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"Back in the day we would get substantial amounts of money from the record company along with merchandise advances and tours". - Roxy Petrucci

Posted: October 4, 2022

There are beautiful tree’s such as the “Japanese money tree that “grow intertwined”. It’s really a “survival strategy”. Gravity pulls tree branches downward and it’s “branch growth” is often affected by the force of wind. To “remain healthy” tree’s that intertwine”, rely on each other to gather light, to stay stable in the wind, and to succeed against “nearby competitors”. So, when they grow crookedly, or intertwined, that's part of a tree's overall survival strategy.

What does a Japanese money tree have to do with the music industry? I was about to say “simple”. However, there is nothing about the music industry that is simple. Often it can be quite difficult. Especially during the last two years. The music industry has been affected by unordinary challenges. However, it still finds a way to survive. As if there was some unique strategy behind it. Regardless of the difficulties in the music industry it continues to remain healthy. What has enabled this to happen? Could we conclude that the music industry has “intertwined” with other components to ensure its longevity? Undoubtedly. The music industry is not alone. There are other forms of entertainment that are seeking stability during challenging times. Yes, and even competing to ensure it remains financially healthy. But how? What measures have been implemented?

Streaming audio and video have become huge integration for all aspects of the entertainment sector.

For movie, and T.V. shows cable is no longer as dominant as in previous years. Many turn to streaming applications for movies and T.V. shows. It has become apparent that streaming has held the entertainment sector together. Per Warner Music Group “for the fiscal year, recorded music streaming revenue increased 24% year on year to $2.404 billion. In the fourth quarter, streaming revenue was up 22% to $639 million”. Like the Japanese money tree, the music industry has deep roots, and has intertwined with elements that keep it stable during difficult times. Regardless of the competition in the entertainment sector, the music industry is functioning quite well.

With the power, stability and revenue, the music industry always comes out strong. However, it must “intertwine” with other components to guarantee its success. We have acknowledged that streaming is a key element for the success of the music industry. Does that mean that the revenue trickles downward, or shared amongst those that make streaming possible? We have posed some interesting questions. This is a topic worth discussing with one of the most talented and brilliant minds of the music industry. Her name is Roxy Petrucci, the Ace Drummer from the band “Vixen”.

About Roxy Petrucci

If you have been hiding under a rock, or on a secluded island, then you “may” not have heard of Roxy Petrucci. Unfortunately, it may be the case for some. However, they are missing a tremendous talent. Roxanne Dora Petrucci (born March 17, 1962 in Rochester, Michigan) is an American drummer best known for her work with the heavy metal bands Madam X and Vixen.

Petrucci and her sister, Maxine Petrucci, first formed Madam X with vocalist Bret Kaiser and Chris Doliber. She left Madam X to join Vixen in 1986 and stayed until 1991. Roxy returned when Vixen reunited in 1997, bringing in her sister Maxine into the fold, but the lineup had to be dissolved the next year for legal reasons. She later rejoined a Jan Kuehnemund-led Vixen, but the reunion ended in 2001. In 2004, VH1 approached the four members of the "classic lineup" to appear on their show, Bands Reunited. The show was recorded in August 2004, and broadcast in the U.S. in November 2004. Following the broadcast of the VH1 show, EMI's American label Capitol re-released the first two Vixen albums, Vixen and Rev It Up.

In 2012, Janet Gardner, Share Pedersen, and Petrucci announced they and Gina Stile would form their own band. Thus, they became known as JanetShareRoxyGina (or JSRG for short). JSRG began playing shows at the end of 2012, followed by touring on the Monsters of Rock cruise in March 2013, and performing at the tenth anniversary of the melodic rock festival Firefest in the UK later in October. In December, JSRG evolved into Vixen to honor Kuehnemund's posthumous legacy. Petrucci also played for Roktopuss with former Femme Fatale vocalist and future Vixen bandmate Lorraine Lewis, who succeeded Gardner on vocals in January 2019 after the latter stepped down.

Other changes have taken place since 2019, but with change comes the challenge of adjustment. Roxy has been the cornerstone of the band Vixen for many years. Through the difficult times, and even as they experienced success. Roxy continues to keep the band together, and thriving without missing a beat.

Now is the time to get some insightful feedback from one of the top drummers of all time Roxy Petrucci.

Interview with Roxy Petrucci and Guitar Thrills Magazine

Guitar Thrills: It is certainly our privilege that we get to interview one of our favorite rock artists from the hair band era. We want to thank you in advance.

Guitar Thrills: In the early days of the “hair bands” there were tons of bands, and they were great at their craft. The competition must have been fierce. As I mentioned in the introduction, certain types of trees or plant’s count on each other to fend off competition, or even for survival. From a “brand” perspective within the Rock music industry, what has been that branch for you? That “intertwine” that enables you to withstand the competition within the music industry.

Roxy: I like your analogy and yes

Guitar Thrills: Back in the day, there was no such tools as streaming to help the circulation of releases and albums. For me, I am kind of happy about that. I love the keeping things old school. However, we have to adapt to the current times that we live in. Would it be fair to say, that you have helped music streaming applications stay viable during unfavorable times?

Roxy: I’m also old school but you have to keep up or you’ll be left behind. Any avenue one can use to get their music heard is not a bad thing,

Guitar Thrills: In the past, you could release an album or cassette and receive considerable amount of money (depending on record deal). How has music streaming services are stated to pay less than .003 to .0084 with an average of .004 per stream affected you personally? There are varying payouts per streaming application, but they all compare with the same payout. So, you can have one of your songs stream 1,000 and still only get $3.00 to $5.00. Does this seem fair?

