On The Road To Cathouse Live with Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme
25 years ago, Extreme had a massive hit with their second album Pornograffitti, featuring the standout songs More Than Words and Get The Funk Out. Announced to be one of the headlining bands with Cathouse Live at Irvine Meadows, Extreme is sure to play a good amount of selections from the iconic Pornograffitti as well as other crowd favorites. At the Cathouse Live press conference which took place on the patio of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, we caught up with Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt to find out more about his experiences with the legendary Cathouse club, what to expect from their upcoming live show in Irvine, and news on future releases! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Extreme.
My name is Nuno Bettencourt and I do laundry and wardrobe for Extreme. And they allow me to play guitar once in a while.
When you first heard about Cathouse Live at Irvine Meadows, what were your thoughts about the idea?
I thought it was actually pretty brilliant because I always talked about, whenever I talk about the good old days, back in the day when we first came out recording Pornograffiti and going to the Cathouse, Rainbow and the Roxy, I always would tell everybody that as opposed to being a club scene that people thought who never experienced it, I always thought that it just felt like you were in a small town as opposed to being in LA. You were like in a community. Even if you were a fan, if you were a musician, if you were Axl, if you were Extreme, you would go into a place like that, you always felt like you belonged. You were with good people. It felt small. It didn’t feel big, even when it did get big it didn’t feel that way. And I think this represents it when you look at the billboard. I was just looking up at the names, you know Extreme has done tours with at least six, seven bands that were there with double bills or opening or headlining. And it’s cool to put them all back together and say let’s celebrate it. Let’s have a celebration. I think it’s brilliant.
What can one expect from an Extreme show at Cathouse Live?
I would go on the line to say I think they are seeing a better version of Extreme than we used to see. I think even though we are older, we are still as passionate as we were doing a show back then, if not even more. And I think that the band sings better, I think the band plays better and I think it’s just, we’ve always pride ourselves and you can love us or you can hate us, but you will always see a good show. We did those cruises and people come up who thought they’d hate us the most and they are like, I didn’t know, I’ve never seen you guys and I get it, I get it. And that’s what I want to hear. That’s what we are proud of.
If someone went to the original Cathouse. What would they find?
If they went to the original Cathouse, if they went with me the last time I was there, if we went, we would walk in and I was having a beer. I was standing kind of in the back of the room and I found myself standing next to Axl and Sebastian. And Axl was showing us some lyrics. What he was working on. That’s what it was like. It was like that casual and that cool of a hang, and we never knew who was going to be there. It was just really cool, very chill.
Do you have any Cathouse memory that you can share?
Well that was it. That was a pretty cool one. That’s how cool it was. Although I am a little upset that we never played there. Riki never let us play. I always thought he hated Extreme. I met Riki for the first time here today. We’ve been in the same room. We did Headbangers Ball. I always had the feeling when he introduced Extreme, ah they are east coast, they don’t belong. They are not our people. So we will sort of that this show.
When you look back on those early albums, what do you think of them now?
They are like old photos. You know some of them you can tolerate but then you go, God what was I wearing? What was I playing, did I say that lyric? You know, you grow up, you write, you hope to get better. That’s it.
What’s up with Extreme now? Any new music coming out?
Yeah, we are in the process of writing and working on a new album right now as we speak.
Expect a 2015, 2016 release?
2016, the beginning. Hopefully we will put out a track by the end of this year. We will see what happens.
Do you have any messages for Extreme fans reading this?
For Extreme fans, we have a new album. We just did Porngraffiti Anniversary Tour basically for the whole world except for the west coast which we are about to do hopefully. Everybody gave us amazing support. You realize that when you are gone for a while and who’s going to show up and it really means a lot to us when the fans show up and sing the songs. It’s been amazing so love to all of the fans worldwide. Europe, the UK, Asia, South America we just did, it was insane. It’s quite incredible.
Are you involved in any projects outside of Extreme?
Always, always. I am working with a few young artists. Producing. I am trying to get the future of rock and roll – I’m trying to make that happen so we could continue this legacy.
Catch Extreme at Cathouse Live at Irvine Meadows on August 15th!
(Interview and Cathouse Press Conference Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photo by Jack Lue)