Roxy Petrucci Is Still Revvin' It Up

Here's a great list of American women firsts. Amelia Earhart (first woman to solo fly the Atlantic) Sally Ride (first woman astronaut in outer space), Sandra Day O'Connor (first woman on the Supreme Court). And Vixen. Who? Yes, that Vixen. There were female rockers before them but none who sold a million records with such power and headbanging, lust-inducing style. Drummer Roxy Petrucci anchored the "classic" Vixen lineup that was a staple on glam metal tours in the late '80s and early '90s. Roxy, who by then was already a veteran of the cult-legends http://www.roxypetrucci.com/menupage.htm)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 5B wood tip

Heads: Remo, Evans and Aquarian....I dig em all. I'm not endorsed by one specific company at this time so I use whatever I want.

Hardware: DW 5000 series pedals and Tama hardware.

I heard you were a hit at the Cape Breton International Drum Festival and you're going back in 2010. How do you like clinics and events like that?
I loved it! I hope to do more in the near future. It's very satisfying to see the audience reaction and be able to talk with the drummers afterward. I especially get a charge from the younger teens that are still wide eyed and hungry for information. They keep me motivated. I'm so accustomed to being on stage with other musicians that it took me a minute to get used to the fact that I'm up there by myself. I find comfort in sitting behind my kit...it's my rock n roll cocoon.

Was there anything surprising about the way people reacted there?
I was floored when I got a standing O! After my performance I signed autographs and welcomed any questions. There were a group of teen boys who told me that they had never seen a girl "demolish" like that and I was "beyond wicked brutal". I mean how cool is that?! I was also informed that a female drummer in the audience contacted the drum company and purchased the kit that I had 'demolished'. It doesn't get any better....well, yes it does. I was then later informed that next year they were going to present me with a Legends award! I don't mean to brag but hell that was a great day for me.

Did they know Madam X or Vixen?
Yes, both. I was surprised to be autographing Vixen CDs like Rev it Up and a couple of vintage vinyl Madam X records. This new generation is hip to '80s rock and apparently they love it.

What do you try to teach when you're in a clinic situation?
I'm not so much about teaching as in demonstrating. I prefer to play and hopefully inspire. If someone asks me to show them how I execute a certain fill or beat then I'm happy to do it. I suggest to drummers that they learn to read music, know the rudiments and learn to keep solid time. The best lesson for any drummer is to jam with musicians. There are many good drum books on the market such as The Funky Primer by Charles Dowd, Stick Control for Snare Drummer, Carmine Appice has a couple of cool beat books [Ultimate Realistic Rock]. Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer by Jim Chapin is a real good book.

You studied clarinet before drums. Did the experience of playing a pitched melodic instrument affect your style, even though you play heavy grooves?
Good question, I don't know. I suppose it helped in reading charts and understanding arrangements and music itself. Playing clarinet in the symphony required discipline in my playing and my behavior. This is a fairly conservative controlled environment...and I dug it but at the same time I was playing drums in Madam X which required headbanging, heavy hitting, full on volume metal madness... I really dug that! The classic dork during the day turned leather-clad, skin-beatin', rocker chick at night. It was all good.
All the while I was very passionate about both my clarinet and drums and that's important when playing any instrument.

You're now playing in Roktopuss with Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatale. How did that come about?
Lorraine called me and wanted to put something together. She and I work well together and I dig her voice. We recorded some pretty kickass songs with guitarists Jeff Young from Megadeth and Brian Young from the David Lee Roth band. You can check out our tunes at http://www.myspace.com/roktopuss.

The songs you've got on myspace are great. Is there more recording in the works?
Yes, I'm always up for recording especially when I dig the tunes. I really love tracking drums to my sister Maxine's music. It keeps me on my toes and challenges me to come up with interesting parts. "Metal in My Veins" is a good example. She wanted me to go wild with the drum track, a sort of controlled chaos. As I was practicing along with her guitar and click I suddenly went into my high school marching band cadence interspersed with double kicks and after some tweaking it fit right in with the wildness of the track.

Over your career do you prefer touring or recording?
There's nothing like getting on stage in front of a live rabid audience and rock 'n' rollin 'all night long!

What can we expect next from Roxy Petrucci?
The Clarinet Polka?