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06 Марта 2011 г.
автор: Мик Стингли
ПЕРЕВОДА ИНТЕРВЬЮ ПОКА НЕТ...
Mar 06, 2011
writer: Mick Stingley
THE EXTREME SINGER ON HURTSMILE; MICHAEL JACKSON; JESUS V. JUDAS; "PORNOGRAFFITTI – THE MUSICAL" AND THAT BOSTON ACCENT
GARY CHERONE IS NOT A CORNBALL. The Extreme singer knows himself and he is earnest in his demeanor. This self-awareness is neither contrived nor feckless guile: he merely has an excellent sense of humor and remains as grounded and realistic as anyone who grew up in Boston during the eighty-six year losing streak of the Red Sox. He is, however, often viewed or portrayed this way. Because he will always be the guy who sang "More Than Words" and "the guy who was in Van Halen that wasn't Sammy or Dave".
A rock singer with one of the most eclectic resumes in recent history, Gary Cherone is currently working with a new band called Hurtsmile – a hard rock four-piece featuring his brother Mark (and rounded out by the rhythm section of Joe Pessia on bass and Dana Spellman on drums). The name is a term for smiling through pain and seems to suit a guy who's had a few ups and downs in his career. The album is tight collection of modern hard rock that wears its' influences on its’ sleeves. Mark Cherone's riffs fill the air like explosions and everything collapses down around him.
"Tolerance Song" and "Stillborn" are surefire headbangers, as is the single, "Just War Theory". The album's biggest surprise comes towards the second half as the Zeppish stomper "Jesus Would You Meet Me" gives way to the full-on Peter Tosh "Equal Rights" reggae skank of "Just War Reprise". And "The Murder of Daniel Faulkner" collect-calls Bob Dylan and is an alarming indictment of an infamous murder. While the album could easily veer into the territory of "The Ultimate Extreme Tribute Band" Hurtsmile succeeds for its rawness in attitude and subject matter.
With Extreme on hold after the band's triumphant return in 2008/9 (guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is playing guitar for Rihanna on her world tour through the summer) Cherone was anxious to get back to work and get back to the rock. The singer recently took time to speak to ROCKSALT.MX about his new project and aptly, smiled through all the painful and silly questions...
ROCKSALT.MX: According to your press release, you have wanted to work with your brother for quite some time. You're both in your 40s: what took you so long?
GARY CHERONE: (laughs) Now you sound like my mother.
ROCKSALT.MX: You’re working with your brother now, though... did you grow up in a musical family?
GARY CHERONE: Five brothers... my twin brother, me, Mark... three out of five (are musicians).
ROCKSALT.MX: Are you the oldest?
GARY CHERONE: No, I'm in the middle.
ROCKSALT.MX: So why now – was it really about schedules?
GARY CHERONE: I'm a little older than my brother Mark and when I was in the Boston club scene, he kinda followed me a few years back. He was always in bands. He was in a band with Nuno's brother, Paolo. And we took Flesh on tour with Extreme during the Punchline tour. It was pretty close knit East Coast Boston community, right up to Hurtsmile, with Dana Spellman and Joe Pessia – they're East Coast guys. Joe was in a band with Nuno; Dana roomed with and was a student of Mike Mangini. So it was a family affair here. But with me and Mark, we were always just doing our respective different projects. And we finally found some time, over the past few years to pull it together and write some songs. It's so funny – Hurtsmile was started in 2007 but I had to put it on hold because Extreme got back together. We were excited – we put some music out – but then we had to stop it. So when Nuno started touring with Rihanna, I made a commitment to finish the Hurtsmile record last year. So, to sum it up – it's only been a matter of scheduling and timing.
ROCKSALT.MX: Did you and your brother Mark always have the same musical taste?
GARY CHERONE: Growing up, I'd come home with the new Queen record or something and he'd listen; but as he got older he got into... Joe Jackson, he's a big Todd Rundgren fan, but we had our early, classic 70s rock bands that we grew up on. The Who, Aerosmith and Zeppelin. He was a big AC/DC fan as well. And I think that comes out in his playing, on the Hurtsmile record; to differentiate himself from Nuno's school of playing. But if we looked at our record collections now, or our CD collection or our digital collection – it's varied, we're all over the place.
ROCKSALT.MX: As most brothers are...
