GREAT WHITE will enter WireWorld Studio in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, on January 2, 2017 to begin recording its new full-length album. Helming the sessions will be legendary rock producer Michael Wagener, who previously worked with GREAT WHITE on the "Out Of The Night" EP (1983) and the band's 1984 self-titled album.
Prior to the sessions for the new album, GREAT WHITE will release professionally filmed video footage of their May 2015 performance in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of the "Metal Meltdown" concert series. Due in November, the special concert was produced by the award-winning production company Rock Fuel Media and the retail package will include both Blu-ray and DVD formats as well as an audio CD.
GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall spoke to the "Thunder Underground" podcast about the band's upcoming album and DVD. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On GREAT WHITE's last studio album, 2012's "Elation", and the band's upcoming record:
Kendall: "I'm pretty happy for the way we did ['Elation']. We just tried something different. [Next time] we're probably gonna do something a little bit different from that, which is we went in the studio with basically no material whatsoever except for two ideas, and we just went there in the morning into the recording studio. And granted, we're paying time for this place. So we'd go in and go, 'Okay, what do you got? What do you got? What do you got?', and write a song each day; that's the way we did it. This time we're a little more prepared. We've been getting together a lot. We have a lot of music, and we're kind of putting it together over the next couple of months."
On working with Michael Wagener on the next GREAT WHITE album:
Kendall: "It's pretty exciting. This guy's been around a long time. He constantly gets… I don't know if it's better, or… Like, he invents things, and he has engineers come from all over the world and do workshops and they talk about new things. So he's a legend in that regard, and plus a real good friend, so it's gonna be fun to work with him. We like to change the atmosphere, record in different studios to eliminate going through the motions. 'Cause if you know everything that's gonna happen before it happens, it's hard to get real excited. But if you are in a different environment… Like Nashville, I mean, it's a place I've never really hung out, so it's gonna be new and fun and give us a different look. And to work with him after thirty years, it's, like… It's just fun to even hang out with him, so it's gonna be fun to make a record, for sure, and give the fans something else to listen to."
On what singer Terry Ilous (formerly of XYZ) brings to GREAT WHITE:
Kendall: "You know, the energy that he brings is different than what we're used to. We're kind of laid-back guys — like beach guys. And he's, like, this high-energy… He just vibrates a little bit higher frequency than what we're used to, but it's really cool 'cause he's super-positive. And he's a real good musician. I can just give him music… I mean, I have all these melodies in my head, but I can just hand him music and he can come back with a finished song. We did it way different in the past. So that's kind of neat. He's just kind of a positive spirit in a way; he kind of just brings a lot of positive energy around us. And so it's pretty sweet. And he's real consistent, too, live. I've never heard a guy just hit every note perfect all the time. And he never cancels a show. He tells us he's sick all the time. 'Yeah, man, I'm really sick.' And we're thinking, 'Oh, so we're gonna what? Cancel eight shows?' And he goes out and sings perfect. I'm going, 'Okay, I never have to worry about this guy.' So it's pretty funny. He's a really good dude, a really nice guy."
On the progress of the songwriting sessions for GREAT WHITE's next album:
Kendall: "We haven't finished all the songs, but we have a pretty good idea of how the songs are gonna be mapped out. And then there's a lot [of], what we call, songs that stem from jamming together. We'll just start jamming and all of a sudden a riff will start happening. I used to call 'em my 'soundcheck riffs.' It's, like, I'd play this new riff that I had and wait to kind of see if the band's gonna launch in or not; that usually tells me if they like it or not. If they look at me and start playing, I go, 'Oh, okay, so this riff might work.' We do that a lot when we jam together. We're still old school. We don't e-mail each other our parts. We actually get together and jam in a room when we write songs. I don't know how other people do it. That's just the way we do it. That's the way good things happen when we play together."
On GREAT WHITE's upcoming documentary, which will be included with the Blu-ray and DVD:
Kendall: "It's actually been delayed for a while, but now it's literally, probably a week away from us seeing the complete finished thing. I've seen it in bits and pieces. It's a live show from Las Vegas and our entire story in a two-hour documentary. And it's a real big production as far as… I don't know… thirty cameras and cranes and all this stuff for the show itself. So it's a pretty big production — bigger than probably we've ever had. And these guys followed us around with cameras for probably a month, at least, at every location you can imagine. I mean, there's a lot to tell when you're around for as long as we've been around. We've never really got a chance to share that with the fans which I think is gonna be kind of fun. I know that I'm a fan, I've got a lot of heroes, and I like to hear their stories, so I figure that it'll be good for our fans to kind of get to know us a little better besides when they see us on stage. It's a cool story, because there's kids out there that play guitar, that have dreams, and when they see it happen, or at least hear a story about what can happen, maybe it'll inspire 'em, and plus at the same time, like I said, they get to know kind of where we came from a little bit. And it's a three-disc set, so it's gonna be a pretty good package for whoever. A CD of the live show, then they have a second — a DVD/Blu-ray of mostly the show but some interviews kind of dubbed in. And then the third is the full documentary with just a little bit of live stuff. So the whole two hours of our story, but flashes us [playing live]."
"Elation" sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. Issued in May 2012 via Frontiers, the 12-song CD marked GREAT WHITE's first effort with singer Ilous following the band's split with founding singer Jack Russell.
This version of GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE, which features Russell alongside Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar, Dan McNay on bass, Tony Montana on guitar and Dicki Fliszar on drums.
GREAT WHITE released a live album, "30 Years - Live From The Sunset Strip", in February 2013 via Frontiers.