JOHN McCOY/ BERNIE TORME
From page 15 of Classic Rock Magazine November 2006
Two still-bitter ex-members of Gillan team up with a drummer whose surname luckily doesn’t begin with a ‘P’.
INTERVIEW: GEOFF BARTON
“It’s a good job Neil Peart isn’t the drummer in your band,” Classic Rock remarks to John McCoy, the bass player who supplies the ‘M’ in GMT.
“Ian Paice was very interested,” fibs Bernie Tormé, the guitarist who provides the ‘T’ in the band’s name, “but we got Robin Guy instead. It proved to be a good move.” More like an excellent one. GMT – Robin Guy being responsible for the ‘G’, obviously, as opposed to a mirth-inducing ‘P’ – are a new power trio with a sound that’s as colossal as McCoy’s lumbering real-life presence. And they’re heading your way soon.
How did GMT get together?
Bernie Tormé : Me and John both used to be members of Gillan. We’ve been talking about playing together again for about five years, but it dragged on and on.
John McCoy : Eventually we got around to messing about on some songs. Then last year we got a phone call about doing a charity gig at London’s Ruskin Arms for [ex-Iron Maiden drummer] Clive Burr. It was called Clive Aid, and it was a benefit for MS sufferers; Clive has multiple sclerosis. Because we’ve both known Clive for a long time, it was our pleasure to to do it. How did you come across your drummer, Robin Guy (whose past includes Faith No More, Rachel Stamp, Bruce Dickinson, even Adam Ant)? BT : I’ve got a place called Barnroom Studios in Kent. Robin was doing a session with another band. He said to us: “I hear you’re both doing Clive Aid. Who’s playing drums?” We said: “Dunno.” He said: “I’ll do it.” So almost by accident it fell into place. I think Clive Aid was McCoy’s first time on stage for about 12 years! What happened next?
JMcC : After Clive Aid we played a biker event called The Celtic Warriors Birthday Bash. The crowd loved it. We said: “This is great, we’d better make a record before one of us dies.” BT : This isn’t something that’s come together in a boring, corporate way. Both McCoy and me are fairly laid-back characters, and to get us off our arses is pretty incredible. Robin Guy is key to the spark, he fired us up. He’s got the wallop but he’s got the technique as well. He’s also a real showman.
JMcC : Robin sounds like two drummers. He’s got that Keith Moon, Ginger Baker thing. Both Tormé (Electric Gypsies, Desperado, Ozzy Osbourne) and McCoy (Zzebra, Mammoth, McCoy) enjoyed a successful tenure in Ian Gillan’s band Gillan in the early 80s before it all turned sour, and the band collapsed amid allegations of financial irregularities.
BT : We’ve written a song about our time in Gillan, called Bitter & Twisted . That’s kind of appropriate. It’s a little bit of exorcism. The Gillan experience will never go away. It’s part of our lives.
JMcC : But I don’t want people to read this interview and say: “Bloody
hell, those old fuckers are moaning about Gillan again.”
BT : We’re very excited about GMT and we expect everybody else to be. I like to have people to bounce off; I find it very difficult being a solo artistic genius... because I ain’t. JMcC : Bernie’s never had the accolades he should’ve had. Nobody plays the guitar like Bernie. [McCoy surreptitiously hands Tormé a a £20 note] I’ve always had the ultimate respect for Bernie as a player. It’s about time more people appreciated his talent.
BT : [Stuffing the money into his back pocket] Cheers, John.
• More information at www.gmtrocks.com