In case you had not heard, Jack Russell is alive and well and back on the road, doing what he does best...rocking out front of his band, Great White. Of course, there have been some problems in the Great White world, with TWO versions of the band out there touring, but make no mistake, Jack Russell's Great White is THE Great White if you want to be able to hear all of the band's hits performed the way they should be by the only voice of this multi-platinum selling band. After more than 30 years and 11 studio albums, Jack is still filled with a passion for his bluesy style of hard rock and he and his new band are ready to bring the true sound of Great White to a city near you they embark on a summer tour with Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Lillian Axe on the American Rocks Tour.
G2G: First, Jack, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. It's a big thrill for me to get to speak to the singer for my favorite band of all time!
Jack Rusell: Right on, thanks, we're just taking a couple of days off here before we get things rolling again.
Jack: Yeah things are great. I'm feeling good. I've been out doing some shows...umm...yeah, we're doing good, man.
G2G: How are things going with the new line-up? I know there are some familiar faces for Great White fans, but also some new faces as well. Who do you have going out on the road with you now?
|Dario with Stephen Pearcey 2010|
G2G: About Dario, I saw Great White play about, I don't know, ten years ago or something, with Firehouse opening, and I know Dario was with them then. Is that how you two got introduced or how did that work out?
Jack: Yeah, that's exactly what it was. Good memory! (laughing)
Jack: Yeah, uh, let's see. Back in 1982, Mark and I were in a band called Dante Fox. And we met...Don Dokken, who was a friend of ours because of our drummer, Gary Holland, who had played with Don Dokken in Europe, and Gary told him about this band he was in, and Dokken goes off and he loved my voice and he liked the band, so he talked to this guy who was a friend of his named Alan Niven. Alan worked for a small record company, and he (Don) coaxed him (Alan) into coming down to see the band at the Whiskey Hollywood. And, umm, so he brought him down and, you know, Alan liked the band and my voice, and he liked Mark's guitar playing, so he went and met with us at his record company. And he said, well, you know, the one thing I don't like is the name, I think it's kind of whimpy. And we were like, "aww, man". And he said what about changing it to Great White, because he had heard me call Mark that...it was a nickname that I had for him when he played his solos, you know, "Mark Kendall, the Great White, on lead guitar", you know. But we were like, why would we change the name and lose our following...we had like 200 people, you know (laughing). So he convinced us by saying, you know, "record deal or not?". So we changed the name, but we thought it was stupid, you know. You know, I didn't mind it so much, because I had already came up with the nickname for Mark, you know, and I'm a big shark fan...you know, I've been fishing for sharks for as long as I can remember, and I still do, you know I've been diving with them...I'm just in love with them, I think they are amazing creatures. So it wasn't so bad to me, and after a while we were like, "the name's kinda cool...we can live with it", and we kinda sucked it up and were like we can live with it anyhow. And that's how we got our start...and then we got our first, uh, our first independent EP out and we sold like 20,000 units in L.A., and we had every label in town wanting to sign us, so it was ON after that, you know...
Jack: Yeah, man, that's nice to hear. I'd love to see it...
Jack: Well, you know, I think we wrote songs that were timeless. It wasn't like, you know, we weren't like, "hey, okay, let's write some timeless songs", we've always written what we liked. You know Mark and I would sit down with an idea and, you know, if we liked it we kept working on it and, you know, we recorded it. Our thing was to, we used to just sit with an acoustic guitar and my voice, and then we knew it was a good song if it could work that way, you know...and I think it just...whatever it is we like about songs, I think we kind of have like John Q. Public ears, or whatever, because when you hear a song from a musician's standpoint, but also from a listener's standpoint, it seems what we like most other people seemed to like also, you know. It works out well, and we've been fortunate over the years to have some songs that have stood the test of time, you know..."Save Your Love", "Rock Me", of course, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy"...songs of that nature have stayed around and are still valid today.
Jack: Yeah, sure, in a way. It (Rising) is just a little more, a little heavier, you know. But, as far as songs, I think there's some great things, some beautiful melodies, on there...um, there's a song called "Down The Level" which I just adore, and all the stuff was written about stuff that was about where I was at, like on all the records, you know, where I was at spiritually, mentally, physically...you know, every record has pretty much been the story of my life at that particular point, and about what I'm doing.
G2G: You have also released a couple of solo albums, so what made you decide to keep the Great White name going rather than just striking out as Jack Russell this time?
