Rock star icon Lita Ford is quite busy these days. She is making music once again, embarking on an international tour, releasing her seventh album, and even contributing her voice for a supporting role in the upcoming video game; Brutal Legend for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Ford first achieved success as lead guitarist for the all female rock band, The Runaways, and later for her solo career during the big hair metal era of the 80s with the release of chart toppers such as Kiss Me Deadly and Close My Eyes Forever; a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. Recently, she returned from her fifteen year absence by beginning work on her first studio album in almost two decades entitled Winter Wonderland. Resident ReadJunk journalist Ray Manuud delivers this latest installment featuring a friendly time out with Lita Ford as she discusses music, motherhood, and reality television.
Metal, of course, is the music you are most associated with. You began playing music at a time when female musicians in rock were rare and when most people identified metal bands with the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. Since that time metal went completely mainstream and branched into dozens of variations. So what is Lita Ford’s take on the genre and direction it took since the era of Kiss Me Deadly?
I’ve been on a deserted island, I have no idea what’s been going on in metal. Hahahaha
Do you think metal today is still subversive or reviled?
Well I haven’t heard enough of today’s metal to answer that.
Has the music already reached its creative pinnacle?
I think we can take it much farther! I’m glad to be a part of it and hope I inspire some little girl out there to start rockin! Who knows? Maybe she’ll come out in a few years and blow us all away!
Which musicians or bands genuinely impress you today?
Miley Cyrus! I’m sorry but I haven’t seen anything. We don’t even have TV on the island! Did you see the movie Nimm’s Island with Jodi Foster? That’s what our house is like!
In 2008, you returned to the stage after a fifteen year absence. Aside encouragement from your friends, family, and fans; what made now the time to return to touring and performing?
My kids are old enough now. I wasn’t going to drag them around the world as babies! They LOVE touring and we have a blast!
Many consider you a pioneer for female musicians within metal and rock music. How do you view today’s female role in the genre?
Well as women I think we’ve come a long way. I think we have a long way to go still too! Women rule – we kick ass!
Seems like there isn’t as much female guitarists or musicians in popular music as there can be at least not the amount one would have imagined there would be thirty years ago or is there?
That’s what I’m talking about! C’mon girls – let’s take over the world!
To what extent or capacity did you keep music in your life while you committed yourself to motherhood and raising your family on a Caribbean island during the last two decades?
It was always in my heart and I knew when the time was right I’d come out and make some noise! As a mom and a wife – when you’re raising two boys, home schooling them and taking care of your man…you don’t even have time to fart! In the last few years I started writing music for the boys. They’re starting to rock and we couldn’t be any more proud.
Was there ever an intent to return to the music industry after your departure from the rock star lifestyle of touring, promoting, and recording?
I always knew I wasn’t done. It’s in my blood!
How much of a critic would you call yourself in terms of today’s popular rock music or even the music that your kids listen to?
My kids listen to classic metal! Metallica, Priest, Def Lep, AC/DC, etc. They love the same music that Jim and I love. Cool kids!
If your path never took a direction into music, where might it gone?
Maybe I would have been a nurse. I’ve always liked helping people. My mom worked in a hospital.
Many icons of rock returned to mainstream popularity by way of successful reality television; Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Brett Michaels to name a few. You must have had your offer?
Yes, we’ve had plenty. We’ll do something if it’s “right”.
Did you actually consider being on The Surreal Life or did you make up your mind before it even became a choice?
Didn’t give it a second thought. If I do a TV show it will be with my family not a bunch of strangers!
So what’s the most random unexpected place you ever heard one of your songs? The supermarket? An elevator? Dentist’s office?
All of the above! Hahahahahaha. Just kidding!
Thanks for the support and for helping to keep the rock alive! God bless.