If you ever decide to pick things up where you left off, it would have to include a new album and full tour?
For me, absolutely.
I remember you lived with Eddie’s family, and Eddie really had your back. But you took a beating from critics and even a lot of fans. Did you perceive that?
Every waking hour! I wish I’d toured with the band first, just doing their greatest hits, and then gone into the studio and rolled with them. Then I think I probably would have been accepted. But I do think it made me a better singer. And it made me a better performer, because it wasn’t like Extreme, where you were preaching to the converted. With Van Halen, every town we went to it was “Gary Cherone: Mr. More Than Words.” And for me was like, “Okay, all these radio jokes . . . after the show you’ll all be apologizing.” So I used it as a motivator. Extreme’s been hit with the “More Than Words Band” for years, and that’s what used to drive us a lot of the times. So I look back, and maybe it was foolish to have that as a motivator but, you know, whatever it takes.
Is there a sense of relief to be getting on stage and singing for people who love you and know every word?
Yeah. Even during the periods of Van Halen, there was always a part of me that felt that Extreme is my kind of band. These are the guys I did it first with. They’ll always be my first love, so, yeah, there is a relief doing it.
This time it’s all four original members. Paul’s coming out of retirement from his role as the Puff Daddy of hard-rock managers. Or is he managing the Extreme reunion now too?
GC: Well he is not getting paid for managing, but he is certainly doing the work. It’s a labor of love.
And Nuno’s been working with Perry Farrell in LA?
GC: Oh yeah, he lives in LA. Paul lives in LA too. Pat is on the East Coast. So it should be fun. It’s bitter and sweet, because it’s only three shows, but it’ll be fun. For me — I’d live on the road. I love it. But, you know, this is a one-off and I don’t want to get my hopes up because people are busy with other things and everyone has their own life.
EXTREME | June 30 | Bank of America Pavilion, Northern Ave, Boston | 617.228.6000