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In Words: Great White

- Jack Russell - April 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Michael Lardie - April 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Michael Lardie live 2000
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Michael Lardie - April 9th 2009 (by email)

Another album of Great White is in the stores and they show that nothing can stop them for making music - even if there are period when they aren't active. Time to pass a few questions to the band. Thanks to Michael Lardie for answering!

To me it seems like the songs on Rising are more mature, even if I don't like to use this work, but I think it fits best... Anyway, Great White always was based in bluesy hard rock. But did the tragical accident in 2003 - and perhaps some more recent experiences, even if less tragical - kinda show through in the songs?

Hopefully, every song we write is a reflection of where we are in our lives at the time, if that comes through then we are very happy with that !!!

You have a new bass player, Scott Snyder replaced Sean McNabb. How much influence has his playing on the songs?

I think Scott's feel as a player is more organic, more to the point and Audie and Scott together makes for a great rhythm section!!

Did Sean's decision to concentrate on theater and acting surprise you?

No, We will always support our friends in their hopes and dreams.

Its been so many years you are working together, is it easier now, coz you know each other well?

It is easier because of the amount of time together, but also easier because of the collective experience, we've really grown up together.

Why do you decide to cover the Rolling Stones' tune Let's Spend The Night Together?

Jack has always wanted to do the song, it's sort of like paying homage to the band / bands that inspired us when we were just starting out.

I guess that in the beginning you haven't thought that the band will be active for so many years. Do you think it was destiny that you called the band Great White as the great white shark is the only surviving species of its genus? And you also survived a lot...

Well, we understand, that the shark need to keep moving in order to survive, so we keep going because as a group we feel it is important to keep on going.

Any chances to see you live in Europe? Or will you play only a couple of shows in the US?

We are hoping to do a proper tour in Europe in September of this year. Every weekend, it seems, we will be doing many shows in the States.

A lot of your song would be perfect for some acoustic show... If not doing an acoustic tour, have you ever thought about do an acoustic part in your set?

Throughout the years we have incorporated acoustic sections in our sets, not for many years now though, maybe time to do it again!! LOL

Do you enjoy playing live these days more then in the beginning of your career?

It has ALWAYS been an amazing ride to play live with all the musicians of this band, looking forward to many more oppourtunities to play!!!

Talking about live shows... Are their any plans to record a show for a DVD? As far as I know there is just My, My, My with the video clips...

We have been discussing the recording of a DVD this year, sometime over the summer I believe...

What's next on your schedule?

We have some shows in the Southeast United States at the end of the month, then more shows!! And more shows...and more shows!!!

Looks like they will stay alive for more years, perhaps not as long as the Great White, but they are far from retiring!

Claudia Ehrhardt


Jack Russell - live 2000
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Jack Russell - Vosselaar (Belgium) - April, 21st 2000

A tour was scheduled for Great White in Europe last February, but guitarist Mark Kendall left. Now the shark attack is over Europe! After the show in Vosselaar I had the chance to talk a few minutes with Jack Russell.... Last year I did an interview - for my radio show - with Jack and Michael Lardie, so this was kinda short update about latest news and about the album which wasn't released at that time.

Last year you been on tour in Europe and the shows been amazing. Now you are back. A new studio album is out for quite a few months, but the line-up changed!

Ja, Mark Kendell left the band which... I tell you what he told me! He said that he didn't wanna do this anymore and that he wasn't happy. He couldn't explain why. He was just tired of doing it and that he wanna do something else. That was the explanation he gave me.

It's almost about a year when I saw you the last time and it seems that these days the band enjoy being on stage a lot more. It seems that you be freed from a kind of pressure or whatever.

It's weird that you said that. I think sometimes there's may;be a vibe you notice subconscious

...yes, last year I was a little wondering, coz when I joined Frode Johnsrud from the Norwegian Scream Magazine for the interview, you and Michael did the interview. In the media for years it looked like Mark and you were the mainmen. I remember that he came in the dressing room and there was a vibe, a negative vibe....

Mark never gave much interviews, he don't like doing interviews.

.... I had the idea that there is something going on, a change ahead...

We never had Mark at interviews, he's not very verbal. Well, but it seems that you were right...

But people didn't expect it. When the tour was cancelt and later it was announced that Mark left, people been shocked. But you have a new guitarist now, Matt Johnson who is amazing! And he seems to fit fantastic into the band!

Yeah, he fits very well, actually he's the guitarist of my solo project. So he was the obvious choice for us to have come in and check him out. So far it's working very well.

And the fans seem to like him!

People love him, yeah!

I talked to people who saw the band on this tour and they told me that it looks like he's in the band for years!

That's good!

The reaction of tonight's audience kinda proof this.

Every night it's like that!

You said that you'll come back in fall. So what can we expect then? Will you have a new album out then or do you come back with Can't Get There From Here?

No, there will be out a kinda collection which is called Latest & Greatest. It will have re-recordings of old songs, some new ones and some live stuff. It'll come out at Sony and when we come back from tour we'll record a new album in winter.

Are you satisfied with the work Sony is doing here in Europe?

Yeah, obviously we don't have a high priority. They do a good job, every store I've been to, the record was there!

I remember that just a few big magazines had interviews with Great White and it seems that Sony didn't care about anyone else. Sure, they have a great distribution, but not a good promotion...

Well, I think we have to kinda proof ourselves, too. Obviously we are not Iron Maiden! We don't sell millions of records in Europe. As we come back and keep coming back, will show them that we are dedicated, they'll get more into us as well.

This time you play small clubs which you wouldn't have played 10 years ago. There was a different music trend at that days, but it seems that this kind of music is coming back!

Yeah, it's coming back.

For me it looks like that new fans come to the shows as well we fans from 10 years ago.

That's right.

For many fans the track Wooden Jesus is one of their favorites. How you came up with this song?

Our record company in the States don't like this song, but over here they love it. The fans in the States love it, too. The first time we played it after the album was out the people was like "Oh, yeah...." It is just one of the songs. Michael and Don Dokken were sitting around and working on a tune and came up with on line of the refrain. It's about how people use religion in order to do wrong stuff. Kinda... "I'm praying, so it's all right!" attitude, "I killed that guy, but when I say some 'Hail Mary's' it's all right."

I think it's interesting, coz it's unusual topic.

No, not for us as well. It's kinda tongue and cheek thing, not a really serious song, more a fun thing.

I don't think that anyone expect really serious lyrics from you.

No, we wanna have fun.

People would be surprise when you would do some serious stuff...

That's not me!

...the people want to have fun!

Same with me!

The people want to have a good time, to have fun and that's what the music scene missed for quite a while, I think.

Oh yeah, the 90's were depressing...

Do you think that the internet helps you...?

It can be good and bad...

... Like everything....

Exactly, the people abuse it and turns it into a rumour mill and that's not good. But, I mean, it's obviously, you can talk to fans all around the world in a few seconds! We get emails from nearly every country in the world and that's cool!!!

One more question about the tour... It's a pretty small tour, just a few shows in Germany, Benelux, U.K......

Czech Republic, Poland... It's just to say "Hey, we are still around. We have a new guitar player and everything is fine!"

And the shows proofed that the band feeling is fantastic with the new line-up. Personally I enjoyed the show very much and I can't wait to hear the Latest & Greatest! Live they always offered a great live show. If you wanna have fun and the guys a around, go and have fun!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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