Lita Ford has often been called the “Queen of Hard Rock”, and with a career as successful as hers, it’s no surprise. On the scene since her teenage years, Lita played with legendary Runaways before embarking on a successful solo career.
She’s best known for her 1988 commercial smash hit, Lita, which spawned hits like Kiss Me Deadly and the famous Ozzy Osbourne duet, Close My Eyes Forever.
In the late 90s Lita exchanged her musical career for quaint family life on a secluded Caribbean island and it wasn’t until October 6th of this year that she released her first studio effort, Wicked Wonderland, since her 1995 Black album.
The rocker was kind enough to chat with The Rock and Roll Report about all things Lita Ford. From the new record, to personal life, to the future of rock – nothing was left off limits.
Q: It is such a thrill to see you back on the scene after all these years. What was the driving factor to make a new record after a 15-year hiatus?
A: Rock n’ Roll is in my blood. Always has been and always will be. I was just waiting until my kids were ready and now they are totally ready. They have as much fun as Jim [Gillette] and I do!
Q: Wicked Wonderland sounds way heavier than anything you’ve done before; I think a lot of fans expecting the 80’s sound will be surprised…
A: Well, if they want to hear the 80’s songs I have a bunch of albums from the 80’s. After 20 years I’ve grown and matured as an artist [and] I hope my audience has also. The old songs are fun to play live so come to a show and you’ll get the best of the old and the new!
Q: Your husband, Jim Gillette [from the band Nitro], had a big hand in writing, performing, and recording Wicked Wonderland. What is it like to work as a husband and wife team?
A: It’s wonderful. Jim and I are soul mates. We work very well together in all that we do. Besides, he’s the best singer on the planet!
Q: A lot of today’s Heavy Metal focuses on politics, religion, injustice, but your new record is overtly sensual, virtually a concept record about sex. Was this a conscious decision to buck the trend?
A: No, it just started pouring out of us. All of the songs are about Jim and I [and] our relationship. It’s a very personal album. The songs came from the heart and the crotch!
Q: You and Jim live on a deserted island in the Caribbean with your two boys; did that environment influence the musical or lyrical directions on the record?
A: Well, I suppose everything influences your soul and thus, your music. It wasn’t a conscious thing, but I’m sure it did.
Q: I often like to ask people what their “Top 3 Desert Island Records” would be. You can literally answer this question!
A: Well, we were on a deserted island by choice! [laughs] We have Hendrix, Metallica, The Ramones, AC/DC, Priest, things like that. The classics.
Q: Having worked with Ozzy, what are your thoughts on how his career has evolved through the years, relative to yours?
A: Ozzy was, and is, great. I think Close My Eyes is both of our highest charting song. Pretty cool, huh?
Q: Would you ever do a reality TV series like he did on MTV’s The Osbournes? Something like The Fords or The Gillettes?
A: We’ve been approached quite a bit on a reality show. When the right opportunity presents itself, we would definitely consider it.
Q: The video game Brutal Legend uses Betrayal from Wicked Wonderland, how did that come about?
A: The creator, Tim Schafer, actually wrote to us at our MySpace. We called him up and hit it off and said “Hell yeah! What a great game to be a part of.” We’re big Jack Black fans [and] I get to be the Queen!
Q: The tour just started on October 15th; how does it feel to be back on the road? And with Queensryche no less.
A: It’s wonderful, an honor! They are extremely talented and a great group of guys. Our whole family gets along great with them and their crew. Awesome experience!
Q: You were, and continue to be, proof that women can rock. Are you happy to see bands like Paramore, Damone or The Donnas keeping that flame alive?
A: I’ve been on the island so long I really haven’t heard these girls. We had no TV or radio out there, so it was impossible to keep up with what was happening. I’m sure that I’d like them; any girl that rocks is cool in my book!
Q: We’ve been hearing that Rock is dead for a number of years now. What is your take on this?
A: I don’t think that rock will ever die. I think it will continually evolve and go in different directions, but that keeps it exciting. I love that the new generation is being exposed to the classics with games like Brutal Legend, Guitar Hero, Rock Band etc. Rock n’ Roll will never die!