More than three decades have passed since Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone coaxed guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt from his former band Sinful. This year, as the quartet, which also features original bassist Pat Badger, the band celebrates the 25th anniversary of its seminal Extreme II: Pornograffitti (A Funked Up Fairytale) record with the DVD/Blu-ray/CD release of Pornograffitti Live 25. The set captures the band performing its entire Pornograffitti album live in Las Vegas at Hard Rock Casino’s The Joint. The three founding band members are joined by longtime drummer Kevin Figueiredo who replaced founding skinsmith Paul Geary after his 2006 departure. Aside from the full concert there is also a documentary portion which talks to all current Extreme members as well as Geary who has remained close with his old band mates. Included among the interviews are conversations about Extreme and Pornograffitti with Brian May of Queen, Dweezil Zappa, Eddie Trunk, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, legendary producer Michael Wagener, and many more. Pornograffitti Live 25 will be released October 14 by the award-winning production company Rock Fuel Media in association with Loud & Proud Records as part of their four-part “Metal Meltdown” DVD series.
On Columbus Day, Metalholic caught up with Cherone to chat about the history of the band and in particular the Pornograffitti album, which was released in 1990. It was a landmark record during that period, and primarily on the strength of the mammoth hit single, “More Than Words” as well as its sonic diversity, took the band to a new level. Unfortunately, due to the sudden explosion of grunge over the next few years, Extreme was never able to truly capitalize on the massive success of Pornograffitti. The band’s third effort was the remarkable concept album Extreme III: III Sides to Every Story. The album was acclaimed by fans and critics alike, but the changing musical landscape kept it from gaining proper momentum. The band went for a more stripped down, raw production on 1995’s Waiting for the Punchline which proved to be Geary’s last album with the band. After a decade long hiatus, the group reformed and released Saudades de Rock in 2008.
“First thing is, we apologize to our fans, ” offered Cherone. “To get us in the same room has been a difficult thing. But we have more than enough material for a record. We’ve been recording [and] finishing up some writing. It’s really whittling it down. It’s been a while since we’ve put out new music. We’re not gonna compromise it. We’re definitely overdue.”
Extreme recently returned from Japan and Cherone made it clear that finishing the new record is where his focus is now.
“I don’t really wanna play another show until there’s new material,” he explained. “I know there’ll be some festivals and some offers coming our way, but the band’s determined to finish some music up for the fans. We owe it to ’em.”
As to what the new material might sound like after all these years, Cherone offered that the songs will showcase a mix of the band’s signature style and their maturation as songwriters and individuals.
“There will be, like all Extreme records, familiar elements, but also stuff… Over the years, when Nuno and I write, we’re affected by our environment and music changes throughout the years, so those elements… There will still be some new elements to the band as well. Hopefully that always happens; you always wanna grow and evolve and move on. But the guitars will be there, the harmonies will be there, the songs, the hooks, the lyrics… There’ll still be elements of the past, but certainly new elements [as well].”
You can listen to the full interview with Gary Cherone below and check out the trailer for Pornograffitti Live 25.
Huge horns up to our friends at Blabbermouth.net for transcribing part of our interview and spreading the word.