NUNO BETTENCOURT On EXTREME's New Album 'Six': 'People Are Starved For Rock And Roll Like This'

July 4, 2023

In a new interview with Tiago Ribeiro, EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt spoke about the global chart success of the band's new album, "Six", which 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.

"I would put our album up against anybody's album; I feel that confident," Nuno said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And I think the album itself — never mind me or EXTREME — if I heard that album and it wasn't us, I would think the same way I think about the album now. I think it belongs there. I think it's a well-made album. I think the songs are there. I think that the musicianship, the chemistry and the guitar playing. But I think, more importantly, what's really there and what people are connecting with is the mythology of rock and roll. I think that's really what's missing a lot in guitar-driven music, is that…

"I think when people saw a guitar player that's in a band with songs and arrangements and the videos and everything, it was almost like seeing something that… People are saying it's so fresh, but for us, it's, like, this is like going back for us," he explained. "This is more of a reminder than it is anything else that you can still be passionate and have fire and do all those things. And the people are letting us know that they're starved — they're starved for rock and roll like this, I think."

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).

In a recent interview with Metal Edge, Nuno was asked how he and his EXTREME bandmates have maintained their chemistry during their 15-year studio layoff. He responded: "Time stands still for us. The chemistry is always there. For us, it's more a matter of wanting to make something inspiring, and geography probably has something to do with it, too. Back in the '90s, we were living together, so you could always get together to jam. But now, I live in L.A., and the other guys are on the other coast, so it makes things take longer. What happens is you get to a place where you end up sending ideas back and forth, which I don't like doing. So, having them come out to play, write, and jam is still the way we do it. But when you don't live in the same area, it takes a bit of time because everybody's got their lives. We're not kids anymore; people have kids, families, and different projects, so I think that probably led to the disconnect in terms of studio output, too."

Regarding what "Six" means to him, Nuno said: "I think that every album is important for any band who gives a fuck about their albums. The legacy is always judged by that, you know? So, whenever I put out an album, I always think, 'Hopefully, this shit is going to be around long after we're gone.' It's about what you want to leave behind and what you want your legacy to be. Whether someone loves the album or the solo for [first single] 'Rise', this album is us. This is us saying, 'Here we are. Go fuck yourselves. We don't really fucking care what you think. But we hope you love it.'"

In a separate interview with Australia's Heavy, Nuno was asked if the anticipation of a new album still gets him as excited as it used to. He responded: "If there's an album coming out, or music that's coming out, then it's for a reason, and it's usually a good reason for me. So it actually means that we wrote something that I think is worth something to share… There's a reason why we don't put out a lot of albums, because the excitement has to be there. I told Gary [Cherone, EXTREME singer] at a very, very young age that I never wanna put any music out for the sake of putting music out. It's probably not the smartest thing financially for a band to do that, because every time you put an album out, you make money, you get advances, you tour the world. But it has to be something that you're really proud of. And what I mean by that is it has to be successful before it even comes out — meaning that you're just super proud of it. You're excited and you put your head on the pillow. Regardless of [whether] everybody hates it or loves it, it doesn't mean anything to you. It's always a bonus that they love it. But at the end of the day, there's nothing worse than people loving what you're doing if you didn't like what you did in the first place."

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