Jimmy Gnecco in-depth: on the future of Ours and rumours that he is the new lead singer of Velvet Revolver

January 16, 2012
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You’ve said various times that you may never release another record under the name of “Ours” again. But throughout this interview you’ve been saying, “Maybe for the next Ours album.” Where do you stand on that?

Well, I started to get annoyed with just the idea that now there’s a band called The Hours and I was really feeling defeated by it. I was thinking, “Should I bother? Should I keep making records under my own name?” But Ours is kind of my baby. I could have released The Heart X Edition under the name of Ours just the same. So there’s a little bit confusion on that currently at the time being. I’m not sure. I think I’m probably in the same place I was when I said it. I’m not positive if I will. But when we’re going to do the next band record, I’ll be assembling the people from Ours – mainly Static, April, Race, and myself. We’ll start there and see what comes of it. We’ll see when we finish the album if it feels like something new or if it feels like an Ours record. What will happen without a doubt is that we will be releasing more music like on Mercy. I’m not gonna go and make acoustic records. That was just a one off thing. There may be an acoustic song here and there but it was never my intention to say, “Okay, now I’m this Indie artist.” I never felt the need to grow a beard or wear flannel.

[Laughs]

And nothing personal or anything, I’m not cutting anybody up. It just wasn’t this whole thing like, “Oh yeah, now I’m Indie. It’s time to grow some facial hair.” It was just [pause] –

It was just that you wanted to put a solo album out, right?

Yeah. Mercy was such an amazing process. It was a great time and it yielded a record that we’re all really proud of, but, again, I just didn’t want to go back and do that same thing. So I thought that this might be a good time to put songs out with just my voice and my guitar. I never had this grand plan to launch a big solo career because Ours is my band. I could release an acoustic record and call that Ours just the same. So it wasn’t any specific grand plan saying, “Okay, now I’m going solo. I’m leaving the Jackson Five” or anything like that [laughs]. It wasn’t meant to be like that [laughs].

[Laughs] So songs like “Autumn”, and last time you played Toronto in June you played this song called “Devil” –
Uh-huh!

Where do you see those songs falling? Are they –

They are coming very soon. That’s our next plan. See, that was part of it too. Not everybody was excited about those songs as far as the label. Personally, I think “Devil” is probably one of the best songs I’ve ever written. We have a really great project that we’re about to start working on which will include that.

When you say “project”, that’s not Ours then?

No, it’ll be all of us from the band. I say Ours is my band, and it is, but I have people that have been in it with me for the last bunch of years. It’s a family. I’m team captain, but I value everything that these people say – Static, Race, April, and Locke, if he’s gonna be around, we’re not sure. When we get into that room and start making music, we’ll look at each other and say, “What do you guys want to do?” I did that for Mercy just the same because I wanted to make sure that everybody thought it felt like an Ours album. I have a few other names in mind as well.

I said project because I did a short film [8 for Infinity] with Michael Maxxis and we’ve been looking to release it. I have some video footage of David Carradine that we want to put to the song “Devil”, and that’s going to be our next project. Maybe I used the word incorrectly, but that’s the next thing in front of us that we’re going to work on. So a few of those new songs we played in Toronto will probably be floating around there. But we’re really excited about it. Again, like I said, I just feel like “Devil,” to me, is one of the best songs that I’ve written.

Tell me about “Devil”. Can you talk about it?

Sure, sure. It’s a song I wrote about feeling not like myself. I was feeling anger and aggression, and I was just really beginning to think, “Who the fuck are you? What’s wrong with you? Why are you so angry?” Then I started to realize that sometimes the people that you surround yourself with can bring out the worst of you, so that’s kind of the theme of the song, “Here, take the worst of me and get the fuck out of here” [laughs]. That’s what the song is about [laughs].

[Laughs] Wow. Okay, so let’s set the record straight regarding the rumours revolving around you being Velvet Revolver’s new lead singer. Because last we spoke you said you didn’t want to replace anyone. What’s changed? And are you actually VR’s new lead singer?

[Long pause] I’m not.

Are you auditioning?

No, I played with them at a concert.

At the Road Recovery show, right?

Yeah, like I said, we’ve been talking back and forth, maybe not directly, but I was talking to management just trying to figure something out. I’ve always loved them, Slash and Duff, and the whole crew. I’ve always loved what they do. It’s just that I was in the thick of making Ours records when they were first looking for a singer, so that wasn’t the right time. Then when Scott left we were just releasing Mercy. I felt like if I was just to jump on stage and start to sing those songs to replace Scott, the fans would have rejected it. Because they love Weiland and I really like him as well. I just felt like myself and the band wouldn’t get an honest shot if I was just to jump in and replace him. But I really wanted to get into a room with them, play music, and just see how we all felt, see if they like me, see if I felt comfortable.

The show came up and I was really looking forward to jamming anything with them. It came up that I would sing “Hey Joe” with Slash. So I talked to him and said, “Hey, I’d love to sing these songs”, the one Velvet tune and then the Guns N’ Roses song. So I went up and sang them. I felt like we’d been a band for a lifetime for some reason. I looked around and I felt like – I don’t know what it was. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t uncomfortable, it just felt fucking great. I had a lot of fun doing it, so we spoke. I’m gonna head out in a few weeks and we’re gonna get together and just see again how it feels. [Throughout the month of December, Gnecco was in Los Angeles writing with Slash and Duff McKagan].

