Chris Akin of “The Classic Metal Show” recently conducted an interview with current former OZZY OSBOURNE/BADLANDS and current RED DRAGON CARTEL guitarist Jake E. Lee. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether the “dirty” and “raw” sound on “Patina” is why there are so many BADLANDS comparisons of late:
Jake: “Yeah, I think so. The guitar is more in your face than it was on the Ozzy records, which was my main complaint about the Ozzy records — how the guitar wasn’t very… well, it wasn’t as upfront as I would have liked it. In fact, I hated ‘Bark At The Moon’, I hated the mix the first time I heard it. To me, it felt like Ozzy wasn’t sure that I was the guy and so he kind of had the guitar a little back further in the mix and he brought the keyboards up a little bit because he wasn’t completely sure that I was capable of taking Randy’s [Rhoads] place.
That’s what it felt like to me anyway when I heard the mix for the first time. I really did hate it for a long time. Now, 30-odd years later, it’s grown on me. [Laughs] And, any other mix now would just sound weird and alien, so I wouldn’t even go back and fix that. Yeah, maybe the guitar sound is more reminiscent of BADLANDS. And just the fact when I was in Ozzy and I was writing songs, I realized and was told that it had to be a very specific kind of a song. You know, it had to be heavy metal and whenever I did kind of push the boundaries a little bit and give a song to Ozzywhere I was expanding a little, and he would tell me straight off, ‘We’re not a jazz band, we’re not a blues band. This isn’t Frank Zappa.’ I don’t know why he would say that, but he said, ‘This is Ozzy Osbourne. I do Ozzy Osbourne songs.’ So, there were strict parameters as far as what I could write.
And, so when we first formed BADLANDS, it was like a whole new world opened up for me and I could kind of do whatever I wanted. So, with BADLANDS, it did open up more and yeah, blues, I’ve always loved blues and so there is a lot more of that based in BADLANDS. With the new RED DRAGON CARTEL album, it’s kind of blues. It’s not as bluesy as BADLANDS, but, yeah, I got to play around with it a little more. There’s one or two songs where I do some jazz riffing. I’m not saying I’m a good jazz guitar player, but, it certainly fun to pretend like I am. [Laughs]”