Interview with Matt Nolan from Rock of Ages

As some of you know, I have been the Vancouver Social Media Representative with Broadway Across Canada for the past year and a bit. (You may have noticed me incessantly bombarding Twitter and Facebook with reminders to go see the shows as well as promoting contests here and there.)

Throughout my role, I have enjoyed the little “extras” I get to do, such as giving away tickets, seeing the sets go up and interviewing the cast.

Just in time for the opening show of ROCK OF AGES tonight in Vancouver,  I was fortunate to be able to do an email interview with one of the cast members from ROCK OF AGES, the fabulous Matt Nolan, who plays the rock star Stacee Jaxx. In case you’re wondering who this character is, the character will be played by Tom Cruise in the film version.

Here’s a little bit of Matt Nolan’s biography before we delve into the interview:


Matt is overjoyed to be rocking across the country with Rock Of Ages!! Matt is best known for being a finalist on the hit NBC reality show “Grease: You’re The One That I Want.” National Tours: Grease (Danny Zuko), Hairspray (Fender). Regional: Legally Blonde (UPS Guy/ Chad), Monty Python’s Spamalot, Rent (Roger). Thanks and love to my family, Mark, and my Erin who is dancing around the country with a green Ogre this year!! (bio credit from the Official Rock of Ages on Tour website)

Matt Nolan playing Stacee Jaxx:

Stacee Jaxx Wanted: Dead of Alive (Matt Nolan and Company) Photo credit: Scott Suchman

N- What have you liked best being on this Rock Of Ages tour?

M – Probably getting to be part of a show that is still so new and that I am still a huge fan of.  Even when I am not on stage I’m always in the wings watching, cheering on our cast, and telling people everywhere I go to come see us.  It’s fun to see people in the audience go from having no clue what they are about to see, to standing on their feet going nuts by the end of the show.

N- Did you have a lot of opportunities growing up listening to 80’s music? Any favourite bands or songs?

M – I had some since I was born in the early 80’s, but my favorite was and is Bon Jovi.  So the fact that I get to do Dead or Alive every night is pretty awesome.  Plus every song in our show is a classic so it only gets that much better to perform each of them every night.

N- If you could have been in an 80’s band, which one would you have been in?

M – Motley Crue, pretty safe to say those guys had a kickass time, plus hanging with Tommy Lee would have been a trip.

N- Best/Worst thing about the 80’s for guys?

M – Best thing getting away with wearing guy liner, more makeup than girls, and the long hair.  Worst thing no more concert style music videos.

N- How’s the ‘hair’ for ROA?

M – Insane, my wig is awesome, it has even made me want to try and grow out my own hair to see what it looks like.  Head banging is key and knowing how to control the hair is also essential.  I spent the first few weeks of tour just trying not to choke on it. LOL

N- Tell me about a day in the life of being on tour.

M – When we are someplace for a whole week its very nice and relax since we have the whole day to explore and see the sights of whatever city we are in.  But if we have a long travel week and a different city each night it can get very grueling.  Wake up at 6 AM, ride the bus for seven hours, have one hour to get into our hotel and relax, sound check two hours prior to curtain, do the show, try and find a place thats still open to eat, sleep and repeat!

N- What’s been the most fun about being on tour?

M – Getting to travel and see the country on someone else’s dime.  Going to places you never thought you would go to, and also feeling like its a new opening night in every new theatre we play.

N-  What’s one thing you always need to bring with you when traveling or to the theatre?

M – Must have my computer at all times, and water, and my vocal eze spray, can’t live without them.

N-  Any jokesters in the cast? Best prank?

M – Yes there are many and we like to torture each other both on and off stage.  I am known for putting peoples luggage back on the conveyor belt at the airport.  Its really funny to watch people freak out and no be able to figure out how a bag they thought they just took off ended up back on the belt.

N- Whats the best blooper that’s happened?

M – Again there have been many, for me I fell one night into the pit.  It was not pretty but at least everybody got a kick out of it.

N- What’s the best type of audience to have for ROA??

M – Not really a young kid friendly show first off.  But, people who are not afraid to make noise, have fun, laugh all night, have some cocktails before, during and after the show, and most important people who are looking for nothin’ but a good time!!

N- What’s next for you after this tour?

M – This is my third tour, and third time here in Vancouver.  I love it but I am ready to be in one place for a little while so looking forward to being in New York where I am from and continuing in my career.

N-  Whats your dream role on Broadway?

M – Love the chance to create my own role first and foremost.  But I’d love to be in Jersey Boys, Wicked, Rock of Ages to name a few.

Thank you to Simcha Snell and Barb Fraser from Broadway Across Canada for setting up the interview.

Drew, Played by Dominique Scott. Photo credit: Scott Suchman

ROCK OF AGES  is presented by Broadway Across Canada and is part of a three city tour in Western Canada and just finished their performing dates in Regina April 24-26 and Saskatoon April 27 – 29, 2012.