Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to Solo artist singer Jim Crean (Hair Nation, Appice Brothers) about his new solo albums, his Hair Nation tribute shows and explains the two Vinnie Vincent comeback shows that he was suppose to sing on that were cancelled.
Watch the interview here:
When asked about the success of his tribute band Hair Nation
“I’ve had Hair Nation together for 20 years. So what happened was in 1999 or 98 I was approached to do a show just a one-off Hair Metal show and it went really well and had a great crowd response. The manager then said to me you should do this all the time because I can get you guys working and pretty good money. So basically what we do is we play Hair Metal songs of that era. So we put together some dates and the shows just kept getting bigger and bigger and then we started getting corporate dates and 20 years later here I am. Today we pretty much tour with every hair metal band from that era. ”
When asked about his up two new studio albums
“My new label which is called Visionary Noise records it’s a great new label and they needed some kind of product. So they asked me if they could release my first two albums and I said I don’t really want to do that getting the rights and all that I just didn’t want to go through all that. So I said why don’t we just do a greatest hits album so we did a real limited run, we did 3,000 CDs a really l small pressing and we sold them all out right away. In regards to my new albums I got the best producer in the world, Steve Major out of Toronto you might have heard of him. This guy he’s great I mean he’s worked on like My Big Fat Greek Wedding the movie score and he’s done all my album except my first one. Steve will be producing both my new studio albums and one of the album is gonna be called The London Fog. I have some amazing guest musicians, on the new albums, a lot of big-name, to name a few, Steph Honde (Paul Di’anno), Barend Courbois (Ex-Blind Guardian) Ronnie Robson, Vinny Appice, A.D. ZIMMER (Hair Nation), Robby Lochner (Jack Russell’s Great White), Rik Fox (Steeler, WASP), Chris Holmes (WASP), Frank DiMino (Angel), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), Tony Franklin, Carmine Appice, Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Ray Tabano (Aerosmith) and many more.”
When asked about the show cancellations with Vinnie Vincent and the set list they were working on
“Carmen Appice played with Vinnie Vincent back in the eighties before he was in Kiss. I think the guys from Kiss, Gene and Paul called Carmine up back then to find out what Vinnie was all about before he got to Kiss gig and they always remained friends over the years. Then this whole thing came up where Vinnie came out of seclusion for 30 years and somehow the agent got a hold of Carmine and asked Carmen if he would like to do a couple shows with them. So then Carmen got Tony Franklin. After they booked shows, one was at Graceland Tennessee but Vinnie cancelled it and so then they had these other two dates booked and they got postponed. Robert Fleischman the initial Vinnie Vincent singer was gonna do the shows but then he decided he didn’t want to do it. So then they were looking for a new singer and so Carmine was out on the road with me and Carmen had mentioned to me . Carmine said I should demo some songs with me signing and send it out to Vinnie. I said okay, so when I got back to New York I sent Vinnie’s agent a couple songs. I never spoken to Vinnie it was all through email, actually I sent an email to Carmine, then Carmine sent to his agent and then to Vinnie. Carmen called me up and he goes yeah I submitted like four different singers to Vinnie and they were big-name guys and Vinnie said out of four or five guys he liked you the best. Then I got a phone call from Derrick Christopher Vinnie’s agent and said he said Vinnie wants to use you for this for these two upcoming shows in Nashville. We then came up with a figure that we needed to make it work and we came up with a tour schedule the whole nine yards and rehearsal schedule. In regards to a setlist it consisted of a lot of Vincent songs and a few Kiss songs. The Kiss songs that were on the set list were Lick it up, Unholy, A million to One and Exciter.”
We demo’d three songs (but it wasn’t Vinnie playing these songs), they came really good. Then they made the announcement with the three of us as Vinnie’s all-star band that Vinnie was going to go out there and shred. Carmen talked to Vinnie in depth about it after that Vinnie decided that he just wanted to make this upcoming shows just a shred show where he just goes out there and just they Jam. So basically Tony and Carmen Appice just kind of keep a beat and Vinnie just plays. I guess a little later he decided that he just didn’t want to do that either. ”
“In all of this I have to say the fans were really excited about the whole thing I got a lot of positive response from the Kiss fan because they’re the biggest and best fans in the world, they’re so loyal they’re awesome. Actually I made a lot of fans and friends over this to be honest with you it was cool and an honor. I did a demo and then somehow, I don’t know who, put it out on the internet, somehow it got released on some Kiss page of me singing one of the songs and The Kiss fans really behind it. it was like wow this is great this guy can really sing it great, so that was cool. All this wasn’t about that for me it was about helping Vinnie get out there and show people that this guy can still rock. Tony and Carmen we’re pretty solid band for him to come out there and but the show was gonna be about Vinnie and that’s how I was gonna present it, this is about a great guitar player .
When asked why Vinnie Vincent backout out of the two shows
“I can’t speak on Vinnie Vincent’s behalf, I never met him but I have my ideas and I have my suspicions and so does Carmine and in Tony. There’s a lot of heavy shredding that went into Vinnie’s songs, when I sat down learning those songs I dissected every part of these songs even with the guitar. I would sit down and work out to make sure that everything’s gonna be super tight and we’re gonna come out and really do a great job for him. When Vinnie did that Kiss cruise and I seen some video footage of that and he didn’t really didn’t really play any leads or anything like that he just kind of came out and he looked a little nervous, like he was kind of unsure. Tony, Carmine and I have never taken a break from the music scene, we’ve been doing it years we’ve all been doing this for a very long time actively consistently touring. Derrick Christopher Vinnie’s agent said to me I think Vinnie’s gonna be a little standoffish at first but then once he sees and he hears you guys and you guys get in the same room together he is gonna be so into it. I think that would have happened I really think that Vinnie would have came out and it would have really been a good good career move for him but I do think that maybe he had a little doubt. Sometimes when you write songs thirty years ago and you make them so difficult to play you don’t think of what’s gonna happen in 30 years from now. I think maybe he just was a little worried. I just want to make it clear that me Tony and Carmine we’re gonna come out and really be super tight and deliver it for Vinnie. I know there was some rumors floating around that we couldn’t make the practice, there was gonna be no practice, no rehearsal that’s not true. We spent a lot of time talking back and forth to how the songs the keys arrangements and I spent a lot of time learning those songs to the point where I was very confident that I would have went out and did a very good job for him. Again if Vinnie would have went through with these shows I think it would have been a very good move for him because the fans would have loved it and I think the fans would have really accepted however it sounded. If Vinnie came out and he wasn’t exactly like he was thirty years ago I think the fans would have still accepted him for just coming out on stage, I truly do think that because his fans are very loyal to him and they just want to see him play.”