1. When bands reform, fans can be extremely precious about how this
may affect a group's legacy. Was this something that ever concerned
you and has the reception that you've received surpassed your expectations?
Jools: "Our fans have been accepting and supportive of everything
we have done over the last 4 years. However, the excitement and anticipation
around the latest line-up and forthcoming album from the fans has been
so encouraging to all of us. With regards to reforming and line-up changes,
we haven't been overly concerned from a fan point-of-view, as their
feedback remains solid and positive. We do however want to reward their
loyalty with a record that they will enjoy for years to come."
2. Returning to Gun's early days for a moment, can you remember the
first press coverage, radio airplay or TV exposure that you ever had?
Jools: "The first radio coverage came from a local radio station
(Radio Clyde). Their rock DJ Tom Russell played the band's demos as
well as giving Better Days its first airing. We still enjoy a good relationship
with Tom, Glasgow's godfather of rock:). As for press coverage, we were
really excited by the first review in Kerrang! of our single/album.
After buying Kerrang! as a rock fan for years, there was a feeling of
"making it" when your album gets a great review from such
a prestigious rock mag. TV is easy, 1st appearance on Top Of The Pops,
what an achievement for some young lads from Glasgow."
3. How long after this was it until you first felt that you had 'found'
Jools: "As for finding our audience
after the single, album,
constant touring on our own, our first big support tour with Simple
Minds and generous radio/MTV play, by 1990 we were beginning to see
that we had built up a solid UK and European fan base."
4. Where did the impetus come from to blend classic hard rock music,
with radio-friendly choruses, pop hooks and memorable melodies?
Jools: "It's true that first and foremost we are rock fans, however,
it's difficult not to be influenced by the music you hear when you are
growing up. Our record collection was not all AC/DC or Led Zeppelin,
there were Boomtown Rats, Bob Marley, The Beatles, T-Rex, David Bowie,
Elton John and The Rolling Stones records in there too. It can be restrictive
to only listen to one genre of music when writing and I guess our melodies
and pop hooks comes from keeping an open mind when it comes to influences
yes, we are not shy when it comes to a bit of Dancing
Queen. Just for the record though, it was our sister's album."
5. Your new LP is soon-to-be-released, so can you tell us anything
about this - sonically, where it fits into your back catalogue etc?
Jools: "We feel this album is up-to-date and modern with "sound"
influences from past and present bands. The Foo Fighters, T-Rex, The
Cult and The Killers to name a few, but still with all the memorable
choruses, hooks and big guitars that are synonymous with GUN."
6. Production-wise, what was it like working with Dave Eringa?
Jools: "As for working with Dave Eringa, what a pleasure that was!
His pedigree speaks for itself! His reaction when he first heard the
demo totally blew us away, it was more than we could have imagined.
When you have someone like Dave who believes in your work the way he
did, it really helps to motivate you on even more. We wanted to get
right into the studio and repay his faith with recording a great album.
Not only is he a really nice guy, he is one of the most imaginative,
intuitive and inspirational producers we have ever worked with. When
someone can almost read your mind as to how you want something to sound,
it gives you total faith and confidence in the process you are going
7. It's been said that Prince will often make music for days on end
without even sleeping! But, what's the most amount of hours that you've
worked in a recording studio for without taking a break + can you also
recall your very first day in a studio / the first song you ever tracked
Jools: "I think we read somewhere that sleep deprivation is a form
of torture and can lead to madness, so as second generation Italians
we are quite partial to a siesta or two. On a more serious note though,
when recording this album we were doing 14-hour days - you do what is
needed to get the job done. The first song we ever tracked professionally
was Can't Get Any Lower in the studio where we recorded the Taking On
The World album."
8. As guitars lie at the heart of Gun's sound, do you know the exact
models and effects pedals that you want to use on individual songs,
or is this achieved more through a process of elimination?
Jools: "I like the sound to be natural and come from my playing
and my imagination, rather than effects pedals. I appreciate the sounds
they make, but I just prefer to use a chorus pedal and a booster for
my guitar solos. Keep it simple is my guitar playing philosophy."
9. Lyrically, what were / are your aims with the words that you write
for your music - have they always been written in tandem or separately?
Dante: "In general, lyrical ideas surface when we are building
the songs from scratch - for us, the melody is really important and
sometimes words come into your head that gives you the impetus to tell
your story! You only have to look at prolific songwriters such as Bowie
who was renowned for jumbling-up newspaper clippings in order to make
a song sound incredibly interesting lyrically. But, I have to say, most
of the time I like to write about what's been happening around me and
depending on the song's feel, you can find yourself immersed in what
you want to get across!"
10. Has it been important to you to collaborate with co-writers / producers
from time to time?
