Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Share Ross is best known as the bassist of 80,s MTV darlings Vixen. Recently though she has been showcasing her musical talents in Joe Elliott s Down N Outz. The band recently toured the UK and I was able to chat with Share in Belfast ahead of the evenings show. We discussed all things music and even the erstwhile rock n roll pursuit of knitting!
Good afternoon Share welcome to Belfast.
From playing bass in Vixen to the Down n Outz-how did that come about?
Share”It seems strange, right?”
Share(laughing)”well if you knew me personally it makes sense”
Assuming you mean when you played with the Quireboys on the Cruise?
Share”Yeah because of playing with the Quireboys on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise. Then they kind of pulled me aside and said “hey we are doing this other band with Joe …”When it all came up I had a long conversation with Joe on the phone. I had actually never met him so and then lo and behold here I am.”
Will your involvement be a permanent situation or is is just for this tour? Will you be contributing to the next original Down n Outz album.?
Share “I think that it has been decided that I am pretty permanent-they are stuck with me. I have had the official nod.”
You and your husband Bam from the UK band Dogs D amour co-wrote songs for Jesse Camps debut album. Is that something that you both have considered doing more of-ie writing for other artists?
Share”Wow you have done some serious research.”(laughs)
I cant claim full credit-the internet makes that job so much easier. Or are you just too busy musically?
Share”No we have written for a lot of other people, just probably for nobody as famous as Jesse. We are actually working on stuff right now and for when I get back home. We will be doing some more stuff-he is doing some with Jo from the Dogs I think. There is a lot of projects going on all at once. We have a recording studio so we are always producing other bands as well.”
You also played with the Dogs yourself?
Share”I did play with the Dogs as well. Which is why, Vixen,Dogs D amour, Quireboys, Down n Outz it kind of all makes sense….”
Musically from Vixen to the Down n Outz is quite a difference though?
Share(laughing)”Well Vixen would be the oddest one out but Dogs/Quireboys and Down n Outz all mix in.”
You have played and toured with many people over the years including some people who could be termed”inspirational”. I understand that career wise you have also done some work in the motivational speaking field. Have you picked up any personal or career advice or guidance from any of those people?
Share”I think overall just like an energy of humility. There is a lot of humility and gratitude for getting to do what you do. Then taking that attitude of every night matters-not taking it for granted. Going out there and giving a show”this might be the only show that those people get to see”.I think that really comes across in the people that last. People like Joe Elliott, Alice Cooper -all those kind of people-they fucking know it.”
Career wise you also spent a period of time as a host and co-producer of Rock n Roll TV. Any thoughts of perhaps combining that with the inspirational speaker thing? IE: tying in the two career-wise?
Share”Its a good idea Mark.(laughs)I might have to do that. The TV was like on-line TV just came about because we (Bam and I)wanted to present a lot of the bands that were going through Hollywood, California at that time to all these other people. We were just like”my god there are just so many great bands that people just don’t get to hear now”.We featured a lot of bands that went on to become pretty big. Back then we featured The Answer,that was one of them. I think that we had them on the show. Some other bands that in America-I am not sure if you know like the Semi-Precious Weapons if you have ever heard of them.?
I’m not familiar with them but obviously am more familiar with the Answer who come from this part of the world.
Share”Semi-Precious Weapons are really cool and definitely worth checking out. They have opened for Lady Gaga now and are a very cool band out of New York.”
Obviously then you keep in touch with the latest musical fads and trends?
Share”Yeah, I am a fan. I always like to check out what’s happening”
Anybody in particular that you are currently listening to and impressing you?
Share”I really like Vintage Trouble. I totally dig that, I love that band.”
What about Blackberry Smoke? They have a similar blues/southern rock thing going on.
Share”I am not familiar with them, cool I will check them out.”
Back to Vixen then,which was my first introduction to your music in the eighties. What is the current position with them? Any plans to record a new album or touring dates perhaps?
Share “Yeah, all of the above. We have just got back together this past year 2014 and we are working on material for a new record. We have been doing a lot of dates back in the States and nothing really much over here. We have played Spain in September and we are hoping to come back over here in 2015. I have been texting with the girls going”Oh I am in Ireland!!” They are all like super jealous and everything.”
You need to come and play over here. Perhaps have a word with Joe as I understand that he will be bringing Def Leppard over to play here next year.
Share”Yes we need to come over and play here. There ya go-work my way in there.I have a friend in Def Leppard do you know? (laughs)
Oh I just wanted to say as well another band that I think is absolutely brilliant a newer kind of band though not really that new. The Fratellis.I love those guys, and think that they are great.”
Looking back, what important life lessons have you learned from your career in music?
Share”Appreciate whatever you have going on in the moment. I think that there is just so much to be said for not bitching, not moaning,not complaining. If you have two arms and two legs get off your fucking ass and do something. I think probably the biggest lesson that I ever learned was that wherever you are right now is because of choices that you made. That means if you don’t like it that you can make different choices and change it in the future. That’s probably the biggest thing that I have ever learned.
I love your Tshirt(Phil Lynott)
Thanks are you a big Thin Lizzy fan?
Playing Dublin tomorrow then you will have to ask Joe for the guided tour of the Thin Lizzy sights around there…….
Share”I hope so”
One thing that was quite a surprise to me when doing my research-knitting!!!!
and also the book that you had published on that..
