Mark Kendall outlines how Great White recruited Mitch Malloy while Terry Ilous still in the band
Great White founder and lead guitarist Mark Kendall was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay for Canada’s The Metal Voice and spoke about why Great White replaced singer Terry Ilous with Mitch Malloy.
Kendall advised (with slight edits): “Terry is a great guy great. We we were just growing in kind of different directions away. He did a lot of other projects. We didn’t like put ads out for singers it just happened, not by design. When we were in the studio doing our album, producer Michael Wagener who was working on big gang vocal shouts for one of our songs invited a big, big gang of people from bands that live in Nashville. One of them was Mitch Malloy. I didn’t meet him except you know perhaps saying ‘hi’ or something but I had no idea who he was. Then later on the Monsters of Rock, Mitch was invited on stage, I think by Terry actually. Then when I was home looking at the internet news feeds, I saw this story about Mitch being in Van Halen for a brief time.
I knew pretty much knew everything there was to know about Van Halen but Mitch Malloy, I knew nothing about, I never heard a word about it except for that video documentary about his time in Van Halen where he sort of explains everything. I watched it and I think he sang “Panama” or something and I go ‘Wow, this guy is great’ and [it] clicked in my head and I go, ‘I met this dude’ you know and his voice sounded pretty good. So I called my keyboard player Michael Lardie and I go ‘You know anything about this Mitch Malloy ’cause I listened to his solo stuff.’ I go, ‘Man, this guy has a range from A to Z. You know, he sounds pretty good.’ Then I heard that our agent was pitching to get Mitch. So we decided why don’t we send Mitch some music, take the vocals off and just see what he sounds like [to] see if his voice, you know, kind of melts into our music or is it gonna be oil and water and in the end, he fit in great.”
Back in July 2018, Ilous confirmed that he found out through the internet that he was no longer in Great White.
In terms of what Malloy brings to the table to the Great White material that former singers Jack Russell and Terry Ilous didn’t, Kendall indicated: “Well, I couldn’t wait to find out that so I went in the studio and I had a song that I felt it was arranged pretty good. What I have usually done with singers in the past was I usually give them a melody ideas, maybe I might even have a lyrical chorus idea with the melodies, and then they come back with their version of my interpretation. With Mitch, he doesn’t live up the street so I just sent him what I had and he came back with a full song, lyrics and everything, within like four days. His song sense was that good but then when I started thinking about [it], I go ‘Wait a minute, this guy’s had like a ten solo album career so he’s very familiar with songwriting’ and so that was really a great moment for me because it kind of takes the workload off.
Everybody we’ve ever worked with has their strengths and their weaknesses so we always did what worked. Jack had the most, the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard of my life but if you just gave him music, he would always ask me ‘How does it go?’ so I give him the melody and then he would make it better and that’s the way we worked. Terry was more of a songwriter like Mitch, you know, like I would show him an idea and then he would come back with something that was way different that I liked better so that was cool and Mitch, I’m just handing a song at least this first time around and he comes back with a full song lyrics and everything and melody and I loved it all. So the fact that I loved it all is, it’s pretty kind of blowing my mind. I get a little bit critical with songs. In fact, I’ve even gotten [into] fights in the studio in the past. I mean, [in] our band’s entire history, if there ever was an argument, it was over trying to make the song better and you know, we were all head strong over that and it was, I would actually get in a physical confrontation over a song.”
You can read other excerpts from the interview with Mark Kendall at The Metal Voice‘s website or listen to the interview below:
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