So you guys are going to be writing together then?

[Long pause] Yeeeesssss.

[Laughs] You really hesitated with that yes.

Well, I don’t wanna say anything. I don’t know what it’s gonna be and I don’t think they know.  I think the most honest thing to say here is that I had a great time playing with them. I’m definitely open and looking forward to trying to create new music with them that we all feel great about. If we can do it, then that’s great.

Say something comes out of this, because just from reading online, there have been a lot of mixed reactions from your fans about these rumours.

Right.

You’re known for being a musician who will fight and do everything you can to maintain your integrity.

Right.

So what do you think of fans that might view this as, dare I say, a “sellout” move or something like that?

[Laughs] It’s hard to say sellout move because we haven’t done anything yet. It’s not like they offered me 10 million dollars and I’m selling out. If we don’t write great songs, then there’s no selling out anything [laughs]. We can only hope to sell out stadiums [laughs]. It’s not really a sell out move, I like what they do. Slash has always been one of my favourite guitar players. I’ve always loved and respected Duff as well, so I wouldn’t see it as selling out.

What I would say to those people is just hang in there for a little while. I understand why they feel that way. But just hang in there, we’re gonna try to make great music. That’s the whole thing. They might really like it. I can tell you one thing; I’m not just going to join a cover band. You know what I mean? So in that sense if anybody is saying it’s selling out well – I’d say just be patient, and if they don’t wanna be patient then they can come pay my rent if they’re that worried about it. Then I won’t have to go out and write songs with anybody else [laughs].

Because when you google your name [in the news section], it’s attached to a lot of articles regarding Velvet Revolver’s new lead singer –

Really? Interesting.

Yeah, I guess you don’t pay attention to what’s happening online?

[Pause] You know, [pause] … that’s not for me [laughs]. I’ve watched the videos of us playing together because I had a great time and enjoy them. It’s like watching somebody else’s life in a sense. I watch that and I say, “Am I auditioning with Guns N’ Roses essentially? Yeah, I guess I am. That was a lot of fun. It felt like my band.” Any time you’re in a band, it should always feel like your band no matter who you are. If you’re the drummer you say, “Yeah, my band.” If you’re the keyboard player, “It’s my band” so it felt like home to me, so we’ll see what happens [laughs].

Do you hope that that maybe it would bring you more exposure to an audience that’s never heard of Ours before?

That would be nice. We’ll see. It would be nice. I don’t know if they’ll be two completely different audiences. If they are and they like what I do in Ours, then that’s great. If not and they just like what I do with these guys, then that would be great too. I’ll say Velvet Revolver for now but I don’t have any idea what it will become.

But I understand. I understand the protectiveness. That’s a good problem to have if people love your music and they want you to keep making it. They don’t want it to go away. I’m not gonna stop making music that resembles what we’ve done in Ours and where we’re going next with that. I’m not gonna stop that forward movement. And there’s no money on the table or big huge offers, or anything like that. Those guys don’t even have a record deal right now. The funny thing people may not understand is that the biggest sellout of my life came when I signed on to make Distorted Lullabies. I got paid more money than you can imagine. I gave it all away. I was broke two months after I got it all because I felt like, “I don’t want this money. I haven’t made a record yet.”

So I’d just tell them to be patient, maybe we’ll surprise them, maybe we’ll make some great music.

The new Neverending White Lights album was released on Tuesday too [November 8, 2011] –

Yeah, that’s what Daniel [Victor] told me.

For the first time you’re not a guest vocalist but it was only Part 1 released, so any chance you’ll appear on Part 2?

We tried to get a song done in time for Part 1. Daniel had this song that I really liked and I was trying to write some stuff for it. He had the music and I was trying to put together my thoughts to bring him the verses and chorus. Time was just crazy. I was jumping all over the place. I just didn’t have the time to do it. So he said, “Well, I gotta get the record out so let’s try to get it together for Part 2 of it”, so that would be the goal. I would love to do it. I love Daniel and I love being a part of anything I can with him.

I think that’s pretty much it. Anything you want to add?

Just keep an eye out. We’re going to start being as informative and prolific as possible [laughs]. There’s a lot of stuff to record and release and I’m gonna try to do that as quickly and as best as we can, so just keep an eye out. I hope everybody is doing well out there who is paying attention to this. I thank them for just paying attention and caring. I’m happy that we can make music that makes them feel good. That’s always the goal above and beyond everything else, so hopefully we do that.

© Laura Antonelli, Music Vice

Tour dates:
10 February 2012 
CULTUREfix –  New York, New York
15 February 2012 Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
17 February 2012 
Northstar Bar – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Internet links:
Jimmygnecco.com

Ours.net

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Laura Antonelli

Writer, Music Vice Magazine. She drinks root beer in a wine glass and laughs a lot.

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One Response to Jimmy Gnecco in-depth: on the future of Ours and rumours that he is the new lead singer of Velvet Revolver

  1. james on September 6, 2013 at 1:50 am

    God bless Jimmy…J.

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