Former HANOI ROCKS Guitarist: I Have The ‘Ex-Junkie’ Label Printed Large On My Forehead

Former HANOI ROCKS guitarist Andy McCoy recently spoke to Helsingin Sanomat about GREASE HELMET, his new band which also features members of AMORPHIS. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On all the things that have changed during the course of his music career:

McCoy: “I have learned to have a break and also to do things when I have the right vibe. Without any stress. One thing is clear. Nobody will ever boss me around anymore. Nobody. We and no-one else will hold the reins of this band. The years have taught me that.”

On not dealing with “corporate bullshit” when it comes to slugging it out with record labels:

McCoy: “We already had a ready-made deal, but the record company’s boss was fired, and we would have had to begin everything again from scratch. We figured, forget it. They are just a go-between anyway. In this business the middlemen come thick and fast.”

“I am not fed up with gigging as such, but I have had my fair share of pointless tours. We have played gigs only so that we would make money to then pay off people who just sit in an office and make phone calls.”

“I only want to concentrate on making art, either music or paintings. I am not one bit interested in the business side of things, with all the greed that goes with it. It is so banal. It comes across in so many people’s music today that all they think about is money.”

“I have given up unnecessary interviews. Isn’t it enough that everybody already recognizes me? Wherever I go, people won’t leave me alone.”

“There comes a time when one just wants to be left in peace. I now live close to my relatives and old friends. I am being protected quite well. Nobody talks crap about me anymore.”

On the chemistry between GREASE HELMET bandmembers:

McCoy: “This is good, creative work. I wouldn’t have embarked on this had we just started writing some hit songs. I have written enough hit songs for one lifetime.”

“We created an album like they used to make them in the old days. It is meant to be listened to as a whole and it will grow with each listening.”

On whether GREASE HELMET is a new beginning for him:

McCoy: “Huh? A new beginning? There isn’t such a thing. I have the ‘ex-junkie’ label printed large on my forehead. Many people still think that I am a druggie, even though I have been clean for 15 years.”

On his present-day intoxicants of choice:

McCoy: “A couple of beers. But I now do what I want, and only what I want. Have I ever honestly done anything else? Maybe I have tried certain things and noticed that they were not for me. Nobody should give in to doing something that they don’t want to do.”

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