Weekend warriors rock on
Life for Great White is much sweeter these days.
Gone are the six months on the road, travelling by bus, doing five shows a week.
“We’d come and collapse,” said guitarist Michael Lardie, one of the originals with the band.
“I call us weekend warriors now,” he said.
“We go out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We all fly.
“We do our shows and then we go home and we get a couple of days at home.”
They take less equipment than those road-weary days when they were churning out hits like Once Bitten, Twice Shy and Rock Me.
These days the guitarists — Lardie and Mark Kendall — pack their favourte instruments, drummer Audie Desbrown grabs his pedals and sticks and the rest is supplied.
Their weekends are tied up for the next several months, including a stop at the Kamloops Convention Centre on Saturday, July 2.
With Scott Snyder on bass, this version of the band is almost the same, except for the lead singer.
Longtime bandmate Jack Russell is recovering from emergency surgery last year that requires at least a year of convalescence.
Taking his place is Terry Ilous, former lead singer with XYZ, who has brought a gritty, bluesy rock sound to the group, Lardie said.
“I’ve worked with a lot of lead singers,” he said, “and a lot of them have what I call LSD — lead-singer disease.
When he’s not performing, Lardie’s heavily involved in music production, not only for Great White, but many other musicians.
The band is contractually obligated to deliver a live recording next and Lardie said they’re grabbing tracks from different venues — from the 400-seat club to the big festival.
“We’ve never done that before,” he said.
“I like it because it gives people an idea of the journey of what the band goes through.”
Despite the years — the band started to make its name in 1978 — Great White still loves to perform, Lardie said.
“We’re like a close-knit family. We can anticipate each other.
One of the aspects of being a weekend warrior he said he loves is to see new generations embracing the music.
“The best moment of last year was a show we were doing and there was a grandfather there.
“He looked kind of like a rocker; he had long hair and he looked like one.
“He was there with his son and his eight-year-old grandson. And, there was that little kid singing the lyrics to Rock Me.
“That’s whay I love, seeing music being passed on to the generations.”
Opening the show is local band Fast Lane.
The band’s made up of Todd Clack, Bret Koroll and Todd Flodstrom — formerly of Halo — along with Darren Jones (part of Bootyful and Bluesfoot) and Richard Graham, who also performs with the Infectuals.
Tickets for the Kamloops show are $40 plus taxes and service charges and are available at the Kamloops Live Box Office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.com.