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Extreme Is Whole-Hearted About Comeback

Of the Oakland Press

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Nuno Bettencourt promises that Extreme’s reunion is a whole-hearted affair.

The Boston-formed quartet, best known for acoustic-flavored early ’90s hits such as “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted,” split in 1996 but decided to resume last year, after Bettencourt left Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party project. It’s resulted in Extreme’s first album in 13 years — “Saudades de Rock,” which comes out Tuesday — and the band is a full-time going concern again, as far as Bettencourt is concerned.

“We never wanted to do it unless we could come up with a great record,” says

Bettencourt, 41, Extreme’s guitarist, producer and, along with frontman Gary Cherone, its chief songwriter. “We were never very good at doing things for money

or nostalgia. The music always drove us.”

The current version of Extreme also includes original bassist Pat Badger and new drummer Kevin Figueirido, who first worked with Bettencourt on the solo project DramaGods. The guitarist acknowledges that a track record of 10 million worldwide album sales is formidable but contends that Extreme, which now records for its own Open E Records label, isn’t feeling a lot of pressure.

“It’s actually the opposite; I feel no pressure,” Bettencourt says. “It’s not like the days of the (major) label pressuring you, the machine’s rolling, you have to have a gold record or you’re gonna get dropped.

“There’s none of that now. We just want to make a great record and share it with as many people as possible and go out and play and enjoy it for a change, like we did in the early days before people had us working so much. We can do that now. That’s what feels good about it.”

Extreme and King’s X perform Friday (Aug. 8) at the Emerald Theatre, 21 N. Walnut St. in downtown Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call (586) 913-1920 or visit www.emeraldtheatre.com.

Web Site: www.emeraldtheatre.com

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