EXTREME's NUNO BETTENCOURT On Playing Guitar: 'It's Not An Olympics To Be Scored On Or Judged On'

October 3, 2023

In a new interview with Sweetwater's resident metal maestro Nick Bowcott, EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt was asked what advice he would give to someone who would like to follow in a few of his footsteps and have the longevity he has had. He responded in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Advice is hard because advice is telling you to do things where really this is about feeling things. This is about feelings. Do you know what I mean? This isn't about picking up a guitar and playing. Anybody can do that. We're all doing it… Playing guitar is fun. It'll always be fun. Even if you're doing that as a hobby or whatever it is, it's always going to be, at the end of the day, about the passion for it. That's what's gonna come through. That's what's gonna be authentic. The fact that learning a lick, if you wanna learn it just for the sake of learning it or as a hobby, that's also great. You can have a passion for just being in a cover band, but I think it's the love that you have for it that makes you — I don't know what the word is. It gives you the drive and it gives you the passion to wanna keep doing it. Once you lose that, it becomes a job for you or becomes something that you dread. Then why would you ever want to pick up the guitar doing it? It's gotta be the love behind it, no matter what it is. You can play three chords. AC/DC is the perfect example of minimalistic approach to anything, but yet... it's one of the most 'simplex' things you could do because of how they compose it and it's open chords, but there's a passion there and there's a drive, there's an angst, there's a groove and there's somebody that cares and means something, wants to say something."

He continued: "So at the end of the day, I think for young players or even older players, it's one of those things where it doesn't matter what other people think or it's not an Olympics to be scored on or judged on. I learned that a long time ago that you could watch bands that you didn't think you were gonna like, and then you watch them play and you feel what they're doing and you become a fan because they make you feel something. … So yes, there's the technical side, but the emotionality of it and the emotion to me is way more important in music than chords and notes and stuff like that. It's, like, what did it make you feel like? And was there emotion there?"

EXTREME's new album, "Six", came out on June 9 via earMUSIC. "Six" landed at position No. 10 on Billboard's Top Album Sales chart with first-week sales of 12,500 copies. The set marked the band's first studio album since 2008. The act was last in the Top 10 with "III Sides To Every Story", which debuted and peaked at No. 10 back in October 1992.

The first single from "Six" was "Rise", which has seen unprecedented success following its debut in March alongside a fiery music video which has received over three and a half million views to date. The critically acclaimed song has earned praise from international top tier media outlets, including Consequence, Classic Rock, Music Radar and Guitar World, in addition to accolades from such fellow musical peers as Brian May (QUEEN) and radio personality Howard Stern while peaking at No. 3 on the classic rock charts.

EXTREME's headlining "Thicker Than Blood" world tour stretches until December 16 and sees the band appear across the U.S., Australia, Japan and Europe, including special guests LIVING COLOUR (U.S., Australia and U.K. only) and THE LAST INTERNATIONALE (Europe only).

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