Poison’s Rikki Rockett: Rock music needs to be a little more creative

Poison’s Rikki Rockett
Poison’s Rikki Rockett (Image credit: Miikka Skaffari - Getty)

Poison’s Rikki Rockett says he thinks that the rock genre needs to “reinvigorate itself just a little bit” to get itself noticed more.

The drummer was taking part in a roundtable discussion over the weekend with Chicago's Cameo Cares, which is donating cash to COVID-19 charities.

He was joined in the video chat by Mike Portnoy, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack, ex Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.

They were discussing rock’s place in the US mainstream amid the rise in popularity of hip hop and pop and touched on Gene Simmons’ comment from 2014 that rock music was "dead".

Snider, who recently backed a petition to have AC/DC play the Super Bowl halftime show, said: “Rock is not dead – it's such a false narrative. Just go to the concert halls to see what's going on. I don't want to tear up Gene, but he did something in an article a number of years ago where he said rock was dead so don't bother picking up a guitar. 

“I was, like, 'How can our own people be reinforcing that message?' Our job is to lift up young people like Andy, not crush their spirits.”

Rockett went on to say: “I think that organic rock music is going to go into the forefront again. It just is. But I think it needs to reinvent itself a little bit. People need to be a little more creative in the rock genre. 

“This guy could be in that band or he could be in that band or he could play with this guy… and everybody looks the same and plays the same. There needs to be a little more of a movement, a little more of a scene."

He added: "When I was growing up, there was a punk scene, a rock scene, and then metal came along… it created a lot of energy. 

“Rock's been a little stagnant for a while. It's there. Even people like Steve Miller can put on tickets for sale and sell out. It’s amazing. Dee is absolutely right, it's there, but as far as newer bands, I think rock is going to have to reinvigorate itself just a little bit and not just copy what other people have done that came before them."

Watch the full interview session below. 

Rockett and his Poison bandmates are gearing up to hit the road this summer with Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.