ALCATRAZZ - The "Real" Band Is Writin'! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

"So Gary and I stayed in touch about it, kept talking about it, and I've been working with a guitar player out here from Norway, Stig Mathisen, an amazing guitar player, an amazing guy. More than a guitar player is his personality. He was a university teacher in Norway - classical guitar teacher, rock guitar, ProTools. He taught for ten years over there. He came over and is teaching at USC a couple days a week, and he's taking classes there, going to get his masters. So we got together for a lot of different things over the years; but he was a perfect candidate for this. So I ran it past the guys and they thought it was a great idea. We wrote some songs, and Jan and Gary flew out here and cut some drum tracks."

"Jan lives in New Hampshire and Gary lives in Detroit," says Jimmy. "And I'm in Los Angeles. And Stig is in Los Angeles, the guitar player. So it's really he and I who put the stuff together. We started working on it several months ago, where we were putting the songs together, and we had a lot of material, and are looking for a singer right now. And we don't really want a Graham replacement. Maybe an unknown guy, really, someone that it isn't pigeonholed where they think 'Oh, why did they get a guy like this?'"

And for the record, why no Graham?

"Graham was playing with some guys and had a tribute band, doing '80s tribute stuff. And he started singing with them, and after he did that, they started calling that Alcatrazz, and they went to Japan and played a couple of clubs under the name of Alcatrazz. So Gary called Graham and asked him, 'Why would you do this without asking us?' And Graham had no answer, really. And they just do cover songs. They do some Alcatrazz stuff, Michael Schenker, Rainbow, stuff like that. And the truth is, I wouldn't shut the door on Graham, but he wouldn't be my first choice. I don't hate the guy or anything, but I worked with Graham in a band after Alcatrazz. I had this band called Blackthorne, did tours and stuff, but that didn't work out. I got Graham, I thought it was going to be really happening, but it sort of didn't work out. I don't blame it all on Graham. But I just thought, well, do I really want to go through that again?"

ALCATRAZZ - The "Real" Band Is Writin'! Page 3