Roxanne Frontman Jamie Brown on ‘Radio Silence,’ Working with George Lynch + More


Story by Anne Erickson

Jamie Brown chats with Anne Erickson about Roxanne’s new album and more

Los Angeles-based Roxanne came on the scene in the late-‘80s with hard-rocking tunes such as “Cherry Bay” and “Sweet Maria,” but their timing came right before grunge turned the rock world upside down, and pretty soon, the airwaves made way for the “Smells Like Teen Spirits” of the time.

Fast-forward to today, and Roxanne is back with their sophomore album, “Radio Silence,” out Friday (Oct. 26). The album packs a musical punch with crunchy guitars, catchy melodies and guest appearances from George Lynch, King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick and Korn drummer Ray Luzier.

Roxanne frontman Jamie Brown spoke with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio about the new album and how music has changed since Roxanne first got together.

Congrats on the new album, “Radio Silence.” You released your first album in the ‘80s. What does it feel like to be back, releasing new music decades later?

It’s exciting! It’s a nervous thing at times, but we enjoyed the process. The actual record, from beginning to end, from the day we started to the day it will come out took three years to create, so it’s been a long process.

Tell me about your decision to record this album analog.

We recorded the basic tracks on two-inch analog tape. We were talking about the shelf life of this album and came to the conclusion that we thought maybe some of the shelf life would be shortened due to the fact that the effort put into if, if it were digital, would also be shortened. So, we took the long route to go analog.

Do you have a favorite song on “Radio Silence?”

My favorite song is “Someone to Kill.” It’s a little bit different for us, yet it’s kind of all the elements that made us who we were in the ‘80s. It has the harmony guitars and background vocals and all of that, which we have always done, but it’s a little fresher and more contemporary.

What was your goal with this album?

For me, personally, I wanted to make a good record and something I could be proud of, as far as the type of record. The goal for me was to create something that you’d want to listen to while driving in a car loud with the windows down, and I think we did that.

It’s really cool that you have these appearances from George Lynch, King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick and Korn drummer Ray Luzier on the album. How did that come together?

I’ve been friends with Ray, the drummer for Korn, for a long time, and he was a Roxanne fan from back when he grew up in Pittsburgh. He’s in a band with George Lynch and dUg Pinnick called KXM, and I’ve worked on some of their music videos. We all became friends, and when Roxanne started recording new music, it made sense, and their contribution turned out great. They really knocked it out of the park.

Do you sense a revival of the kind of ‘80s rock and hair metal sound today?

Well, that will be a good thing! I don’t know. There are a lot of old timers like us coming back and releasing new music. I don’t know how popular they are. My fingers are crossed that it’s making a comeback.

What are your thoughts on ‘80s bands like Kiss retiring?

Well, those guys have been working consistently since the ‘80s. It’s probably going to be welcomed for them, because they have been going at it consistently for a long time.

How has the music industry changed from when you guys started out to today?

I like the fact there are less gatekeepers. The artists can go directly to the fans, if that’s what they want to do with the music. That’s refreshing. I understand, though, that with the change, it’s more difficult to make a living that way. Live shows used to be to promote the product, and now it’s the other way around, and the product is there to get people to the live shows to make money.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Music, Rock