GREAT WHITE – guitarist Mark Kendall

November 8th, 2010
by Marko Syrjala

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 GREAT WHITE

INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

Great White, the Los Angeles based hard rock band, formed in late 70’s. The band gained its popularity during the mid 1980s and early 1990s. The band released several successful albums including platinum sellers: ONCE BITTEN.., …TWICE SHY and HOOKED and they gained great airplay on MTV with hit songs like “Rock Me” and "Once Bitten, Twice Shy”". Although band has since then lost its platinum status they have continued to release albums and toured successfully across the world. The latest release RISING came out in 2009 and since its release the band has been almost constantly on tour. In the late summer of 2010 band announced that its lead singer and founding member Jack Russell was forced to sit out from bands activities for serious health reasons. Although Jack is very important part of the Great White sound, the band decided to carry on with other singers. Terry Ilous from XYZ did several shows with the band and the former Warrant Singer Jani Lane is booked to fill Jack’s shoes for several near future shows. In September, the band came to Sweden to headline Stockholm Rockout festival with another singer, Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), handling the lead vocalist duties. It was time to sit down with the band’s nother founding member, guitarist Mark Kendall, and try to find out what’s really going on in the world of Great White!

 

THE STATE OF GREAT WHITE

What is going on with Great White at the moment?

Well, our singer Jack got really sick. He got, I guess it’s called a perforated bowel, which is in the large intestines. He had to have surgery and we had about 15 shows left and out managers were talking to the promoters and we talked about getting a fill-in singer so we got Terry Ilous who is from XYZ. We just wanted to fill our obligations and not cancel on everyone where the shows were booked already. We just had a few shows left, we’d done about 70 shows this year and we have about 15 to go. So a lot of the promoters are saying “that’s fine, Terry Ilous” at first…and then another promoter goes “that name is not big enough”. Our manager manages Jani Lane from Warrant and he wasn’t doing anything so he goes “what about Jani Lane?” So he [the promoter] goes “ok that’s a bigger name so ok we’ll take Jani Lane”. So we went and rehearsed with Jani and he did a great job.

Can’t hesitate to ask… is Jani Lani actually any bigger of a name than Terry Ilous actually…and how you ended up doing this Sweden show with Paul Shortino on vocals?

Well, I don’t know…it is according to him [the promoter].  We like Jani you know….and Terry, I think he brought a little bit more, more of his own thing, instead of just singing the songs perfectly. He did them right but put his own touch on it. IT was just fun, he really knows how to put on a good show. So we were really loving that but the promoter was still like “Jani Lane is a bigger name”. So we said fine and we went and did two shows in Texas last week with him. He did great, he sang fine, he did the songs verbatim just like Jack, note for note. So then, we’re going to Sweden and they don’t want Jani or Terry (laughs). So somehow the name Paul Shortino came up and they go “oh yeah, we love Paul Shortino and he’s never been here before…”  and I guess Rough Cutt is known more in Europe or something, I dunno.  But I know Paul from years ago and we’re friends so we called him up and he came up from Los Vegas and we jammed. He learned the songs and stuff and came and jammed for one day. This was a lot of information for the guy you know. So he got through it but the others guys were, I think were…and nothing against Paul, he’s a great guy and I love him and he has a great blues voice, but the other guys were a lot more prepared and they really handled it and got the crowd crazy and it was just smoother. So we’re just finishing this and waiting for Jack to get well. The last we heard, it was gonna be at least 8 weeks and it could be longer so we’re just hoping he has a speedy recovery so we can get back on board next year and we want to make a new record.

Well, about Jack state of health, there are some rumors with people saying that he might be out for one year or two years or even forever. How do you see the situation with him at the moment?

Well you know, I think it’s up to him. There has been a lot of self-abuse over the years. His addictions are no secret along with mine. I’ve been an alcoholic my whole life but I was able to go through enough pain before I did too much damage to myself and then got away from it. I had 11 years of sobriety and I had one slip and it was only like two days then I was right back in the program. I just lost my head and threw an excuse in the air to drink and immediately realized that no, this ain’t working got back in the program. Some people, some of the addicts I’ve met, they don’t have a bottom.  Death is their bottom sometimes. I’ve done everything I can to help Jack but I’m just praying that this is enough for him.

