album?
I felt disappointed about the new direction of where rock music was going and noticed how digital sounding it has become and wanted to go back to the Woodstock time where every band had its own originality and sound. I didn’t want to be like them, I just wanted my own sound and songs with a raw rock approach. I wanted to play and write what ever I wanted, just as they did. I also wanted to write about more good and the’ light in this life and afterlife’ instead of the traditional dark side that is associated with metal.I noticed on “Back to the Garden” that there are some heavy progressive rock and metal elements present as compared to your material from the days of MadamX and your previous two solo albums. Where there any progressive rock and/or metal bands who have influenced your evolving sound?
I always loved heavy technique oriented metal like Dream Theater, but I thought if that was used in a more traditional song format that it would be more digestible. I have a mix of heavy and light on this album that acts accordingly to the song I wrote. Also I really don’t want to repeat myself music wise because as a artist I need to grow and improve. What we did in the 80’s was appropiate to the time. I do not follow rules anymore and I record what ever I want.Some artists and bands are really and respectfully starting to either do tribute albums or original songs about the bands who have influenced them or they were fans of before entering the business. I notice you have a song on “Back to the Garden” called “Gingerman” that speaks of The Who. Where you a big Who fan growing up and if so, were they one of those bands that inspired your journey into the industry?
I have rediscovered The Who a few years ago, and just fell in love again, especially was digging Keith Moon, he was sooo not lazy on the drums! He added so much to Pete Townshend‘s songs just as I feel my drummer Pat DeLeon does on my songs. Pat makes my music come to life and feels and loves the songs just as Keith Moon did for The Who. The Who were also part of Woodstock which is “Back to the Garden” where we all need to go. My album is a journey and hopefully people will really listen to whats going on in the 10 tracks.Speaking of MadamX for a moment. Have you and your sister Roxy Petrucci ever discussed maybe a one off reunion for both older fans like myself and to introduce a newer generation who were not even born yet to MadamX?
She is busy with JSRG now and I have my band and new album. We have some stuff Madam X recorded back in 92′ and maybe we will all discuss what we want to do with those tracks. Time will tell. Good thing about music is that it is always for listening so even when we get creepy old and even die, our music will stay young and live forever.Being a pioneer for women in heavy metal and hard rock music you certainly have seen and experienced many negative stereotypical attitudes towards women in the industry. After 30 years in the industry have you found out those stereotypes have changed and how have they changed?
What blows me away is how did the actual Pioneers of females in rock’ Cradle, Pleasure Seekers, and Fanny,’ ever do it in a male dominated arena. I would ask Patti, Suzi Quatro, June and Jean Millington that question. They paved the road for 70’s till present. That sort of pressure made us work harder and become better musicians. so bring it on.Are there any newer bands in the industry that are female fronted and or have female members in them who you listen to and you like?
There are many great female musicians now all over the internet even children that shred. After all anyone can be a great musician if they dedicate time and practice, after all its just musical instruments. I just don’t like it in both male and female singers that yell sing. I don’t think we need to be yelled at in music.
Are there any younger women currently in the business you would like to work with on a album or project?
I like working with Rachel May my Rythym guitar player and singer. She has a great voice and best attitude in rock. I would like to write a song with her on lead vocals next. Outside of rock I like Lady GaGa and Adele.There seems to be more female fronted bands in Europe today than here in America. They have great all female fronted festivals honoring women like Female Metal Voices Festival and Flight of the Valkeries to name a few, would you like to see America finally properly honor women with a all female fronted band festival and would you ever consider starting a festival in America like they have in Europe? Have you ever played or been asked to play any of those festivals in Europe?
Seems like Europe loves female fronted rock bands. I would love to have my band perform there! we just need to be asked and booked there. When we played there as Madam X, the people went crazy for us. I am also a product from the British Invasion here in America. Hopefully that happens in near future.What advice or wisdom can you give to the younger generation of female artists and bands that you never received when you were first starting your journey into the business?
That just shredding is not enough, they need to study all music and be a true lover of it. Just looking good and playing good is not enough. Music of any kind needs to be true and felt for listeners to believe you. This is a saturated market more than ever and true dedication, hard work, paying dues, playing live shows and more is a must to prevail, and attitude makes a difference!There seems to be a trend where bands are going back into their musical vaults to remaster and reissue some of their older material to re release to their fans and to a newer generation of fans, have you thought of reissuing any MadamX projects ?
As I mentioned earlier we may do that in near future with Madam X tunes we recorded in early 90’s.I have noticed some bands also going back and pulling a older album out of the vault and playing it in its entirety before a live audience and capturing the experience on a visual medium like DVD or Blu-Ray would you and Roxy ever surprise your fans with something like that?
We have a MadamX video “We reserve the Right” video that has never been released. Will pull that out of the Vaults. Poison was in the audience handing out their band show flyers before they made it at this video shoot.Going forward into 2013 are there any plans to tour and to support “Back to the Garden” ? If you already have a touring schedule, who are you touring with as far as other bands? Where will you be touring?
We are currently rehearsing for festivals and shows here in the Detroit Metro area for this summer. We are working on getting a booking agent. We will be doing another video shoot this spring too.I want to thank you for your time Maxine. Before we go what are some of your dreams and aspirations both in your career and other pursuits?
Thank you for your 30 year dedication for MadamX and my new band MaXine!!!! I want to keep writing and playing as long as I can because that is what I do and Love! We are currently recording a song titled “Lost Girls” for “The Quatro Sisters” documentary and I hope to continue to keep pumping out great rock songs for all to enjoy! Check out my web site http://www.maxinepetrucci.net/ and watch our latest video on YouTube search Maxine Assassinate. We are also on Reverb Nation and Facebook. Rock forever and thanx again!