Jack Russell recalls how Don Dokken referred him in 1983 to voice teacher
Singer Jack Russell and guitarist Tony Montana from Jack Russell’s Great White were recently interviewed by AXS and Russell was asked how he has been able to keep his voice in such great shape.
Russell replied: “First of all I am just really fortunate; God blessed me with my voice. I was lucky enough to meet a teacher through Don Dokken in 1983. At that point I couldn’t sing more than two nights in a row, my voice was gone. We got our first tour, with Whitesnake. Everyone was all excited but all I could think was how many shows in a row are there? They said there were five in a row starting off. I thought they might as well just cancel it now because there is no way I can do that. So Don sent me to this teacher that taught me how to warm my voice up, to help it last and kind of save it. Got to warm up. Just like if you were a runner. You aren’t going to just get up and run ten miles. You are going to get up, stretch out, thin your muscles out. It is the same thing. Your voice comes from a muscle and you just have to learn how to thin it out. I have been doing that routine for 30 some years now. Obviously it seems to be working. I don’t drink anymore either. Smoking is not good for the voice either. It is another vice I am working on. Alcohol really dehydrates your voice and it strips off all the natural oils that are on your chords. Plus, when you are drunk you are not in control of what you are doing.”
In terms of how their relationship as bandmates is different than it was in the past, Montana stated: “Ha! Jack and I just fall into the same old things. Sometimes we want to kill each other and sometimes we are cracking up laughing. We love each other though. There’s always love, it is a brotherly kind of thing. Actually it was a lot harder when we were all locked together in a tube all the time. Whether it was a bus tube or a plane tube at some point you would just be sitting there staring at one another thinking to yourself, “Man I really hate that guy. I hate how he eats that cracker. I swear if he picks up that cracker I am going to lose it! He better not eat another one.””
You can read the rest of the interview with Russell and Montana at AXS.