“The Classic Metal Show” recently conducted an interview with JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE vocalist Jack Russell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On whether the reason he fell into a harder run with partying was due to the heavy emotional baggage that came along with dealing with the after-effects of the Station Fire incident:
Jack Russell: “You know, I have to admit that it has a lot to do with it. I’ve been through numerous counselling sessions about that. That was put on my shoulders. And at first, I made comments like, “Well, I’ve got big shoulders” and stuff like that, but in the end, nobody can handle something like that. It was a tragedy…so many people lost their lives. The ripple effect of that… you can’t even imagine how big that is. And every time someone wants me to talk about the fire, I just can’t anymore, because no matter what I say, I hurt somebody’s feelings. I piss somebody off. I don’t say something right, or somebody doesn’t think I’m remorseful when I should be. You know, this was really, really hard on me. And I’m not saying that it wasn’t hard on anybody else, too, because certainly it was harder on most people than it was on me. Nobody got out of that place unscarred, physically or mentally or psychologically or spiritually. It was a really horrible ordeal, and I’m sorry it ever happened. But there was nothing I could have done about it. And if there was, I would have.”
On whether he can foresee ever repairing his friendship and working relationship with his former GREAT WHITE bandmates:
Jack Russell: “You know what? I like to think that time heals all wounds. I’ve been trying to keep my mouth shut. We all had a few things to say initially, and I said, ‘OK, look, let’s just shut it down with the words now.’ And I was watching this video [interview with my former GREAT WHITE bandmates] the other day, and they’re still going on and on and on, saying stuff like, ‘Jack wasn’t involved in the songwriting.’ It’s like, OK, well, I’ve got more songwriting credits than anyone else, so figure that one out. Then Mark [Kendall] was saying, ‘Well, Jack‘s name must not mean much or he wouldn’t have to use ‘Jack’s Great White.” And I’m thinking, ‘Well, why don’t you go out as ‘Mark Kendall‘ and we’ll see how good you do.’ Then the interviewer asks them, ‘Since you guys own the trademark, how come it’s such a hassle with the court and everything?’ and they just kind of him and hawed. And I’m thinking, ‘Guys, c’mon, you don’t own the trademark, and that’s why we’re going to court.’ Then they were about how their publicist is doing such a great job of keeping things from being confusing with all the advertisements. There was just one show in New Mexico where [the ad] had eight pictures, and they were all with me. So it’s like, ‘Guys, just shut up! You’re not getting anything right, so just don’t talk about Jack at all. Please!’ That’s all I want to say about that, But as far as wanting to get back together again, well, if they stop being idiots, who knows? But every time they open their mouth, they stick their foot in it. I’m just getting tired of it, man. I just want it all to go away. I want the lawyers to handle it, and the courts to handle it, and I just want to sit in my house, my boat, whatever.
On whether he feels that his value as JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE is diminished with the other version of GREAT WHITE out there:
Jack Russell: “Well, absolutely, because people still don’t understand…. Not everybody reads all the Internet tabloids and all that kinds of stuff. They have regular jobs and they don’t get on Facebook. They see GREAT WHITE playing at so-and-so. ‘Oh, yeah, I love those guys.’ They hear the songs on the radio and they don’t know that there’s some other dude singing. They go out [and see the show] and they go, ‘Guys, sounds really not good. What happened? Oh, it’s another singer. Oh, wow.’ And by the time, it’s too late then. It’s important. And they say they’re taking care of all this stuff to make sure people know. That’s the only reason I didn’t just take the nameGREAT WHITE when I left. And I didn’t… And this is the thing… See, I didn’t leave. And that is the big misnomer here. When I made my first press release, I said I’m taking the name of the band I started and moving on. At that time, I was the president of the corporation Shark Touring, which was the corporation that ran GREAT WHITE, that paid the bills. I was the CEO, and Mark was the vice president’ we were the only two officers and members of the organization. Michael Lardie and Audie Desbrow and everybody else, they were all just hired musicians. So I fired them all. When I said, ‘I’m taking the name,’ that means, ‘You’re fired.’ But they didn’t wanna be fired, and neither did the manager, because that’s his gig. . . I’m just so upset because every time I turn around, there’s one more thing in the press, and it’s not correct. I’m so sick of hearing Michael Lardie talk about how I didn’t write any songs. Gee, Mike, I’ve got more [songwriting credits] than anybody. It’s like, c’mon, man, tell your wife to quit writing what you’re supposed to say and just be a man.
To download the full half-hour interview with Jack Russell, go to iTunes and subscribe to the “The Classic Metal Show” podcast.