Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Micki Free may be known to most rock fans as one of the founders of the excellent Crown of Thorns whose debut album is a real ‘must have’ for any hard rock fan. But prior to that he won a Grammy award whilst as a member of Shalamar and now he has his solo work distributed in the UK by Cargo records.

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

I am currently touring U.S. in support of my new CD Micki Free Experience...Casino Dates here in America and Hard Rock Shows.

2. You’ve recently signed a distribution deal with Cargo for two of your solo albums. How did you hook up with them and how have you gone about getting more exposure for your work?

A friend of mine named Stevie Salas, killer guitar player, told me about John Dryland at Cargo, and said he is a good guy and I should give him a call about my new stuff. We spoke and he loved my stuff ,and we had a mutual respect for my writing. He gave me the name the "inimitable" Micki Free, I love it! I also gave them my first solo CD; "Micki Free~Gypsy Cowboy" (only released in Japan on Alfa Records) for distribution as well.

3. How do you view the current music scene? Has the evolution of downloading and the wide use of the Internet helped spread the word more about your music?

The music scene today is crazy, good and bad...the Internet has done very good things for musicians and their music. I have had 5 major recording contracts in my career, and today I own my own masters and publishing, and would not even consider a record deal with a major label. I am quite happy selling my CD's when I perform, and on our sites; &, I get a huge profit and no one tells me what to do. I recently was the subject of a roast on The Dave Chappelle Show, and that exposure itself was huge for my site.

4. How did you hook-up with your current band? Will you record with this line-up or is a purely live band?

I wrote a record for an artist and used Bam & Share, and after I saw how amazing they were together, I used them on my CD as well. If at all possible I would love to have them tour with me...they are killer together! My touring band now is off the chain! Jon Brant from "Cheap Trick" on bass, and Dennis Tieken from the "Buddy Miles Group"( he sounds like Mitch Mitchell from Jimi Hendrix's Experience on drums)...killer three piece line up. Love these guy's!

5. Where do you get your songwriting ideas from and who musically is an influence on you?

As everyone knows or may not know; I am a huge Jimi Hendrix people give me the compliment of saying my guitar style reminds them of Hendrix; but as gene Simmons say's.. "I am a Hendrix inspired player, not an imitator"...right on Simmons!! I have lots of influences; Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Todd Rungren, Chaep Trick, Carlos Santana, Tommy Bolin, Prince, Kiss to name a few. I like some of the new stuff as well, Linkin Park are very cool to me and Audio Slave. I even like some of Lenny Kravitz stuff. Sometimes I am stuck as a writer, as I can write and play most all kinds of music from rock to funk.

6. Crown of Thorns – The band’s debut album has achieved classic album status (and rightly so!). How come the band never stayed together to record a follow-up? Would you consider working again under the COT banner with Jean Beauvoir?

In my humble opinion, and most people that love COT tell me; Crown Of Thorns is not Crown of Thorns without me. It's a fact. Jean Beauvoir and I have a "magic together" that cannot be re-produced in COT without me. That is why the debut CD was so awesome! Listen for yourself, every record without me sounds like Jean's solo stuff, I like some of it, but it's not COT, it's Jean writing, producing, and playing everything on the CD. he is a genius no doubt, I love working with him. Jean and I are like an old married couple; we fought and got divorced, and recently made is blind they say! The break up was nasty...really bad in the press...I really never gave my side of the story....but the past is gone. And yes I would consider working under the name Crown of Thorns again, with Jean; remember only together we are COT, everything else is just a "bandaid" on the wound, and why not it was Jean's and my band, we put it together from the ground up. Together we worked like dogs in his flat writing all the songs, getting that sound together, that cannot be duplicated without us together, that's a If you think I am blowing a lot of hot air; Let the music do the talking...listen to my guitar sound, riffs, and songwriting on the debut CD...and listen to the rest of COT CD's....I rest my case.
Get ready for a project Jean and I just finished we together called; "The9"....very heavy and dark sounding, go to to listen to samples, look for it to be released on Cargo Records, or not, in the future. It will depend on how they handle my solo stuff to tell you the truth.

7. What have been the most memorable gigs and why?

The gig at The Marquee Club before it closed with COT...Jimi played there and I wanted to be there as well. Dates with Kiss, Rush, Ted Nuggent, Diana Ross....all have a story and love felt memories.

8. You have your own range of native American Indian jewelry. What got you interested in this and how has the reaction been to your work?

I am a mixed blood Native American; Cherokee and Comanche, this is just part of my heritage, I have always worn turquoise, we as native Americans believe the stone is special. it gives you good luck and long life. Jimi Hendrix was also part Cherokee, check out pics of Jimi wearing native jewelry like rings and concho belts as well. My fans love it; they gave me the nick name "The Native American Bling King", as I wear so muck jewelry when I perform and everyday. The fans in the U.K. named me "The Gypsy Cowboy" on the first COT tour, because of my flagrant style of dress along with huge hats and feathers. Love the U.K. and will return very soon!

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Riding my horses, and believe it or not...playing golf! I am a huge golf fan these day's.

10. Message to your fans...

To all my fans world wide and especially in the U.K.; watch very soon for the return of "The Gypsy Cowboy" to England. I left some unfinished business there, you have supported me while in Shalamar, and "Crown of Thorns", and my solo stuff.....and it is time to pay you all spades! Much love to you all....I will see you all again very soon!


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