jakeeleeband2013600 Guitar World has posted excerpts of Richard Bienstock‘s interview with guitarist Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands) online, read the clips from the article below.

Guitar World: How did Red Dragon Cartel come together?

Jake: It was real casual. About two years ago, Ron [Mancuso] just approached me about doing something. I hadn’t done anything in a while, and I can’t say I really had any plans to. But he had been talking with [producer] Kevin Churko [Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch], who has a studio here in Vegas, and they both thought it’d be interesting to see if I was interested in playing. I had ideas that I’d saved up for the last 15 years or so, and Ron and I started to go through them. Since we didn’t have a band, per se, and it was just the two of us writing and recording, we figured we’d just do like a Slash or Santana thing and reach out to different guys to see if they’d want to sing on different songs.

Guitar World: You mentioned that some of the riffs on the new album date back more than a decade. Did you have a lot of material stockpiled?

Jake: Oh, yeah. I had hundreds and hundreds of little WAV files in a folder on my computer. Some of them were fully fleshed-out songs, and others were just, like, five-second riffs. The one with Maria [Brink], Big Mouth, that was probably one of the first things I ever recorded onto a computer, back in ’96 or ’97. The opening guitar thing you hear on the record, that’s the actual original track I recorded back then. So it’s 16, 17 years old. And the most recent thing I wrote was what became the first song on the album, Deceived. That was probably from a few months ago. All the others fell somewhere in between.

Guitar World: So you’ve been recording all these years, but without any explicit intention to release anything to the public. What was the goal?

Jake: I was just stockpiling ideas. I still had a desire to make music, but at a certain point, particularly in the mid Nineties, I didn’t see any interest from people. I’d kind of outlived my shelf life, especially since I was a part of—and I hate saying it—the hair-metal thing. So there weren’t a lot of interesting opportunities coming my way. It was always people from that one genre wanting me to make more music like that. Or, because I also had Badlands, it was blues-rock guys that wanted to form blues-rock bands. But I’d already done those two things and I was looking to do something else, something more musically exotic, maybe. But I wasn’t cool anymore, and I was shot down a lot.

For the rest of this story, check out the February 2014 issue at of Guitar World which can be purchased at their online store.


source: guitarworld.com

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  • John G on

    I listened to Trunk Nation last night and heard Red Dragon Cartel do a song that sounded just like two vintage Black Sabbath songs mixed together. Then I heard Krokus “Long Stick Goes Boom” which is one of the best AC/DC songs out there. Then we got Stargazer – Blackmore’s nod to Zeppelin’s Kashmir. I heard an interview with a member of Scorpions, either Klaus or Rudolf, and he said Krokus used to just rip-off Scorpions till they found they could make more money ripping off AC/DC. Originality and any pretension of it has gone right out the window with most of what I hear of heavy rock today. Some day Eddie should play “stump the audience” and feature a bunch of tunes done by bands that are complete rip-offs of other bands. See how many guess the right band.

  • DC on

    I still find it mind-blowing that Jake thought he was irrelevant. People have been DYING for him to release more material for 20 years. I’m so happy to have him back. I can’t wait to hear the album.

    • John G on

      A lot of performers – whether musicians or actors/actresses seem to have fairly frail egos. They are stronger than most people in the narcissm department – so when the crowds are going nuts and they are doing interviews et al, they feel on top of the world. When the outside adulation stops, they feel empty. Not all, but certainly a lot of them must.

      I’d bet that a lot of 70s era guitarists felt irrelevant when Van Halens and Rhoads redefined rock guitar. I remember reading an interview with Mick Ronson and I believe he echoed that sentiment. Guys like David Gilmour and others weren’t getting the massive hype in the 1980s. Then Yngwie comes out along with the others in the shred-generation and I’m sure 70s style players felt even worse.

      But history has a way of putting things in perspective. The cream rises to the top. The good 70s era guys can still draw crowds or are retired. Frampton is where he was popularity-wise before the live LP. Ted Nugent can still draw a few thousand to a show. Other bands like Aerosmith can still do alright. Clapton is still huge. Van Halen can still fill arenas. Some shred guys found bands to join like Vinnie Moore in UFO. Most of them fell off the map. Yngwie tours a little but I don’t think he’s ever been more than a club act in the U.S. Now he gives guitar instruction on his website, as do a fair amount of those guys. I’d be surprised if Jake’s band could do much more than clubs. That’s the sad state of the music business today.

  • DR on

    So does anyone feel like ripping Jake for using older riffs that he’s saved, just like they ripped EVH for using old riffs on A Different Kind of Truth? Just sayin…..

    • E BLACK on

      Sammy Hagar just called and said Jake’s a phony for using old riffs on his album.

    • John G on

      Ha ha. The concern with EVH was that he wasted too many brain cells and is no longer capable of creating great riffs. Don’t know if Jake has that same excuse.

      The Stones used to rehash a lot of stuff. I read that 1981’s “Tattoo You” LP was mostly outtakes from “Some Girls” and other stuff going back to ’75. We’ll see what happens with the next VH project. I liked some of the newer Aerosmith – if those guys can still create, maybe Eddie can too. But Eddie looked worse in his down ‘n out days than Steve Tyler or Joe Perry ever did. Eddie takes the partying without dying award.

  • Lee on

    Jake after expenses running gear,crew,sound,light, etc. hundreds of miles between some gigs hardly makes a living in clubs in ’14 but then on 500 a week wage from Ozzy it is better than the 80’s. Steve Pearcy plays the same places solo so it is a sad thing makin bread now with the industry on fumes.

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