More than a ballad

More than a ballad
US rock band, Extreme, comprises, bassist Pat Badger, drummer Kevin Figueiredo, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and frontman Gary Cherone.

There is no shame in a funk metal act having a tender, acoustic 90s love ballad as their career-defining hit.

In fact, in a phone interview with M from his home in Massachusetts, US, Gary Cherone, the raspy-voiced frontman of veteran rockers Extreme, called More Than Words "one of the main reasons why we are still able to play 25 years later".

"More Than Words definitely separated us from other contemporary rock bands out there," explained Cherone, 52.

"Its immense success gave us the freedom to be indulgent.

"In our follow-up album, III Sides To Every Story (1992), we had the chance to record with an orchestra at London's famed Abbey Road Studios. That wouldn't have happened, if not for (More Than Words)."

More Than Words, included in the Boston-based quartet's second album, Extreme II: Pornograffitti (1990), is their only song to have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

The well-loved tune, featuring cheesy lyrics such as "What would you do if my heart was torn in two/ More than words to show you feel/ That your love for me is real", was and still is a huge favourite with newlyweds, acknowledged Cherone with a laugh.

"I myself have sung More Than Words at several of my friends' weddings," he said.

"Also, more than often, I get people coming up to tell me that they've picked up the guitar because of this song, that they played it specially for their girlfriends."

Extreme - whose other members are guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, 47, bassist Pat Badger, 46, and drummer Kevin Figueiredo, in his late 40s - will be in town next week for a one-night concert as part of their ongoing 25th year celebratory world tour.

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