GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall spoke to the 95 KGGO radio station about how he and his bandmates have been spending their downtime during the coronavirus pandemic. "We've been writing a lot of music, so we'd like to get something out this year," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "We'd like to get some new music out this year, because that kind of keeps us motivated. I think that's the reason we've been around so long — 'cause we keep trying to better ourselves and make the best music we can; it kind of keeps your energy up."
Kendall also discussed the importance of making new music at a time when so many classic rocks acts focus on performing nothing but their greatest hits.
"I've made the analogy before, but, to me, it would feel like going out and selling the same painting every year," Mark said. "It just gets old. Because the creative part is a big part for us. I have this pipe dream that I'm gonna write the greatest song I've ever written. That kind of keeps you energized. Just to go out and kind of do the same thing every year, it's fine, because people are coming to hear the old songs and whatnot. But for our personal motivation, we need to keep being creative. But we never bombard people with, like, 20 new songs or anything."
GREAT WHITE's next effort will be the band's first with singer Mitch Malloy, who joined the group in 2018 following the departure of Terry Ilous.
Earlier this month, Kendall told the "Nothing Shocking" podcast that the new GREAT WHITE material is "really rocking. It's a wide range, but mostly just the heavy rock and some really, really cool riffs and good musical pieces in the songs, so the band can breathe. It's not just the singer singing over every note on the record. There's a lot of cool, cool stuff that, for sure, made me wanna play guitar. I'm playing the type of stuff that intrigued me and inspired me and made me wanna get better and improve. So I'm kind of writing like that.
"If you look at any hit song from I don't care who it is — THE BEATLES — if you notice, there's not much going on when the singer's singing, but then there's a musical hook or something to where you don't divide someone's attention with the riff and singing at the same time; you always answer the vocal," he explained. "And so that's kind of he way we've written on this album that's not released yet — but we have a lot of material."
According to Kendall, the coronavirus crisis delayed GREAT WHITE's plans to return to the studio and begin recording the follow-up to 2017's "Full Circle".
"It was unfortunate that we got hit with the pandemic, because Mitch had only been in the band a few months, and then, all of a sudden, this flu virus [came along] that's just out of control," he said. "It was hard for us to get all together and go into a studio, 'cause even engineers are iffy about — they just want one person at a time and all this stuff. We're not that type of band. We would never make a virtual record where we send each other our parts. Because when we play together, that's when everything happens. If we did it online, there would be so much missing that would have been there had we all played in the same room, working the tunes up that way. A lot of things come up that aren't planned… You're not gonna get that with e-mails."
Mark went on to praise Malloy, saying his addition to GREAT WHITE made the songwriting process easier.
"With Mitch, I just send him music and he comes back with a song, which is really inspiring that he can do that," he said. "'Cause I think nobody can do that until they hear my brilliant idea, right? But Mitch is a songwriter — he has, like, 10 solo albums — so he's written plenty of songs. He understands song structure and all of that, so he can handle it. And, obviously, if I hear a vocal line that I think should be changed or something, that can always happen too. But it takes a lot of workload off me that I don't have to show singers every line or whatever."
Ilous, frontman 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 the aforementioned "Full Circle", before Terry was dismissed from the group.
This version of GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE, which features original GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell alongside Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar, Dan McNay on bass, Tony Montana on guitar and Dicki Fliszar on drums.