GRAHAM BONNET On GRAHAM BONNET BAND – “It’s Like A Continuation Of Things That I Have Done Before”
October 5, 2016, a year ago
When a singer who has fronted the likes of Rainbow, the Michael Schenker Group, and Alcatrazz says he is excited about a new project, fans should take note. And as Graham Bonnet recently told BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato, he is extremely excited about his work with the Graham Bonnet Band, which has a new album on the horizon, titled The Book. The man with the powerful voice also was up for chatting about what it was like to work again with Mr. Schenker recently, as well as the specifics about his upcoming autobiography.
BraveWords: What are you currently up to?
Graham Bonnet: “The Graham Bonnet Band - there is an original idea for you! It consists of Beth-Ami Heavenstone playing bass, Conrad Pesinato playing guitar, and Mark Zonder is our new drummer, who unfortunately has to have a shoulder operation right now, so he is out of action. But we got together - Beth-Ami and I - about three years ago, because I wanted to do something new, instead of doing all Alcatrazz music or all Rainbow music. Even though we’re still playing that on stage now, we wanted to do something different. I happened to jam with her band one night at the Whisky here in LA, and I had fun. I thought, ‘This will be fun to do something slightly different.’ And that night, Conrad was actually playing guitar. Beth-Ami and I got together and started writing tunes for whatever was going to happen - the new album - and I thought, ‘Well, who am I going to get to play guitar?’ We looked around and didn’t find anyone, and she said, ‘Well, what about Conrad - the guy you played with at the Whisky when we jammed?’ I thought, ‘Oh…there’s a point.’ So Conrad came in, we wrote songs together, and I’m pretty pleased with what has gone down on tape. It’s something I’m very excited about, and a lot of people have commented on how it sounds new, and they like the way my voice sounds - ‘It’s Graham.’ I’m pleased that people can recognize that it’s like a continuation of things that I have done before, but a little bit more sort of updated. I’ll leave that up to the listener I think, to cast their opinions of that. But I’m pleased with it.”
BraveWords: Is the band working on a new album?
Graham Bonnet: “We were just talking this morning - Conrad and I - we’ve actually recorded like, three albums in a very short amount of time. Which is really weird, because it’s a re-recording of some of my own material from years ago. And we also had this new album to make, and we had 16 tracks of old material, which we re-did. All of this is coming out very soon. The new album is called The Book, that’s the one which is all new material, but we also some of the old stuff has been re-recorded. So it’s been very busy…and insane, really. I don’t know how we did it, but somehow, we pulled it off. It’s been really, really hard work. What I’m doing today is a session for another project that is going ahead, which is probably a film - I’m not sure if it’s going to turn into anything spectacular, but you never know. So that’s what’s happening.”
BraveWords: How was it playing again with Michael Schenker recently?
Graham Bonnet: “It was great to actually do a show with him. When I was fired from the band, it was a terrible night of too much drink and too much everything. I think I probably sang half a song with him on stage at the first gig we did - it was funny to actually play a whole song all the way through…more than one song actually, I did four songs with him. So it was very cool. I was very happy to play with him again - the smiles were passed backwards and forwards from him to me. It was really nice to see him happy. He has - like I have - sobered up, and it’s been an experience that I never thought would happen, actually. We’ll probably do some more things in the future - maybe Japan with my band and with Michael again. And also maybe in Europe. Probably some more gigs with Robin McAuley and Gary Barden.”
BraveWords: Lastly, are you working on an autobiography?
Graham Bonnet: “Yes, the book has been under construction for about five years. Steve Wright is putting it together - he’s a guy in England who used to do my fanzine, years ago - and he’s taken a long time putting this together. Because he keeps asking me questions about recent gigs I’ve done. He wants to put them in the book, and we’ve got to stop somewhere. I said, ‘Enough. You don’t need to know what songs I’m singing today or last week. We need to get this book finished before I die, and then I’ll never be able to read it to see what really happened to me!’ But it will probably be out around the same time as the new album, I hope - November-ish.”