Rock 'n Roll Roulette
The Virtuosity of
Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt is a Portuguese-American guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer, and businessman. He became known as the lead guitarist of the Boston rock band Extreme. He has also recorded a solo album as well as having founded bands including Mourning Widows, Population 1, DramaGods, and The Satellite Party.
By Kreig Marks, March 2023
KM: Hi Nuno. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine's Rock 'n Roll Roulette. I'll ask you about 15 or so questions and you try to answer them as quickly as you can. Let's get this thing started. Ready for some fun?
NB:. Uh...yeah...I think so. Rock 'n Roll Roulette. Who thought of this? LOL
KM: I did. Thanks for the compliment.
NB: LOL No need to get all feisty.
KM: I'm good. Not feisty at all........LOL, OK, First, congratulations on the new Extreme album that will be released in June. "Extreme 6.". This is the band's first album in 15 years?
NB: Yeah, 15 years. You believe that? Man, time flies.
KM: Are you happy with the outcome?
NB: Yeah, definitely. It's definitely a solid album and takes things back to our roots.
KM: Why such a long time between albums?
NB: Man, I don't know. LOL I've been doing so many projects and Gary (Gary Cherone, lead vocalist and co- song writer of Extreme). We just kinda lost track of time, I guess. We had always planned to do another record, but the timing was never right.
KM: So, what got you inspired now?
NB: Actually, it was when Eddie Van Halen died. He was the guy. There will never be another Eddie Van Halen, but I want his legacy to live on. So, I wanted to put out an album with some real guitar shredding going on, and I think we accomplished that here.
KM: I've heard the songs and they really are kick ass! Congratulations again. When can we expect a big tour by you guys?
NB: Well, right now we've got a few shows scheduled along with the rock cruise thing. We'll look into that pretty soon. Right now, I'm finishing some projects and Gary is too, so we'll get it worked out.
KM: We can't wait! Now, I have to ask you....The Super Bowl halftime show. You were there playing guitar for Rhianna. Dude...
NB: LOL. I know, I know what you're thinking.
KM: Yeah. Look, I respect her efforts. She's made it to where she is and has her fan base. It's not my thing, but hey, I'm only one guy. I know you have some history with her as a guitarist.
NB: Yeah, I've been collaborating with her for several years. She reached out to me many years ago, liked what I was doing, and asked if I'd do some work with her.
KM: What did your friends or colleagues say about that?
NB: There's been some mixed reviews, but she's pretty cool and we did some cool things together.
KM: So, after the Rhianna stuff, does it feel good to be back out there really Rockin' it again?
NB: Yeah, it does. It's not like I haven't been turning it up to 11 recently or the past several years, because I have. Now I get to do it again with my pal Gary.
KM: That's true, man, your sound, I mean, beyond. Give us one of your most memorable stories from your guitar life.
NB: I was this close to becoming the guitarist for Ozzy.
KM: I think I heard about that somewhere. Let's hear it.
NB: When I was a kid, I read somewhere that Ozzy was looking for a guitarist after Randy Rhodes had died. I was about 16, maybe 15, and I recorded some stuff on a cassette and sent it to him. Everyday I'd go to the mailbox to see if I got a response. I mean everyday, I'd be waiting for the mailman and everyday I'd be disappointed. Moving ahead to 1994, we're on tour with Aerosmith and my agent comes over and says that Sharon Osbourne called and wants me to take over the guitar for Ozzy because Zakk has just left the band. They needed someone and they needed someone now. I'm thinking to myself, "I wonder if she finally heard the cassette." LOL So Sharon said that if I wanted the gig there would be a plane waiting for me at Heathrow the next day. And if I left now, there's no audition, I'm just jumping in and going on tour with Ozzy. So anyway, I said "I can't do that, I'm here with my band, we're on tour." So, I turned down Ozzy. And here's the kicker, my band broke up 3 weeks later. LOL. Oh well, live and learn. LOL.
KM: Oh man, if you only had that intuition, you'd be playing with Ozzy, probably all jacked up now like Zakk, too!
NB: LMAO! Can you imagine me, this 140-pound guy all jacked up? LOL. Now that would be something to see! LOL
KM: You'd have to get on the Juice! And a ton of protein!
NB: Yeah, I guess. LOL
KM: Last question for you. Extreme really hit the airwaves in 1989 or 1990 with the song More than Words. That song was a huge hit, a great acoustic song with great vocals. Then, some of the other songs started to hit the airwaves from the album, Pornograffitti, which were some real heavy rockers. There were a lot of people who were shocked that this was the same band who sang that soft ballad. Do you think the band would have had a lot more continued success if "More Than Words" was released after some of the heavy songs on the album, rather than being the first single released?
NB: You know, we went back and forth with that many times before "More Than Words" was released. I don't think it really affected how successful we were as a band. Man, we've had some pretty good success, I think. We're on our 6th album now. Back then, most bands were putting out their "power ballads" and this was ours. Although I don't like that term, power ballad. Anyway, it is a song that just came to me and I brought it to Gary and said, "Hey, listen to this, what do you think?" He loved it. Gary and I put the words to the music in about 30 minutes or so. I can't argue with the success of the song and it really did help launch the career of Extreme.
KM: Nuno, thanks for being a good sport and I want to wish you good luck with the new album and the tour.
NB: Thank you Kreig and Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Kreig Marks, Publisher / Founder TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and promoting musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.