NUNO BETTENCOURT Says EXTREME Had Three Albums’ Worth Of Material To Choose From For ‘Six’ LP
Nuno Bettencourt, guitarist for EXTREME, spoke with American Musical Supply about the making of the band’s new album, “Six,” which was released on June 9 via earMUSIC. “Six” debuted at No.
10 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart, selling 12,500 copies in its first week. The album was the band’s first studio release since 2008. The band’s last Top 10 hit was “III Sides To Every Story,” which debuted and peaked at No. 10 in October 1992.
“The recording [of ‘Six,’ a lot of people are saying like, ‘Man, [it took] 15 years,’ obviously, minus a few of the handmaid’s tale years, pandemic years,” Nuno remarked (as reported by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
However, the album itself most likely took the same amount of time to record as an album. It did not take 15 years to complete the album. It’s just that we probably have enough material for three albums. The guys kept coming out to L.A., and we’d perform a batch of songs, then write another batch of songs or record another batch of songs.
Nuno Bettencourt But I think we always had a kind of simple bar that we set — it’s just that you really have to be super proud and super excited to share your music with anyone, even if it’s your brother or a family member or Tom Morello that you happen to know.
When you have that ‘Would you play these songs in front of your peers?’ feeling, you know you’ve got something and you’re ready to go. So we really didn’t have that sense, I think, until around, I don’t know, 2017 or ’18, when we started composing, working on a crop of songs like ‘Rise.'”
Nuno Bettencourt claims that he and his EXTREME bandmates “probably had about 30, 40, 50 tracks” to chose from for “Six.” “But the way,
I think, we’ve always worked is that we all have our favorites and we all have — we could have a favorite bass part or a solo or anything else, but I think the way we always end up choosing what ends up on the album is not what’s going on the album,” he revealed. “If there are three or four songs fighting for one position — and it’s usually by feel — if there’s a heavier track, there’s usually another two, three, four heavier tracks fighting for that slot.”
But I think the way we wind up selecting the real curation of the album is not what we want on there, but what we can’t take off, if that makes sense.Because a lot of the stuff we like and think, ‘Ah, it’d be nice to have this track or that track,’ but I think it’s the ones where we’re like, ‘
Okay, that really — the album itself kind of really needs that.’ So I believe it’s an album-oriented band in the sense that we don’t sit down and compose singles thinking, ‘Well, we need those three songs and we need four singles.’ We simply ask, ‘What’s the opener?'”
Nuno Bettencourt told Tiago Ribeiro two months ago that he was pleased with how “Six” turned out. “I’d put our album up against anyone’s album; I’m that confident,” Nuno Bettencourt stated. “And I think the album itself — forget about me or EXTREME — if I heard it and it wasn’t us, I’d think the same way I think about it now.” I believe it belongs there.
It’s a well-crafted record, in my opinion. I believe the songs are present. I believe it is the musicianship, chemistry, and guitar playing. But, more importantly, I believe that what is truly present and what people are identifying with is the mythology of rock and roll. That, I believe, is what is sorely lacking in guitar-driven music.
“I think it was almost like seeing something that… when people saw a guitar player in a band with songs and arrangements and videos and everything.” People are saying it’s so new, but for us, it’s like going back in time,”
he remarked. “This is more of a reminder than anything else that you can still be passionate, have fire in your belly, and do all of those things.” And the people are telling us that they’re hungry – hungry for rock and roll like this, I believe.”
EXTREME‘s headlining “Thicker Than Blood” world tour stretches until December 16 and sees the band appear across the U.S., Australia, Japan and Europe, including special guests LIVING COLOUR (U.S., Australia and U.K. only) and THE LAST INTERNATIONALE (Europe only).