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Interview with Jack Russell ,
Vocals - Great White
Jack Russell & Great White in 2008

Great White

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2008


Jack Russell : Hey Brian, how are you doing brother?

Brian Rademacher: Good, howís it going with you?

Jack Russell : Just hanginí, ready to go.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me what Jack Russell was like growing up through high school?

Jack Russell : (laughing)I was a total nightmare, totally into drugs, probably a parentís worst nightmare. Never home, going out and getting into trouble. I was a pretty smart kid, good grades in school. I went to private school, just constantly bored.

Brian Rademacher: Did you play any sports?

Jack Russell : I played football, some wrestling and a little track and field. I got into sports when I just got into high school and then I quickly got out of it because I wanted to get loaded and do things you shouldnít be doing.

Brian Rademacher: Did you have anything hanging from your walls in your room as a kid?

Jack Russell : Yeah! LED ZEPPELIN, AEROSMITH, THE BEATLES THE BEACH BOYS and things like that.

Brian Rademacher: What was the first record you ever bought?

Jack Russell : THE BEATLES ďHelpĒ album.

Brian Rademacher: How about the first concert you ever attended?

Jack Russell : BLUE OYSTER CULT, BE BOP DELUXE, and ANGEL with Punky Meadows.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me what it was like the first time you stepped on stage in your first band to sing?

Jack Russell : God I donít even remember when that was! It had to be pretty much what it is like right now, still amazes me. I still have to giggle; I still feel the newness to it.

Brian Rademacher: DANTE FOX had a great line-up with Tony Richards from WASP and Don Costa of Ozzy what happen to that band?

Jack Russell : DANTE FOX became GREAT WHITE. Tony got fired because he drank too much way back when and Don left the band to do something different and Mark and I continued on.

Brian Rademacher: When you did your first GREAT WHITE video for ďStick ItĒ in the early 80ís was that an exciting time?

Jack Russell : Come on man, it was great! We were just kids, everything was exciting and it still is because you never know whatís around the corner. You had no clue what was coming up it was some fun times. You would be there like twelve hours, you would get there six oíclock to eight oíclock and donít be late. Then itís twelve oíclock and you stillJack Russell havenít done anything yet!

Brian Rademacher: You had two solo albums ďShelter MeĒ in 1996 and ďFor YouĒ in 2002. Would you think about doing a 3rd solo album?

Jack Russell : Absolutely plan on doing another one. I had so much fun doing the last ones; itís just finding the time right now, thatís the hard thing. Michael and I are working on a project that weíre going to start on soon, some of our favorite songs from the 70ís and 60ís. I hope it will be out next year.

Brian Rademacher: I was wondering since this years Rocklahoma was a flashback to the 80ís how come GREAT WHITE wasnít on the bill, yet you played Rock The Bayou? And how was Rock The Bayou?

Jack Russell : Well we did it the year before. They offered us a certain time slot and it wasnít to our liking and the money wasnít to our liking, almost insulting, so we told them maybe next year.

Brian Rademacher: So how was Rock The Bayou?

Jack Russell : It was good but really hot, but well put together. It was like 100 and something degrees! I donít ever remember playing a show that was that hot.

Brian Rademacher: A few years ago in 2005 when I was leaving the Starland Ballroom venue in NJ they were handing out Great White tickets for free on the way out. I still have those tickets. Now in 2008 you canít get a hold of your tickets because they are sold out. Why do you feel the fans are back once again?

Jack Russell : You know (laughing), itís funny you say that. I donít know, I was thinking about that myself. Itís one of those wonderful miracles. The last five six years our attendance has gone up, ticket prices gone up, weíre making more money and playing for more people. I think it has to do with getting the original guys back together and making another record. This band is better then itís ever been. I really canít say this with enough emphasis that we really appreciate what weíre doing and weíre so blessed for what we do. Everyday you go on stage you have to say thanks for that, you never know how long this is going to last. You get into this business and you think your going to live forever and you say hey Iím almost fifty years old. Iím not going to live forever and itís not going to last forever, if I can make it a few more years that would be really cool.

Brian Rademacher: With your latest release ďBack to the RhythmĒ and being back together with original members whatís the feeling like being on stage once again?

Jack Russell : You know, it was very exciting to play with my old friends again. We had sometime to write songs. That was great. I want to say itís the same thing, but itís not, it is in a way but thereís more of an appreciation in what we do. I feel ten times luckier then when we first started out.

Brian Rademacher: Itís been over a year now that ĒBack to the RhythmĒĒ has been out are you working on a new album yet?

Jack Russell : Absolutely. We are planning to go back into the studio in December. That should come out next year, yeah itís like saying hereís another one that exciting, what the fuck.

Brian Rademacher: The first show of this re-union tour was on January 27th 2007 at the Key Club in Hollywood. What was it like?

Jack Russell : We played there because itís local and we did stuff there before. Itís on the (Sunset) strip where we all use to hang out. Itís about as close to any of the landmarks that we use to play.

Brian Rademacher: Do you miss thosJack Russell Livee days? I know you canít go back in time but do you miss those days of the LA Strip?

Jack Russell : Yeah, those days were a blast; I think that was the most fun I ever had in this business. Honestly before anything ever happened that was. People ask what was your best time; it must have been in the 80ís when you sold millions of records. Well yes and no, it was when we first started out and we were eating mayonnaise sandwiches and going on the strip and putting posters on telephone poles and there was something in air. You werenít sure what or when, but you knew something was going to happen and youíre going to be a part of it. It was really an exciting time. Those days will never be like that again but Iím glad we got to experience that.

