Where Are They Now? Vixen Drummer Roxy Petrucci
Roxy Petrucci has devoted her life to the rock ‘n’ roll cause.
The Michigan native first burst onto the international radar as a member of Madam X, a metal band the drummer co-founded with her vocalist sister, Maxine. Their 1984 We Reserve the Right album featured “High in High School,” an anthem that didn’t become a massive hit, but is still beloved by cultist hard rock and metal fans all these years later.
After leaving Madam X, Petrucci joined Vixen in 1986 and she finally found the commercial success she’d always dreamed of. Singles like “Edge of a Broken Heart” and “Cryin'” hit pay dirt on MTV plus rock and pop radio, and the all-female group toured with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Bon Jovi.
Vixen broke up in 1991, but Petrucci returned to the band when they reunited in 1997. She and two of the other “classic” era members of the group (vocalist Janet Gardener, bassist Share Pedersen) currently play in a new group called JSRG.
Noisecreep recently caught up with Petrucci to get the lowdown on her career and life today.
Roxy, you’ve been a professional musician since the early ’80s. What do you tell people when they ask you for career advice?
I have three strong pieces of advice to anyone just hoping for a shot at greatness with still no guarantees:
2.) Play often
3.) Play more
Let’s talk about Madam X. You had quite a buzz going in the band’s early days and you even signed with Jet Records, which was Don Arden’s label. Why do you think the group never broke through commercially?
Madam X had it all except the ever eluding hit song. Had the band stayed together there’s no telling how successful we could have been. We nearly killed each other off stage in some brutal fights but at the end of the day we were diehard rockers who shared the same goals and aspirations. What’s interesting about Madam X is how the band is still making news to this day.
Watch Madam X’s ‘High in High School’ Video
Since your sister Maxine also played in Madam X, was it tough to leave the band to join Vixen? Did it get awkward at all?
It was as awkward as a nun sporting a baby bump.
I joined Vixen after Madam X split so it wasn’t a difficult decision and Maxine was all for it. She went on to hire Sebastian Bach and drummer Mark McConnell (RIP). Currently, Maxine has a new video on YouTube called ‘Assassinate’ from her recent solo album, Back to the Garden. It’s amazing music!
Tell me about your early days in Vixen. How did you end up joining the group and how long after that did you guys sign with EMI?
Janet and Pia (former Vixen bassist) recruited me after MX split up. I knew after rehearsing with these girls that this band had something special. I was impressed with their professionalism and talent. I was still rough around the edges fresh off my metal years with MX but I slowly started to fit in. I believe my hard rocking attitude and drumming style helped give Vixen the edge they were looking for. I was in the band about year or so before we signed with EMI.
You were famously part of The Decline of Western Civilization: The Metal Years documentary. From a female point of view, how do you look back at that time period on the Sunset Strip music scene?
Exciting! I ate it up and enjoyed the scene for what it was. I’m a free spirit who is also disciplined and that’s how I survived the decade of decadence.
Watch Vixen’s ‘Cryin” Video
Vixen released two commercially successful albums, and you toured with some huge acts, but you broke up in 1991. What lead to the split?
We couldn’t agree on green M&Ms or red but the last straw was when someone took a shit in our punch bowl!
Seriously, the breakup of Vixen 20 years ago was a misstep by all parties involved.
Since then, you’ve rejoined Vixen a couple of times and even recorded a studio album with the group. I know you probably can’t share that many details, but why aren’t you playing with the band anymore?
Professionally the lineup isn’t slated to take the stage anytime soon. Personally speaking, the line-up hasn’t been this close in a very longtime. For Vixen fans needing their fix JSRG is your next gateway drug.
Tangerine is one helluva record, sometimes dark and heavy. Music is all about timing and at this time I’m focused on our new project JSRG!
Tell our readers about JSRG (Janet, Share, Roxy, Gina).
JSRG was formed solely to provide the fans with the ultimate Vixen experience. JSRG will deliver a show like no other all-female rock band before or since. Now that’s putting it out there and that’s balls! Book it!
What else are you up to these days?
A reality show featuring celebrity rock stars in their element reminiscing while getting gassed on the local libations and concoctions. Each episode concludes going off the rails at the local strip club and tattoo parlor. How’s this for a title: Stinkin, Pinkin & Inkin!