So you‘re saying this is like the last chance for him …

You see, he’s taken a drug over the years called….it’s a steroid, it’s a…what do you call it…it’s for the voice… prednisone. It’s ok to take a little bit of it, maybe on the fourth show where maybe your voice is rough so you just take a small amount. But he’s been abusive with it over the years and it does a lot of damage. I kind of became a quick study on it. I went on the Internet asking about side effects and almost everything that is wrong with him stems from this drug. It’s all the side effect like weak bones – I mean if the guy falls down he gets like 13 breaks in the leg. His bones are brittle…and now it’s starting to attack his organs. Then he takes other medication for pain, so that becomes a rut, because he’s an addict. He takes pills that would make you and I fall down but when he falls down because of his brittle bones…you know what I mean. So now he’s got this damage, this stuff attacks your pancreas, your intestines, all kinds of stuff…and now that’s starting to happen.  So we’re just hoping that this is his bottom, and that he does get well. He’s admitted that this is the reason, that’s a good start. So we’re finishing out our obligations for these shows and then we’ll see where we are at next year and how he’s doing and if it looks like he’s coming back. He seems to be optimistic and he wants to get better so time will only tell if he’s going to get sober, get well, get skinny, and go out and be the rock god that he is or is he gonna become this other guy that just lays there ill. I don’t understand, like I said, addicts are different. Some need to die before they get it. Some get it sooner. Hopefully this is enough for him to wake up and change his life because that’s what we’re hoping for.

So after, no one knows what’s going to happen but still…and this might be a bit of nasty question, but do you think there is a chance, if Jack isn’t able to continue, that you might someday do a new Great White album without Jack?

We really haven’t discussed that yet. I’m not through.  I don’t know if we’d move on with Great White or everybody go off and do their own thing. I would think that we’d want to keep this going. We have a lot of music still in us. We want to give him the maximum time and keep his spirits up and not give him any sort of ultimatum. He knows that we don’t want him back on a stool or with a cane. We were getting a lot of flak from that because he was out and using a stool during the show and then he got better, he was getting better and then the stool went but then…I dunno…pain medication or whatever….he just started to go the wrong way again. So if he wants to get well, we’d love to continue this with a healthy Jack Russel. He’s a big part, my guitar and his voice…that’s been the band all along. If he just chose to just be sick forever and not make an attempt to get well then that could happen. But we don’t want it to and we don’t want to be thinking that way.

There’s another hypothetical question…  How important it is for you, if it someday comes to that point that Jack is unable to continue, to have the name Great White?

I think it’s…we haven’t been a flash in the pan band like who came out with one huge album that sold 20 million records and then went away. We’ve always like sold a million or two then here comes the next one. So as far as longevity and our dedication to our fans, I think we’ve always been there and out fans seem to stick by us.  So I think important, an important band. Like I said, I just want Jack to get well and I want him to get back on board and be healthy. But IF say down the road he was just so sick and chose to be like Larry Flint or whatever…and just be a sick man then yeah you could probably do it. You look at bands like AC/DC, they recovered… and like Deep Purple recovered from Ian Gillan with Coverdale and Glen Hughes – that was a great Deep Purple. It’s happened before with bands with huge names, bigger than our names, and it’s worked for them. It could happen, but it’s NOT something like were “hey Jack we got this singer in line and we’re gonna go do a record if you don’t get well in two weeks” (laughs). We are not going there.  The thing is that IF he just chose to lay there and not show any signs of wanting to get well then it could happen. We’ll just have to see. The next couple of months will tell the story. We’ll see how he’s doing and talk about it form then.

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Scott Snyder, Michael Lardie, Paul Shortino, Mark and Audie Desrow liva at Sweden 2010

 

THE DRUMMER STORY

What’s also been on the news lately is that your original drummer Gary Holland claimed that he owns the name (Great White) and he will bury it if he wants to. What’s the story with that?

