By Carl Begai
There are interviews where it feels like you’re getting together with an old friend. The conversation comes easy, there’s plenty of common ground to stand on, and a sense you only spoke yesterday even though it may have been years (in this case, 14 of ’em) since your last go round. This was one of those interviews. Therefore, I’m going to shoot the requirements of professional journalism full of holes by making this personal; the on-the-level formal portion of my discussion with Extreme / Hurtsmile frontman Gary Cherone can be found on the BW&BK site here.
Settling in to discuss the self-titled Hurtsmile debut, Cherone is well aware of the comparisons being made to Extreme. Given his signature vocals the lines being drawn come as no surprise, but one has to wonder if Cherone ever had to re-think his in-studio delivery because the songs sounded too much like Extreme material.
“I think it was the other guys, when we were recording the album, if I did something melodically or put a harmony in somewhere, it was either Mark (Cherone / guitars) or Joe (Pessia / bass) that would reference and Extreme track. I’d look at them, scratch my head and go ‘Yeah, you’re right…’ (laughs). That was going to happen, obviously. I’d agree that there are some similarities. The vocals, the harmonies, or just the guitar orientated aggressive rock n’ roll that you’ve heard from Extreme. I guess that’s a nod to the guys I play with in both bands. Nuno (Bettencourt / guitars) and I can get crazy, but we can also get crazy by ourselves, too.” Continue reading GARY CHERONE – Service With A Hurtsmile