GARY CHERONE: You know, it's funny. KISS is a great example. We were both listening to KISS growing up. I'd come home with the new record... I gravitated towards Paul because Paul was the main singer. And he gravitated towards Ace. I remember, he was young... I put the Ace Frehley make up on my brother Mark with a magic marker one day. I can tell you, Mom wasn't so happy. That I've never told.
ROCKSALT.MX: How did you end up on Frontiers (Records, based in Italy)? Was that because you're Italian?
GARY CHERONE: (laughs) No, but... good answer though. It was Extreme: we did a record and we shopped it and they were interested and had done a lot of bands from our era from back in the day. We worked it and a couple of years later, with Hurtsmile, they were interested... and it just worked out. They liked the record and wanted to put it out and we had a good working relationship with Extreme, so it made sense.
ROCKSALT.MX: Frontiers is... known for its' heritage acts. Your label mates include Whitesnake and Cinderella, for example. Do you feel any stigma about being there; or is that not an issue?
GARY CHERONE: Yeah... there's a little concern. I guess I rationalize it, ahh... you know, Extreme has a fanbase – Extreme was never the critcs' darling, so we're gonna lose out either way. Whatever label puts it out, you know, with the internet in the digital age, it gets out there. You know? I'm not that concerned. Even Extreme has, well, Extreme would love to get on some tours that we wouldn't be able to, whatever, because of the stigma. To me it's not worth the fight. I'll put out the music, play to the fanbase and grow it from there. And I think Hurtsmile will do that. We're not really pushing it as Gary Cherone's new project, we want it to kind of grow organically on its own merit.
ROCKSALT.MX: Let's talk about that for a minute. You have a review out from the Boston Herald, by Jed Gottlieb. It starts off, "Gary Cherone is a cornball..." He goes on to compare you to Freddie Mercury but gives the Hurtsmile disc a B- letter grade. You seem to possess a great sense of humor and you come off as being very self-aware; but when you read something like that... what do you think?
GARY CHERONE: I saw that. And I laughed, you know? I laughed when I saw it. I might have felt differently if he'd written, "Gary's a cornball – and gave us a D minus". But I think he missed... or maybe there's a misconception. He commented on "Jesus Would You Meet Me" as being a bit campy. That wasn't the intent. If that's what he feels, that's fine; but he seemed to like the record. I take what I do seriously, but as a performer and a player, I wouldn't call myself a cornball, I'd call myself a (long pause)... I don't know. Maybe I'm too close to it. I wouldn't call myself campy or a cornball. I know him; and I thought it was a good review. And if he mentions Freddie Mercury, that's great. He's one of my heroes. But if I recall, he wrote that the record is heavy and he said... Rush and Rage Against The Machine. I don't know if I'd agree with that: I think the record is heavy, but we're certainly not as progressive as Rush. Conceptually, maybe. But if that's what he got out of it, on a first listen...
ROCKSALT.MX: Are critics import to you? Not just in music, but counting that you've performed in musical theater.
GARY CHERONE: You better grow a thick skin, you know, if you're gonna go out... you know, it's funny: with Extreme, we were never lukewarm. You either got it and you loved Extreme or you hated 'em. And for me, I kinda like that at this point. Just being in Van Halen, you had to grow a thick skin pretty quick. But you want people to like you and when people give you a bad review – you don't like that but that's their opinion. Not everyone's gonna like you and I think that's what you learn. Some critics, some fans of rock and roll, they just don't like it. Maybe when I was younger those reviews stung a little bit more, because you thought you were gonna conquer the world and please the world; but at this point I'm too old to worry about a few bad reviews. (laughs) But don't believe the hype, you know? I could look at a good review and they could get it wrong as well. "The greatest thing ever..." and you scratch your head and go, "Okay".
ROCKSALT.MX: So what about this, with Hurtsmile? How do you think it'll go over?
GARY CHERONE: The proof is in the fans of your music. If you like it, listen to it; if you don't, there's plenty of other music to listen to. I'm fortunate enough to make the music I want to make with the people I want to make it with – that to me is success right there. Now, I'm looking at Hurtsmile and, you know, will it sell as many records as Extreme? No. It won't. Will that make it any less of a good effort from me and my band members? No. It's music, it's your art. That's what you do.
