JAKE E. LEE: RAY GILLEN Was 'The Best Singer I've Ever Had The Pleasure Of Working With'

Janne Stark of Sweden's Fuzz magazine recently conducted an exclusive interview with legendary guitarist Jake E. Lee (OZZY OSBOURNE, BADLANDS). A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On BADLANDS' posthumous third album "Dusk", released long after singer Ray Gillen had passed away:

"We set up all the gear in one large room and recorded it live. Basically we just played the songs as if it were a live set. I spent maybe five minutes at the most to dial in a tone I could live with. We had that one evening to record and mix everything so that it could be sent out to Atlantic Records the next day. It was just supposed to be a demo of the songs we'd been working on for the next record. Atlantic ended up dropping us and we broke up not long after that. Years later I heard a really bad copy of it and found out that there were similar sounding bootlegs being sold. Not being fond of the initial hurried mix anyway, we, Greg, Ray's family, and I, decided to see if there was anyone willing to release a properly mixed version. Thankfully, there was."

On former BADLANDS singer Ray Gillen, who died on December 3 1993 of AIDS-related complications:

"Ray had a way of making you feel like there was no place you'd rather be than right where you were. He was very likeable, charismatic, and impossible to stay mad at. He was the ONLY singer I've worked with that would ask for more guitar in the monitors than even I could stand. I think of him often, and miss him deeply. He was, and I'm sure will remain, the best singer I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and easily among the best there ever was."

On post-OZZY OSBOURNE/BADLANDS band projects:

"For years, I tried to get the WICKED ALLIANCE thing with Mandy Lion together. When we first started I felt like we were doing something a little different from what everyone else was doing, and if we could have actually put any of it out in a reasonable amount of time it would have been a valid project. But since, for various reasons, it took so long to even start approaching anything resembling completion, I finally shelved it. By then there were a number of bands tapping into a similar industrial/metal sound, and it just seemed a bit redundant. After that, Michael Guy approached me about contributing to his BOURGEOIS PIGS project, which included Richard Black on vocals. At first he just wanted me to lay down some solos. After a while I really got into it and would bring tracks back home with me and rearrange, edit and write additional parts. I really liked a lot of what was being recorded and eventually joined the band but, but the record company wasn't thrilled with my contributions. They felt I was 'modernizing' what they were hoping was going to be a retro-classic rock type of band. It was sounding something similar to what VELVET REVOLVER is doing now, as opposed to, say, HOUSE OF LORDS. Anyway, Michael had just gotten married, was expecting his first kid and was tired of the headaches. He had a potentially big deal going with some software he had written, so he cut his hair and called it quits as far as the music business. Too bad, I thought he was a good songwriter."

Read the entire interview at www.dinosaurrockguitar.com.


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