It’s been 25 years since Great White’s brand of heavy metal was topping the charts and packing arenas. However, like many of its peers from the era, the Los Angeles group isn’t interested in reveling in the glory days.
Guitarist Michael Lardie discussed Great White’s drive to create new music in advance of a concert with co-headliners Slaughter at Hobart Arena in Troy on Friday, Nov. 20.
Q: What can you tell us about “Metal Meltdown,” the forthcoming film?
A: “That’s a really cool project we did last May with Twisted Sister, Extreme and Skid Row. We did a big show at The Joint in Vegas and it got filmed for a theatrical release. It’s also going to be on a Blu-ray DVD. It’s taken a while to finish. It’s a movie and they take a long time to put together so you can imagine how interesting that is with four bands.”
Q: It’s been three years since your last album, “Elation.” What’s the plan for the follow-up?
A: “We’re hoping to get into the studio in February or March to at least flesh out some ideas. We’re always writing. Part of your gig as a musician is working on new material all the time. It might be something as simple as a riff or it could be a complete song that you just catalog away. Then we all get together to flesh everything out and see if it works within the framework of the Great White experience.”
Q: Buying habits have changed with many listeners preferring digital versions over hard copies. How has it affected Great White?
A: “What’s interesting is our demographic really likes to have the physical product in their hands, which we proved with ‘Elation.’ We don’t have a lot of downloaders in our group of people that seek out Great White music. Sales-wise the albums haven’t gone crazy like they were a long time ago but it does still make sense to make full albums for our fan base.”
Q: Great White has a vast catalog. With sales down industry wide, why make new music?
A: “Thank goodness we can still create and release new music. I can’t see anybody in the band being happy about turning into a greatest hits band. I’m not criticizing anybody that does that, because God love anybody that still has a career in this business. For us, personally, we want to keep moving forward and improving upon our craft rather than just resting on our particular laurels, however big or small they might have been.”
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