ROCKSALT.MX: I was thinking – you mentioned Aerosmith earlier. They were an influence...
GARY CHERONE: Oh, yeah! Tyler, Aerosmith. Me more so than Mark. But those first five records were the gospel for me. I've seen Aerosmith many times. I think the first time was '77 or '78. And then Extreme go to tour with them and it was hard to keep our cool, because they are still rock gods to us. I remember, on that tour, me and Nuno watching Aerosmith from the side of the stage every night, kicking ourselves when they'd pull out "No More, No More" and some of the old classics – it was a thrill to tour with them and get to meet those guys.
ROCKSALT.MX: ...so what do you think of Tyler on "American Idol"?
GARY CHERONE: I was a skeptic. I was a skeptic when I heard about it. But I've seen it a few times and I think he's great. He's genuine. He's not cruel. He's kind of the first bonafide... he knows what he's talking about. He's got it and he's the real deal. The real rock star. But it's a talent show. It's entertainment. I used to knock it, but now I don't. I always think of Carrie Underwood. She came from that show and, ah, amazing. Amazing talent, amazing voice. But it's just a talent show and an opportunity for unknowns to be known or get known on a grand scale.
ROCKSALT.MX: Now getting back to Hurtsmile, you've mentioned before in other interviews that you don't dissect your lyrics, you prefer to leave them open to interpretation.
GARY CHERONE: Sure.
ROCKSALT.MX: Can you speak about the song at the end of album, "The Murder of Daniel Faulkner" and how it came to be?
GARY CHERONE: Oh, sure. That's a perfect example of a song being pretty literal. Some songs are inspired by something – "Infidel" on the album is inspired by the murder of Daniel Pearl, his beheading; though the song is not specifically about that murder, that beheading. I just took that and went with it, and kind of told a general disturbing story of that. In that sense, taken from the point of view of the beheader and asking the question, asking the believer, "Are you willing to die for what you believe in?" Whether he had the choice or not, there's a couple of different questions in that song. But "The Murder of Daniel Faulkner" – I don't want to get confused with the Daniels here.
ROCKSALT.MX: Daniel Faulkner was the police officer in Philadelphia who was murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal. A rather infamous case...
GARY CHERONE: Well, I guess... I've known about the story for years. It was really inspired, about the summer of 2007. I was looking for something to write – I wanted to try something different, an experiment. And it was inspired by, I guess around that time I was listening to "The Hurricane" by Bob Dylan and – maybe not that day – but I was always inspired by that song. The way he wrote it, the way it unfolded, how he told the story and the way he wrote it. It was brilliant, and I'm a big Dylan fan, but I don't necessarily write like that. So, I was looking to write a song like that. And I don't know what made me turn to the subject, but I started to do some research on it and thought, wouldn't it be great if I just told the story. The scene of the crime, the night of the murder. It was just an exercise in trying to write that way, a storytelling exercise. I know I'm getting longwinded here...
ROCKSALT.MX: That's okay - go!
GARY CHERONE: So I did some research. I read some transcripts from the four eyewitnesses. And then I wrote it and it sat on my shelf for a month or two. Then I was in a bookstore in LA and – I think I was doing some stuff with Nuno – and I ran across the book by the widow, Maureen Faulkner and Michael A. Smerconish who, together, they wrote the book "Murdered By Mumia" and flipped through it. I bought it and read it and thought the book was very moving. It inspired me to get a hold of Maureen... and I had recorded the song with the Hurtsmile guys, not knowing it was going to be a Hurtsmile song. And I gave it to her, and that was it. It was a gift – her story moved me to write and record it. So a year later, writing and recording with Hurtsmile and touring with Extreme – she came out to an Extreme show and I got to meet her and her (new) husband and we became friends. Later on she called me and told me that they were doing a documentary on the whole story and asked if I'd mind if they used the song. I said, "Go ahead, it's your song, you know." So the director dug it and put it in the movie. I asked the band about it and the timing was right – we actually shot a video for it last year. And that's what it is. For me, you know, Daniel Faulkner – everybody knows Mumia, but no one knows Daniel Faulkner. Which is the reason why I called it "The Murder of Daniel Faulkner". I want to bring attention to the victim. And without getting into the politics – the volatile politics surrounding this case – I wanted the song to stand on its own and just to tell the story of the night of the murder. Some people will dig it some people won't dig it, but if anything, it'll maybe get people interested in it. You know? That's what songs are for I guess, right?
