Drummer Johnny Dee feels new Britny Fox album “highly unlikely” & original line-up shows “impossible”
Doro and Britny Fox drummer Johnny Dee was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Vinyl Writer Music. Dee played drums on all of Britny Fox‘s studio albums consisting of Britny Fox (1988), Boys In Heat (1989), Bite Down Hard (1991) and Springhead Motorshark (2003). Dean Davidson handled the lead vocals on the first two albums while Tommy Paris was the singer on the latter two.
In terms of why he thinks that Britny Fox didn’t reach super stardom and get over that hump with the two stellar first albums, Dee opined (with slight edits): “We weren’t everyone’s cup of tea. We were a bit abrasive [laughs]. We took a lot of shit for the image, and we had a singer you either loved or hated. But, a huge reason to me was even though we had a ton of momentum, and video play, we were unable to get a big radio hit. We were an “MTV band,” and sold a shitload of records because of it, but we didn’t have the chart success to help back it up. Also, the label pulled us off the road with an album that had sold 800,000 copies to make another record. I’ll always believe we could have surpassed platinum had we done another video and gotten another big tour.
Unfortunately, a lot of it was also internal. Even though we had great musical chemistry, our personalities didn’t mesh, and we never communicated well. In the beginning, our momentum carried us through a lot of it, but as we got more successful, things escalated to the point of no return. It just became the three of us, or four including our manager, against Dean [Davidson], which led to him eventually quitting the band.”
With respect to Britny Fox getting bumped by Slaughter for the opening slot on KISS‘ Hot In The Shade Tour and how detrimental that was to Britny Fox‘s trajectory, Dee stated: “Losing that one really hurt our chances to re-connect with our MTV, and arena audience at the same level that we had been on with the debut LP. While on tour in Europe with Alice Cooper, we got word that we were confirmed for the KISS tour in the US, and obviously, we were very excited. But not long after, we got word that the tour was being pushed back, and in the interim, Slaughter was blowing up, and KISS made the decision to take them instead.
So, we didn’t want to wait around while the record died, which it was doing anyway. We supported Joan Jett on a bunch of shows, which was great, but mostly, we were left to headline our own club tour. That was a huge blow, and magnified, even more, the struggles that we had during the recording of Boys In Heat. When we released the single “Dream On,” and finally started getting the radio play we never really had, it was a nice boost. Shows were getting booked for better money, and the video was doing well. However, Dean had already planned his exit, unbeknownst to us, and quit the band as we were starting the next leg of our tour.”
In regards to the last two studio albums from Britny Fox and whether we’ll see a new album from the band in the future, Dee opined: “Bite Down Hard was a special one, I’m very proud of that still. We brought Tommy [Paris] in, and all lived together for a while, getting to know each other while focusing on jamming, writing, and demoing new material. We proved that it wasn’t a one-man show and that we could still make a great album even though the singer and main songwriter bailed.
Springhead Motrshark came much later, and we had ceased operating as a band. We set up a makeshift studio in my house, and the guys did most of the recording while I was on tour with Doro. I recorded drums last which was bizarre at that time. It was more or less Michael [Kelly Smith], and Tommy’s thing.
As for another record, it looks highly unlikely, although I would certainly be up for it. I think we had one or two songs in the works on our last get-together in 2016, but that quickly fell apart.”
In terms of what the future holds for Britny Fox, Dee opined: “As for Britny, unfortunately, I have nothing to report at this time. I was hoping we could at least do a few shows with the original lineup but that continues to be impossible.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Johnny Dee at Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.
Britny Fox‘s “Girlschool” video (from Britny Fox album):
Britny Fox‘s “Louder” video (from Bite Down Hard album):