(laughs)Yeah, that’s Gary. That’s hysterical. Here’s what happened and this has never happened in our band before. Usually if somebody gets fired, like a bass player or something, it’s because he drinks and fucki’n takes too many drugs you know what I mean? It’s like dude, this is like a half a million dollar video and you’re like 10 hours late and we’ve got the cameras waiting and because you’re drunk, I mean what’s your problem? You know, after 7 warnings, you’re going to get a new bass player, right? Well, with Gary, that original drummer, we went to write songs for the second album and this guy didn’t know any other chops. He was playing the same beat over and over and over. I was just going…"That’s it?" I mean he was a bad drummer he was horrible. Michael Wagener had to sample the snare and this is before Pro Tools and all that, he had to sample the snare because he was late every time. And like take the original snare and move it with tape and all this shit for hours and hours compiling. I mean literally like days, just to make the snare work. So he was a horrible drummer. But, so anyway what happened here, like how many years, like 25 years later we’re playing a show in New York and somebody wrote on the flyer "Great White: All Original Members." You know, the only ones that people know about ok? People know version of Jack Russel, Michael Lardie, Audie Desbrow and so on, nobody even knows the guy. So he sues us because somebody wrote on a flyer "original members", but he was an original member. And he said he was damaged to the tune of $200,000 or something you know. I mean how do you come up with that number? The guy’s been out of it for 25 years, he never got another gig and all of a sudden he’s suing us and we’re like "okay, stand in line or whatever so…" That was kind of funny, pretty desperate on his part. He was a good guy you know. We actually really felt bad because we had a brother that had gone and we were good friends, but he was just so bad on drums, dude. It just was not repairable. That’s terrible that you have to (do that). And it was talked about before we did the first record. Our manager said "hey, your drummer’s not very good man. You guys sure about this? And we were like "yeah, because we’re all brothers man. You’re not going get us that deal and fire our drummer man. We can’t do that. So he said "Okay, but if you play with him, you’re stuck with him.’ It was a decision later on that we really regretted. So I got to hear the ‘I told you so’ bit, you know?

He was also claiming that he had written some of the early songs. Is that true then?

Yeah, I mean it’s something that just went away. I guess he said wrote songs and I don’t ever remember the guy writing a song. You know what we did though on the first album, we put everyone’s name on every song to make it more like a band. Nobody wrote any songs except me and Jack. We put everyone’s name, so we could make everyone get equal money, so we’re not the big cheese guys that get all the money. And so we wanted to make it that way and that’s the only reason his name was ever on any songs, but he never wrote anything. But he’s claiming he wrote all the songs. I don’t know what he said but, he gets on those websites like Metal Sludge. He gets on websites like that and says "I own the name!" But, whatever… but then he said he was damaged to the point of $200,000, but he goes, "if you give me ten, I’ll go away." (laughs) give me $20 and I’ll be cool.

What’s the original story of the name Great White?    

In 1981 we were playing at the Whiskey; Don Dokken owed a favor to a guy called Alan Niven because Alan Niven introduced Don Dokken to Peter Finch and Cliff Burnstein so when he came to the US he said ‘I want a band! Who’s the best band around?’ Dokken told him to check out these guys called Dante Fox, there a really good band! So he went to see us 4 or 5 times and he wanted to come to his office in Greenworld, it’s an indie label. They signed Motley Crue like year before, a couple bands so we went down there and he told us he loves the band and the songs but he hated the name! Anyway so Jack always called me Great White because I had blonde hair, I was the whitest guy in the world. You know, when I do a solo he’d go, “Kendall, the Great White!” Alan Niven liked the name Great White, we didn’t like it when he told us this, “these are some of the compromises you have to make when you are with the big boys”, you know? So ok we’re Great White, whatever, but we are going to lose all our following! He goes, “Forget about your 70 people.  Don’t worry about it”. He goes, “But I want to call the band Great White.”  We’re going, “That’s a really stupid name.”  We hated it but what happened was we go, “Well this is just part of the sacrifices you have to make with the big boys.” 

   

    

Well I do agree that Great White do sound much better than Dante Fox “laughs”  

   

Here’s what happened, you know Jack used to fish for sharks and he goes, “Dude, Great White the shark, hello?  Shark T-shirts, fucking heavy!”  I’m going, “Ah, fuck that name is brilliant.”  Then we liked it.  We’re thinking it’s like prejudice you know, Great White.  I’m the great black, mother fucker.  It’s like we didn’t think along the lines of the shark and once we thought of that then we thought it was cool so then we didn’t mind it.  

   

But anyway, that old drummer (Gary) doesn’t have anything to do with the name?   

