Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Michael Coons! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Michael Coons: Hello Hanna! I'm doing great. We recently played Graspop and Bang
Your Head, and they were awesome, completely off the hook. Right now, the guys are doing summer stuff with their kids, but we will be looking at some opportunities to play out when the kids are back in school. As you can tell, things have changed for us quite a bit over the years!
Hanna Tsepesh: For those who do not know Laaz Rockit could tell us a little how it all started? It was formed in 1982 by you and Aaron, right?
Michael Coons: Yeah, Aaron and I met through a mutual friend, Craig Behrhorst (Ruffians), and we started jamming back in 1982. I was still in high school with Craig, and finished before that summer. At that time, Aaron and I started playing gigs and we got popular really fast. So much so that I passed on a soccer scholarship to attend college that fall! As we progressed through
that year and into 1983, we came across Phil Kettner, Vic Agnello, and then Willy Lange. We knew we had put together a special line-up, and from here we were on a way.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics for the band? The band writes the lyrics first or first the band creates the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Michael Coons: Inspiration for the lyrics have come from many places over the years.
When I was younger, I would write about world events, history, social issues and topics of interest of the time. It was viewing from the outside looking in. Most of the time, the riffs would come first, and we would shape the vocals around them. But now, Aaron and I have a different system. I will write stuff all the time, most of it coming from a personal standpoint rather than an observational one. The years of life perspective, especially one's own, feels far more relative to me and is also quite satisfying. Aaron can still feed me music that fits certain writings, but I don't wait for it now. We collaborate as we go along, and the writing feels more mature that way.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any singer that you admire the most?
Michael Coons: Most of my favorite bands are the classic rock one's...Thin Lizzy, UFO, Zeppelin, AC/DC, Aerosmith ( OLD STUFF! ), Van Halen, and the like.
Metal bands like: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica and the like came along later. There are so many singers I enjoy, but I always related to the front men who could dominate an audience. People like Steven Tyler, David Lee Roth, Bon Scott, and Phil Lynott had a big influence on me. They brought such energy live, and looked like they had a great time doing it.
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know if you had or have any singing lessons or any other preparation?
Michael Coons: Sure, I took a lot of vocal training when I was younger, but now I spend my preparation time working out in the gym as physical fitness is the biggest asset to a singer. Especially in the high-energy world of metal.
Hanna Tsepesh: Laaz Rockit has a album called “No Stranger To Danger”. You guys have an excellent album I really like it and also I liked the riffs and your voice! Great work in here! For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about this album and what is the big different for you between this album and the previous one?
Michael Coons: Actually, "No Stranger To Danger" is a re-release from Massacre...it is from 1985! Thank you for the compliments, but that was a long time ago!
We recorded that pretty close to "City's Gonna Burn" , and we were starting to learn a bit more about song structure. Mind you, we were still very young then, and were still figuring out our musical style. But once again, thanks for the compliment!
Hanna Tsepesh: Oh really…sorry for my mistake and thank you for your answer! The band feels proud with the final result or you think that miss something? Everything went well at recording studio? It was an easy process?
Michael Coons: We were very proud at the time! We didn't have a huge budget for the record, so we did the best with what we had. We were in L.A., and it was the middle of the '80s, so we partied VERY HARD during that time! But we still dragged ourselves into the studio every day, and worked hard. It was easy back then, because we were young!
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Michael Coons: It is great that so many young fans are reaching in to the past and
discovering us for perhaps the first time. The computer age of today has certainly helped ignite the interest in everything we have done in our careers. The fans and the media have always been so kind to us, and we are grateful for all they have done for us, and continue to do for us.
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album safely, what they can do?
Michael Coons: You can buy all of our albums safely...I hope! Go to Massacre.com for any info and check out our new album, "Left For Dead" ( 2008 ). You can also go to myspace and type in "thelaazrockit" for our link, and of course www.laazrockit.com for all things Laaz Rockit, including merchandise, tour info, blogs, and other cool stuff.
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Michael Coons: My personal favorite Laaz Rockit music is all of it...but then again, I may be a little biased!
Hanna Tsepesh: The band is thinking about a European tour? You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something?
Michael Coons: We hope to return in the fall, and are working on some possibilities to help make that happen. We would love to come to Portugal; I have heard so many great things about your country.
Hanna Tsepesh: Cool! Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Michael Coons: Thank you guys for supporting us! We are always amazed by the people
around the world who reach out to us. We are humbled by the devotion they continue to show us!
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to some LAAZ ROCKIT music’s and for future information’s go at: