ANDREW FREEMAN Explains Why He Lasted Only Five Months As Singer Of GREAT WHITE
March 18, 2023
Andrew Freeman, who sang for GREAT WHITE for only five months, discussed his short tenure with the band in a new interview with the "This That & The Other With Troy Patrick Farrell" podcast. The Las Vegas-based musician said about his vocal approach for the gig (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I was never a big fan of GREAT WHITE. So when I went in there, there was a couple of songs that I liked. I love their first album. But I wasn't a fan of certain elements of that. So when I went in there, I went in as like a blues guy. A lot of those songs are very bluesy and they have a very hard blues element to them, so I wanted to bring out that blues element to it. So I kind of approached it as HUMBLE PIE — kind of where they were influenced from — HUMBLE PIE or LED ZEPPELIN instead of coming like a student of [original GREAT WHITE singer] Jack Russell or a student of [RATT's] Stephen Pearcy or a student of '80s singers. I wanted to come in as a student of what inspired that music."
Regarding the circumstances that led to his split with GREAT WHITE, Andrew — who has spent more than a decade playing in LAST IN LINE, which also features DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell and former BLACK SABBATH and DIO drummer Vinny Appice — said: "I don't wanna get these bands more press from what I'm doing. Because a lot of these guys — and I'm not talking about anybody specifically — but a lot of these bands that are trying to keep the lights on and keep their brand name out there, when I join a band, they get a lot of press because it's connected to DIO, it's connected to DEF LEPPARD, it's connected to BLACK SABBATH, it's connected to all the guys that I play with.
"Our LAST IN LINE band is cool in the sense — it's frustrating for me sometimes — but it's cool in the sense that we don't overplay; we're not oversaturated," Freeman explained. "Some years we've done a lot of shows, and we have put records out, and they're usually — nine times out of ten — rated very well. So I kind of know where I stand as far as where I am in the public eye, I guess, in the small public eye that we exist in. So when I start talking about these huge bands from back in the day, about what happened with me and them, it just brings more press to them… So I don't wanna get them any more press than the argument between Jack Russell and the other guy [GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall]. 'Is Jack coming back to sing for you guys?' 'Never' 'I don't know why they threw me out.' 'Well, you're a drug addict.' I don't have any fucking stake in that fight; I have no skin in that game. So for me to go, 'Oh, this is why they threw me out'… I was only in the band for four months, five months, so why the fuck does it matter? Why does it matter? Because they're just gonna take it, and he's gonna say something about me, and then I'm gonna say something about him, and then he's gonna see me out and he's [gonna be], like, 'Hey, bro. How's it going?', and it's gonna be just a fake fucking thing that I don't really have any interest in."
Andrew added: "They were in a situation where they needed someone to come in, because they were not happy with their old singer, and I said, 'I have these dates, and I have this band. And I'm not gonna quit, but I'm sure we can coordinate it.' And what it came down to was my manager, for LAST IN LINE, and their agent, for GREAT WHITE, didn't talk to each other. And I did all the work to try to get them to talk to each other to make it work, but it just didn't work out because nobody wanted to budge. I said to them, at the beginning of the whole thing, that 'I have these dates,' and they said, 'Okay. Cool. We'll try to work around them.' And then they made a mistake on the booking and they decided to find somebody else. So that's how it worked out. And good for them, because they're probably happier."
Elaborating on the specific episode that eventually caused him to get booted from GREAT WHITE, Freeman said: "There was a gig that I had booked, and I gave all the information to everybody when I joined; it was back in June. And somebody didn't write it down. [Laughs] I spoke to the agent. I spoke to the band — the band representative, when I thought the band communicated with each other. But they don't have great communication. Nothing against them personally; they just don't have great communication. The show got moved to a date that I had — and it was in Vegas — a show that I had booked already. They knew. And we went through all the rigmarole of that, of trying to figure that out. And I personally called 12 singers to cover the show, that I knew [or that were] friends of mine. I personally tried to get it covered for them, because, basically, they screwed up; their agent screwed up. And then I had three weeks booked in November with LAST IN LINE. And they also had that, and they booked a second show on that date, and I said, 'I can't do it.' And, of course, there was another show I wanted to do; it was right down the street from where my dad lives in Florida. So I was, like, 'Oh, great.' But then a week of the LAST IN LINE tour got canceled, so it was a non-issue. And I kind of figured out that they were gonna get rid of me before they knew.
"I had actually quit [GREAT WHITE] back in September, because of the first conflict," Freeman revealed. "Somebody got a little mouthy with me over e-mail, got a little nasty over e-mail. And I said, 'You know what? I don't really need this gig. I wish you the best. And why don't you get somebody else? I'll finish up what you have, and get somebody else.' And then it was, like, 'Woah! Woah! Woah' Woah!' The phone started ringing. And I didn't answer it… That's usually how it works: when you tell somebody to fuck themselves and you have value, then they're gonna call you. But at that point they didn't have anybody… And listen, I'm just as replaceable as the next guy. Everybody is.
"People say, 'Oh, they're gonna be terrible without you,' blah blah blah. I'm sure they're fine," Andrew added. "I don't even know who the guy is that they've got now. But I didn't think there was really anything wrong with [former GREAT WHITE singer Mitch Malloy]. Mitch was great. Mitch has got a great persona; he looks great. I remember when he joined the band, I was, like, 'Wow. This is a really good move for them.' 'Cause he's got a name. He's known in that community. But that's their deal."
Brett Carlisle was officially named GREAT WHITE's new vocalist last October.
Last fall, before Carlisle's addition to GREAT WHITE was officially announced, Kendall addressed Freeman's Facebook comment that the singer "wouldn't give a fuck if" GREAT WHITE threatened to fire him over his touring commitments with LAST IN LINE. Mark said: "That's okay. I still have respect for him because of his loyalty to his band. There's gotta be something to say about that. If he made a comment that was kind of rude, I'm sure it was just to kind of save face or something. He's a great guy, and man, he can sing too. He was a joy to be around. I was really sad that he did multiple projects.
"If we were a different situation that we were used to just having random singers every gig… It's just too much work to do that, because when somebody has to cancel a show, then we've gotta audition people," Kendall added. "And we don't wanna go out there with a different singer every time. But I thought Andrew was really gonna work out, and then, all of a sudden [LAST IN LINE] get this tour. We were really in a tough spot. And we're really happy that things worked out with Brett, 'cause he's dynamite, man."
Last May, GREAT WHITE announced that it had parted ways with Malloy and had replaced him with Freeman. Malloy had been in GREAT WHITE for nearly four years, having joined the group in 2018 following the departure of Terry Ilous.
Ilous, frontman of '80s L.A. hard rockers XYZ, joined GREAT WHITE in 2010 after stepping in for touring vocalist Jani Lane (WARRANT).
The Ilous-led GREAT WHITE released two albums, 2012's "Elation" and 2017's "Full Circle", before Terry was dismissed from the group.
This version of GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE, which features Russell.
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