Hurtsmile – Mark and Gary Cherone

Brothers Mark and Gary (of Extreme) Cherone have teamed up as Hurtsmile with the debut album out now on Frontiers. Over to Mark and Gary…

1. What are you currently up to?

– Hurtsmile is busy rehearsing a set to play out live as well as writing some new music to release over the net in the coming months… touring is the plan, when and where we don’t know yet.

2. Could you take us through the songs on the new album?

Gary – For me it all starts with the riff. Mark will demo up a few riffs, than I’ll mess around with a melody. Lyrics usually come last, or mark will be messing around with a riff in rehearsal, and the band will jump in and jam, nothings set in stone, it’s all in the collaboration.

Mark – It was a different method of writing for me. I usually write music and lyrics for my songs. It was great to collaborate. It allowed me to try different things musically, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about the lyrics or vocal melody or even singing and playing at the same time.

3. How did Hurtsmile come together and Gary/Mark why did it take so long for you both to work together?

We’ve thought about it over the years, but we were both busy with our own bands… I guess it was all in the timing. We started Hurtsmile in 2007, put out a few tracks on the net then in 2008 the Extreme reunion record and tour happened… after that Nuno had an opportunity to tour with Rihanna so Hurtsmile picked up where we left off

4. Gary – Were you and the band pleased to the fans reaction of the Extreme reunion shows and album? What’s next for the band?

Yes, we where thrilled, and surprised to see not only the loyal fans that we had over the years show up, but the new younger fans that discovered the band on YouTube or guitar hero, that’s what really inspired the band… and as far as the future/ Extreme plans on recording more music this year, and if the right tour comes up, who knows?

5. Mark – Will this Hurtsmile be a ‘one-off’ or is the plan to keep the band going pending other musical commitments? Also how easy/hard is it to guide your brother when it came to how you’d want a song to sound vocally?

I believe Hurtsmile has more to offer than this one album. It just comes down to everybody’s availability. I am hopeful that we will get another one out.

Working with Gary was very easy. There is a lot of common ground between us musically.

6. What have been the live highlights for you and why?

Gary – There have been too many highlights, but truthfully I could care less if it’s a club or an arena, it’s about playing live, and connecting with the audience… did I forget to mention the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert? It’s all been down hill from there lol.

7. Mark – who are your musical influences and what made you want to take
up guitar?

I think Stevie Ray Vaughen is the best, and I love Angus Young and Brian May and Nuno Bettencourt taught me everything I know.

I am not sure why I took up guitar, but I think Ace Frehley had something to do with it.

8. Gary – how did the Who tribute band SlipKid come about and how do you tackle another vocalist’s style, especially one as distinctive as Roger Daltrey?

Mark, and I are huge Who fans, and the original idea was to do a one off of ‘Who’s Next’ but by the time we started rehearsing we both agreed that there was to much great material not to do, so we learned the whole catalogue… we do it a couple times a year, great musicians in the band… as far as Daltrey, big influence, he’s got one of the most powerful voices in rock. I just let the music move me, and try, and hit the notes.

9. In the age of downloads and declining CD sales has the internet helped you get your music out there or has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads etc

Bands must learn to adapt to the environment, and if the internet is the way people choose to get their music, then so be it… the only control i have is the music I make.

10. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?

Gary – I try to ignore the voices in my head.

Mark – I listen to the voices.

Anything else to add and a message for your fans…

To all the fans, thank you for all your support, and loyalty over the years… I’m hoping to bring Hurtsmile over, but if we don’t make it, I’ll see you on the next Extreme tour! Thank you – Gary

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