Listen to ‘Hell Is on Fire’ by Whitford/St. Holmes: Exclusive Premiere
Ultimate Classic Rock presents the exclusive premiere of “Hell Is on Fire” by Whitford/St. Holmes, taken from Reunion, the first album of new material by Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and Ted Nugent singer-guitarist Derek St. Holmes in 35 years. The LP will be available on June 3.
"This song was born on my couch," Brad Whitford tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "Chopper [Anderson], Derek [St. Holmes] and I took one little lick of mine and fleshed it out. That's all it takes for Whitford/St. Holmes!"
Things moved at a similarly fast clip as they were in the process of recording Reunion. Whitford says that it came together in "record time" and they finished the album two weeks after they had entered the studio.
"We recorded our basic tracks in the first two days and then it was just a matter of getting our vocals done and a couple of solo guitars. We kept it very minimal," he adds. "The band, on its own, just sounds so good and that’s the approach we like. We’re big fans of straight up rock and roll. You know, Bad Company, is a perfect sort of road map for us, just that real essential ‘keep it about the song’ and keep the production and all of that stuff to a minimum. Just let the band do the thing.”
“It was really fun and very creative,” the Aerosmith guitarist shares. “Every single day, we’d be in there 12 or 14 hours and you just didn’t want it to end. It was so much fun. It’s really quite the opposite of my experiences having to record Aerosmith albums and stuff like that when it can take a year sometimes or maybe even more. That drives me crazy. I think probably some of the best albums ever, when you find out how they were done, like a Police album that was done in a day and Beatles records that are done in a couple of days. I’ve come to find out that most of my favorite albums that I’ve ever liked were done like that. It’s just, get in, record it and that’s it. There’s not a lot of nonsense, you know, just work. We keep it about the music and we just had such a great time doing it.”
Reunion is intentionally, as Derek St. Holmes notes, a very “guitar-heavy” album, something which won’t surprise longtime fans of the two guitarists.
"We’re two guitar guys," he says. "And basically we’re two rhythm guitar players in our bands. We can both burn it down, but it’s not our role. In this thing, we can let our freak flags fly! You know, I’ve been back in Ted's band for the last four years, after a 15-year hiatus. Even on the first couple of tours, I had people come up to me in the bar afterwards, like when you do a casino, you’ll be standing at the bar getting a drink or something. This guy comes up to me and he goes, 'Man, I’m sorry Ted’s voice isn’t feeling good tonight, but you sure sang that stuff just as good as he can.' [Laughs] You know what I said? I said, 'Thank you.' [Laughs] I mean, it just blows my mind. It’s all good -- I get a kick out of it.”
“But yeah, we just have a chance to spread our wings with our own thing, as anyone would,” St. Holmes says. “We try to have a pretty good handle on what we think is crossing the line or being silly or getting goofy. I think we have a pretty good [balance]. I’m a pretty good barometer for him and he’s a pretty good barometer for me. And the respect issue, of playing with somebody that I love and respect and I love his playing, just to be standing up there with him is incredible. I think that we totally listen to each other 24/7 and I think that is the chemistry of it all.”
After a well-received run of shows last year, they’re taking the Whitford/St. Holmes machine back on the road this summer as the supporting act for Whitesnake. They will also play some headlining shows in select markets.
“They’re such a powerhouse and such a powerful sounding band,” Whitford says. “I’ve known David [Coverdale] for years, so we’re really grateful to David and I think we have something to bring. You know, there’s a lot of bands out here that have kind of been doing the same routine and I think that it may be an opportunity for us -- we’re bringing something maybe a little new to the hard rock table. We’ve got some new music and we have some people that everybody knows here in this band. I think we’ll have more opportunities to go out and open for Whitesnake ... [and] we’re talking about going out with some other bands. We’ve also got a date with Lynyrd Skynyrd coming up. It’s nice, because it’s like a brotherhood and so many of us are all old friends. So it will be great to get out and see how it all unfolds and hopefully it will open a lot of doors.”
Reunion is now available for pre-order.
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