ROCKSALT.MX: Certainly in that context.
GARY CHERONE: It's funny... so far everything's been good. I thought I was going to get a little more heat from it, because of the... politics surrounding it. But I think people are receiving it on its own merit. If they like the song they like the song. It's at the end of the record. It's certainly... a curve ball. It was inspired by Dylan; it's acoustic. And I'm excited about it because it's something new with this band.
ROCKSALT.MX: Well it's definitely Dylan... and maybe a little Paul Simon.
GARY CHERONE: Paul Simon? Really?
ROCKSALT.MX: Yeah, well, I know you always get Freddie Mercury, but I always heard Paul Simon when you sing.
GARY CHERONE: Really? I've never heard that... comparison before. Thank you. Paul's brilliant. I would say his voice is warming than mine.
ROCKSALT.MX: Same ballpark, though. It's always all over your ballads – and I can totally hear you doing "Kodachrome" or "Cecelia". Maybe I'm crazy.
GARY CHERONE: (laughs) Well, thank you.
ROCKSALT.MX: I'm going off-topic again. Now on this Hurtsmile record – particularly with songs like "Tolerance Song" and "Just War Theory" – I am hearing a lot of Extreme. You've already spoken to the fact that it's like a neighborhood record, but...
GARY CHERONE: Oh, no, sure. I think that's fair. Some songs more than others. Obviously the voice. But to elaborate more on that – background vocals, harmonies, maybe some guitar riffs – I wouldn't call it all... but a lot of the approach is something similar to Extreme. No Pat, though, no Nuno doing background. As far as the chord structure and the harmonies, but I can understand people would say that maybe it's similar.
ROCKSALT.MX: With Tribe of Judah, for example, it was clear that you were making choices to distance yourself from Extreme. What concerns, if any, about that did you have with Hurtsmile?
GARY CHERONE: I was conscious of it. Whenever we tried something that was too similar I suggested we go another route. But that didn't happen often and when it did or someone said, you know, "That's Extreme-y". It didn't bother me because it wasn't overt. There's gonna be obvious comparisons – when I listen to Nuno's projects and I hear a riff sometimes, I'll go, "Ah! That's freakin' Extreme!" Those are always gonna be there. But it's a group of guys coming from the same school and who were influenced by some of those classic rock bands. Sometimes, on songs like "Neighbor" or "Tolerance Song", there'd be something that would sound like Cheap Trick or Queen or had an AC/DC feel to it than referenced some of the contemporary bands that we're in. But I'm sure that anyone who listens outside the circle is going to hear those similarities easier than we would.
ROCKSALT.MX: How did it feel to go right to work with Hurtsmile coming off the Extreme album and tour? Were you excited?
GARY CHERONE: Oh, after the Extreme tour? You always get that way – by the end of the recording process you're sick of it and you want to get out and play. And at the end of the tour your body's so beat up that you want to get off the road and into the studio so you won't have to kill yourself every night. It's always the case. There's always that two to three week sweet spot where you're happy where you are.
ROCKSALT.MX: There is a huge obstacle for singers who do side projects, as they tend to get the focus of the attention and overshadow the project, often getting compared to the primary outfit they belong to. Sometimes the music ends up being exactly the same and the listener is left wondering why they bothered in the first place. Was that a factor in Hurtsmile, for you or your bandmembers? Or do you feel you were able to overcome it?
