It’s always a pleasure to talk with the Triumph front man. Rik Emmett’s new book is out and it’s a great read for any Triumph fan, or any music fan in general. “Lay It On The Line: A Backstage Pass to Rock Star Adventure, Conflict and TRIUMPH” is out now.
Rik was, well, like an open book when I spoke with him. He told me that writing this book had it’s challenges. He told me the reason he wrote the book, was to learn about himself. Of course there was an aspect of “setting the record straight” from his point of view, but overall he wanted to see what made him tick. He called it a “Journey of self discovery.” “How can I be a better me?” was another way he looked at it.
Yes, there’s Triumph stories in the book, and he told me some, but it’s much more than that. He said he wasn’t so interested in the “Sex and Drugs” part of the Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll, but more about keeping his own self in shape.
We discussed his leaving the band. That took a long time, because as he put it, the time was never right. Some may or may not know, but Rik wanted to leave Triumph for several years before he finally did. He credited his brother, who had since passed, for getting him back with the guys to play some shows in the early 2000s.
As a band from Canada, the band really broke out of San Antonio, Texas. He said the radio made their careers early on. Also, their stage show was over the top as well. He said drummer, Gil Moore, was really the brains behind all the stage production. Rik gave me some funny instances about Gil working up some
He answered the question as to why he referred to Gil and Mike Levine as “partners”, as opposed to bandmates, he said that it was a business from the beginning. “They are friends, but they’re not close friends.” He said they do have Christmas dinner each year, but that’s about it. And, yes, he did send them a copy of the book.
He went into all the Michigan connections he has, including his son who played baseball at Central Michigan on a baseball scholarship. Speaking of Michigan, I had to get a question from guitarist John 5. He answered that question and talked about his admiration for the local guitar hero.