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Gary Cherone says Extreme’s new album has some of Nuno Bettencourt's best-ever lead work: “His solos blow me away”

[L-R] Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Extreme’s long-awaited sixth studio album is on the way, and as lead singer Gary Cherone explains, the songs featured are “some of the best stuff” he and Nuno Bettencourt have ever written.

In a new interview with Eddie Trunk on the Eddie Trunk Podcast, Cherone speaks highly of Bettencourt’s lead work on the record.

“I think this is some of the best stuff Nuno and I have written,” he explains. “I think he would say the same thing… There’s only one Nuno and he outdid himself on this record. His solos blow me away. I’m proud of a lot of the songs on the record.”

He also touches upon the band’s release strategy for the album – which will follow 2008’s Saudades de Rock – implying we might be in for a single or two in 2022.

“It’s like the news cycle is so quick you [can’t] put out a whole record and not set it up, [and] at least tease fans. I kinda lean towards trickling out a little bit.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cherone remembers rekindling his friendship with Eddie Van Halen in the tail end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.

“I reached out to him and we picked up where we left off,” he recalls. “It was wild, because we went back and forth and we talked. And then when I went out to LA, I finally got to see him, and it was great.”

Gary Cherone served as the lead singer of Van Halen for three years between 1996 and 1999.

Cherone adds that while most of the conversations he had with Eddie at the time were the pair talking as friends, they did touch upon music, including the proposed “kitchen-sink” tour in which the band looked to recruit Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth for a massive reunion run.

“It was around the time [of their] 40th anniversary and they were talking about getting together to do something, I think with Dave [Lee Roth],” he says. During the conversation, Cherone recalls telling the guitar legend: “Hey, if it doesn’t work out, I know a singer for cheap!”

In addition to a new Extreme album, Nuno Bettencourt has been hard at work on numerous other projects, including two new solo albums – for which in January he announced he was holding open auditions to recruit a bass player, drummer and singer.

And last month, Bettencourt’s production company Atlantis Entertainment announced it would be holding a concert in an actual volcano crater in The Azores, with guest appearances from Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Sting, Black Eyed Peas and Pitbull.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).