Dante: "Working with other songwriters is very much embraced by
ourselves. I think there are a lot of bands out there who would choose
not to and I can understand that, but we feel really comfortable with
it! It's always very exciting to see how other people work and how it
may differ from our songwriting process. Sometimes, taking on board
ideas that you may not be accustomed to can be a challenge, but you've
just got to have an open mind and usually with that intention it can
be very rewarding!"
11. Having now had some distance from each of your albums, are there
any tracks that you view differently and what did you learn from making
Jools: "You are never going to love every track you have recorded.
I think we have learned to appreciate what we have done in the past,
whether we like it or not and realise that's where we were at that point
in time. The main thing we have learned, is to make the record WE want
and not have outside influences playing a part."
12. As the title of your new long player is a rather striking and
apt reference to your return, I was curious to know if any Gun records
ever had alternative titles that were nearly used?
Jools: "We have always been certain of song and album titles and
this new record is no different. We just wanted to keep up the momentum
and excitement for the release of the album going and keeping the title
back added to the fan chat etc. Break The Silence is one of the tracks
from the album also. What do you think of the name?"
13. Prior to Break The Silence, each of your previous albums all
had exactly 10 songs - was this a conscious decision?
Jools: "We would like to give you some deep and profound answer
here, however, it's simple, it's hard enough to write 10 good songs
never mind 14 for a record."
14. Of the band's b-sides, are there any that you think should have
been album tracks or perhaps any album tracks that you think of as great
Jools: "Word Up was originally a B-side and the track Coming Home,
in hindsight, should have been on the first album as it's such a good
15. Do you have any plans to eventually put out previously unreleased
material/rarities from the Gun vaults, such as the original/rockier
0141 632 6326 demos + a comprehensive DVD featuring a live show, promo
videos, TV clips etc?
Jools: "To be honest, we haven't even thought about putting out
previously unreleased material, and yeah, the original demos of the
0141 album were far more rockier than the eventual release. For now,
it's all about this new record and we're all really excited about getting
that out before thinking about anything else. If we get any success
with the new record, then who knows, we may go back and look at some
of the old demos and rarities to bridge the gap till we get the chance
to make the next record."
16. In 2008, Glasgow was named as a 'United Nations City Of Music'.
Does these please you and who do you consider to be among some of Scotland's
finest musicians and groups?
Jools: "For Glasgow to receive such an accolade does make us feel
proud, as this is the city we were born and grew up in and to have played
even a small part in a city's musical culture, fills you with a sense
of pride. From The Sensational Alex Harvey Band to Biffy Clyro, Nazareth
to Simple Minds, The Skids to Texas have all played a big part in putting
Scotland on the musical map and we are of course still claiming Bon
Scott and the Young brothers as being Scottish:)."
17. Having been signed to a major label (A&M Records) in the
'80s and '90s, I think any fan of Gun would agree that you were very
underrated and never truly had the mainstream success that you so rightfully
deserved. Was this frustrating for you during those years, and then,
was it a difficult decision to call it a day in 1998?
Jools: "It's always frustrating when you think you could have done
more or been bigger than we were and you can frustrate yourself even
further with "what ifs?". What we are really thankful for,
is the opportunity that we had in the 80's and 90's and the fact that
almost 25 years from the first record release that people still want
to listen to us. It would be fantastic if this was to go global and
give us a second chance in our more mature years, to do what we really
enjoy doing. As for calling it a day, 1998 was the right time to do
it. Not the easiest decision, but definitely the right move for all
of us at that time in our lives."
18. Looking to the future, it's great to have you back and I wondered
what it's been like revisiting old material as well as playing new songs
onstage - has the experience of performing live changed for you now
with new members and Dante taking over lead vocals?
Jools: "Thanks, it's great to be back with what we feel is a great
record. The old songs always go down well at the live shows and how
quickly the fans are engaging not only with the new material but the
new line-up of the band, is so encouraging. We have the advantage that
Dante was known already to the fans and lots of GUN fans supported our
El Presidente venture with Dante on lead vocals, so the crossover in
our opinion has been pretty seamless. The fans have really connected
with Paul on drums, Derek on bass and Johnny on lead/rhythm guitar through
our regular meet-and-greets after a gig. We are really comfortable with
the line-up and it just feels right."
19. Some final quickfire questions, do you have a treasured Gun song,
album, LP sleeve, video, gig and memory?
Song - Jools: Better Days as it was our first single.
Album - Jools: Taking On The World.
LP sleeve - Jools: Gallus.
Video - Jools: Shame.
Gig - Jools: Valencia - We played and headlined a free summer festival
in front of 250,000 people.
Memory - Jools: Farewell gig at the Barrowlands.
20. Lastly, chips or cream buns?
A very special thanks to Jools + Dante, and to Gun's Manager, Andrew
@ SevenFour Music, for all of their time and help.
"Break The Silence"