   

No, nothing, no, no, no.  He has nothing to do with the name. He wasn’t even the original drummer.  He actually replaced the original drummer that was a guy named Tony Richards.  We kicked him out for being drunk and then he went and joined WASP. He played with WASP for two—on two albums. He was actually a great drummer he just… he drank so much he was falling over his drums at gigs and shit.  But he actually got it together enough to jam with Blackie and that guy is like a Nazi.  You can’t screw up with Blackie.  So he went and did well with Blackie. He laid down a couple records.  He was a great guy.

This guy kept coming approaching us a shows going, “I can blow your drummer away, I can blow your drummer away.”  It was scary you know?  And believe me he didn’t blow him away.  No, he didn’t have anything to do with the name.  We already had that going. You know, I feel bad for the guy really because all these years and he’s still clinging on to this band that fired him.  I mean, I would be like —I would have so many gigs by now.  I would be in and out of a hundred bands probably.  But he can’t get a gig anywhere.  I think he actually I take that back.  I heard that he played a few shows with a band called Blue Cheer that was like from the ‘60s or something, early ‘70s I think? They had one song you know, that was cover song.  It was a pretty good cover song. Do you remember that song?   

   

Blue Cheer, yeah, the ‘60s band. Can’t remember the song though…     

   

Well, he jammed with them.  Those guys are probably like 70 and shit you know.  But actually I lived right by Blue Cheer in Huntington Beach and I went to their apartment and they had the 45 of Summertime Blues and all these drugs all over the place and shit.  I was like 17 years old and they used to walk by my house so I used to turn my guitar as loud as it would go and just play every lick I know.  This one time they came to my house and I let them in and I’m going maybe I can jam with them or something.  This one guy I remember—and my mom was there, and he was saying fuck like every other word and I was going, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, my mom, no don’t say that.”  I don’t even smoke in front of her.  I was like 17 you know.  It was funny.  That’s when I went over to their house.  They were all just like pot heads and you know they had some chick singer with, like wore all this leopard shit.  It was pretty funny.      

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SOME MAKE IT, SOME DON’T

That was a great story. Sometimes the best stories are like that one.

   

Oh yeah, absolutely.  You know even with our early days some of our greatest stories come from when we were struggling, you know, all living in one house, the mustard sandwiches.  Every time somebody would leave the house, “Well, where you going?  You’re going to eat, I know it.  You got money, fucker.  Get me a hamburger.”  It’s like the food was such a huge thing.  It was like we had friends and girls that would bring us food because we were so hungry.  You know, those are good memories in a way because you know you want to make it so bad but it’s just a dream…It’ nice to hear bands that go through all that and then they do well. Most of the guys, they don’t make it and that’s sad.  I saw that movie Anvil and dude, I was crying.  I had never seen guys that want to make as bad as they do.  Here you’ve got a guy—you have people like Jack Russell that have it, they’re there and they’re like sabotaging it.  This dude would rather eat dirt than not make it.  He wants to make so fucking bad.  I was like, “God,” you know, I was so sad for the dude.  I’m watching this movie and I’m going this is real.  This fucker’s working a regular job and all this stuff.  He wants to make it so bad.  They go and make that record but there’s one thing lacking and I hate to say it but the talent, it just—their stuff is pretty dinosaur-ish and the singer is not really that good, but man determination.  I felt so fucking horrible when I… it was like real live Spinal Tap.  I mean this was like for real.     

   

I also saw the movie and it was really touchy in my opinion.   

   

I cried my ass off.  I couldn’t believe—these guys inspired Slayer. They inspired all these bands that surpassed them and did well.  You know, they opened for everybody, Scorpions, AC/DC, they did huge tours you know, but they were just always under the radar.  They just never got there.  It was just sad.  It was a really sad movie.  You know you see these guys in their 50s and stuff and they still have this dream you know, or they still are trying you know? I went on the website after I saw the movie. I don’t mean to interrupt you but I went on the website. I wanted to see if they’re selling any records of that record, 1400 records sold. I’m going, “No, how can that be.”  This movie is doing well, you know. So hopefully they made a little something off that movie.     

Have you ever met those guys?   

   

No, I never have.  No I never have met Anvil.  I was really unfamiliar with them you know, I hate to say it.  I know a lot of people know their songs.  I have no idea of any of their songs.   

   

How did you first find out about the Anvil movie?   

