Gary Cherone Explains The One Lesson Queen Taught Extreme

Gary Cherone, the frontman of the band Extreme, recently opened up to Chuck Shute on his YouTube channel about the influence of Queen in their songs while speaking about their new record. Cherone candidly revealed one of the most significant lessons Queen taught them and said it has since played a pivotal role in shaping their music.

Extreme released their breakthrough album, ‘Extreme II: Pornograffitti,’ in 1990. Just two years later, they followed it up with ‘III Sides to Every Story,’ showcasing a different sound. Chuck Shute couldn’t help but wonder if the Queen influence in that album came from the band’s participation in the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, where they had the opportunity to meet and interact with Queen members.

However, Gary Cherone clarified that Queen’s influence had been present even before their memorable performance at the tribute concert. The legendary band had unintentionally taught Extreme the value of eclecticism, and it wasn’t just about meeting them. This lesson has been an integral part of Extreme’s music-making process ever since.

Chuck Shute asked:

“You guys did the Freddie Mercury show. I think it was in the middle of recording that album. After you did that show, Brian May, he has named Nuno as one of the best guitarists. You guys got critical acclaim for that show. Did that inspire you to change some things in recording ‘III Sides’ and go ‘Hey, maybe we can branch out.’ Because I do feel like there’s some Queen influences in that album.”

Gary Cherone replied:

“That all came before that. The Freddie Mercury show didn’t influence that record. Because of the success of ‘Pornograffiti,’ now we had the label and we had the money to do what we wanted to do. And to this day, I think ‘III Sides’ is better than to do ‘Porno.’ Comparing apples and oranges but we thought it was a better record production-wise and song-wise. Maybe the record company were looking for ‘More Than Words’ Part 2, we never intended to repeat ourselves.

Sure, our Queen influences were always there, but if [there’s] anything that Queen taught us was that we were not going to be pigeonholed, we were going to do a song like ‘When I First Kissed You’ or ‘Seven Sundays’ off of ‘III Sides.’ What we learned from Queen is that eclecticism works.”

It’s evident that Queen’s influence on Extreme went far beyond their meeting at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. The lesson of embracing eclecticism has become an essential part of the band’s musical DNA, allowing them to evolve and create unique sounds that have captured the hearts of rock fans everywhere. For those who are wondering about the new album, Extreme’s 2023 creation ‘Six’ will be released in June this year.