GARY CHERONE: Yeah, you know? This band was built from the ground up, so it feels more organic than other projects. With Tribe of Judah, I was coming out of Van Halen and I was kind of searching for something else, something other than that three-piece rock band that I've been in with Extreme and VH. So whether I went overboard or not with some of the sounds on that record, it was something I needed to do. Hurtsmile is very much in my comfort zone – it's where I want to be. Extreme or Hurtsmile. Extreme will always be – it's in my DNA. It's the bulk of my career and there's so much more music that Nuno and I want to make. The profile, because of the history and the success, cast a big shadow. That's not to say that I wouldn't want the guys in Hurtsmile to experience what I had with Extreme – we all want that success. But, again, the reality is, you're further on down the road with your career and you look at the music industry and – I'll give you an example – I don't want to be crass, but you can only have a first girlfriend once. (laughs) And that was Extreme. Experiencing all those first times. First time record contract, first tour, first video, first time backing up those big bands... so many first times with Extreme. Not that it's tainted with anything else, but it's in more perspective now. I look at Hurtsmile and I truly think this record stands on its own merit and is good as some of the records I've made in the past. And I would love to jump on a big tour and have some success with this record. Will that happen? All I know is that the experience with Extreme reuniting, we struggled finding tours... so, that's reality. The guys know it. The record's done. The success is there. I look at the internet: I'm fortunate that my past gives me the opportunity to talk about this project whereas if Hurtsmile was a new baby band, I probably wouldn't be talking to you. Or as much as I've been promoting this record if it wasn't for Extreme. I don't know if I went on a different tangent there, but I was trying to put it all together.
ROCKSALT.MX: What about with Tribe of Judah – looking back eight years on? That record is a strong record – not for everyone maybe – but pretty terrific. If you put that in the rear view and consider where you are with Hurtsmile now – do you think that the TOJ record got the attention it deserved; and what did you learn from that you take with you for Hurtsmile?
GARY CHERONE: Well, that was... that time, coming out of VH, that was very frustrating. As far as the record, I'm very proud of that. I can go back and listen to that record and for me, it was the right record to make, with hints of industrial and electronica, and experimentation. But if you strip all that down, even lyrically, that's a rock and roll record. It's a little off-the-wall, but (laughs) coming out of VH, there was a lot of stuff I wanted to get out. But I had the freedom, and I didn't have the pressure of being in the mighty Van Halen, so it was definitely a catharsis for me. But looking back on it I can listen to it... it was frustrating because that was a project that hangs over my head right now with Hurtsmile – and believe me – I do not want what happened with Tribe of Judah to happen to Hurtsmile.
ROCKSALT.MX: What do you mean?
GARY CHERONE: Well, because... Without blaming people, I thought management dropped the ball. I didn't get to tour in any degree and it was very frustrating. I did a handful of shows, and I've talked to Nuno about this, we've done records apart and he's had that experience – with his Mourning Widows records and Pop.1 records – you look at it and you worked hard on it but you don't have the luxury that Extreme had. But you know, that's reality. I don't think we're gonna be making the same mistakes that we had with the Tribe record. We have our ducks in a row for this record, so you live and learn. But I look back and as far as the band and the music, it stands on its own – but as far as the experience – it was very frustrating.
ROCKSALT.MX: How are your ducks in a row with Hurtsmile? The record is done, it's out; you're doing press. You're booked to play M3 in Maryland in the beginning of May. Now what?
GARY CHERONE: The goal is to plant the flag in Europe, Japan and America and within the context of reality – and here I sound like a manager because this is what my manager told me – in context of what the reality was when Extreme got back together. Granted, it was on a bigger scale and we couldn't go to Japan and we did some dates in Europe – and we were lucky to get the Ratt tour – we had to put that together ourselves. We were struggling to find a tour. So, in saying that, there are some difficulties ahead. But as far as press, we're going strong with it. We're going to try to hitch our wagon on to a bigger tour. And if that doesn't happen, we have within our power to put a string of dates together in America. And so far it looks good that we're going to do some dates in Europe and Japan, so that's my hope and that's the goal. And you know, this M3 thing – that's not necessarily the first gig. We'll be playing before that. That's just something that – Extreme did M3, did the main stage. Hurtsmile, new band, smaller band, we're playing the second stage. And for me, that's fine. You know? I don't expect anything more than what we merit.
ROCKSALT.MX: Will you be doing some home shows first?
GARY CHERONE: Yeah, we'll do, ah... we want to get to LA and we want to play Chicago and all those, but it's certainly easier for us to do an East Coast run. But around Boston area? Showcase Live maybe something. Paradise, maybe something. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and work our way down. But as far as Boston... I don't know if I want it to be the first date. I think I wanna get a few gigs under our belt before we come home and play to the home crowd. But we'll have our shit together by the time we play Boston. (Laughs)
ROCKSALT.MX: You're loyal to Boston. You're one the few bands that didn't split town for LA when you got a record deal. You and the Dropkick Murphys...
