1) So, Rob Rock (the band?) - is it going to be only a "musical affair" or are you looking forward to concentrate on your solo career?
Rob Rock "the solo artist" is in full action now as I concentrate on my solo career and look for a European tour for April/May to support the "Rage of Creation" album. I have a touring band here in Florida now and we are doing some Central Florida gigs in January and February before we head to L.A. in March for the Ultrasound 2001 metal festival.
2) Your solo album has this "deja-vu" feeling that you have listened to it before, but still it sounds fresh. Do you think it's because of Roy Z's production? After all, he had worked before with such heavy metal luminaries like Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford.
Maybe...it's an album full of great songs and great production thanks in a large part to my collaboration with Roy Z. (We've been great friends since 1989 when we were in Driver together). I'm really happy with my album and I feel we came up with the best mix I've ever had on any of my previous records, and that makes a big difference to me.
3) Jake E. Lee plays guitar in a couple of songs. How did you get in touch with him?
Jake, Roy and I have a mutual friend and he suggested Jake and hooked us all up together.
4) On "Rage of Creation" you share the music composition duties with Roy Z. Were you feeling restricted only writing the lyrics in Impellitteri?
I wrote most of the vocal melodies in Impellitteri too! Chris would send me finished music tracks and I had to come up with the lyrics and the melodies to sing over it. It worked for us that way. It was easier for us just to list the songs we wrote together as Rock-lyrics and Impellitteri-music to avoid publishing hassles. With Roy, I was able to use some songs I had that Chris wouldn't use because they focus on the vocals and not the guitar as much. Also with Roy I could sing the vocal melodies to him and he could come up with the music underneath, like in the song "The Sun Will Rise Again". Other songs were written around a guitar riff, like the song "Judgment Day". So there were many ways that Roy and I wrote together and it brought a fresh creativity to the album.
5) Could you tell us about your actual relationship with Chris Impellitteri?
Chris and I have been good friends for a very long time. We played in my band Vice together in the bars on the East Coast in 1985, then we met up later in L.A. when I helped him with his demo tape in 1987, which became the Impellitteri Black EP. We've always stayed in touch and I joined his band in 1992 for the "Grin & Bear It" album and recorded 7 other albums and Ep's with Impellitteri throughout the 90's. In 2000, we decided to pursue our careers separately and now I'm a solo artist. We're still friends.
6) You're still keeping the same religious message. Didn't you thought of having a more personal approach for your solo work?
There is NOTHING more personal to me than my faith! Am I supposed to write about sex,drugs and partying like everyone else? I don't think so! I write about a lot of things other than my faith too. My lyrics are much deeper than the obvious if you listen to them on different levels. Look into the double meanings.
7)Any tour plans? If so, which musicians are going to share the stage with you?
Massacre Records is actively seeking a band that I can tour with for Europe this spring as well as looking into the European festivals to see what's possible.
The touring band information can be found at my website which is at www.robrock.com. I've got the best players in central Florida including guitarists Angelo Janotti and Rick Renstrom, and the rhythm section of bassist Steven Elder and drummer Tracy Shell. All the guys who performed on my album have an open invitation to join me as well, if their schedules and circumstances permit.
8)Are you planning to play songs from your other collaborations?
Yes, I'll probably play some Impellitteri and M.A.R.S songs as well as the songs from "Rage of Creation".
9)It seems that nowadays Hard Rock & Heavy Metal is synonymous of libertine-neitzche-gothic stuff and people dressed in black. Do you miss the old times when Rock 'n roll stood for a different attitude?
The trends are constantly changing but I do remember when rock was more fun and less depressing than it is now. I miss the time when true metal was on MTV in the USA. I'm pretty sick of all the boy bands and Barbie doll singers.
10) In the last years, there has been a "renaissance" of the HR/HM scene; with all these independent labels and new bands working and making music for the love of it and not for the dollar sign. Do you think there's a chance for HR/HM to return back to the spotlight - big time?
I definitely do it for the love of it! If it comes back to the mainstream, great!! I think Europe and Japan have the ears for quality music but the US mainstream only has eyes for the latest trends that huge corporate record labels shove in your face and ears with their big money and promotion machines. There is a strong following for melodic metal in the US but it's kind of underground. The internet has definitely helped bring metal to light again.
11)Last but not least, the obligatory Finnquestion: What do you know about Finland?
Let's see...Helsinki and the medical breakthroughs...Finland is the 7th largest country in Europe...and I hear it's beautiful there! You guys like cell phones too, don't you?