GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell has released the following statement:
"To all my friends:
Just wanted to announce that I will be coming back with my band, GREAT WHITE, and a BRAND NEW lineup.
"My new bandmates are some of the most incredible musicians I have ever had the privilege to play with: Matthew Johnson, former guitarist for GREAT WHITE; Derrick Pontier, former drummer for GREAT WHITE; Dario Seixas, former bassist for FIREHOUSE and the Stephen Pearcy band; and Robby Lochner, former guitarist for Rob Halford's band and Cherie Currie.
"I am very excited about this new beginning.
"I am feeling better than ever, despite any rumors you may hear to the contrary.
"Unfortunately, and as confusing as it will be, my former bandmates and their manager have decided to continue to tour next year under the name I created, GREAT WHITE. I will be touring under the name GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL to try avoid any confusion.
"So now the true fans will know the difference.
"I will be announcing tour dates as soon as they become available.
"Our first performance will be at the pre-NAMM Jam on January 14, 2012. Only shows advertised as GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL will include myself on vocals.
"I have missed all of you terribly and look forward to seeing you all on the road. You have no idea how much your love and devotion has meant to me during what has been one of the hardest periods of my life.
"Happy holidays! Much peace and love to you and your families. Have a blessed New Year.
"Yours, as always, Jack Russell, founder and lead vocalist, GREAT WHITE
"P.S.: JACK IS BACK!!!!!!!!"
Russell spent time earlier this year recovering from major surgery after suffering a perforated bowel (a medical emergency in which a hole in the bowel opens to allow its contents to empty into the rest of the abdominal cavity). Singer Terry Ilous of XYZ stepped in to replace Russell on lead vocals.
In an August 2011 interview with Belgrade News, GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall stated about the band's lead-singer situation, "[Jack] is recovering. Any time you have your midsection cut into — they had to reach a section of his large intestine — any time you open up your body that far, it takes quite a while to rehab the body to reanimate the nerves and all the muscles and stuff. As far as a projected date, it's really more often than not up to Jack. I hear, and I've talked to him a couple or three times a week, he's working, very, very hard to get back. He misses it terribly. He misses all of us. And we'd like him to come back when he's 150 percent ready, if you follow my line of thinking. Because I'd hate for him to come back too soon and realize, 'Oh, wow, I really should have done rehab for another month before I tried to come back. Now I gotta take more time off.' I want him to be just so ready to go that he just blows people's minds. So we're all being very supportive of him. And the great thing is he's being very supportive of our scenario by endorsing us to go out and do what we're doing. And giving Terry Ilous, who's filling in for Jack, encouragement. He calls him a couple a times a month, and says, 'I'm hearing great things about you, thanks for singing my songs so well.' We're having a great time with Terry, so it's a win-win situation. By like I said, I will reiterate, I don't want him coming back to soon. I want it to be right, so when he's back he's back all the way."