In preparing for the group's upcoming weekend shows to raise money for The Station Family Fund, GREAT WHITE's manager Charrie L. Foglio interviewed the band's lead singer Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall and provided the media with statements from the band members, according to the Providence Journal.
In those written statements, Russell and Kendall say they are sorry that The Station fire happened, and they emphasize how much they want to help the victims.
Kendall said he doesn't know how Rhode Islanders feel about GREAT WHITE now. "Some have to have a lot of anger and want to cast blame on us," he said. "But I would hate for them to think that we would use something that could hurt people without permission. We don't go out and do things to make people mad. That's why this band has been around for 20 years."
Kendall added, "I think people are going to realize, when this whole thing is a little further behind us, as to who's responsible and who's not."
Russell said, "I think all of this is going to come out in the wash and people will understand why this happened and why it didn't have to happen. There's a lot of reasons that I'm not going to get into it right now."
When asked if he had a message for "the folks of Rhode Island," Kendall said, "Yes, that I am sorry that this happened. I don't think that people should ever even witness something like this. I've never even seen anything like this on the news. I am really sorry that all this happened, and I want them to know that I would talk to them any time and that I would do anything to help the families."
With regards to what they have been doing since the fire, Russell said, "Basically, just trying to heal myself. The mail helps a lot. The support helps a lot."
Kendall said, "What actually helped me was counseling with my pastor, who is actually an ex-brother-in-law. He's like a true man of the Lord. He walks right in the light, so he would help me through the really difficult times. We did a lot of praying for the families."
Foglio asked for Russell's reply to people who want GREAT WHITE to disappear and not play again. "That makes me feel horrible," he said. "It really hurts me a lot. But I guess I can understand that people are in a situation where they are grieving."
Russell said playing music is his way of helping the victims. "If I were a carpenter, I would be out there doing carpentry to help these people out," he said. "I sing to make money. This is how I make my living, and it is really unfortunate that people aren't going to understand that, but there are people who really want our help."
Foglio asked whether Russell has wanted to make contact with victims of the fire. "Every single day," he replied. "I think about everyone involved every single day, and I cry every single day. It will never go away."
Kendall said he wouldn't want to be invasive but would be willing to talk with any of the survivors. "Of course, the powers that be — the attorneys — are telling me not to say anything yet just because it's 'the way,' " he said. "It's not guilt or innocence. It's just the system. But when I am OK to speak to the families, I certainly will."