Share”I like to be surprising Mark. It was just one of those things that kind of happened. I don’t come from a family where my mom or my grandmother…nobody knitted. I didn’t even know what knitting was. Somebody came into my house one afternoon wearing this beautiful scarf and I was “that is the most beautiful scarf hat I have ever seen”She said”oh I knitted it”
What’s knitting.?.is that the thing with the two sticks or the one stick-I mean I really did not have a clue. In typical fashion I just learned how to knit from the internet watched some videos and started knitting stuff. One thing led to another and blogging. I met somebody who introduced me to somebody else. I said “why are there no knitting books with people with tattoos …”
Its not really a typical tour bus pursuit…?
Share”No it isn’t, so I ended up doing this book. I had really only knitted for about two years when I did the book. I used all of our friends in Hollywood as the models. Alice Coopers daughter-Calico Cooper is one of the models. A famous punk singer Texas Terri is on the cover of the book. A lot of the friends that are in it are like”oh my god, it is kind of like a time bottle of Hollywood. Everybody just happens to be wearing these holy sweaters and little jumpers and what not…”
Have you any other crazy hobbies or interesting pursuits outside music then?
Share(laughing)”I like to do just about anything, the big thing for me was not to be all”judgy”on myself and say”knitting is not rock n roll therefore I cannot do this book”and just go”fuck that, I can do anything that I want”That is stupid you know. I like to have my hand at just about anything-like writing,-book writing.”
Any books waiting to be revealed then?
Share”I am working on one, it is more just life-related. Actually I did have a fiction one that I wanted to work on but I had to get realistic.”This ain’t gonna happen, wow that’s a lot of work”I like to do a lot of different things-marketing, nutjob. Yeah I am fascinated by a lot of things.”
You brought out an album with Contraband that certainly on paper looked to be a great bet for success considering the calibre of the musicians in the band. However it didn’t fulfill that promise. Do you have any explanation for that?
Share”Yeah, I think that it was more to do with that all of our bands were kind of imploding at the time so that just got pushed aside. I need to either pay attention to Vixen or attention to Contraband. Obviously I needed to pay attention to Vixen. It just became a priorities thing, and the same thing with Ratt and La Guns. Also with Shark Island the singers band as well.”
You also had Michael Schenker thrown into that mix as well?
Share “I just ran into him on this tour. It was the first time we had seen each other in twenty five years. I got lucky during that whole Contraband period he was really straight, really sober and we had a blast together. He and I went around the globe in aeroplanes just doing all the promotion. We had a great time.”
What in your life are you most proud of?
Share”Ahhh jeez, wow that’s a good question. I guess that I am most probably proud of my relationship with Bam. On the outside people think that it is so easy”you guys have been married for so long”We have been through a lot together.”
How did you guys meet?
Share”I had a Scottish boyfriend that was really good friends with Bam Vixen were in the same recording studio as the Dogs D amour. My friend had been telling me about this Bam guy for years. He walked into the studio and that was the first time that I had met him. We just became friends and that was it. We ended up in this crazy covers band in Hollywood together with him and Jo from the Dogs D amour, the keyboard player from Aerosmith. Robert Stoddard who was the original La Guns singer. My boyfriend was the singer and then every so often Janet Gardener from Vixen would get up and sing and of course me and Bam. We ended up in a band together doing that -called Stinky Fingers and we did all covers. Humble Pie, The Stones, The Faces. That was the first time that I played with them and I was”holy shit, wow I really dig you as a drummer”and he said “I really dig you as a bass player”. We just dug each other on a musical level. It was many years later that we were both single and …then that happened.”
Returning to Vixen again., following Jan’s untimely death in October 2013 did you ever consider turning your back on the music industry?
Share”(hesitates)yeah I definitely did,”
Something like that is bound to have a major impact, causing you to re evaluate things?
Share”The whole thing with losing a band mate and all that kind of stuff .We knew she had cancer before the world knew. The whole thing was just very bizarre. It makes you just think about everything…….”
The time that Vixen was familiar to me was in that MTV era. Did you find that was an exciting time or indeed was it quite frightening-as you would have had no personal privacy and were in the public eye?
Share”It was probably about 90% exciting and 10% frightening. Mostly because we would just gig and work so much. We would do like three hundred shows a year. You would just come off the road and your head would be spinning. Everybody got divorced and all that shit…”
Think I should have time for a couple more questions. How do you view the changes in the music industry since you first started? The demise of record companies in recent years. Downloads replacing vinyl releases and also the rise of social media. Is the music industry a better or worse place to try to earn a living these days?
Share”You know I have a weird answer to this. I think that change is inevitable,and I just don’t think that it is better or worse I think that it just is what it is. I think that what becomes painful is resisting it. If you resist it then you are always going to be struggling, always pissed off and always frustrated. If you just sort of accept what is going on and go”OK how can I work this for me or how can I work with this”then it is fine. It just is what it is.”
Final question then Share, what does 2015 hold for you musically? What are your plans?
Share”That’s always a good one. Definitely working on new songs for Vixen, been talking to Joe about doing some stuff with the Down n Outz, some new material there. Working with Bam to put out some of our stuff either as Bubble or something else. I am not sure what we are going to call it. Then we have some other bands coming into our studio we will either be co-writing with or playing for as well. Lots of really cool stuff.”
Will you have any time off over Christmas?
Share”Oh yeah definitely. I think I will be going home and sleeping for about three days straight…The Florida warmth.”
Share thanks very much for talking to me-have a great show tonight.