EXTREME's NUNO BETTENCOURT On Playing With PAUL MCCARTNEY: 'It's Like You're Having This Bizarre Dream'

June 1, 2023

In a new interview with São Paulo, Brazil's 89 FM A Rádio Rock radio station, EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt reflected in his February 2015 performance with THE BEATLES legend Paul McCartney at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think [EXTREME singer] Gary [Cherone] and I would agree that there's a lot of bands that we have our favorites — QUEEN and AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN and THE WHO — but I think if there was the pages of rock and roll that we said, 'Okay, who are the front and the back of the book and everybody else is [between them]?' I think we would agree it would probably be THE BEATLES and [LED] ZEPPELIN. That's the pop side of things [THE BEATLES] and here's the rock and roll side [LED ZEPPELIN], and then everybody else is just in the middle. So I think anything to do with [Jimmy] Page or [Robert] Plant or McCartney [or John] Lennon, of course, [Freddie] Mercury and Brian May and all that stuff. But there's something about McCartney and THE BEATLES that is just so — it's so up there and it's mythological; they aren't even real. So when I had to be in a room with Paul McCartney for three days [for the Grammy rehearsals and the performance], I had to talk to myself all the time before I would walk in and just go, 'It's not real. It's not really him. It's just a hologram. Don't get too excited.' But when he's right here [puts hand in front of his face] and he's singing with you and he's playing with you, it's like you're having this bizarre dream. It's insane."

EXTREME's new album, "Six", will be released on June 9 via earMUSIC. For the recording of the Bettencourt-produced 12-track album, the members — Cherone (vocals),Bettencourt (guitar),Pat Badger (bass) and Kevin Figueiredo (drums) — buckled down at Bettencourt's home studio in Los Angeles to channel the electrifying eclecticism that defined their seminal output with a 21st century twist.

EXTREME is currently gearing up to perform for audiences across the globe on its headlining "Thicker Than Blood" world tour. It stretches from August 2 to December 16 and will see 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). The tour has already sold out dates in Hampton Beach, London, Melbourne, Tokyo, Amsterdam and more.

Photo credit: Jesse Lirola

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