GARY CHERONE: Yeah. Extreme recorded our first record in Hampton, Mass; and we had our taste of the Sunset Strip when we recorded "Pornograffitti" but that was it. It was fun, and uh, yeah, we enjoyed it, but... it's funny – you made me think of, uh, one thing I said to Alex Van Halen – I always used to tell him, "Ya know, I grew up on Aerosmith man. I didn't grow up on Van Halen. I'm an East Coast..." I used to bust his balls! And even some of the harmony ideas when we were doing demos, you know, that came from that school – that came from the Aerosmith school – I'd go, "C'mon, man, ya got Michael Anthony, he can do that LA shit!" (laughs) It's a whole... I guess you could call it a Celtics/Lakers rivalry. But it's East Coast. We're proud, you know? J. Geils, Boston, Aerosmith, Dropkicks, Godsmack – all those bands. Family and pride. It was great when Aerosmith went out on tour but it was really special when they came back home to Boston. Extreme is a Boston band...
ROCKSALT.MX: And now Hurtsmile. Now speaking of Boston... you've also performed with the Boston Rock Opera, in of "Jesus Christ Superstar". Some clips of it are on YouTube. You played Jesus and I read that you had wanted to play Judas...
GARY CHERONE: Originally when I did it, I think it was '93, I went in there wanting to play Judas. But they had this great guy already committed to the part and they asked me to play Jesus and said, "Yeah, I'd love to!" But I've always wanted to do Judas. I did Judas at Boston Rock Opera and then I went out to Michagan to do some summer stock. I don't know if that's on YouTube. It should be. But yeah, I got to play both roles.
ROCKSALT.MX: Which was better for you?
GARY CHERONE: Ahh... better? As a rock and roll singer, Judas. He has the rockers, the better rockers. But as far as acting and the range, the Jesus part was more difficult. From the quiet real intimate stuff, to the wailing. That Ian Gillian wailing. Both are a challenge, and in that world, I've always had respect for it, but I couldn't do it for a living. It's a different animal. A lot of those guys would ask me "How do you do what you do, rock and roll and on tour and all that?" And I'd go back to them and ask "How do you do it?" You do it every day, sometimes in the afternoon and evening – two shows a day sometimes, eight shows shows a week. I go, "This ain't for me!" (laughs) You know? But musical theater is just more difficult. You gotta be certain places on stage, and stay still and that goes against every fiber of my being, you know, being in a rock band. Extreme goes out and you can do whatever you want on stage; but I have a lot of respect for those, for what those singers do.
ROCKSALT.MX: Was it a meaningful experience – or did you learn anything from the experience?
GARY CHERONE: Sure. With Judas, it's funny. When I did do Judas and you get into the character and do some research, it was revelatory playing the part. He commits suicide at the end. The question that I believe the musical was asking – did he commit suicide out of remorse – obviously for betraying and inadvertently killing his friend Jesus. Which begs the question, did he go to Hell, did he not go to Hell? Of course it was suicide... and I tried to portray that he was so overcome with so much remorse he couldn't live with himself that he came to believe that Jesus was who he said he was. But he couldn't live with the fact that he betrayed Jesus. And to me that's it. But going off on another tangent here, ahh... the last verse "And now God on our side" with Judas almost a pawn in God's plan and the whole question of free will and God's sovereignty... see? Now I'm goin' off!
ROCKSALT.MX: Has there been anything (musicals) lately that's come along you've shown interest in?
GARY CHERONE: It seems like Broadway is introducing all the rockers now, and it's been that way for quite a few years. I'm a big Who fan and when "Tommy" came to Broadway, I never saw it actually. But I've seen enough of it – on YouTube – and I gotta tell ya – I wasn't a big fan of it. Because it seems like they took a little bit of the rock out of it. And growing up with "Tommy" and "Quadraphenia" – and "The Wall" – I'm a fan of those – there's rock in there. Would I do... if I had the opportunity to do "Tommy?" Maybe. I'd do "The Nightmare Before Christmas" if they put that into a musical. I'd do that. I like Jack Skellington.
ROCKSALT.MX: Would you consider writing one? "Pornograffitti"?
