'Rockin' With A RockStar!'
Now is the time to reflect back upon the stunning achievements of one Gilby Clarke, singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer.
Spitfire Records will do just that with the January 30, 2007 release of Gilby Clarke. The album includes 14 tracks from his muscular solo catalog, two from his days in the criminally-ignored Colonel Parker with ex-Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom, and one re-recording of “Black” with Rock Star: Super Nova runner-up Dilana.
CBS-TV’s Rock Star: Super Nova put the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist (he replaced Izzy Stradlin) in a band with Metallica/Voivod bassist Jason Newsted and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee in a reality-show search for a lead singer. The show proved so successful, Gilby hit the road with a touring version (with Train/Black Crowes bassist Johnny Colt and winning singer Lukas Rossi) that kicked off in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
This versatile guitar slinger, who feels as comfortable with Axl Rose as he does with Nancy Sinatra, Michael Jackson or the MC5, has also produced LA Guns and others. His career has been marked by a singular devotion to no-frills balls-out rock, whether he’s producing, singing his own material or collaborating with a wide assortment of artists.
Gilby Clarke, the album, derives its strength from its sinewy sonic dexterity, as taken from his catalog of meaty solo albums—Pawnshop Guitars (1994), The Hangover(1997), Rubber (1998), ’99 Live and Swag (2002). An eclectic and eccentric vision emerges on Gilby Clarke, bound together by a no-bullshit vernacular. This is one tough brand of no-nonsense muscle.
Taking it from the top and with your first taste of album-releasing being with the pop band Candy, I'm first wondering if those days spent toiling back in the early '80s are fond ones for you now in reflection? "Funny thing about my old band candy ... I still call those guys my friends and I talk to them quite often. We have great memories of those times."
Having jumped into the musical fire when you joined G N'R as a replacement for Izzy back in '91, what wild memories first spring to mind about your days associated with that band? "Well I mostly remember the good things, like the shows. The Freddy Mercury tribute show, Argentina, etc. I forget about the long waits, the nonsense. After all these years it still gets down to: it was a great band, it sounded good, and had excellent songs."
Was your decision to release a debut solo album the reason Axl decided to fire you from G N'R? "I released my record because GNR wasn't interested in my songs. And it didn't look like we were gonna work for a long time."
Being that your latest self-titled solo effort is now your fifth, what have you learnt about yourself - professionally and personally - in the years between 'Pawnshop Guitars' and now? "That no matter what, I'm a musician at heart. I don't think I'd be satisfied playing the same songs over and over. I like to be challenged musically."
When artists self-title an album it's either down to genius creative reasoning or pure laziness! Which is it in your case?! "Pure laziness ... plus, it's not a 'new' record."
OK, but with this 'new' CD reflecting some major cuts from your solo back catalog, you still find time to include a ripper of a 'duet' with 'RockStar: SuperNova' runner-up Dilana. So, knowing that you had the choice of working with any performer from that show, was Dilana always your first choice, or would it have been someone else given the right circumstances? "Oh absolutely. Dilana is a singer first. I've always wanted to hear someone sing my songs."
Please make us aware of your emotions at the time behind a few of these past titles of yours:
'Cure Me ... Or Kill Me' - "That song is just me singing the blues. I made that comment one night on the GNR tour and Duff said it would be a good title for a song!"
'Tijuana Jail' - Have you ever spent time in such an establishment and if so, ... any wild stories?! - "That is my wild story!"
'Judgement Day' -"I wrote that song after I saw another local band on the MTV music awards and I couldn't understand how music has come to this."
Are YOU personally happy with the choice of Lukas Rossi as lead singer of SuperNova or would you rather have had Dilana up there belting out the songs? "Yes, I think Lukas is more of the band guy and Dilana is more of a singer. Lukas gives us a band personality where we would've become Dilana's back up band."
Knowing that you are producing Dilana's debut album, how has that process gone for you both and what will it be released? "That didn't work out for the whole record. I did produce one track and maybe another."
Is there still a chance that the touring/recording band name 'SuperNova' will have to change due to the ongoing law suit? And if it did, and you had to steer clear of any of those noted words/names, what would it change to? "It already has!"
Noting that you have a passion for classic cars what ones do you have in your collection and which is your go-to favorite? "I have a Dodge Viper, a Chevy El Camino, a Mustang, and three Harleys. My 69' El Camino is my go to ... right now."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover in your own style today if asked ... and why?! "It would be 'Kiss Me Deadly' by Lita Ford ... although I don't think it's cheesy! Just the 80's!'
Finally, Exclusive Magazine LOVE Penguins ... do you?! "Who doesn't?!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win a SIGNED copy of Gilby's new CD and, just answer this easy question: Born on August 17, 1962, in Cleveland, OH, Clarke later relocated to Los Angeles, where he fell into the local music scene playing with such obscure '80s outfits as Candy (who issued a lone album, Whatever Happened to Fun?) and Kill for Thrills (who too, only managed a single release. What was the name of that single?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful new SIGNED CDs. Just send us an e:mail here with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: GILBY CLARKE SIGNED STUFF to:
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