   

Well, Eddie Trunk, you know that metal show, Eddie Trunk I kind of know him a little bit and I was watching the show because I thought…he told me it was going to be George Lynch and Don was going to be on that show because they’re supposed—all the original members are getting back together but it kind of wasn’t known yet.  I thought that they were going to be on.  I turned it on and it was the Anvil guys.  They were promoting the movie and this and that and I kept forgetting it to buy it you know, and then I kept getting reminded.  “Fuck, I’m going to watch that.  As soon as I get home this week I’m going to watch that movie.”  And that’s what I did.  I went out and bought it.  Then I watched it.  It was amazing.  The intro, it has like Lemmy and all these people that are going, “Yeah man, they had the heart, they had the drive, they were heavy”. They’re heavy; they have good grooves you know.  Just other bands of the same ilk and the same type of bands do a little bit better.  They did try.  Like I said—

     

They almost made it but something went wrong.   

   

It’s just sad. You know it’s sad because to have somebody try that hard and have your whole family—it’s showing the family and it oh, the girl—his wife, she still believes in him and these other people, “Why don’t you just give that shit up.”  I want to punch those people.  I want to kill them, you know.  Just let him go, he wants to make it. I got a lot out of that movie.  It inspired me to appreciate everything I have and you know, just be happy, be in the moment because man, I’m telling you.  People that want it that bad and don’t get there it’s very hard to watch.  It was inspiring at the same time but sad.  You know what I mean?  It was very inspiring but sad. I love those guys.  I just want to hug them, I just want to hug and say, “Go man, go.  You can get there buddy,” encourage them you know?

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Mark and Jack live at Copenhagen in 2008.


THE IDOLS 


What kind of music do you listen nowadays?

   

Do I buy albums?  You know, I don’t buy a lot of music but I don’t know, I just—I bought some tunes like—I got an iPod and I actually purchased songs, like old ZZ Top.  I got like “Tres Hombres” on there, almost all ZZ Top.  You know there are a lot of records that they’ve done in the past 10 years that nobody even knows about because they fly under the radar just like all of us with out—no radio, no MTV. There’s an album, I don’t know if you’ve heard it, it’s called “Rhytmeen” Have you heard that record?  Oh my God, dude.      

   

Yeah, I do know that one. It came out in 1996, right? 

  

It’s already old album but man… the songs, that guy, Gibbons is such a killer.  You know when I think of people like 68 years old I don’t think of person that’s still working on their sound, do you know what I mean?  This dude sounds better than ever.  He’s just getting better tone all the time.  I read a whole big, huge article on the dude.  He tries to find amps still and pedals.  He’s always trying to get the tone.  He’s just great.  I met him like four years ago and he treated me so good, man.  I was like shaking.  Fans come up to me I just tell them, “No, dude, I’m not Eddie Van Halen, it’s all good bro.”  I’m not Mike Tyson, quit shaking, it’s all good.  I understand now because I’m a fan.  When I meet some of these guys like Ritchie Blackmore, I can’t even speak.  I’m fucking like I want to die. So when I met him he was so nice to me and he understood.  I go, “You don’t realize all the memories you created for me; when I was 15 years old in the apartments playing waiting for the bus. You’re like God like, you’re so amazing.”  He goes, “I get it, I understand.”  He emailed me that night and I wasn’t even home for two more days and I saw when the email came out, the night I met him.  He’s going, “Nice meeting you,” you know.  I emailed him once.  They were going to play in my hometown and I asked if it was okay if I brought my wife and a couple friends.  By the next morning he had already emailed me and said, “Bring the crew down, we’ll be having mercy,” all this shit.  He caught right on, the dude remembered me.  It’s just insane.  He’s great, Billy Gibbons, man. What a great guy.  That’s great when you meet your hero and they’re cool.   

   

Of course that’s cool. 

   

God, I’d be scared to death.  If I’d met Johnny Winter and he was an asshole I would never forget—it would be a nightmare.  I met him and he was the most down to earth, coolest guy I ever met. All my heroes that I’ve met have all been good.     

   

So you mentioned a couple of heroes, but who is the number one in your list?   

