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In Words: Ronny Munroe

- Ronny Munroe - Oct. 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Ronny Munroe - July 2010 - Jody Hickman -

Ronny Munroe
© Ronny Munroe

Ronny Munroe - July 1st 2010 (by email)

Former Metal Church singer Ronny Munroe just joined NOLA rockers Lillian Axe - and Jody Hickman got in touch with the charismatic singer to learn a bit more about latest events!

Did Lillian Axe contact you or did you hear there was going to be an opening and contact them?

There manager contacted me by e-mail and asked if I would be interested.

Were you the only singer brought in or was there competition for the job?

Yes, I was the only guy they asked to come out.

You just announced joining Presto Ballet a week or two ago. Are you going to be pulling double duty?

Yes, I will be doing both. Presto is prog rock and a whole different animal then Lillian. The prog scene in the states is not very big yet, so the tour dates should not get in the way of each other and if and when they do, we'll arrange things so they don't interfere with each other.

Lillian Axe is seen by many as an 80s hair band, even though their sound has gotten heavier and more progressive. Was there any concern that your vocal style might not fit, especially older songs like True Believer or Dream Of A Lifetime?

I like to listen and to sing all kinds of music and although they were deemed a hair metal band back in the day, the song writing has always been solid and that's what I like to look at, the songs and if there well written or not. As far as me fitting with Lillian's music, they called me so apparently Steve thinks I fit. It's going to be a great thing.

Ron Taylor and Derrick LeFevre have very similar voices. Even so, some fans had trouble accepting Derrick. Do you think fans will have trouble accepting a different voice?

I come from Metal Church as you know and one thing I learned from being the third singer in that band is that you can never please everybody, so I don't worry about what people think I go in and do my job to the best of my ability and the rest takes care of itself.

Even though Lillian Axe has a new album about to come out, are there any plans for writing new music?

The plan is to ride out the new record as long as we can because there's some really cool stuff going on right now and then after that has died down a bit that's when Steve and I will start throwing ideas at each other. Steve is a great writer much like Vanderhoof so it's going to be cool to see what I can add to the music that he writes, like I did with MC.

A lot of times when an established singer joins a band, he's allowed to bring part of his past. Van Halen played Sammy Hagar songs when he was in the band. Warrant played a Black'n'Blue song when Jamie St. James was in the band. Will we hear Lillian Axe play anything off The Fire Within?

We'll have to see about that. I haven't given that any thought. Time will tell I guess!

Jody Hickman


Ronny Munroe
© Ronny Munroe

Ronny Munroe - October 20th 2009 (by phone)

A few months ago Metal Church disbanded, but at that time singer Ronny Munroe was already working on his solo album. The Fire Within was released meanwhile and Ronny already did some shows... Just last week he played in Houston - see Jody 'Snakebite' Hickman's review - and he shoot a video there. And so we started by talking about the Houston show which should have been a blast... "I was shooting the video for Delirium all day and live at the show. I hope the video is out before Halloween..." Ronny told me. But before we talked more about live shows and his band, I wanted to know if he was satisfied with the feedback he got for his solo album and if had the deal with Rat Pack Records first or offered them the finished album. "It is sort of my first one. I'm not surprised, I got some feedback and it's very good... RockHard likes it. So far I'm pretty happy, but next time I will have a bigger, better production. I was talking to Rat Pack while I was working on the album, but finally signed after the recordings." Now Ronny Munroe is in control and so it seems that there are more live shows in future - not like Metal Church. "Metal Church is a great band and I'm thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I love Kurdt, he's great and I hope we can do something together again in future. But at Metal Church we haven't had the right people on our corner and so things didn't work out. Shows been cancelled, but it was never me!" he explains. And this sounds quite familiar... Talking about cancelled shows brought us back to the Texas Metal Meltdown Tour... "Circle II Circle dropped out. So Militia jumped in, they had an EP in the 80's and I think they play next year at Keep It True..." Part of his band are the guys from Azrael's Bane, how come? "I met Azrael's Bane a few years ago when they were opening of Metal Church in Texas. Great guys, we became friends and I play with them at Rock The Bayou Festival." Ronny told me. It's definitely a good idea to ask friends, a band you played with, coz it makes things easier. Kind of natural choice. "We will play more shows, as much as we can and hopefully we get an opening slot for a bigger band - and that it brings me over to Europe. Metal Church always had a loyal fan base in Europe and when they see us live and make friends... When I was on stage in Houston I had a flashback from Metal Church days, it was just great!"
On the album Ronny Munroe had some guests and with Michael Wilton he had another Seattlite involved. And I was curious, if they somehow ran into each other or how the Queensrÿche guitarist got involved. "We met last August when Metal Church were opening for Queensryche in Puerto Rico. He was really nice, they all were. Then Joe (Rat Pack Records) got us exchange numbers, coz he was working with Michael, and so we got to talk. Michael was interested and at the end he played at 2 songs. I told him I can't pay him a lot and he was like 'no Ronny, you don't have to pay me, it's an honor for me to play on your album'." And it's an honor for Ronny to have Michael Wilton playing on his album, coz even if Queensryche aren't the biggest band in the world, they are one of the best. Ronny Munroe said somewhere that the fire within him is still burning, so I made a guess that he already works on new material... "Yes, I already started working on something and I want to bring some guys of the band in. In a few weeks, months I will fly to Texas for demo-ing. I want this band feeling and I want to establish myself and the band. I want a family and not a pair of hired guys! I talked to Michael Heald and he played me some demos - and I can't wait to work with him!" At the album The Fire Within was a cover version of Man On The Silver Mountain, some like covers, others think it's a waste of time. Actually I really like Ronny's version, but still... Why this cover version? Ronny told me "When I heard the song on the radio it was the first time I wanted to become a singer, not doing drums any longer. I'm not Dio, I'm Ronny Munroe, but back then I said to myself, if I ever do a solo record, then I do this one. And I did!" I agree, Ronny is not Dio, but even if he stayed close to the original he added some Ronny Munroe to it. "Most people like it, said I did a great job. But I don't want to please everybody, I do what I want to do." And that's the best way to do it, coz you can't please everybody, there is no way to do it. And it won't make you bigger... What about social network? "Facebook and MySpace is being pretty good to me. Many fans sent messages and I try to answer them all. Some people from my label run the page, but I check in every day as well!" I wouldn't have expected anything else, coz Ronny Munroe always stayed in touch with his fans and enjoyed talking with them on tour. And now on social network sites. With his MySpace blog, etc. he keeps his fans in the loop about what's going on, but there is something on his schedule in near future which he is looking forward to... "Next week on 26th I'm flying to New York and on 29th I'm on Poughkeepsie Live, a Time Warner channel. I will do an interview and we will play 3 songs live. They call it Spooktacular as it's just before Halloween. I have never being live on TV, it's the first time and I can't wait to do it!" More information about this TV show you can get at:
I hope that Ronny Munroe and his band make it to Europe in 2010, if so I hope to have another chit-chat with him. If he won't make it to Europe, then we hopefully don't have to wait too long for the follow-up of The Fire Within!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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