During his first interview in several years, guitarist John Sykes was asked about the persistent rumors of a reunion of the power trio/supergroup BLUE MURDER. The band was by formed by Sykes and featured bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice.
"I'm not sure we're gonna do a reunion," Sykes told Jason McNamara on Thursday (January 24) at this year's NAMM show in Anaheim, California (see video below). "But I've been playing with Tony — recently we've been playing [with] my new drummer Fred Boswell Jr. So we've been jamming out. And when I go and hit the road, which will be early summertime, I'm looking forward to playing some of the old BLUE MURDER stuff. I'm doing stuff from WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, the new stuff off the new album. Just old and new stuff mixed together. So there'll be a bunch of that stuff in there. We've been having a lot of fun playing it."
Sykes also confirmed that he will release his first album in nearly two decades later this year via Golden Robot Records. "I signed with them about six months ago, " he said. "We're getting the album out early summertime. So I'm looking forward to getting it out. The album's been [done] for a while, but I'm looking forward to getting it out. I know the fans have been waiting a long time. And I love my fans, by the way. Thank you so much for supporting me and sticking with me. I'm looking forward to getting out and hitting the road and getting this new album out there."
The as-yet-untitled disc (its previously announced title of "Sy-Ops" has now apparently been scrapped) is expected to include such tracks as "Dawning Of A Brand New Day", "Believe In Yourself", "My Guitar" and "Out Alive".
Franklin recently told Rock Titan that a BLUE MURDER reunion "probably will not happen," in part because of Appice's health issues. "We actually almost came very close to doing it," he said. "We were gonna talk this time last year, and then Carmine, unfortunately, had some big health challenges. We almost lost him, but he's doing fine now — I mean, he's back playing gigs and touring and everything. But he was caught overseas, and that was part of the challenge. And so he no longer wants to travel overseas, into Europe, because they weren't able to help him, and it was touch and go. So, understandably, I think, wisely, he's not gonna travel outside the U.S. He's still got plenty of work that he's doing — he's touring with THE RASCALS, he does his VANILLA FUDGE stuff, his 'Drum Wars' thing. So he's plenty busy. And then also, John wants to do more than just BLUE MURDER. He wants to play some of his amazing catalog — WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, of course. And he has a new album which is coming out this year. And so we have put together a new band, and we shall be making some headway with that pretty soon."
Franklin said that his new band with Sykes does not yet have a name. "It might be just under John's name," he explained. "I don't know."
Upon Sykes's firing from the most successful version of WHITESNAKE, the former TYGERS OF PAN TANG and THIN LIZZY axeman set out to create a similar sounding bluesy hard rock band. They released two studio albums and one live album before breaking up in 1994. The late Ray Gillen, most famous for singing for BLACK SABBATH and BADLANDS, sang for an early version of BLUE MURDER, and the band reportedly recorded demos with him, but he didn't appear on any of the group's albums.
BLUE MURDER's 1989 self-titled debut album featured Sykes, Franklin, Appice and keyboardist Nik Green. A follow-up effort, "Nothin' But Trouble", arrived in 1993.
John's best-known work was when he joined WHITESNAKE and co-wrote the band's self-titled seventh studio album, released in 1987. It produced a major power ballad hit, "Is This Love", along with the No. 1 hit "Here I Go Again". The album was a major crossover hit, eventually selling over eight million copies in the U.S. alone.
Sykes announced his departure from THIN LIZZY in July 2009, explaining that "I feel it's time to get back to playing my own music."