A Conversation with Roxy Petrucci (Vixen) Drummer- By: Rob Smittix At The Strand (FRIDAY)!

Written by on January 17, 2024

RRX: So happy that you’re still doing this after all these years and I’m really excited. The Strand is a beautiful theater, very historic.

RP: How old is it? it’s been around a long time, right? Because it sounds familiar to me.

RRX: I don’t know exactly how long it’s been around but everything is historic around here. (Looked it up it’s 100 Years Old)

RP: That sounds good. I’ll have to do some sightseeing maybe.

RRX: Yeah, exactly. So Friday, January 19th Vixen at The Strand in Hudson Falls. What I thought was cool was when you hit me up, I was watching your latest video that you put out not even just a few months ago “Red.”

RP: Yeah, we had a blast making that too.

RRX: Now, the coolest part I think for me is… I know a lot of heritage bands from that era are doing tours but you don’t really see a lot of them putting out new music, but you still are. And that’s pretty amazing.

RP: Well, you know what? We were just ready to do something new and to get Lorraine Lewis’s voice onto something. She’s got a great voice and a great stage presence. We were talking about doing a single. We were writing as a band and Fred Coury had the song “Red” and said, you know… I think this would be perfect for you girls. We gave it a listen and we said, oh, hell yeah! And once we started rehearsing, it just came together. It just, it sounds great. It works for us and we made it our own, we owned it. So, yeah, we’re pretty thrilled with this one. I think it came out great and I think it this is big.
Obviously, we don’t have Janet, Jan or Share. But I think the spirit of Vixen is still in there. You know? I wanna keep true to the Vixen Sound as much as possible. I think Britt Lightning is doing a great job on guitar, she adds her own little flavor in there. But she does a great capturing Jan’s essence on all the songs. Because it’s important to keep that Vixen sound, we were all about the big choruses and the hooky riffs and I think “Red” has that.

RRX: I couldn’t agree with you more. It sure does. That’s phenomenal. It’s so funny to me, just growing up as a kid in the eighties in the MTV era, when it really mattered. I say, within the last year I got to talk to a few of my early crushes from when I was growing up, I interviewed Tiffany…

RP: Very cool.

RRX: And now I’ve got you on the phone. So, yeah, you were definitely a heart-throb to many of us back in the day.

RP: That’s awesome. I love hearing that. Well, you know? I’m still trying, I’m still out there banging away. I mean, I don’t have any intention of quitting, not until I can’t play anymore. Which, who knows? I don’t know. But I think that’s what’s keeping me in shape is playing drums.

RRX: Sure. Absolutely. You’re owning it. And I think you’ve got decades left to rock out.

RP: Oh, I love that. Yeah, I’m going with that, Decades! I know we’ll bring it, it will be 1980 again.

RRX: Yes!

RP: Maybe I’ll do my hair up real high.

RRX: Do you do martial arts or anything? I just seen something the other day, I didn’t know. Did you know Willie Nelson is a 5th degree black belt?

RP: No, I love that. Actually, you know what I did do Taekwondo when I was twelve. I did it for about two years and then that was it. I was done, I was not disciplined enough. I wish I would have stayed with it though.

RRX: I know. Yeah, I did martial arts too when I was younger. And then (because I was a short guy) I accidentally kicked my sensei where you shouldn’t kick someone! He then proceeded to knock the wind right out of me.

RP: Really?

RRX: So that was it for me.

RP: That’s brutal. God, I can’t imagine. But then you could have hit him back, I guess. Right? Okay, now I’ll show you!

RRX: (Laughs) I wish. So… what are people to expect from a Vixen show in 2024?

RP: You haven’t seen us yet, have you?

RRX: I have not.

RP: Oh, you’re in for a treat! If you’re watching our videos you’re gonna see these girls are all over the stage. There’s so much energy now with Julia Lage on bass. Julia and Britt, they’re the younger ones in the band and they brought a certain energy that keeps us on our toes. They bring new life and we’re having a lot of fun with each other. Everybody gets along great. We’re all eighties girls at heart.
Um, so, yeah, I think when you come see us play, you’re gonna see a rock show! We are genuinely enjoying ourselves, loving the music, loving the fans and Lorraine actually includes the fans in a few of our songs; which you will see on Friday. You will be singing with us!