Jack: Yeah, yeah, yeah...that was actually pretty trippy, man. It was fun.
G2G: Do you have any specific recollections of that song? We're good friends of Justin Murr of Liberty N Justice, and I was just curious what your memories of that song or that session were...
Jack: (laughing) Yeah, I remember when I first heard it I was like, "what the hell am I gonna do with this thing?" (laughing) But when I got done with it, and after I messed around with some of the melodies and stuff like that, I actually liked it. It's actually a pretty funky, very cool tune. Yeah, I really liked it. I remember as I was recording it I was talking to the engineer about what I was wanting to do with it, and we started goofing around and doing some different stuff and changed some melodies and tried some different things, and yeah, it's actually a righteous song...
Jack: Oh, right on, that's cool.
Jack: Yes sir...
G2G: Have you played any dates yet?
Jack: No, it starts on June 15th, actually...
G2G: So you've been doing stuff on your own as Jack Russell's Great White then, correct?
G2G: Well, I know your show in North Platte is just you, just Great White, so you can play as much as you want for as long as you want! Stay all night if you want!
Jack: Right on! I appreciate that, my brother.
G2G: Do you ever get any calls to do the Led Zeppelin stuff?
Jack: You know, Arttie, yeah, we do, and we incorporate a Zeppelin song in one of our songs, "On Your Knees", which we have been doing for quite a while now. We've done it for a while now, but what's cool about it now...the way we did it before with the other band was not really the way it should have been done, it was just kind of like, you know, some chord changes and stuff, but now, with the new band, we're doing it exactly like the record, and it just sounds amazing.
G2G: Do you tease the fans with any new stuff at all?
Jack: No, you know, we're not playing anything new yet. I don't wanna...you know, I wanna wait until we got something down and recorded. I think we're just gonna take the first track and put it out there for free on YouTube, or somewhere, to let fans have a taste of coming attractions, you know.
G2G: Very cool...
Jack: I think the live album we're just gonna put out for free.
G2G: Hey, the trend right now seems to be everybody's writing these tell-all books, these autobiographies, so will we see a Jack Russell book out there sometime?
Jack: Oh yeah, it's on the way. We've been working on it for a while now. It's just such an incredible story, man, I mean my life has been such an amazing adventure. I mean, (laughing) it's like four or five of anyone else's books all in one, man. I'm not actually blowing smoke, either...it truly has been amazing, starting when I was, when I was a young lad, all the way until recently, I mean...God...there are just so many things to talk about. I should call the book "You're Not Gonna F**king Believe This", but I think I'm gonna call it "Dancing On The Edge", actually.
G2G: Jack, how can people keep up with Jack Russell's Great White? Do you have an official website or a fan club of some sort?
Jack: Yeah, it's JacksGreatWhite.com and then there's also the Jack Russell Pirate Page on Facebook, and, of course, my own Facebook...
G2G: And of course you're on Twitter now...
Jack: Yeah, and at Twitter, exactly, thank you...
G2G: And at your shows, do you do some sort of meet-and-greet with the people before the show, after the show, fan club members only...how do you work that?
Jack: Absolutely, we wanna meet everybody. We always do it after the show and its all free, and we'll do signings and everything. We do it every night...
G2G: Well Jack, unless you have something you want to specifically touch on, I've taken up more of your time than I planned on, I really appreciate it...
Jack: No, no problem, I appreciate your time, man. I want to thank people like you, and I want to thank all the fans, for making this transition, umm, very easy, and I'm very comfortable in what I'm doing now, and for people who come out to see a show, you're guaranteed to be blown away.
G2G: Well, thanks, Jack, I appreciate the time...
Jack: Absolutely, man, you're welcome. If there's ever anything else you need, feel free to call. God bless, brother.
Well there you have it, folks...straight from Captain Jack's mouth! Be sure to keep updated on all things Jack Russell and Jack Russell's Great White but checking out his webpage and by getting out there to support the band live! Here are the first few dates in June for Jack Russell's Great White and the America Rocks Tour.
June 19 - North Platte, NE - Sculley's Shooters (Great White only)
June 20 - Loveland, CO - Phaze Events CenterJune 22 - Savage, MN - Neisen's Concert Hall
June 24 - Vienna, WV - Yellow Beards
June 29 - Columbus, OH - Alrosa Villa
June 30 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
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