James Lomenzo Interview
A year ago. White Lion was well-known in the New York City area, but virtually
unknown throughout the rest of the country. Today, White Lion's album "Pride" (Atlantic
Records) is climbing the charts, they've sold 250.000 records, their video
is on MTV's active rotation list, and they're getting ready for a couple of
Bassist James Lomenzo spoke with us about White Lion.
Q. "White Lion" was supposed to appear at the Lost Horizon
last June, as the opening act for Ace Frchley. You guys were a no show, and
I was told your truck broke down in Boston. Is that true?
A That's an interesting one. Let me see if I can recollect back then. I don't
believe that was the true story actually. Actually, we all got a little sick
at that time. It was more medicinal than anything else. That was a good excuse
anyway, nothing to be afraid of through, 'cause we were right back out there
in two; days.
Q. How did White Lion manage to get themselves signed to Japan's
A. That predates my existence in the band. As it worked out, the band, wasn't
signed in so much as they license the recording 'Fight To Survive' to Victor.
The record company at" the time, Elektra, had shelved the band, wouldn't release
it, and wouldn't let us have it, but they would let Victor buy it overseas
and distribute it that way.
Q. Your guitarist has made the observation that there are
allot of bands exploding on the scene right now and they may disappear within
a year. He goes on to say that for Poison, everybody is just waiting to let
their next album judge the rest of their musical career. What does he mean
A. I've heard him talk about this a lot of times. What he basically means,
and we all kind of concur with him on this, we're not out to thrash bands like
Poison. We saw them at the Forum with Ratt, and we thought they were wonderful.
As far as he's saying, he's talking about any band that would come out with
a double, triple platinum album. You have the expectations of the world waiting
to see if this is going to be one of those bands like The Who or the Stones,
to have that kind of longevity. That's what we're trying to accomplish here.
Sure if we had triple platinum we wouldn't throw it out the window. Our ultimate
goal is to have that longevity.
Q. For every successful band, there is usually someone in
the band cr very close to the band, that is responsible, for that success.
Who's been White Lion's Svengali?
A. It's a collaborative effort. We have a wonderful relationship with our management.
We have a couple of fine guys from L'mours rock club and they've given us every
courtesy to move us ahead. The band is constantly pushing and striving just
to keep in the game.
Q. What are record co. A and R people looking at when they
watch a group?
A. First of all if they band has basically built themselves an audience, secondly
if they carry themselves well on stage and maintain that audience in a 'live'
situation, and thirdly, the songs.
Q. Will hard rock ever get a foothold in the Grammys?
A. Sorry, no, it's not our game. It's a close out. Who knows who's turning
those wheels. I'm not really sure myself. Sometimes I think it's advertising
dollars. That's what radio and media is all made up of. I'm afraid that's
what keeps a lot of really good talented players from getting on, from what
I can see. You have to generate advertising dollars wherever you play. That's
the name of the game.
Q. On March 22nd, White Lion starts a tour with Aerosmith,
are your upcoming club dates a warm-up for the band?
A. This is not to be cocky, but we've been playing steadily since last year
and the warm-up isn't really necessary. We need 3 days rehearsal and we're
right back up on our feet. You play it every night, and anybody will tell you
this, it becomes a monkey act in a way. Your fingers go to the same places
and your feet get up there. It's just a matter of building the energy, the
steam to put it across as best you can.
Q. How long are you going to be out with Aerosmith?
A. Two straight months. Then after that, we're slated with AC/DC. "White Lion" appeared
at the Lost Horizon March 14th.
Official Website: www.jameslomenzo.com/
© Gary James All Rights Reserved