Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm (Born 17 June 1962), you might know him as the legend that is Michael Monroe. Not content with being the leader of the 80s best band Hanoi Rocks he then went on to form Demolition 23 (ok so Jerusalem Slim was before but that was something of an experiment) after Demolition 23 broke down he went on to record some superb solo albums as well as reform Hanoi for a few years with Andy before forging ahead with his solo career.
Beginning with ‘Nights Are So Long’ Monroe spent time living in NYC before returning to his native Finland where he still lives today. You can debate til the cows come home as to which album is the best but for me ‘Nights Are So Long’ was the first and best. ‘Not Fakin’ It’ followed and whilst it was commercially more accessible I never really liked the sound of the record as it tended to lean towards to Rock fraternity stateside and was the least Rock and Roll album of his back catalogue even if it did have some great tunes on it.
During the two thousands, his solo work contained some excellent self-penned songs as well as some awesome covers that gave the listener a glimpse into his record collection and what shaped him musically, before arriving at the last decade where his output and stable(ish) line up consisting of longtime collaborator and accomplice Sami Yaffa, Karl Rockfist and Steve Conte and Rich Jones are helping churn out some of the best live performances of his career as well as his most consistent albums since Hanoi. ‘One Man Gang’ is eagerly anticipated and I’m sure will be a massive hit with fans old and new.
Svart Records were responsible for doing an amazing job on ‘Nights Are So Long’ and ‘Peace Of Mind’ and work is well underway on the next reissues. So with these the tour and new album its all ramping up to an exciting second half of 2019 and no sign of Monroe slowing down any day soon.
Ask anyone who’s seen him live as he still performs like a teenager. Constantly touring around the world playing songs from all corners of his career he still has the chops that’s not even up for debate – the energy and above all the songs are there as is his energy Monroe is a lifer to the cause of Rock and Roll and the multi-instrumentalist still has the passion.
Having just announced an extensive UK tour for later this year to coincide with the release of this album as well as working on re-releases of his solo albums with new packaging and bonus tracks Michael Monroe is a formidable force of nature. when the album comes out buy it and when the tour comes around watch it.
Over twenty albums and countless singles and guest appearances, Monroe deserves all the plaudits he gets and the adulation of his many fans. Keep Rockin’ like Fuck and Happy Birthday from RPM Online.