Roxy: No it doesn’t seem fair and I hope at some point soon we come to a point where we can negotiate a fair and deserving distribution for the artists. Back in the day we would get substantial amounts of money from the record company along with merchandise advances and tours. A lot of money was being thrown around back then and as you can imagine difficult for the artists to keep track of. Song writing and publishing royalties was where you could make a good amount of money and actually see it!

Guitar Thrills: I can’t imagine someone being excited over stream payouts. However, there has to be more to having your songs on these platforms. Do you have a strategy with these applications, that are more useful to you? If so, what is your main reason for using them? Also, has this been an adjustment for Vixen?

Roxy: Vixen’s strategy is to release great music and play as many live shows in as many countries as possible and expose ourselves to as many fans as possible. Social media is a great tool and we plan to utilize it but ultimately it’s the music that resonates with people. You can use all the social apps you want but if you release crap nothing will help ya. We’re noticing more and more younger fans coming to our show and digging what we do so that’s a good sign we’re doing something right….and I’ll credit the parents for turning their kids on to some good rock n roll!

Guitar Thrills: I should preface my questions with a statement, that I enjoy streaming applications. I have multiple applications that I use, and I can access songs for almost any artist that I desire. While it remains to be a great source of revenue for the music industry, I believe artists can be paid more. Especially if they are more popular than other artists. They should have “tiers” or levels that they pay at? What do you think?

Roxy: I think they should just pay me more! Haha seriously I believe if you get the right people together who work out the numbers they can figure out a payout that is fair to everyone.

Guitar Thrills: I know regardless of the payout or platform that you use, you’re always going to be a huge hit. I brought up competition in my introduction. You see it in every industry or organization. It’s inevitable. There is always going to be a competitor. As you are aware, a genre that many said would die off has only gotten stronger. How have you been able to stay several steps ahead of the competition?

Roxy: Thank you for the compliment! First and foremost I stayed active doing what I love. I was under the radar but never gave up playing. In 2010 I was asked to perform in the Cape Breton International Drum festival with Legendary drummers the likes of Virgil Donati, Carmine Appice, Billy Cobham, Michael Shrieve, Alan White and many more. Receiving a Legends award was a highlight in my career. Music goes around in cycles but rock n roll never dies. I’m lucky to have this opportunity to tour and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.

Guitar Thrills: Come to think of it, you really do not have much competition do you? You are in high demand. You seem to be very humble, even though you have become very successful as a drummer and artist? What keeps you grounded?

Roxy: I never really bought into the rockstar attitude. I’m here to rock n roll and at this point in my career I’m really enjoying myself. Experience and having been in this industry for so many years will humble you. I’m happy when I’m able to inspire others to pick up the sticks or any instrument for that matter. That makes it all worthwhile.

Guitar Thrills: Many individuals, will say: In order to survive in the music industry, you can’t accept failure. Is there a point, where you just have to accept reality? Maybe not everyone artist was meant to succeed.

Roxy: Depends how bad you want something. You find other ways to survive while staying focused on your dream. Yes, there’s much more than just talent involved but the decisions you make determine outcomes. How will you know you aren’t meant to succeed if you give up?

Guitar Thrills: What is the most difficult challenge have you endured as a rock artist? What helped you to overcome it?

Roxy: That’s a tough question but I would say in my earlier years it was overcoming the stigma of girls playing rock n roll and metal. Vixen had a hell of a time trying to get a record contract because we were all female. Back then I got many back handed compliments saying I was good for a girl. I don’t think it was meant to be mean more so they were shocked to see a female playing as hard and solid as I do. I never dwelled on the fact I’m a female I just wanted to bang on the drums all day…like any other drummer would.

Guitar Thrills: What has Vixen been up to as of late? Do you have any new releases or tours that your fans should know about?

Roxy: Yes we’re about to drop a new single soon and plan on releasing a video as well. Our live shows having been going over great with the lineup of Lorraine Lewis, Britt Lightning, Julia Lage and Yours Truly. We plan to fill up 2023 with tour dates here in the States and abroad. We’re having a blast and the energy is off the charts!

Guitar Thrills: You have been a drummer an vocalist for decades. Do you plan on giving it up any time soon? The way you are performing it seems like you could go on forever.

Roxy: Well thank you for that! I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon. I’m just getting started!

Guitar Thrills: Actually, I could probably go on forever, asking questions and discussing your background in as a member of Vixen. Maybe we can save that for another day. When I was thinking about this topic, I had to have the right artist to refer too. Someone, that has been there, done that, and reaped the rewards of their hard work. Having Roxy Petrucci, answer these questions was the right decision. I am really glad that your schedule allowed for you to interview with us. It is with much appreciation for your time today. I hope we can schedule a follow up interview soon.

Roxy: Thank you for reaching out to me I appreciate the support and would love to schedule a follow up when our new music is out. Thank you again and I hope to see you on the road somewhere soon! Keep Rockin!!

Guitar Thrills: That would be awesome. Thanks again.

In conclusion: At the onset of this topic we mentioned the need to the Japanese money tree to grow intertwined. It prevents Gravity from pulling the tree branches downward. How often have anyone of us, allowed the challenges of daily life or work life, pull us downward. Even to the point of giving up or accepting failure? I believe many of us can relate. However, we have seen the examples of the music industry intertwining with other components to keep it up straight. Even through difficult times. It flourishes with the help of talented artists such as Roxy Petrucci. We all could take lessons from both Roxy Petrucci of Vixen. Focus on developing deep roots. Intertwine with another component if you have too. The result of your efforts, will produce much fruit.

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