With a comeback studio album a live money shot under their belt - Saudades de Rock and Take Us Alive respectively - it was a given that Extreme would continue to build on the momentum.
Word that guitarist Nuno Bettencourt would be touring extensively with Rihanna in 2010 sent the rumour mill into panic mode, however, making the news that vocalist Gary Cherone was launching a new project sound like the crack of doom.
The band has been clear in their intention to release a new studio record, and had the overly exciteable members of their fanbase paid closer attention they would have realized that Cherone’s new band, Hurtsmile, was launched in 2007, around the same time as the Extreme reunion.
In all fairness, if you blinked you probably missed it.
“Don’t beat yourself up for missing the first signs of Hurtsmile,” Cherone advises. “It was really at the beginning stages, it was a project. I just put some demos out on the internet for the Extreme fans, but I had to put it on the shelf because Nuno and I got to talking. I told the guys in Hurtsmile that the mothership was calling because I’d be waiting to do another Extreme record for the longest time. It was put on the shelf for a few years, and when Nuno had the opportunity to tour with Rihanna I decided immediately that I had the time to finish what I’d started.”
Hurtsmile’s brief appearance in 2007 was enough to get people talking, in some cases about a much needed Extreme reunion. Cherone’s high profile stint with Van Halen from ‘96 – ’99 fell flat for seemingly everyone but the band, and his industrial-flavoured Tribe Of Judah solo project from 2002 also failed to catch on.
“Obviously there’s more to the record than the few demos from 2007, but the majority of people liked Hurtsmile and a lot of them said what you did, that Tribe Of Judah had a few too many bells and whistles going with their rock n’ roll.”
Tribe Of Judah’s sole album, Exit Elvis, proved to be much too cold and impersonal for fans that had quite literally grown up with Cherone playing the role of flamboyant rock star. It was as if the life had been sucked out of his music.
For the full feature by Carl Begai, go to Bravewords.com.