   

Number one has to be…well when I was 15, no 14 years old I jammed with these guys; it was Carlos Santana at first.  We must have played nine Santana songs, that guy was like pretty good but when I got a little older Johnny Winter was just, you know, I actually stole the eight track tape of “Still Alive and Well” from the store.  I put it down my pants and shit. I mean that album was the greatest album I ever heard.  I told him when I met him because we had a tour manager that was a tour manager for him for like five years who hooked me up to meet him.  I was on his bus and everything I told him how important that album was to me and he goes, “That was a pretty good one.  Yeah, that was good.”  I go, “Dude, that was the most amazing,” he doesn’t over dub rhythm when it’s time for the solo he just plays it. He played so good on that record it’s ridiculous man.  That was such a good record, “Still Alive and Well”.  That guy was really big.   

   

So you have mentioned two names already but are there other ones you want to mention here?   

   

Billy Gibbons, I have to say, Billy Gibbons.  He is such a hip mother fucker.  His tone is like no other.  I mean that guy—he is really good.  He is really good.  That guys great.  As far as like on the local level I—when I was like, I’ll say I was about again probably 15 I saw Van Halen in a backyard.  My friend had seen them three times.  I hadn’t seen them and he goes, “Man, this guitar player, dude, you’re going to be blown away.”  I go, “Okay.”  So they’re playing—I didn’t have a car at 15 I went three blocks from my house, El Monty, California right, backyard party, one dollar, they have kegs of beer, and this bands playing, Van Halen.  They’re playing like Bad Company and ZZ Top covers. They’re playing—and the guitar player—they played two originals.  I think they had “Running With the Devil”, I remember.  That was a way long time ago and they were playing that.  They had a couple of originals.  The singer was cocky then.  He would say things like, “We’re going to put this song on our third record,” you know, he was just fucking cocky.  Right when I walked in he was blowing a tube into the drummer’s floor tom and making the pitch go up and down.  They were good I could tell the guitar player.  So I started—I followed them around a little bit and they were the best band around.  They played more than everybody.  It really inspired me to—besides Van Halen who’s playing the most, you know?  “Oh, this song is so bad and they’re playing two nights a week.”  “Okay, we got to play at least four.”  Let’s play for free, I don’t care.  When I got together with Jack that’s what we did.  We tried to play more than everybody. We knew you’ve got to get lucky to make it even if we’re great.  It doesn’t matter.  You have to be in the right place so if we’re playing more than everybody at least we’re giving ourselves a chance to get lucky, more of a chance to get lucky than some band playing on Saturdays only.  We played everywhere we could play, you know?  Just hoping somebody would be in the crowd that meant something.  That’s what happened.  That’s what happened!  Somebody was in the crowd and there was somebody…takes a lot of luck.  I tell young bands I don’t know what to tell them because the formula of the tape and the 8×10 and all that is almost like a fantasy.  No bands that I’ve ever met in my life said, “How did you get your deal?”  “Oh, we turned in the 8×10 glossy with our demo tape and they just flocked and they just came and signed the band.  Now we’ve sold 50 million records.”  I’ve never heard a story like that.   

   

The problem is that I think that many great bands never come off because they don’t even have the real chance.   

   

Right, because I had really good friends that were guitar players.  I hung around a lot of guitar players; there were a lot of friends of mine that played guitar.  They played good.  Most of them played a lot better than me and I would—believe me I would get every lick I knew from these guys.  One of my friends, his names is Tracy, guys been in this garage for 20 years and never got a cool gig.  All his bands—something would go wrong and finally—   

   

Are you talking about Tracy G here?    

   

Tracy G. He’s a really good friend of mine and here I am off on tour with Judas Priest and I’m—you know, this guy we used to play lick for lick, we’d jam together, and I just loved the way he played.  He was really good.  Even when he got the WORLD WAR III gig and I was like, “Dude, you’re playing with fucking Jimmy Bain, man.”   

   

And there was also Vinnie Appice there.

   

Yeah, Vinnie Appice. I was like “Dude, you’re there.”  I was so happy for the guy.  I was so happy.  Then he got Dio gig so he finally got out there a little bit and that was bitching.  A lot of my friends didn’t get there.  They just were not in the right place at the right time and they just give up.  They just go get a job or whatever but it’s not just talent.  You really need to…you’ve got to believe in it and you can’t let—mom might say, “You better have something to fall back on,” but I’m telling you if we would have had that mind set we wouldn’t have gotten there.  “Oh, if we don’t do it then we can always do this or that,” we’d have said no falling back.  Forget falling back on shit, forget it.  We’re going to take this fucker and we’re going to get it. 

