Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to Great White's guitarist Mark Kendall. Kendall spoke about Great White's new singer Mitch Malloy and how he got in the band, writing new material for upcoming Great White studio album and recalls similarities between Motley Crue's Live Wire and Great White song Out of the night where the riff may have been lifted, plus Touring with Judas Priest and the Scorpions.
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When asked about why Terry Ilous and was replaced by Mitch Malloy in Great White
"Terry is a great guy great, we we were just growing in kind of different directions away. He did a lot of other projects. We didn't like put ads out for singers it just happened, not by design. When we were in the studio doing our album producer Michael Wagner who was working on big gang vocal shouts for one of our songs invited a big big gang of people from bands that live in Nashville. One of them was Mitch Malloy. I didn't meet him except you know perhaps saying hi or something but I had no idea who he was. Then later on the Monsters of Rock Mitch was invited on stage, I think by Terry actually. Then when I was home looking at the internet news feeds I saw this this story about Mitch being in Van Halen for a brief time. I knew pretty much knew everything there was to know and Van Halen but Mitch Malloy I knew nothing about, I never heard a word about it except for that video documentary about his time in Van Halen where he sort of explains everything. I watched it and I think he sang Panama or something and I go wow this guy is great and clicked in my head and I go I met this dude you know and his voice sounded pretty good. So I I called my keyboard player Michael Lardie and I go you know anything about this Mitch Malloy cause I listened to his solo stuff I go man this guy has a range from A to Z you know he sounds pretty good Then I heard that our agent was pitching to get Mitch. So we we decided why don't we send Mitch some music take the vocals off and just see what he sounds like see if his voice you know kind of melts into our music or is it gonna be oil and water and in the end he fit in great."
When asked how Mitch Malloy brings to the table on new Great White material that Jack Russell and Terry didn't
"Well I I couldn't wait to find out that so I went in the studio and I had a song that I felt it was arranged pretty good. What have I usually done with singers in the past was I usually give them a melody ideas maybe I might even have a lyrical chorus idea with the melodies and then they come back with their version of my interpretation. With Mitch he doesn't live up the street so I just sent him what I had and he came back with a full song lyrics and everything within like four days. His song sense was that good but then when I started thinking about I go wait a minute this guy's had like a ten album solo album career so he's very familiar with songwriting and so that was really a great moment for me because it kind of takes the workload off . Everybody we've ever worked with has their strengths and their weaknesses so we always did what worked. Jack had the most the sweetest voice I've ever heard of my life but if you just gave him music he would always ask me how does it go so I give him the melody and then he would make it better and that's the way we worked. Terry was more of a songwriter like Mitch you know like I would show him an idea and then he would come back with something that was way different that I liked better so that was cool and Mitch I'm just handing a song at least this first time around and he comes back with a fall song lyrics and everything and melody and I loved it all so the fact that I loved it all is it's pretty kind of blowing my mind. I get a little bit critical with songs in fact I've even gotten fights in the studio in the past I mean our band entire history if there ever was an argument it was over trying to make the song better and you know we were all headstrong over that and it was I would actually get in a physical confrontation over a song."
When asked about when to expect a new Great White Album
"Now we're at the idea stages of a new album, so we're just kind of showing each other ideas and stuff at sound check. I fly up every once a while to Michael Lardie's house and record, so when we're ready to actually do the record lot of pre-production is done and then that's what we glue everything together. We want to try to get it out a new studio album by early next year 2020, the shows are really getting in the way but we're thinking we're gonna have some time set aside to make it happen. "
When asked about the musical direction on any new material
"We really don't have one and we never have it's it's funny how it's simple we've always kept it. We write maybe 20- 25 songs and we pick the best ones. I mean I know that sounds ridiculous but we've never pre-planned like let's do a more of a hard rock album or let's do this or that we just kind of get in a room show each other ideas and if somebody likes a riff or some ideas somebody has to go let's work on that."
When asked if they will do a Live album with Mitch
"We have a live album, a live recording video from Kentucky that we might just throw it in along with the new album just for the fans."
When asked what hurdle would he and Jack Russell have to over come to reunite into one band
"I think that you would have to go see Jack and then come back and ask me again okay. I'll just put it this way I I'm really proud of the career we got together and it was awesome run I don't think we got in any arguments maybe one or two over probably maybe something stupid, we were brothers. I don't want to speak about anything negative toward him, I'm glad he's able to least perform and that's fine. We just want to move on, we just want to enjoy ourselves and let him enjoy himself and you know we gave him a way to make a living to call himself Jack Russell's Great White. I don't want to get negative and put any stain on our career together because it was a blessing."
When asked about opening for the Scorpions and Judas Priest in the 1980's
"A lot bands took us under the wing like the Scorpions and Judas Priest and we just kind of leaned from them because you know we're kind of scared kids. We never played in an arena before and Judas Priest and the Scorpions wanted the whole night to be awesome, they wanted the whole night to be great so the crowd didn't feel short-changed. In other words they didn't want us to suck. I even remember Rudolf Schenker coming up to me one night when I had a bad night and I didn't think anybody noticed it. Right when I walked up stage Rudolph was standing there and he said, that's no good man you gotta play hard I just got busted by the by the guitar player from Scorpions. So that made me want to play really well every show and I really tried my best every since that confrontation."
When asked about the similarities of the Great White song "Out of the Night" and Live Wire by Motely crue and who stole the song riff from whom?
"When we were in a band called Dante Fox which ended up turning into Great White every time we played the Whiskey Motley Crue would come down and watch us play and we played that song back then and then they had a song similar which it could be coincidental but you know they would come down to our shows. Who had it first I really don't know? When that came out I I thought it sounded kind of similar but they had a way different chorus and they kind of started and stopped a lot. We were playing that song in like 79 -80 but no worries."
Great White Out of the Night
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