Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to former Ozzy Osbourne, Bandlands and current Red Dragon Cartel guitarist Jake E Lee about his new album Patina. Lee spoke about his set list on upcoming tour, his short Dio days, an in depth discussion on his contributions on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin, why he was fired from Ozzy Osbourne, as well as his opinion on Ratt today
When asked about the musical direction between the Red Dragon Cartel's debut and the new album Patina
"This new album is a little more what people were probably expecting from me initially. The first record was a little out of my wheel house. just the way it was done which was the more modern way of recording, more individually. You put the click track down and then anybody can play against that click track. I didn't need a drummer or bass player or singer because I had a click track. Then the songs were sort of pieced together at the end. This new album was done the way I have always done it in the past, with Ozzy, in Badlands, where I would come up with the riff with the band present and we would jam on it and figure out the right parts for everything together. So I think this new record sounds more cohesive, more organic, more like there was actually a band involved in the whole process and there are no guest spots on it. In terms of sound the first album was more in the metal vein this one I am exploring different musical genres. I like basic rock format and then I love to see how kinky I can make it. I like to put twists and turns under the umbrella of Rock."
When asked what his set list on his upcoming North American tour and will he be playing an Ozzy and or Badland songs
" I have decided I am not going to do any Ozzy Osbourne songs live, I had to play these songs on the first Red Dragon Cartel tour because of lack of material but playing those Ozzy songs was not fun as I thought it would be, it almost felt dishonest for some weird reason I know I wrote the bulk of the music and played on those albums but it felt like those songs belonged to Ozzy. They are Ozzy's songs. I would only do Ozzy songs live unless it was with Ozzy, if we can work that shit out? (laughs) I will however play some Badlands songs and I will change it up every night if I can. "
When asked about his short time in Dio and if he wrote any Dio songs at the time
"I was in Dio for about 4-6 weeks, Dio was the first big band that I was playing with and it was just fun because it was in his garage and Vinnie was set up with his drums and Ronnie was playing Bass. The most interesting thing was that Ronnie Jame Dio was not using a PA and we played loud and Ronnie would just sing without a mic no PA, sing into the air and you could hear him belt those songs out it was so impressive. We worked on a couple of songs one of them was Holy Diver, however I didn't write anything and towards the end Ronnie just didn't like my style of playing and preferred a more European style of playing. And most of all i just want to make this clear, on the record, I did not write the Dio song 'Don't talk to Strangers'. "
When asked why he did not get credit for writing the music on Bark At the Moon and why was it only Ozzy Osbourne who got credit
"I was young and back in those days there was little information about how the music business works and I trusted people. I was told from the beginning I would get my fair share of the writing credits and publishing and I took them at my word which was a mistake but it was never about the money. When I first joined the band I'm pretty sure I got paid about $100 dollars a week but it would incrementally go up because they weren't sure about me. Then it doubled and it would keep doubling and so on until I proved myself and I didn't care. I went from having no money and no band to being in Ozzy I didn't give a shit about the money and I didn't even give a shit about getting paid on Bark at the Moon album I just wanted credit. I remember I was going to get $5000 to record Bark at the Moon and get writing credit and publishing. But when I finally got the contract they threw in another $10,000 to make up for the no having writing and publishing. In regards to not having publishing on that song Bark at the moon, just low balling, for my portion would have been $250,000 just for that song not having publishing on it. Which means there was about $250,000 that Ozzy got that instead of me. It's a lot of money but I am not bitter about it. "
When asked how much did Ozzy contribute to the writing of Bark at the Moon
"Ozzy was not there too often in the writing sessions but Ozzy was really good at melodies, Ozzy would pop in when we were working on songs, 'Bark at the Moon' for example, we would work on the songs and Ozzy would pop in towards the end of the night and he was amazing at how fast he would come up with a melody, the melody would just come to him, he didn't have to work on it, he never did work on it. He heard the music he grabbed the mic and he had a melody and a catch phrase on what we could build on, he wouldn't have any lyrics just hum and Bob Daisly would write the words. "
When asked why was he fired after the Ultimate Sin Album and tour
"It was a combination of reasons. First me and Ozzy never clicked on a personnel level, there was never any conflict or arguments but we never bonded or clicked on a personnel level. Ozzy did not get my sense of humour, it's very dry and sarcastic. But he got that bond with Zakk Wylde later on. Second me and Phil Soussan (bassist) did not have a good relationship. Also when we were writing for the third record I felt a little constrained musically because there were parameters you have to write in for it to fit with Ozzy and basically it has to be metal and I was getting a little bored with that I was trying to push it musically. Last I know at the same time Randy Castillo (drummer) told me that Phil wanted to be the main songwriter because the song Shot in the Dark that he wrote was the big hit on Ultimate Sin and Phil Sossan was whispering in Ozzy's ear we don't need Jake we will just write a bunch of hits now. As far as Phil is concerned I know he was partially instrumental in getting me fired he lasted after in the band after I was out maybe 3 months before he got fired. I saved his ass prior twice on tour because of his stage antics and Ozzy wanted to fire him and I talked Ozzy out of it. So the fact that Phil helped me get fired in the end and then he only lasted a couple of months. Karma, Karma Mother ***er. "
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