Brian Rademacher: I know there is a resurgence in Sweden and other European countries with glam or sleaze metal; bands like CRASHDIET. And in the US we have VAINS OF JENNA and DIRTY PENNY. It seems like itís all coming back. Do you think that is possible?

Jack Russell : Anything is possible; weíll see what happens, I donít think it will be as big as it was. Youíll never see the arenas full like they were; you wonít see bands selling millions of records. Bands are having enough problems playing a club tour; you have to say what happened!

Brian Rademacher: Well you play shows in different areas of the county. You have a show coming up at Dexterís in New Jersey, which is a premier New Jersey venue and I will be there with my staff. That place really gets packed and the fans are supportive. Iíve been to other venues in New Jersey and theyíre (the audience) like when you going to impress me, with their hands folded under your arms. I know that pisses me off.

Jack Russell : (laughing)Thatís the California attitude! I always thought people should go out and let their hair down, not be a stuffed shirt and try to out cool each other. I usually donít take that from an audience, I want people to come and see Great White and get involved in the show. I want you to be part of the show, not watching the show. Just have fun.

Brian Rademacher: What were some of the most memorable times you remember from back in the day?

Jack Russell : Going back to what I said earlier, it has to be the days before we got signed during DANTE FOX and the beginning days of GREAT WHITE. Those were the special days. I knew the band was going to be a success, never had a doubt. I just knew. I was just waiting around looking at my watch asking when is it going to happen.

Brian Rademacher: Did you ever think it was going to stop after you did all those big songs like ďRock MeĒ and ďOnce BittenĒ?

Jack Russell : Yeah, I donít think anyone thought the 80ís were ever going to end. Then the bottom fell out. For me I kept writing better stuff and I feel Iíve written better stuff since the 80ís and so Iím cool with that. I mean I wrote songs that I thought were going to be huge and could have been huge in the 80ís. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it and jump on that wagon and say Ďyee-ha letís goí!

Brian Rademacher: During the heights of GREAT WHITE what was some of the things on your tour rider?

Jack Russell : We were pretty low keyed; we werenít like those nutty guys that had all that crap on there. We had Caesar salads, shrimp cocktail, vegetable tray; very basic stuff. The thing we use to do too was after the shows, we had a whole dressing room of food that we werenít going to eat, so we would get on the bus and drive it down town to the homeless people and hand the food out. That was a really important thing for us to do.

Brian Rademacher: Can you tell me anything about you turning down a $100,000 celebrity-boxing gig?

Jack Russell : Yeah I did that awhile back. They wanted me to box some country guy. Iím not into the whole reality show thing, and itís not me. I think itís ridiculous. If I want to make an ass out of myself that wouldnít be the way!

Brian Rademacher: So that is true?

Jack Russell : Yeah thatís true, Iím glad you asked that and asked if that was true or untrue. A lot of people read things and believe itís all gospel, but that was true.

Brian Rademacher: Can you give me some insight of the post on your official site about saving the Harp seals?

Jack Russell : The Harp seals; we wanted to just help them out. I am pro-environment and want to help out our planet. The band is pretty much pro-charity and if the band can help out and we have the time, we will help them out. I think itís important to give back when you have a chance.

Brian Rademacher: What are your feelings about this world right now?

Jack Russell : I hope the younger generation can help and run with it. Weíre not completely gone yet. I think we can still heal ourselves. Our generation has to stop looking at it saying Ďwell Iím not going to be here what do I careí. What about your kids and your grandkids? Leave them this glob of steamy mass and gases. Itís a beautiful world we live in; we should feel really lucky weíre here. We just gotta start taking care of it a little better. Weíre making steps; I just think we have to take bigger steps.

Brian Rademacher: We have a new President coming. Do you have any feelings on that?

Jack Russell : (big breathe) Theyíre all full of shit. I donít know who is going to be the next president but they all talk their same old crap. They all talk the same to get into office. Weíll see what happens. Whoever it is I hope itís the best for the American public. I wish I had an answer, itís like staying up all night snorting coke and say yeah. yeah I got the answer. The next day you wake up and say what the fuck were we talking about last night? (laughing)Itís not the fairytale land we live in.

Brian Rademacher: On this tour, what is it that GREAT WHITE would like to gain?Jack Russell

Jack Russell : I just want to keep on playing (laughing)! I donít want to go home. Iím 47 years old now and I donít have too many of these years left. I want as many at bats as I can!

Brian Rademacher: I saw some of the video from Rock The Bayou and saw you have a lot of tattoos; do you remember the first one you got?

Jack Russell : Yeah the first one was of a butterfly that I got when I was in jail.

Brian Rademacher: What were you in jail for?

Jack Russell : I shot someone in a drug robbery back in 1979.

Brian Rademacher: How many tattoos do you have now?

Jack Russell : Iím not sure. I would say one big one!

Brian Rademacher: Have you ever been to Dexterís before?

Jack Russell : No but I did here itís a really cool place and how much history the owner has. Please stop by so we can meet and I can put a face to the voice.

Brian Rademacher: Will do. Hey Jack, it was great talking to you, would you like to say anything in conclusion?

Jack Russell : Yeah I would like to thank the fans for all the support through the years and the fairytale life I had. I appreciate it and still appreciate it; they play a huge part of that.


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