Thirty years seems like a long time for a band to release sophomore album, but for the all-original line of Madam X: Bret Kaiser (vocals), Maxine Petrucci (guitars), Chris “Godzilla” Doliber (bass) and Roxy Petrucci (drums), the wait was certainly worth it. The band, who’s 1984 debut, We Reserve The Right was fueled by the infectious guitar/drum wizardry of sisters Maxine and Roxy Petrucci have released the long-awaited “follow-up” three decades later. The ferociously aggressive, Monstrocity.
Monstrocity captures the classic vibe of the veteran foursome while tastefully bringing the band into the 21st century with well-crafted songs, ubiquitous grooves and a production that includes the likes of veteran mixer, Michael Wagener (Metallica, Ozzy) and Mark Slaughter as well as a guest appearance by Janet Gardner (Vixen).
AXS recently spoke with Maxine and Roxy Petrucci about Monstrocity and more in this new interview.
AXS: It’s been more than thirty years since we last heard from Madam X. What sparked the reunion?
Roxy Petrucci:Madam X fans are so loyal. I’d been out touring in Europe with Vixen and noticed a lot of Madam X memorabilia coming through our meet and greet line. I thought it would be cool to maybe release one song with all the original Madam X members, just for the fans. I ran the idea past the band and everyone was on board.
Maxine Petrucci: We released a single in 2014 to get us started, “Another 80’s Rock Song.” That sparked interest from Sweden Rock. They contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in playing Sweden Rock 2014. When we played, there were close to 20,000 people there. We were in shock, but once we hit that first chord we realized the chemistry was still there. It felt very comfortable and like thirty years hadn’t even gone by. We picked up right where we left off. That was when we thought about doing an album for the fans. Madam X was back.
AXS: What were those early writing sessions like?
RP: Bret had a song with a cool riff that needed a little work. So, Maxine and I took it and started tweaking it. That song turned out to be, “Hello Cleveland,” and that’s what really inspired us to write some more. But we didn’t want to just throw something out there. We were passionate about releasing great stuff and worked really hard and took our time.
It’s been more than twenty years since the four original members of Madam X performed on stage together and thirty years since their debut album, “We Reserve The Right” was released. That’s a literal lifetime for metal head fans like me.
And even though they’ve individually gone on to other successful projects over the years; guitarist Maxine Petrucci, drummer Roxy Petrucci, vocalist Bret Kaiser and bassist Chris Doliber still occasionally entertained the idea of doing something new for diehard Madam X fans. But for whatever the reason, the timing just wasn’t right and the stars never seemed to align.
Madam X will soon release a brand new single: “Another 80’s Rock Song (The Party Never Ends)”. Recorded at Metro 37 Studios and co-produced by Kevin Sharp the new single (written by Chris “Godzilla” Doliber and Greg Stryker) is an anthemic stadium rocker and marks the first time the classic line-up of Madam X has reunited since 1992!
In addition to the new song, Madam X has planned a full-fledged reunion show which will take place on May 4th at The Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield, MI. From there, they’ll embark on a trip overseas to perform at this year’s Sweden Rock Festival!
While they haven’t committed to anything long term beyond Sweden, the band does acknowledge it has a few more surprises in store, but fans will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, it doesn’t get much better than experiencing new music from one of the best bands to come out of the 80’s. Welcome back Madam X!
I spoke to the band about their new single, reunion shows and what excites them the most about the return of Madam X.
I suppose the first question to ask is what sparked the Madam X reunion?
Roxy Petrucci: I was performing at Firefest in England last year and during a meet and greet session I noticed a lot of Madam X stuff coming across the table: records, pictures, things from European magazines. It was a nice surprise to see that the Madam X fans were still there. So when I came back home, I asked Max about the possibility of releasing a new single for the fans. We called up the guys and discovered that they were both on board with it too!
Maxine Petrucci: Our original intention was to release something new just for the fans. We never had any intention of playing live. But once we posted about our plans for a new single, it started leading to more things – including an invitation to perform at the Sweden Rock Festival!
Bret Kaiser: Everyone thought the idea for a new single was a great one, so we started putting our heads together. That’s when Chris came up with this song that’s going to be a huge!
What can you tell me about the new single, “Another 80’s Rock Song (The Party Never Ends)”?
Chris Doliber: I‘ve always been writing and have years of music stuck in my head and my heart I knew I had a purpose for. It’s a song about loving the 80’s and about not going out without kicking and screaming. It’s definitely a Madam X style song. Bret recorded his vocals at The Salt Mine studio in Mesa, AZ and we got Ted Jenson from Sterling Sound in New York to do the mastering. It’s a great big stadium anthem and a song that the audience can chant back. I feel it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s ‘We Reserve The Right’ album. Looking back now, what thoughts come to mind?
