April 13, 2024
Rik Emmett feels Triumph’s record label wanted more of him as lead vocalist due to Just A Game’s success

Photo by Christopher Lee Helton

Rik Emmett feels Triumph’s record label wanted more of him as lead vocalist due to Just A Game’s success

Former Triumph frontman Rik Emmett was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon for Canada’s The Metal Voice. Emmett was promoting his new autobiography Lay It On The Line.

Emmett shared lead vocal duties in Triumph with drummer Gil Moore. On whether it irked him to do during his Triumph years, Emmett indicated (as provided by The Metal Voice with slight edits):

Photo by Christopher Lee Helton

“First of all, let’s make sure that everybody understands this Triumph was always Gil‘s band. He was always kind of the band leader. He was the guy that formulated the concept of the band and the way that the band looked in terms of production and on stage. It was very much a reflection of what Gil wanted the band to be. Then he and [bassist] Mike [Levine] found me. The Three Musketeers — here we go. I think that the rub that you’re talking about was that the Just A Game album in particular, the third Triumph album. Let’s put it in this context, the second album was called Rock and Roll Machine and it was very much a Gil Moore kind of record. Rock and Roll Machine was a song that he [Gil] wrote and said that was how he saw the band. Uhhh and I think he always kind of held to that sense of what the band was but then the Just A Game album had the success with “Lay It On The Line” and “Hold On” which are kind of Evergreen songs. And I think the record company then went, ‘Hey the Evergreen nature of this thing that we’ve signed, maybe it’s the blonde guy there out front that’s what we want to push. We want to focus on that.’

So when you talk about rub, I think that’s where the rubbing began, that record companies were now talking to Gil and Mike and saying, ‘Hey you know, we want more of Rik‘ and they were going, ‘Well, that’s not what the band is all about. We are The [Three] Musketeers.’ Mike had been the producer of the early records and Mike was the guy that sort of be in the studio and in the control room and sort of saying, ‘Okay I [got] a Gil song, a Rik song, a Gil song, a Rik song, and that’s how we keep the rock and roll machine [to] stay balanced.’ You start out a band, with that whole Musketeers thing and it’s easy to do that because you don’t have a pot to piss in so you know everybody’s willing to make compromises and the collaboration works. Then time goes on and people get married and they start to have kids and they got their own lives and, ‘Hey, we’re having success. We’re buying houses. Guys are making investments. They’re having their own lives.’ Then they go, ‘Well hang on, I want the band to be this reflection of my life’ and then the other guy goes, ‘No. I want it to be this reflection of my life and those things’.”

You can read other excerpts from the interview with Rik Emmett via The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below:

Triumph performing “Rock and Roll Machine” live at the ’83 USA Festival:

Triumph‘s “Lay It On The Line” video (from Just A Game album):

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