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By Martin Popoff
I mention to Bernie that quite coincidentally, I just had a chat with recently ex-Company Of Snakes singer Jorn Lande, now simultaneously working a solo album and an Ark album.
"Oh really? Did he have anything interesting to say about me?" was Bernie's reacion. "You see, Martin. It's very easy. Jorn is a fine singer. You know, here's the situation, and I've got no axe to grind with him whatsoever. We did a couple of albums, a live album and a studio album. The studio album was only made for Japan. It was only released in Japan, and he sings fine. The problem I have with Jorn is that he's a David Coverdale clone. And it got to the point where at first it was kind of fun, but then it became, I don't know, what's the word, almost embarrassing. Because instead of having the band doing Whitesnake material, we had almost a copy situation. It's impossible for me and Micky Moody to be in a band copying Whitesnake, because we were the originators. And I would try to argue this with people like yourselves who put this point to me, and I couldn't argue, because you had a lead singer who was impersonating David. And I don't think that's talking out of order. And the biggest problem with that after a few weeks - and I mean weeks, it wasn't even months - of working with him, you know, when you've worked with the real thing for years, working with an imitation made it even more difficult. Now, I blame myself for that because I allowed it to begin, if you understand. I don't have that outside problem. I wouldn't lay the blame on Lande. But he then turned the fact that The Snakes, as it was called at that time, that I terminated it. All this stuff about, 'We wanted to go to America'... they could go to America anytime they wanted. You know, these are three Norwegian guys. With Micky and I, it was a case of been there, done that. And there was never any possibility whatsoever of that band touring America. But it's quite easy for him to blame my lack of ambition for doing it. We were commissioned by a Japanese company to make that album. We made that album, released it in Japan, end of story. So it makes kind of good reading and good proof. It's interesting that I can talk to you within a few days and put my side of the story out there. I don't have a problem with the guys as performers or Lande at all as an individual; he's a fine singer. I just have a little problem with him being kind of, David II. I mean, we all know he sang with Yngwie for about five minutes. He was a disaster with Yngwie, and people say, are you surprised? No comment. So it kind of like vindicates things."
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