knows who Gary Cherone is....or more likely who Gary Cherone was.
"More than Words" put Cherone on the map as the lead
singer of Extreme. Never able to shed a bogus hair-band label,
Extreme disbanded after 1995's Waiting For The Punchline.
Not unemployed long, Cherone hooked on with Van Halen for one
CD, 1998's Van Halen 3. See I knew you would know who Gary
Cherone was. Gary Cherone is someone new these days. Having
put together a new band, including his old Extreme bassist Pat
Badger. With their debut disc, Exit
Elvis, out on October 22, the Tribe of Judah is ready
to unleash their rock sound on more than the Boston area. Gary
was nice enough to talk with me October 1. We talked about his
past in Extreme & Van Halen, almost filling in for Axl Rose,
his recent writings with ex-Extreme guitar player Nuno Bettencourt,
and more importantly the birth and rise of Tribe of Judah.
1. How did you put together the Tribe of Judah and how did it
come up about that Tommy Stewart(ex-Godsmack drummer) replaced
2. How has your writing process changed throughout your 3 eras
in music: Extreme, Van Halen, and now the Tribe of Judah?
3. Were you bothered when Nuno Bettencourt took his turn in front
of the the microphone for 1997's Schizophonic? Do you better
understand what Nuno was going through back then, now that you
face the same task of "starting over"?
4. I was surprised when I got the disc and it read Gary Cherone's
Tribe of Judah. Is it a band or more of a project?
5. The song "Exit Elvis" is very visual, can you tell
me a little about it?
6. You were a part of "The Concert for Life," the show
dedicated to the life of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. What
was it like playing that show and did you pick "Hammer to
Fall" to perform with the surviving members?
7. Random thoughts and words about
Van Halen as well as the short history of the EmpyreLounge.com
8. Looking back on it, were you disappointed with your short tenure
with Van Halen? Why only the few songs from Van Halen 3
on the VH3 World Tour?
9. When setting up the setlist with Tribe Of Judah, do you find
it hard to listen to your older material with Extreme and Van
10. One thing I noticed on Exit Elvis
is the background vocals and harmonies are back in your music,
after being absent on VH3. Was that a conscious effort?
11. There are some great guitar solos on Exit
Elvis, what do you think of the movement away from guitar
12. Did any of the songs on Exit
Elvis stem from the recording of the second Van Halen
disc that you were recording with them?
13. You recently attended and performed at the Mansfield, MA
show of the Sam and Dave
tour. Was it weird being at that show with all the ghosts of Van
Halen past? Who put on the better set that night?
14. Do you think your name being attached to Tribe of Judah may
make it harder to get the band noticed or played, with the stigma
attached to your name of being a hair band singer?
15. What are your thoughts about digital music and online file
16. What new bands/artists are you currently listening to and
can any of them hang with legends like the Who?
17. Were you surprised when you won Best Male Vocalist (Indie
Label) and New Rock Band (Indie Label) at the 2002 Boston Music
Awards after only a few live dates?
18. The song "2+2" off of Exit
Elvis, took me by surprise, can you tell me about the
19. What are your favorite songs off of Exit
Elvis? My personal favorite has to be "No One."
20. How did you get hooked up with Spitfire Records?
21. Do you feel any pressure to hit it big again?
22. If you could put together an all-star band with anyone living
or dead, who would be in it?
23. Are there any of heroes/idols that you have not met yet but
24. Can you tell
me about your two open letters to Eddie Vedder?
25. One of our writers, Mike Kaveney wrote an article about Messages
Music Can Provide. Do you think that musicians have an obligation
for their lyrics and actions on stage?
26. What do you want listeners and fans to take away from Tribe
of Judah and Exit Elvis?
I want to thank Gary for taking the time to talk with me. Hopefully
Tribe of Judah hits Philadelphia soon. I know I will certainly
be in the audience when they do.
Drop us a line to let me know what you think of what Gary said
or just to tell us how much we suck! Email me at email@example.com