JAKE E. LEE: 'Everything I Do Is Old School'

April 2, 2019

That Just Happened recently conducted an interview with RED DRAGON CARTEL, the band led by former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On RED DRAGON CARTEL's current lineup and tour:

Jake: "It feels like family. It feels like everybody involved contributed. And it's more old school. I'm just an old-school guy. I'm 62. I'm not fucking changing, and everything I do is old school. I'm just happy that there are people that appreciate it and come out and are supporting us with this record [2018's 'Patina']. 'Cause it is a good record."

On being expected to play his classic songs:

Jake: "This tour promoting the new record, where I'm supposed to be a legacy act… I don't like that title. I don't wanna be a legacy act. And I get it. If I go to see ZZ TOP, I wanna see 'La Grange', but at the same time, if Billy Gibbons decides he doesn't wanna play 'La Grange' that night, I fucking totally get it. He's still Billy Gibbons. But, yeah, everything is old school. I still play loud onstage. And, yeah, it feels very familial."

On having fun playing music:

Jake: "That's the reason I'm touring. Make new music, and then to be able to do it live in front of an audience most nights [laughs] — but to be able to play it live anyway — yeah, that's why I do it. I don't do it for the money, 'cause there's not really that much money to be had on the road anymore. And a lot of my peers do it to be in the spotlight, 'cause they like the attention. I don't like the attention; I'd just rather shy away. But it's purely for the music. The album was done that way. And we're touring to support that album, and it's all about the music."

"Patina" was released in November via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to RED DRAGON CARTEL's eponymous 2014 debut marks the group's first release with drummer Phil Varone (SAIGON KICK, SKID ROW) and Esposito. The band's current lineup is rounded out by singer Darren James Smith.

RED DRAGON CARTEL's new album was recorded at Esposito's Obscenic Arts studio in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania and was mixed by legendary producer Max Norman, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE, MEGADETH, SAVATAGE and LOUDNESS, among others.

In addition to being the new bassist for RED DRAGON CARTEL, Esposito co-produced the album alongside Lee.

Photo credit: Joseph Gorelick

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