Ex-GREAT WHITE Singer TERRY ILOUS Praises New Vocalist BRETT CARLISLE: 'He's A Very, Very Talented Kid'
December 9, 2022
Former GREAT WHITE vocalist Terry Ilous and ex-DOKKEN guitarist George Lynch recently joined forces with the band ALL OR NOTHING, who feature in their ranks current GREAT WHITE singer Brett Carlisle, to record a new song called "Dead Or Alive".
Speaking to Scott Itter of Dr. Music about the experience of working with Carlisle, Ilous said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm very happy to be working with Brett. I think Brett has a lot of talent. He's a great singer and he has a bright future. And he's also a wonderful person. So it says a lot. Just being a great singer is one thing, but also being a great singer is an add-on. I like the kid a lot. I call him the kid. It's funny, 'cause when I first started to work with them, one of them was calling me 'dad.' He was, like, 'Hey, dad.' I call him the 'kid,' but I don't [mean] that [in] a demeaning [way]. Don't let this fool you — Brett is definitely someone that has a bright future for him. And it's important to pass on the torch. I mean, I'm getting older, and I'm looking at different things musically. And Brett is the new generation. And he's here to continue doing what we did before and probably even better, and hopefully better, and do rock music. He's a very, very talented kid."
Asked what advice he gave to Carlisle when he first joined GREAT WHITE as the band's new vocalist, Ilous said: "When I knew that he could eventually be the singer, I pushed for that. First of all, GREAT WHITE is a great band. And you have to realize that Jack [Russell, original GREAT WHITE vocalist] is a friend of mine. And I've recently done a show with Jack. We have some more shows coming up. So I thought it would be important for the band to have a great singer as well — another great singer. First of all, [other former GREAT WHITE vocalists] Andrew [Freeman] and Mitch [Malloy] and everyone, they're all great singers, as far as I'm concerned. But the original sound comes from Jack — let's not fool each other. Jack Russellis the original voice of GREAT WHITE and will always be. The rest — us, him, myself and everything — we did very well. I mean, he's doing very well, but for me, the most important voice will always be Jack.
"But as far as advice, I just tell him to be himself," he continued. "I don't have to give him that [much] advice, because the kid is great. I mean, what does he need me for? Except I told him shut the fuck up. Learn how to be quiet. When you're not sure, just shut up. And that's it. Just respect the band. They've sold millions of albums. Respect the fans. And remember — you didn't write those songs. That's the truth. You've gotta respect Jack always. But he doesn't need any advice. The kid is great. Just listen to him. He doesn't need advice from anyone. I'm happy for him. Believe me, I'm really, really happy for him. Better him than anybody else — put it this way. That's all I can say. And I'm happy for the band GREAT WHITE. I'm still friends with the guys. And I wish them the very best, and I wish him the very best."
Brett landed the GREAT WHITE gig after the departure of the band's vocalist of only four months, Andrew Freeman (LAST IN LINE).
Carlisle made his live debut with GREAT WHITE on September 24 at the Cannery Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kendall spoke about Brett's addition to GREAT WHITE this past October in an interview with Tulsa Music Stream. He said: "We did a show with Brett, and it was world news. And I didn't even wanna do the show. We auditioned, like, three singers, just to do one show. So it's extra work; you've gotta see if somebody can pull it off. And he sounded the best. A friend of ours turned us on to him. He's in a band called ALL OR NOTHING [out of Birmingham, Alabama]; I think they do maybe covers. I don't know a lot about it. But anyways, so I didn't even wanna do the show. They talked me into it. I heard his voice. He sang on a couple of our songs, put vocals on a tape. And I go, 'Well, he sounds closer than anybody so far. So, okay.' So we went and rehearsed in Las Vegas. And I was real nervous about doing the show; I [thought], 'This could be career ending.' And sure enough, it was completely the opposite. It was world news. There was press in Italy, the U.K., Germany, the U.S.A. A lot of the online magazines that normally are just dirt-seeking and they just want to pull dirt out of everything and just kind of bag on everybody, really, even they had good things to say. So he just nailed our songs. People loved him at the gig itself; not just the press. And he's a wonderful guy. He's 25 years old, so quite a bit younger than us. But he's very humble. He really loves the idea of being in the band, and he really throws down on stage. I was really surprised about that. And he asked a lot of questions. He's just a good guy."
Asked about GREAT WHITE's approach when making changes in the singer department, Mark said: "I'd like to say that we always kind of settled. People would just get the songs close, and we'd go, 'It's probably not gonna get better than that.' Then there was… I won't go into any details because I have nothing bad to say about any of [the singers we've worked with in the past], but there were some other issues, like things that today, to me, are… We're so past any kind of ego trips or whatever; we're just happy to wake up in the morning and start a new day and say, 'Woah. Everything's great.' That's good enough for us. And try to make the best music we can. But when there's some kind of a — I don't know if it's insecurity or ego or what, when there's anything drama-related, it just turns me off personally. So I'd rather just concentrate on the music, make that the most important thing, and just have fun and enjoy ourselves. And Brett really seems like he's that type; he's very enjoyable to be around. He's just at ease. He loves singing. And he sings our songs perfect; it's quite incredible. And his range is from A to Z. This guy has a full voice in every note. So it's pretty incredible to find somebody like that; they don't grow on trees."
Carlisle has been playing guitar and singing since the age of eight and counts bands like VAN HALEN, SKID ROW and METALLICA as his main influences.
This past May, GREAT WHITE announced that it had parted ways with singer Mitch 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 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 alongside Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar, Dan McNay on bass, Tony Montana on guitar and Dicki Fliszar on drums.
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