Sally Steele of Vegas Rocks! magazine recently conducted an interview with GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall and singer Mitch Malloy. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how Mitch came to join GREAT WHITE as the replacement for Terry Ilous, who was fired from the band in July:
Mark: "The first time I saw Mitch was when we recorded our album with Michael Wagener last year in Nashville, we had a part in two songs where we wanted kind of a shout vocal. So we had, like, 20 people come down; he was one of those. I'm not sure if we spoke on that occasion; we might have said hi. And then the second time was on the Monsters Of Rock cruise; I believe Terry had him up on stage. And Michael sent me a picture, and I saw Mitch next to me on stage. [I thought] 'That looks interesting.' I kind of liked the way that looked. And then one morning I was on my cell phone, and by accident I saw this VAN HALEN story, about Mitch being in VAN HALEN for a few weeks or whatever, which I'd never heard, so I was real interested to look at that. I saw the video, the little documentary about it, and that got me interested in listening to his voice. So I went back and heard a few of his songs, from his solo career. It sounds like he's got pipes. Then I call [GREAT WHITE guitarist and keyboardist] Michael Lardie, and he goes, 'Oh, yeah, I've been looking into him for a while.' And I'm, like, 'What? Nobody tells me this stuff.' And then I heard my agent, Sullivan [Bigg], was pitching him to Michael or something, but nobody tells me. So this all was not by design as far as, like, 'Oh, we're looking for a singer. We'll put out ads or have a guy come down and audition.' It was all, like… It happened, but it was kind of freaky the way it all went down. So we got hold of Mitch, and he put his vocals on some songs — some old ones and new ones. And [I went], 'Man, that sounds pretty amazing. Let's see if he'll come out.' He came out and sang the first day, the second day, or whatever, and by the second day, it sounded pretty good, so we were getting all excited. And we clicked right away — kind of a little beyond the pink cloud, 'Oh, new guy in the band. We've got this new energy.' It was like we really were cool. We were taking pictures when we normally wouldn't, and stuff like that. But the shows are going great. He's getting real close to the songs, the old ones. So it's all going amazing."
On what happened with Terry to cause his exit from GREAT WHITE:
Mark: "Nothing drastic. We were growing apart a little bit, but it wasn't like there was this massive fight and we said, 'I hate you. Go away,' or whatever. It was just one of these things that… Like a marriage grows apart… Nobody was feeling it anymore. Plus I was really happy for him anyways kind of going back to his home, which, to me, is XYZ. I know it went on for a long time, and he did a great job. And we really like the job Mitch is doing. We think he's a great fit for the band. When we just stand next to each other, it just looks cool; he makes us look good."
On whether he thinks he will ever "patch things up" with original GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell:
Mark: "We've never gotten in a fight. I don't think I've ever gotten in a fight with Jack — maybe one argument in 30 years. So there's really not a whole lot to patch up. He just moved into a real dark world, wasn't treating himself too good and started to break down. We waited for him to come back, and instead of [him] coming back, we got sued. I have nothing against Jack; I'm not ashamed of any of our years together. But as far as us patching up, I hear that over and over, and I'm, like, 'But we've never fought before.' It's all lawyered out and fighting, and that kind of thing. I shook his hand, we just did that kind of thing after we made our settlement. He's able to play, I guess, so more power to him. And we're happy. So there you go."
Ilous, formerly of '80s L.A. hard rockers XYZ, joined GREAT WHITE in 2010 after stepping in for touring vocalist Jani Lane (WARRANT).
The Ilous-led GREAT WHITE released two albums, 2012's "Elation" and last year's "Full Circle", before Terry was shown the door.
This version of GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE, which features Jack Russell alongside Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar, Dan McNay on bass, Tony Montana on guitar and Dicki Fliszar on drums.