RRX: Cool. Yeah. I’m really looking forward to this and another thing is that the eighties really have been making a comeback right now. I know it’s normal, things do kind of cycle back but the eighties are big. The Strand Theater in particular really hones that in, they have a lot of the eighties acts come through. This area also very much embraces that era of music. Lots of fans here.

RP: Well, if you look at the summer festivals, I mean, it’s all these eighties bands, selling out these festivals. There is still love for this rock and roll because it brings you back to the good times. You know? Eighties rock was about good times. Forget all the bullsh** going on day to day, bullsh** work. Come here and come party! That’s what we’re about. Good music, good songs, have fun and rock and roll the night away, rock all night, party all… what is it? Party all day, rock all night? Rock all night party all day.

RRX: (Laughs) Exactly like that. I wish acid washed jeans would make a come back.

RP: Wear em on Friday.

RRX: I might be able to do that.

RP: Pull them out of the closet, I’m sure you still have a pair.

RRX: Yeah, yeah, I don’t know if I could fit into those anymore, being I am a grandfather now.

RP: Oh, the tighter the better. Back then anyway.

RRX: That’s right. Yeah, speaking of being a grandfather, my son and his wife are actually at the hospital right now, she might be having this baby today!

RP: Oh my God. Congratulations.

RRX: Thank you. Yeah. Gonna be a grandfather times two now.

RP: Oh, my God! A hip grandfather. It’s like the coolest thing ever!

RRX: My grandson (RJ) now is almost two years old. I bring him into the radio station here all the time and I let him co- host with me.

RP: What’s his favorite music?

RRX: I got him into Bob Marley type stuff. He’s, half, Haitian. But honestly, I’m not very familiar with Haitian music, so I figured I’d just bring him into some Caribbean music.

RP: That’s awesome music is universal. Everybody loves music.

RRX: I also know that his mom (my daughter) doesn’t really have the best taste in music, so I’m trying to make sure he gets a little bit of it in his life.

RP: Well, you’re doing a good job then, you bring him to the radio station. That’s awesome.

RRX: I also look at these kids now and the music that’s being put out there. I mean, Taylor Swift is like the New Beatles.

RP: The biggest thing on the planet, right?

RRX: She is. But then we have this great, successful up and coming musician from this area, Moriah Formica who is kind of doing like an eighties style kind of thing since a very early age.

RP: Oh yes I’ve seen her, she’s a great singer! She actually posted a video singing “Edge of a Broken Heart.” Interesting that you say that because when we tour and do meet and greets after our shows… we’ll meet people, sign autographs and all that good stuff. There’s a lot of younger girls and boys, not just people my age and it runs the gamut. People bringing their kids that love eighties rock. These younger kids are into it, their parents are turning them on to it. Just introduce this music to them, there’s something about it, they listen to it and go, wow! That’s cool, I like it. How could you not? I mean, these choruses, those eighties choruses, they’re so addictive. You know? You can’t help but sing it?

RRX: And dance!

RP: And head bang! It’s about the groove. So I’m not surprised that Moriah has kind of got that eighties thing going because it seems like they’re gravitating towards that right now.
I love the idea of that. I think that’s great. A lot of girls and guys say that Vixen has an influence on them, which is great! They’re young kids. So, we love hearing about it, that just makes it all more worthwhile.

RRX: I don’t wanna take up too much of your time and I know you’ve got band practice and all that stuff ahead of you. Is there anything else you would like your fans to know or anything that you’d say to them?

RP: Just come check us out on social media, when we come to your town, come see us play. You’re gonna have a great time, we’ll definitely include you into our show. It’s gonna feel like one big party as David Lee Roth once said “it’s one big party and you’re all invited.” We love our fans. Absolutely. Love our fans.

RRX: I really appreciate your time. I’ve been looking forward to this. I look forward to the show it’s gonna be awesome.

RP: It was great talking with you and congratulations on the grand baby! I’ll see you Friday!

Vixen at The Strand Theatre Hudson Falls This Friday, January 19th -7:30pm Get TICKETS HERE

RRX: PS: As soon as we hung up, I got the call that my granddaughter was born!



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