The first Hanoi Rocks website Online since 1995
Group chemistry - the right band at the right time
So what we had was this: Andy was a great songwriter and guitarist, and he had this superb frontman. The two came together and they had a band where everything jelled. After Razzle joined the band, everything slotted neatly in place. They all looked like they belonged to each other. If you had to do an identikit, you'd have picked these five guys out as belonging in the same band. They played off each other perfectly. I remember reading the same thing about The Doors. I was a huge Doors fan, and Ray Manzarek once said that they were "four bodies and one mind." That's what Hanoi were about. The sound was right, the time was right, the attitude, the presentation, the whole works - it all came together. And that just doesn't happen very often. If it had happened two or three years earlier, or two or three years later, it wouldn't have worked. Punk had come and gone - it was still around, but its impact had waned. And as for what was termed as the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal," the wheat had been sorted from the chaff there. You had Iron Maiden, you had Def Leppard. That had come up and it was still there, but there wasn't anything new happening.
JR: And Hanoi came together a little before the L.A. hair metal explosion with Crue and Ratt.
DD: Yes, and after that, you had the whole Seattle grunge thing. At the time, there wasn't a lot going on that excited me. Yes, you did have the Stones, but at that point the Stones had been around for almost twenty-five years. I almost feel sorry for people today, because there's not much danger and excitement in rock 'n' roll anymore. Yes, the whole hip-hop and rap thing is kind of dangerous, but I have no cultural connection to hip-hop whatsoever. And I was basically too young for punk - I just caught the tail end of it. But with Hanoi, I was right there, ready for something that had that element of danger to it. And suddenly it's there in front of me, dropped from the clear blue sky. As I said, I'd seen the Stones, and they were brilliant, but you can't go to a stadium and be dangerous.
But you can go to a club and be dangerous; there's an immediacy about that. When I went to see the Stones, it was almost like watching it on TV. They had a huge video screen, and they were a half mile away from me. Although it was great being in that huge collective of people who were all there for the same purpose, when you're in a club with a couple hundred other people, you're there at the cutting edge. This is what Hanoi had. It was like they could helter-skelter off the edge of a cliff at any moment - it was just what I wanted. Suddenly, here were these guys giving it to me. It was a bit bizarre that it had to come from this place out of the fringes of Europe, a place where the biggest contribution to the musical world had been ABBA. ABBA and Hanoi Rocks aren't exactly the same thing. If you could find two more polar opposite bands coming from the same neck of the woods, I haven't heard of them.