With their new album, rock is not dead in John Diva’s world
From the silk headbands down to the hot colored spandex, John Diva stands out like a lighthouse guiding people to an era when the party never stopped and escapism was needed. We have come full circle from the ‘80s hard rock scene and Diva is waving the flag of decadence.
John Diva and the Rocket’s latest release, Mama Said Rock Is Dead is an aural tapestry of good times and exuberant rock postering from a group of guys who refuse to let the party end.
“People associate us with a good time and partying and with a place where you can do what you want or freak out. Glam is decadent. At the same time, Im decadent and I want to escape as much as the fans, but I want to also remind people this is something special at the moment. As long as we as a band try to keep that energy, nothing is lost. In that way I’m a little bit hippy.”
John Diva and the Rockets of Love – Lolita (Official Video)
Diva has a mission. It’s to bring back the ecstasy and excess in ‘80s rock music. And he is doing so with the help of The Rockets of Love, four guys who share the same passion of not just making great rock songs, but to also be a wrecking ball of a performance band. From the clothes to the attitude to the musicianship, Mama Said Rock Is Dead plays like a testament to the past while paving the way for the band to stand up in prominence.
“We are so ready for it. There is a momentum and a rising interest in what we do, Everything seems to be falling in place. We are really thrilled to come out with the new album.”
Mama Said Rock Is Dead turns up the volume with a strong forry into hair metal power rock. With the opener of “Whiplash,” the race is on. Smooth-tongued debutante Diva intermingles with blistering guitar solos. They are the band you want for the party at the end of the universe. For Diva, this album is a travelogue. Caught between a life in Germany and the United States, he has experienced the best of both worlds. What we experience through their music is the ethics of the German hard rock and metal scene to the California hair band movement.
“My mom was a very hard working woman. She was very sweet and she tried to make the best of it for me as well. For her she did not want to step back because she had a son. So she was still partying. Probably you can call her a groupie. From my point of view she was an amazon. She took what she needed and what she wanted and it did not make me feel bad. I was part of it. There were lots of musicians over there. Some sucked, some were on their way to becoming famous and some were famous. This seemed to be normal for me. This was my everyday life. Obviously I wanted to be that way. It might be a little bit Freudian, but I wanted to impress my mom and be a rockstar.
“It’s an average story of a high school kid who wanted to make it big and tangled up in this personal story of flying back and forth between the continents and losing paradise in Germany. Always paradise for me over in the states.”
John Diva and the Rockets of Love – Rock N’ Roll Heaven (Official Video)
Diva was a tiny kid who spent evenings riding bikes with friends under a California sunset while Van Halen was blaring on the radio. In high school, he met guitarist JJ Love. They would hang out in Love’s garage listening to music. The two became great friends through the power of rock and roll not knowing they would be in a band together and having the time of their lives. But until then, life was a rollercoaster for Diva, hanging out backstage at shows and witnessing the highs and lows.
“I remember one day my mom came back with a broken heart, in tears, and probably a little drunk. She said to me, don’t waste your time on rock and roll, it is not worth it. I was sad because she felt bad and I thought I had something to do with it, that’s how kids are. But years later, last summer, this scenery came back into my mind. I almost forgot about it. And suddenly that moment had something to do with the album.”
And with that moment, the title to the album was born. Defiant, Diva did not listen to his mom and wanted to prove her wrong. He met Snake Rocket. At first they did not get along but they discovered they could write great songs together and both had a drive to make it big. They heard about Lee Stingray, a drummer who also was a race car driver. Per Stingray’s recommandation, bassist Remie Martin rounded out the line-up.
“When we knew we could party together that was it.” The Rockets of Love was born.
Eight years in the making, starting with covers to build a fan base, they turned into a consistent writing and performing machine. The Rockets entered the studio to make Mama Said Rock Is Dead with Chris von Rohr from Krokus. Within six weeks they had 20-25 solid songs and with Rohr’s sincerity and directness, they concluded with what they feel is a rock and roll masterpiece. For Diva, self esteem was the key and their confidence shows in their work.
“With the singer it’s a lot about self esteem and believing in yourself. I had a lot of hard times. I know how this feels. Also the good thing about being not 20 anymore. We had our ups and downs and know what we can and cannot do. There is a moment where freedom awaits you. This happened to all of us. We are doing something right.”