On December 10th, original GREAT WHITE vocalist Jack Russell issued the following statement:
“Just wanted to announce that I will be coming back with my band Great White and a brand new lineup. My new bandmates are some of the most incredible musicians I have ever had the privilege to play with: Matthew Johnson – former guitarist for Great White, Derrick Pontier – former drummer for Great White, Dario Seixas – former bassist for FIREHOUSE and the STEPHEN PEARCY band, and Robby Lochner – former guitarist for ROB HALFORD’s band and CHERIE CURRIE.”
Following the above announcement, Russell’s former bandmates in the original Great White – who were just as shocked as the fans by the news – issued a statement of their own.
In a couple of excerpts they stated:
“As we all know Jack Russell has been fighting drug and alcohol abuse for many years. He has had numerous stints in and out of treatment facilities and hospitals. ”
“Since Jack’s departure in August 2010, Great White has performed almost 100 concerts. We’ve had no shortened sets, cancellations or song choice limitations due to vocal issues. In this struggling economy, fans need and deserve more—not less. We owe it to our fans and the promoters to not to allow Jack Russell and some garage band to hurt Great White’s classic rock legacy and bright future.
Jack Russell does not have the right to start his own Great White or use the name without our names in the lineup. We will litigate any promoter that books ‘Jack Russell’s Great White’ or uses any logo featuring the name Great White.
We give you our word, we will continue through 2012 and beyond to provide you with the top quality musical performances you have been accustomed and deserve. We hope and pray that Jack gets healthy, happy and sober. His health and well-being is the only thing that matters.”
Now, Jack Russell has issued the following statement: “I am deeply hurt and saddened by the fact that my old friends and band mates would purposely exploit my personal and private medical conditions to try to prevent me from doing what I love. I can’t even fathom as to why they would do such a thing and why they would want to personally hurt me so much. This is very upsetting considering that more than half of the band has had their own issues, demons, or personal problems at some point, all of which affected the band at one time or another. I am excited about the future and look forward to seeing all my friends on the road. My interview with Metal Sludge is the only one I will be doing right now, and I will make no further comments regarding this matter.”