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The Rock Against MS Interviews: Jack Russell’s Great White

Jack Russell’s Great White on the Orange Carpet at Rock Against MS

The Rock Against MS Interviews: Jack Russell’s Great White

The 6th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert and Awards Show took place at the historic Los Angeles Theater on March 31st, featuring live headlining performances from Jack Russell’s Great White and Juliette Lewis.  Highwire Daze Online spent some time on the Orange Carpet conducting interviews prior to the main event, catching up with the one and only Jack Russell for a brief chat!  In this interview, we discuss his support for Rock Against MS, the new album He Saw It Comin’, upcoming events for the iconic band, and a whole lot more!  Read on…

How did you become involved with Rock Against MS?
Nancy Sayle (founder of Rock Against MS) asked us to come down and play – that was with the old band even – and we were right on it. That was where it started. I would do anything for her – and for the cause. It’s a great cause. I have a wife who’s really ill with something similar – it’s not going to get better – it’s always going down. So I understand the feelings of how it would be. And Nancy is a trouper! She’s an inspiration and she’s really well loved in the rock community. And that’s why everybody comes out and does this every year.

What could one expect from your live show her tonight?
Some Grand Funk Railroad, Peter Paul and Mary – high velocity folk music.

I would like see Jack Russell’s Great White actually do that…
(Laughs) No! We have a powerful show. I have a great band – and I mean that with all humility – they really are! When I started this band – the idea was to start a band and not have a bunch of interchangeable guys. I wanted a band! And that’s why it took so long to put the first record out, cuz to me the band wasn’t finalized until we got out bass player Dan McNay. When I got the group together, me and Rob (Lochner) said now it was time to do a record. We went through a lot of musicians because they just didn’t work out. Now I’ve got a group of guys who to me are just the best of the best. We all love each other – we play well together – we’re closer than brothers – it’s more than a marriage.

Jack Russell at Rock Against MS

Your latest album is called He Saw It Comin’. Is there any story or concept behind that title?
Yeah there is. When I was five years old, I wanted to be an archeologist. And for my sixth birthday, my parents bought me the Beatles’ Help album. I remember this like it was yesterday. I put it on my little record player and this music came out – and it was a total spiritual experience. I knew at that point that this was what I was going to do for a living. So I just kind of let it happen. Thank God it worked out that way. I never had a job other than this. I feel very, very lucky. Things just keep getting better. I’m in the band of my dreams.

Do you still like playing the older Great White songs or would you like to focus more on the newer material?
You have to play the legacy. I mean, if it was up to me, I’d be playing a couple of Great White songs and all our new stuff – but that’s just not realistic. I love playing the old stuff, because it’s still good! The new album is the best collection of songs I’ve ever had part of writing in. It’s the best band I’ve ever played in. It speaks for itself.

What’s up next for Jack Russell’s Great White?
We’re working on a new studio album right now. We have an album coming out – it’s called Jack Russell’s Great White Once Bitten Acoustical Bites. It’s the Once Bitten album only done all acoustic. It’s beautiful! And then my first solo album Shelter Me is being released for the first time in the States. They’re re-releasing For You. Then the next studio album – I have a documentary coming out at the end of the year – and my book also. So there’s a lot going on…

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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