GARY CHERONE: I'm not opposed... but I don't know. Again, the music that I grew up with... I think Extreme has toyed with it, with "Pornograffitti" and "Three Sides" – maybe even Tribe of Judah. There's always a storyline knit together – even the Hurtsmile record, the second half. I don't know. I'd thought of maybe developing "Pornograffitti" (long pause) but I don't know. I don't know. I think I'm comfortable being where I am. (pause) If it came up, ahh... and, well, somewhere down the road, before I get too old, I'd do "Jesus Christ Superstar" again, but I'm not – that's a different world for me. I do have a lot of respect for it, but I really don't know if I could do it on that level.
ROCKSALT.MX: Let me ask you this: what do you think about pop music? When Extreme first broke out it was Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney and Mariah and New Kids on the Block; now it's Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Justin Bieber. What do you make of all this as a singer?
GARY CHERONE: I think the best thing you can do is to be insulated. The pop world is a monster. It's such a machine. It's so huge and a lot of it is smoke and mirrors. And I like Gaga. I get it. It's Madonna and every generation needs that... that character to push the envelope. I get it. She captured it and she's going for it with the weird suits and all that – and good for her. But when the smokes clears and the dust settles and all the hype is gone –will the music be there? I always think of Michael Jackson and I always think of Madonna and I think there the music does stand the test of time. Sure, the production can be dated, but in the end, again, it's the music. All the other stuff fades away. But for me, I'm not in that world. I'm making rock and roll music and whether you're lucky enough to get caught in the wave... it's interesting. Extreme was kind of – I consider us the middle kids – we were at the end of the hair metal wave with our success and came before the whole 90's grunge thing. We were lucky enough to have some success with "More Than Words" to bridge the gap that gave us the opportunity to make more records. Who knows if we didn't have that success if we would have made more records then? The band might have split up or - whatever. But many bands fall by the wayside. But I don't look at the outside world and worry about it. I try to just make some honest rock and roll music.
ROCKSALT.MX: You worked in some Michael Jackson into your Extreme set on the last tour.
GARY CHERONE: Yeah. That was, ahh... Michael died – and there's a handful of artists a hundred years from now that – you could say Elvis, you could say Sinatra – and you could say Michael Jackson. There's not a lot of people that you can put in there. I'm old enough to remember when – it just didn't get any bigger than that. It was huge. He effected everything. Fashion... now it's such a big machine, but back then – MTV was the town square and Michael Jackson was king. Whether you were into him or not, you had to acknowledge it. And he was prolific. And he bridged that gap – Eddie van Halen, the "Beat It" solo? He was that artist. Soul, R&B, rock... it all came together and he was an icon. When he died... who wasn't effected by it? So, I think it was Nuno's idea, "Let's do something". We did "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' " and we did it at the end of "Get The Funk Out". And it was funny – we were on the Ratt tour. And we'd get some strange looks (laughs) but Michael was so able to cross barriers and you could look out on a rock audience and they were singing!
ROCKSALT.MX: Okay – last question. Because Boston accents have become so prevalent in the last ten or twelve years of television and film, comedians and so on – and I don't hear an overwhelming amount from you but I know I've heard you say it before and certainly a couple of weeks ago.
Gary Cherone is from Malden, Mass.
GARY CHERONE: Oh, right, right. Yeah I don't notice it until I'm outside of Boston. And people make fun of the lack of "r's" in my vocabulary. But I think I told you last time, it's funny, "More Than Words" comes to mind, when people sing it. People sing it back to me – and they often do!
ROCKSALT.MX: They just go right up to you when they recognize you?
GARY CHERONE: Yeah... I'll play with them a little, I'll fool around with them. They may recognize me but they don't know who I am or whatever, so... sometimes I'll kid 'em. But then when it gets to, they do know, and "More Than Words" comes up – and when I do hear it back, that's when I hear the accent. The line in the second verse – what is it? "Ever let me go" – I guess I say "EVAH" which is funny, you know? (laughs) Actually, I think when we were recording it, I think Bob St. John brought it up – and I didn't know what the hell he was talking about! I said, "I'm talkin' normal!" So it was funny.
ROCKSALT.MX: And do you say "wicked pissah" ever?
GARY CHERONE: (laughs) A long time ago – but not anymore! Wicked? No I don’t say wicked anymore – but that is definitely Boston! And East Coast!
|Interview | Добавил / Added: KristallZ (08.03.2011)|
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