Even though grunge is regarded as the music that brought glam metal’s popularity to an end, Poison‘s Bret Michaels doesn’t hold a grudge toward any of the genre’s artists.
“Grunge was great,” the singer declared during a recent interview with AZ Central. “We used Nirvana‘s director, Sam Bayer, on the video to [1993 single] ‘Stand.’ Alice in Chains‘ first arena show was opening for Poison. “I was like, ‘I didn’t know I was in a fight with Alice in Chains. They were just at my house riding go-karts,’ you know what I mean?”
Poison began the ‘90s on a hot streak. “Unskinny Bop” and “Something to Believe In” were both Top 5 hits. The album from which they came, 1990’s Flesh & Blood, sold more than 3 million copies. But in 1991, Nirvana’s Nevermind arrived. By 1992, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the biggest song in the world. The rest, as they say, is rock history.
While many fans and historians credit grunge for putting a nail in glam metal’s coffin, Michaels refuses to subscribe to that line of thinking.
“I blame nobody,” the singer explained. “There was definitely a change in the music business but I only blame myself. There was a lot of partying.”
Poison never again returned to the heights they enjoyed in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. The group’s 1993 album Native Tongue went gold, surpassing 500,000 in sales. It was their final album to earn a sales certification.
Still, Poison has enjoyed a career second act, continually performing over the years to legions of loyal fans. The band is part of this summer’s hugely successful Stadium Tour, joining a lineup that also features Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Joan Jett.
“I don’t have a victim mentality. I take responsibility for things that happen. You own it and you just keep rocking. That’s what happened,” Michaels noted, adding that he’s had “the time of my life” on the Stadium Tour. “A rock audience is a lot like a country audience. They’re very loyal. So they never got the Post-it Note that said, ‘You’re not supposed to like this.'”