Prior to his performance at the United Kingdom's Stonedeaf festival on August 25, legendary rock vocalist Graham Bonnet (ALCATRAZZ, RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP) spoke with Mighty Matt Mason of TotalRock Radio. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On playing Stonedeaf, which paid homage to the Monsters Of Rock festival — the initial year of which was headlined by RAINBOW:
Graham: "We've gone full circle. I used to play little, tiny clubs as a kid, and suddenly I find myself playing stadiums and big theaters with RAINBOW. Now suddenly, we're playing little clubs again. But everybody's doing that, and it's kind of a good thing because some of the clubs are really great. This is kind of weird — how many years ago was that? It was something I'll never forget. My family was there, my friends from school. It was the most incredible night. I'll always remember it."
On the importance of touring in the modern music business:
Graham: "We play where we have to, because things have changed now. We all know that people don't buy CDs anymore, and the only way to get the music across to the people is to play live, so that's what we do."
On his first single, THE MARBLES' 1968 release "Only One Woman":
Graham: "THE BEE GEES wrote the song for us. It's kind of like a bluesy, R&B song. That's when my career sort of started. We did very well. My brother had a bet with me — Joe Cocker had 'A Little Help From My Friends' out at the time, and he said, 'I think he's going to get to the top of the chart before you do.' He was right, unfortunately."
On his longevity:
Graham: "I always get a round of applause when I tell people how old I am. They can see how old I am, but it's kind of funny to say I'm coming up to my 71st birthday. [They ask], 'How do you sing like that?' It's a matter of resting and not talking too much, keep your voice in shape, sleep as much as you can. I just drink water — that's about it. I don't drink booze anymore. Just keep it lubricated — my voice, I mean. I get asked by a lot of singers, by young people — 'How do you keep your voice in shape?' I don't practice any kind of voice exercises or anything, really. I just go on there and hope it's going to be there. I don't know if that's talent or just stupidity."
On THE GRAHAM BONNET BAND:
Graham: "I still live in Los Angeles. Beth-Ami [Heavenstone], our bass player, and I live together. We started this band, the two of us, about three years ago. It's been kind of cool. We've had a couple of people — different guitar players and different drummers — but I think now, we have the right lineup. We just put out the album called 'Meanwhile, Back In The Garage', which is kind of a little hint to my past and everybody else's who's ever been in a band, and everybody used to rehearse in the garage. We still do. I recorded it in the garage, this album — some of it."
"Meanwhile, Back In The Garage" came out on July 13 via Frontiers Music Srl. The disc offers 13 new songs where Bonnet lays down his inimitable vocals over a selection of tunes full of great hooks and melodies. It includes a bonus live DVD captured at a "Live From Daryl's House" performance in early 2018.