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THE FUTURE   

Well, we have gone through various subjects but now let’s go back to Great White. How do you see the future of Great White from now on?      

   

You know like I said it’s kind of early in the game.  We’re not going to make any plans to get a permanent new singer or anything like that.  Right now it’s all about Jack Russell; we just want him to get better.  We’ll just see how it goes.  It’s really just the next six or eight weeks are going to tell us a lot about where he is and where his head is at.  That’s important that, you know, does he want to get well more than anything.  I want him to be the Anvil of the guy that wants to be well.  I want him to have the determination to be healthy.  It’s just going to take some time.  I’ve been with the guy for almost 30 years.  I’m not going to, “Oh, my singers sick.  Next!  Number 37 step in here and sing,” you know what I mean?  I’m going to give him time. I need to know what’s going on and then we’ll figure it out.    

   

We just have to wait and see how it goes but I still have to ask about more Terry Ilous who’s been filling Jack for a couple of times already. How is he to work with?

   

Terry is a wonderful man.  That guy, wow, he blew our minds.  He just went out and commanded the crowd.  Here’s a guy—you know he filled in one show that almost cancelled and he had a show with XYZ the same day and he flew in, we only went over the songs with acoustic guitar in a living room one time.  He went out and did a full show, knew everything, just got the crowd going just crazy, and then when we got him to fill in for these two shows we didn’t even rehearse.  He came in totally prepared and just destroyed the crowds.  I mean this guy can sing.  I couldn’t believe how good he was.  He’s a really humble, cool dude. I really like his focus. I mean the dude is focused; he’s got a great personality.  He’s humble but when he gets on stage he becomes—he really—he gets the crowd going. Impressive!   

   

He has really good range of voice. I was really impressed when I saw him last year playing here in Sweden with XYZ.  

   

Great range, he has an actually unique voice.  It’s—he can get as bluesy—almost bluesy and almost…if I had to compare it with somebody almost like Glenn Hughes in a way and he can get fucking high.   

   

…but not as high as Glenn does “laughs”   

   

He doesn’t have—oh no, no not as high as Glenn no, fuck that.  No.  I mean, that’s only for dogs in the neighborhood or ____ 16:02 you know he can make dogs bark.  I love Glenn Hughes.  I actually jam with him and actually I played on a record of his a long time ago.  I only played like two songs.  It was a great record; it was called BLUES AUTHORITY.   

   

That’s an unbelievable good album.   

   

It’s unreal how good he is.  And he wrote—the song I played on was about his sobriety.  He’d been sober for a year and it was called “You Don’t Have to Save Me Anymore”.  It was to his wife because his wife was always saving him.  His wife was always getting him out of trouble, right?  “You Don’t Have to Save Me Anymore.”  It was just bad ass song. He wrote all these songs with some guitar player from like the South—some like, just this dude from Iowa I think.  Iowa actually and he was a really good guitar player.  He just went in and played all of the rhythms and wrote all the songs and then they got people to come and play solos like Warren De Martini, I played, there was Mick Mars and many more there.   

 

Just like Jack, Glenn also had problems with drugs and other stuff in the past and…

Oh, I know, he was terrible.  I know.  He was very bad addict, bad, bad.  But he got enough pain and got himself well.  He’s still doing well.  Like I said I don’t know how his name came up but I was just curious, went on the MySpace or website or something, and he had newer videos on his website so I just hit one.  He’s out in the desert; this song is called like “Soul Mover”. What a bad ass!  That smokes, man.     

   

Yeah, it’s really kind of ‘70s stuff.  

   

Oh man he just—yeah he doesn’t change his style.  That’s one thing I never wanted to do.  I go, “I don’t care what’s popular, I write how I write, and hopefully people are going to like it.”  I can’t write like Nirvana songs or I’m not going to be Alice in Chains and I’m not going to… whoever, Papa Roach, I mean those guys are all great I’m just saying that… that’s not me.

Ok Mark. Our time is up. Thanks for your time and all the best for the future!

Thanks man.

 

FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

WWW.GREATWHITEROCKS.COM

MORE PICTURES OF GREAT WHITE IN STOCKHOLM ROCKOUT FESTIVAL.

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Posted in 2010 | Comments (0)




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