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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Y & T: New Bassist Brad Lange Replaces The Late Phil Kennemore; Dave Meniketti Interview
California rock veterans Y&T have officially announced the addition of bassist Brad Lang to the group's rank. Those who have witnessed Brad's infectious energy on stages around the world during last year's "Facemelter" tour — as he so graciously subbed for late Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore — know how much he brings to the band.
Commented Y&T guitarist/vocalist Dave Meniketti: "I have been thinking a lot in the last eight months as to how I would feel about Y&T and what might happen to this band when Phil were to pass. I've had so many feelings and scenarios that have gone on in my head, tearing at me in many different ways, but I always seemed to come back to the same conclusion. However, before I was prepared to make any hard and fast decisions I also wanted to know how Phil felt about this as well. So we talked about this exact thing, alone, during his last months of life on this planet. I suspected what he would have said, but I wanted to hear it from his lips and feel it from his heart.
"Put simply, Phil expressed to me with no uncertainty that he wished Y&Tto go on, no matter what happened to him. I understood, because we are lifetime Y&T people and lifelong musicians. This is what we know and where we have received much of our joy throughout our lives.
"There is so much of us invested in Y&T, and I don't mean monetarily, but emotionally and spiritually.
"This band has always had a special life force that is hard to describe, but has had a hold on us for almost four decades. This relationship we have had with ourselves, the band members, and the fans is what everyone always hopes for in their lives — a job to be proud of and look forward to.
"Now, having said that, I also questioned any decision to continue, regardless of all of the above, simply because I know how I had felt about other bands that have continued to play with only one remaining original member and wondered if I wasn't going to be a hypocrite by holding this band to a different criteria. Well, maybe I am, but the bottom line, as many of us have come to as a life lesson, is that many times you can't truly understand a situation until you actually experience it first-hand.
"So . . . with current experiences in hand, I have made my decision to continue with Y&T. As quickly as I say this, I am also a realist, and if the fans seem to lose interest in the band, so be it, I will move on and do something else. However, if we continue to go along how it has been without Phil so far, then I feel privileged to continue to bring the music to the people, along with John, Mike and Brad.
"I know that some have already said and will continue to say 'The band isn't the same any longer,' etc, etc. I don't need to elaborate, you all know what folks will say and have said, in front of us and in private. I understand it because I've heard it all before — in fact on and off for the last 25 years, since we let Leonard, Joey, and others go throughout our long career. Though it's been a dagger thrown at us for many years, we learned to deal with it.
"I've always known that no one else can answer for what I do with my life but myself. Certainly no anonymous person on the net is going to influence how I go about my decisions, which is as it should be. Negative opinions cast from persons that are not directly or deeply invested in another's life can't actually offer anything more than an opinion from a position of little actual understanding. As such, I take these with little credence. We are all responsible for our decisions, and if we do what feels right and make decisions done with the best of intentions, then I believe we can go forward with little reservations and in good conscience, and let the rest go by the wayside.
"The bottom line in all of this is that if the band weren't up to the task of presenting a valid and compelling show every night, then I wouldn't be inspired to go forward, no matter the other reasons. But the plain fact is that this band in its current form is as good a band as Y&T has ever been. Sure, different in ways from previous iterations of the band, but equally as good, if not better with what experience brings to seasoned performers. We mean business and our passions are still on that stage with every performance.
"So come on out to the shows and let's share in some great moments together. Now, more than ever, we all need to have some happy and positive experiences in our lives and music is one of those things that has the ability to deliver that in spades, especially at a live performance.
"There's nothing that says it better than as Phil so eloquently coined on our new CD — on with the show!"
Y&T's first studio album in 13 years, "Facemelter", was released in Europe on May 21, 2010 via Frontiers Records.