On June 29, former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke will release "The Gospel Truth", the second single lifted from his forthcoming album of the same title, and is about the concept of truth today.
The truth is whatever someone says out loud, no one is accountable and it’s puzzling. Reflecting on an upbringing within the Catholic church, Clarke touches upon the idea that honesty shouldn't come from fear, and encourages the listener to be brave, say what you mean, and mean what you say.
This past April, Clarke released the official music video for his previous single, "Rock N Roll Is Getting Louder". The Christopher C. Pearson-directed clip was shot in Palmdale, California and downtown Los Angeles, while the band performance footage was filmed in Hollywood club Oh My Ribs!
Gilby's live band members bass player EJ Curse (SILENT RAGE, WHITE LION) and drummer Jimmy D'Anda (BULLETBOYS, GEORGE LYNCH) both appear in the video, along with some great cameos by Slim Jim Phantom (STRAY CATS), Taime Downe (FASTER PUSSYCAT), Jimmy Herald (HILLBILLY HERALD) and Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis (GUNS N' ROSES, CAROLE KING, CHUCK BERRY, BO DIDDLEY, ALICE COOPER).
Gilby stated about the track: "The song is about having a rebellious spirit. Rock and roll means many things: rebelling, freedom and being who you are on your own terms — not following whatever's now in vogue. Therefore, 'Rock N Roll Is Getting Louder' means 'I am what I am, I won't change that, and I stand up for things that are important to me, even if it's not popular.'"
"The Gospel Truth" will be released later this year via Golden Robot Records. The disc was produced and written by Gilby at his Los Angeles recording studio, Redrum Recording, where he's also helmed records for such artists as L.A. GUNS, THE BRONX, BEAT ANGELS, BULLETS AND OCTANE and many more. The album was mixed by Grammy Award winner Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Maor Appelbaum. Joining Gilby on the LP are Muddy Stardust on bass, Kenny Aronoff (JOHN MELLENCAMP, JOHN FOGERTY, CHICKENFOOT) on drums, along with Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY, MR. BIG) and Chad Stewart (FASTER PUSSYCAT, L.A. GUNS) on backing vocals.
When asked how his new music may be different to his previous material, Gilby said: "I don't think it's very different at all. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. I have found the music that I like as an artist and a musician. It's important that I get better at it and try new things, but I like rock and roll, and loud guitars are good for the soul."
Clarke also discussed his songwriting process, saying: "I always start with a good guitar riff, then add the devil's drumbeat. It's good when you can put some interesting lyrics to it, too. I always try to find a new way of saying something simple. I don't like to complicate my lyrics, but I never duplicate them either."
At last year's NAMM show in in Anaheim, California, Clarke stated about the long delay in getting his new solo album completed: "For me, I can't do a record unless I feel good about the songs. I wanna make a record that I wanna listen to. So, these songs I'm really excited about. They're new songs. It really is classic rock. There's really nothing new on it — it's just a new version of what I like to do, which is loud guitars, man. So, I went in there. I used guys like Kenny Aronoff on drums, Steve Perkins — some really great players. I played all the guitars and did all the singing on it. But I think it's good — I think it's a good fresh approach on classic rock, really."
Clarke replaced founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin in the GUNS lineup in 1991, during the "Use Your Illusion" tour, and stayed with the band for three years. After exiting GUNS N' ROSES, Clarke continued as a producer and solo artist, while also playing in SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA, HEART and other acts.
Clarke released his solo debut, "Pawnshop Guitars", in 1994.
Photo credit: Neil Zlozower