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1997.11.21 - The Herald News - Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke (Gilby)

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1997.11.21 - The Herald News - Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke (Gilby) Empty 1997.11.21 - The Herald News - Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke (Gilby)

Post by Blackstar on Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:40 pm

1997.11.21 - The Herald News - Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke (Gilby) 1997_115
1997.11.21 - The Herald News - Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke (Gilby) 1997_116


Rock ’n’ Roll Still Sounds Good to Guitarist Clarke

Herald & News

Whereas most of today’s pop acts search for some new gimmicky sound to make their voice heard, Gilby Clarke doesn’t have time to join the race for a new electronic aural experience. He’s too busy having a good time and peddling his familiar, cranked-up Marshall rock ’n’ roll to eager club-goers.

Clarke’s new disc, “The Hangover,” reeks with the kind of guitar pop swagger that punctuated the music of the early Rolling Stones. Kinks, Beatles, and glamsters like T. Rex and David Bowie.

“That’s the first music that I really liked,” Clarke said from a stop on his current tour. “It’s kind of a back-to-the-roots record. It’s just music that I would like to listen to. It’s real simple."

"The Hangover’’ is Clarke’s second solo album since leaving Guns N’ Roses, following 1995’s highly acclaimed “Pawnshop Guitars.” A logical extension of the work he’s already done, Clarke said he doesn't really fit in with the new alternative rock ways and doesn’t worry about it.

“There’s a lot of non-musicians making music out there because of the technology that’s available today,” he said. “I’m into music with more soul, more feeling, played with live instruments. I like listening to people who write songs about something that happened to them... so I’m not really happy with stuff out now, not all of it, but a lot of it is a little goofy for me.”

Aiding Clarke in his quest for an edgy but traditional rock record were friends like Clem Burke from Blondie, Eric Singer of Kiss and Waddy Wachtel, who worked with Keith Richards and Tom Waits.

"I wanted to make a record that was fun to listen to and fun to do. When I ask someone to be on the record, I want them to say, ‘Sure that will be fun.’ We have a barbecue in the day and then just do it. And hopefully we have a good time playing it out.”

Clarke said that conveying a good-time attitude was more important than making every tune technically perfect and that having the right people involved made the job easier.

“I try to surround myself with people that I like how they play so I don’t have to say too much about getting the song right,” he said. “The bass player should be a better bass player than me so I let them do what they will do.”

All the good-time vibes permeating the disc doesn’t mean that this is a light collection of music. Along with the anthems “It’s Good Enough for Rock ’n’ Roll” and post-psychedelic romps through versions of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and Bowie’s “Hang Onto Yourself’ there he a few sneering, hard-rockers — "Zip Gun” and the particularly caustic “Punk Rock Pollution,” the latter being a sort of reaction to the neo-punk movement.

“Being a fan of the first incarnation of punk rock, when it started resurfacing, it seemed like a joke. Having said that, I do pretty much like all the work I hear from Green Day and Rancid. But it started getting to the point where they started butchering the stuff and it was people just trying to get famous with bad punk rock.”

Clarke says the kind of music he enjoys will always outlive fickle trends, pointing to the Stones’ continuing success as evidence.

“The Stones are very blues-based and it’s soulful. Rock ’n’ roll is blues-based and there’s something lasting about it. It goes up at times and has its down times, but it’ll always be around.”

Clarke said the direction that singer Axl Rose has wanted to move Guns N’ Roses in is the biggest reason for the band’s current, long and mysterious hiatus. Rumors have abounded that Axl is to work with techno maven Moby. While Clarke says he has kept in touch with the other members, he said he hasn’t talked to Axl in years.

“Axl wanted to change the sound of the band for a while, he wanted to take advantage of some of the new sounds. Guns N’ Roses is at its best as a hard-rock band and if it’s not that, I don’t think that any of the band members would really want to be in it.”

Like Slash and his other Guns’ cohorts, Clarke said he will continue working, saying that lying low and feeling bitter wouldn't accomplish anything useful.

“It sucks (about GN’R) but we’ll do what we enjoy. It won’t be as big, but at least we can do the stuff that we care about.”

Gilby Clarke will be at the Birch Hill Entertainment Complex, Old Bridge, on Friday. For more information, call 908-536-0650.

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