Bret Kaiser: We were ahead of the curve. We all had it in our minds that we were going to go to LA and get a record deal. And after all of the hard work we did traveling back and forth from the east coast to the west, playing six nights a week and sometimes as many as four sets a night – we did it!
Maxine Petrucci: I think we were rushed when we recorded that album. At the time, our record label [Jet Records] had so much control over us that we often felt we were hurried along just to get it done. We didn’t really have closure with it.
What’s the origin of the song, “We Reserve The Right”?
Chris Doliber: Back when we were recording the album, we used to go to this little Asian restaurant. There was a sign hanging in the window that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” One day I went in and there was this little oriental lady who refused to serve me just because of the kind of shirt I was wearing. When I asked her why, she said “We reserve the right to refuse!” I remember going back to rehearsal and in my frustration just started playing and singing the line that eventually turned into the song.
Why do you believe there’s been such a resurgence of great bands from the 80’s?
Maxine Petrucci: I think people are a little tired of the dark sounding, fabricated music that’s out now. They want the fun time from the 80’s back, which was more about partying and having fun. People can relate to that and that’s what those bands recapture.
Roxy Petrucci: The shows and the music stand the test of time. For many years the question was always, “Where’s the rock and roll?” or “Where’s the entertainment factor?” People really missed that. So whether the radio wants to play it or not, rock and roll will never die. There will always be a demand. People want to go to a show and hear great music and that’s really what it’s all about.
Chris Doliber: Everything comes full circle. Our demographic may have evolved and grown up but now they’re able to take advantage of being an adult to satisfy their quest of reliving their youth.
Brett Kaiser: The music is like a time machine that brings you back to a time when you didn’t have to worry about things like paying bills or picking up the kids from school. People naturally feel at ease with that. You never forget that feeling. It may lay dormant for a while but once you get hit with the rock and roll disease, you never lose it!
What are you most looking forward to about this Madam X reunion?
Chris Doliber: For the last decade, we would occasionally get calls asking us to play, but in every case we weren’t all on the same page. For whatever reason, all of the stars are now aligned. I’m very excited about playing with my friends again. This show is not only for the fans, it’s just as much for us.
Roxy Petrucci: I love playing with Maxine. We’ve been playing together for so many years and have a natural bond. Whenever we get in a room, there’s just a feel that we both have together.
Maxine Petrucci: The passion that everyone has for this project is incredible so we’re going to go along for the ride and see where it goes. No matter what happens, it’s going to be awesome closure.
Bret Kaiser: This whole experience has been uplifting for me and given me a whole new outlook. Even though we took an extended hibernation, we’ve never lost our stride. We just click together so well. Of course, it won’t be the same hair reaching up to the sky but who knows, maybe it will! It’s like I’ve always said: The higher the hair, the closer to God!
Will there be more Madam X stories to tell when you return from Sweden?
Roxy Petrucci: There will always be Madam X stories. Some of the good ones though are saved in the vault and we still have more to write. Right now, we’re just going to enjoy being on stage together and taking things a day at a time. “X” marks the spot!
For more on Madam X be sure to check out their Facebook page by Clicking Here!
Maxine Petrucci likes to call what she does “evolved music.”
The former Madam X guitarist [and sister of former Vixen drummer Roxy Petrucci] has taken much of what she’s learned from the ’80s and ’90s to a completely different level. It’s a sound and style some may find not suitable for the “commercial” world, but Petrucci says that suits her just fine.
Bassist Billy Sheehan has called Petrucci “a true rarity, a lady who has powerful command of her instrument and her voice.” Rick Derringer cites Petrucci’s guitar playing as “masterful” and has referred to her right-hand picking technique as “the hummingbird effect, so fast, it’s a blur.”
Continuing to forge her own path, Petrucci’s third solo album, Back to the Garden, is an eclectic mix of riff and shred, one that will make even the most jaded critic stand up and take notice. Her new band features Imminent Sonic Destruction members Pat Delon (drums) and Bryan Paxton (bass), plus guitarist Rachel May (Broadzilla).
I spoke with Petrucci about Back to the Garden, her time spent with her sister in Madam X and much more.
GUITAR WORLD: Tell me about Back to the Garden.
This is my third solo album, and it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before. I don’t have a label, so I have the luxury of doing what I want to do when I feel like doing it. For Back to the Garden, I wrote all of the songs and did all the guitars, bass and vocals. Pat Deleon wrote and played the drum parts, and Gaetano Di Falco illustrated the album cover
Bonus: Know which famous metal singer once fronted Madam X
before hitting the skids? Then read the rest of my Guitar World interview with Maxine Petrucci – Click Here