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Jack Russell’s Great White represents the next phase of a legacy.
Rather than look backwards and merely attempt to relive the multi-platinum hard rock entity’s storied origins, Jack Russell set his sights on the future. In December 2011, Jack Russell’s Great White first bared its teeth. Since its inception, the frontman welcomed back longtime bassist and friend Tony Montana—this time as a guitar player and keyboardist—lead guitarist Robby Lochner, and drummer Dicki Fliszar. Now, this group has a sharp, soaring, and slick new album on the horizon for 2014 boasting the bluesy hard rock stomp that made Russell and Montana icons in the first place.
The vision became clear for the singer once Montana returned to the fold. After experimenting with a various configurations, he reconnected with his old bassist, but in a different role.
“It’s a powerful band,” Russell proclaims. “The music comes across very dynamically. It’s what I always wanted it to be. Tony was a catalyst for moving forward. I was never as close to him as I am now. We never had the opportunity to write music together before. I also never knew he played guitar. When I first heard him, I nearly fell of my chair. He’s my copilot. He’s one of my best friends. I wish we would’ve been this close back in the day.”
“It’s natural for all of us,” adds Montana. “There’s a solid chemistry, and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Rounding out the lineup with Lochner and Fliszar, these four musicians hit the studio in late 2013 to cut what would eventually become their official full-length debut. It taps into the bluesy bombast and heavy energy of Russell’s celebrated material, but it’s a distinctly modern metallic monster.
“We want the new material to blow people’s ears back,” Russell goes on. “It has the elements of the best Great White music ever written, but there’s an edge. Tony brings that validity, while Robby and Dicki add a new life. It’s going to surprise people.”
Montana agrees, “It’s got the classic sound. The first element is Jack’s voice. No other band sounds like this one ever did or does now. When I was 17-years-old, I remember walking around the UCLA campus listening to the band’s first EP. I was a fan before I ever joined the band. We’re going to maintain that same integrity going forward.”
That integrity became forged over nearly thirty years. In 1984, the band broke out of the Los Angeles scene with its self-titled debut followed by seismic platinum-selling outings such as 1987’s Once Bitten... and 1989’s …Twice Shy. Moving over 8 million copies worldwide, they stood out as tried-and-true rock stalwarts into the 21st century until 2011, when Russell went on to form Jack Russell’s Great White.
Ultimately, the new music is for the millions of fans who stuck by Russell all these years. It’s everything they’ve been waiting for and more.
“The band was always a standout from the era it came from,” says Montana. “It was never a hair band. Listen to the music, and that’s evident. Everything was based in blues. We want to add to that legacy with new material preserving those timeless elements.”
Russell leaves off, “This is fun, first and foremost. I feel like I’m 27 again. I hope it sounds like Great White—but for 2014.”