Monday, August 19, 2019

10 Questions with Mark Kendall of Great White

Great White are still going strong thirty-five years after their debut. They have defied time, trends, addictions, lawsuits, catastrophes and lead singer issues but they are still out there putting out records and playing gigs all over the world.

Their guitarist Mark Kendall was kind enough to take some time off of his busy schedule to answer some questions about the band's past, present and future. Enjoy, share and comment!

1 - Great White’s last album was released a little under two years ago, but since then you have changed lead singers. Has that hindered the momentum at all, or is everything just business as usual?

It’s elevated us within the band due to Mitch Malloy being a perfect fit for us!

2 - In this day and age where record sales are virtually non-existent, are albums still an important statement?

It’s important to us because it allows us to be creative. We are more concerned with the fans liking our music than we are with the business side of selling it. It helps when the fans support the bands though because it allows us to continue making new music... It motivates us and gives us positive energy to make a new record.

3 - After your first LP, Great White ditched the purely metal approach in favour of a bluesier sound and, for lack of a better word, poppier hooks. Is that a fair assessment?

The first album we forced the music. Didn’t have a lot to do with our influences. I was pretty much influenced by blues fueled guitarists growing up. We decided on the Once Bitten album to be true to ourselves and play what we feel and not try to be something we’re not.
4 - It seems to me like you were always more of a “classic rock” type guitarist, but was metal something you were actually interested in?

We were young on that first album and a little timid about being ourselves. Judas Priest were kind of flying under the radar so we said, let’s kinda be like that. It just wasn’t us and sure enough, it didn’t do well. I thought we did it okay though. You learn from your mistakes. We learned being honest with our music works the best!

5 - Do you see any current rock bands that could take on the mantle of pure rock and roll and become one of tomorrow’s classic bands?

Greta Van Fleet don’t use auto-tune, vocals on tape or anything fake. I like that a lot. They remind me of how we did it. Starting out in the garage playing horrid. You keep firing away and all of a sudden you start getting better, that’s human and that’s real, love it!

6 - Playing in a rock and roll band comes with its fair share of temptation, do you take any special measures to protect your sobriety on the road?

No because I can’t control what others do, only what I do. I choose not to drink one day at a time no matter what. It’s working, I’ll have 11 years of continuous sobriety on November 2nd.

7 - My favourite Great White record is Psycho City. Unfortunately, at the time of its release, alternative music had taken over the musical landscape and the album didn’t perform as well as it should have. What are your memories of that time frame?

Psycho was a good album. It didn’t bother me when Nirvana came out and sparked a more raw approach. I felt the music of the 80s was getting watered down and too predictable at that time...
8 - Is there a market for Great White outside of America? We'd like to see you more over here in Europe...

Believe it or not our fans are Worldwide so we can pretty much play where we want. These days we’ll do a few festivals in Europe, the States etc...

9 - So touring overseas isn't too risky an enterprise?

Not at all! Our fans are loyal everywhere and we won’t play scared. Obviously we won’t play places where there’s war but for the most part we don’t worry and will play anywhere...

10 - Finally, what can we expect from Great White in the near future? More gigs I’m sure, but a record with Mitch perhaps?

Exactly, we are writing and digging the music with Mitch! He’s an asset and we’re excited for people to hear our new music. We’ll try to have something out by early next year.

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