GREAT WHITE frontman Jack Russell recently spoke to the Kent County Daily Times about the Feb. 20, 2003 gig at The Station nightclub which culminated in the deaths of 100 people, including one of his bandmates. Several excerps from the interview follow:
Q: This fire must have been tough to rally from. How long did it take for you to feel good about performing again?
Jack Russell: I'm still working on it. It's a daily process. You never really quite get over it. Being onstage again is becoming fun again, I'm enjoying it, but there's still a big hole in my heart and there always will be. ... You don't want to forget your friends, but then again you don't want to live that day over and over again.
Q: Have you written any music because of that experience?
Jack Russell: No, I have not. I haven't written a single thing since. I'm not sure when I will. I'm hoping this year I'll get back in that mode again. I just haven't felt the need to do that. Maybe I'm a little leery about what my lyrics will express. I didn't want to come out and write a bunch of morose songs.
Q: Do you or your fans wear anything to commemorate that loss?
Jack Russell: There are Station Fund T-shirts and things like that and I was wearing a black armband for quite a while. I'm trying to move on from that as we’ve passed the two-year mark.
Q: I saw there was also a fund-raising event specifically to benefit your guitarist, Ty Longley, (who was 31 when he was killed during the incident). What do you remember most about him?
Jack Russell: Ty? Just what a sweet guy he was. What an amazing guitarist he was. Just a bright spot in the world. He was just a really, really nice guy.
Q: While you were advancing a previous fund-raising gig, you were quoted as saying the band wouldn't tour again. How did that change?
Jack Russell: Literally there have been tens of thousands of e-mails that have come from fans around the world that were expressing their thoughts about our music and how our music has changed their lives in a positive aspect and that's what really got me to the point that this really isn't about me. This is bigger than myself and GREAT WHITE and what can we do to help our fans out and to give something back. These are people that passed away. They enabled us to have a career in music for 20 some years so I felt it was the time to really get out there and try to give something back to their families (through fund-raising gigs like the Poughkeepsie one.)"
Read the rest of the interview at this location.