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Submitted By Caroline Walsh on 09/06/08

This is James and Cassie and we're pleased and honored to have Mr. Barry Sparks, with us. How are you doing today?

Good, I am on the road with Ted Nugent, busy as all hell.

We guess we'll pull a Sludge and start out by asking you to talk about your current projects. What's new from the 4 strings of Mr. Barry Sparks?

Right now I am mainly consumed by this years Ted Nugent Tour, we have been all over Europe and now all summer we will tour the USA.

You are on tour this summer with Ted Nugent. How do you get along with Uncle Ted?

I love Ted and get along great with him. he is an awesome friend to have.

Did you catch any of the "Super Group" show on VH-1? If so, do you think that's fairly accurate as to who Ted Nugent is? The gun wielding, axe slinging, conservative rocker with no fear?

I have only been able to see the first episode. I thought it was great! Ted is always Ted. ya gotta love him.

"Wild" Mick Brown is touring with you guys as well, if We're not mistaken. You've got half of Dokken up there with Uncle Ted! How did that come about?

Well of course I had something to do with that! we play very well together and its great to have him in the band. it also really helps being on tour all the time, when Dokken gets back together we are on fire.

We are big Dokken fans. So, if it's okay with you, allow us to ask some questions about the much talked about projects coming up for Dokken. First, Don keeps talking about 4 new projects for the band. Can you shed some light on what we can expect?

I cant really comment too much on that as I am swamped out here, but i will say Don has been very busy.

Your first album with Dokken was Long Way Home. The overall tone of that album got a lot of flack from classic Dokken fans but there were some really cool songs on that disc, namely Sunless Days. How do you respond to some fans who call that album "uninspired?"

Well, I think it has some killer songs on it, that album seems to get better with age. a lot of those same people who slagged it, love it now. its all a matter of taste.

Hell to Pay was a little more accepted by the Dokken faithful. How much, if any, creative input did you have on that record?

I was in japan touring with the band B'Z when most of the writing was done, but i did write "Dont bring me down" I would have liked to have contributed more but tokyo is a hell of a long way from home!

Hell to Pay hit the street in 2004 but you were pretty busy that year as you appeared on the exceptionally good Scorpions record as well titled Unbreakable. How did you enjoy teaming up with Klaus Meine and the boys?

That was a dream come true of course. I am very proud of that stuff and love the Scorpions.

Also in 2004, you released your first solo album titled Can't Look Back. We were impressed with this album, we must say. It wasn't overly heavy, though. Did you get any flack for having an album, great though it is, that sounds a bit more like Tom Petty than say Dokken or the Scorpions? Tell us a little about that record and what it means to you as a musician?

Why does everything have to be heavy? I just write what I write, but to be honest I think I went out of my way to make it non heavy metal. I love the album and really enjoy playing that kind of music live. its a blast playing lead guitar and singing lead vocals, its also a big challenge. I can assure you my next cd will not be a heavy metal thing either, I just dont really write that way. I am way too much into the Beatles.

You've had occasion to work and tour with a number of, now legendary, acts. When you were a kid, what band or musician did you hear that made you say, "I want to do this for a living!"

Most of the bands I have played for...Ted Nugent, Scorpions, UFO all were huge influences to me. I feel very lucky to do what I do. playing music for a living is pretty damn cool.

One of our complaints about rock bands in the current state is that few of the new bands seem to be having fun and nobody seems to have much by way of a personality. Do you think the "Rock Star" is an endangered species?

I think its getting a bit better. I do agree with you and to be honest, I dont even listen to many new bands. there are lots of good bands around, I just always seem to go back to the greats... The Who, Beatles , Led Zep. nothing is better than the real thing.

What do you think of the smart ass sites out there who seem to be more interested in picking on talented musicians like yourself rather than to help promote you guys?

Any press is good press! it doesn't really bother me, I just do what I do and try to play as well as I can every night, that's the most important thing to me. I am still rocking after all of these years, I must be doing something right.

As a musician, does it ever get under your skin when you turn on a rock radio station and hear a song that isn't as good as something you've recorded yet gets a lot more air play?

No, pop radio is based on so many other circumstances, its not about how good a song is.

We're interviewing some up and coming rockers like a new band called Big Cock (they're putting the hard back in hard rock, you know). Any words of advice for any aspiring musicians trying to get into the business?

You have to love it, do it for the music and never give up. if you have something to fall back on, you will fall back on it!

If you were to put one song you performed on in a time capsule to be preserved for people to hear 1,000 years from now, what song would you pick to sum up your contribution to rock 'n' roll?

That's a tough question...I am really proud of "Love em or leave em" with Scorpions.

By the same token, what song, if any, do you wish you hadn't performed and wish you could erase from your catalog?

I cant think of any? its all part of the experience, Its all good. no big thang.

What's next for Barry Sparks the man and Barry Sparks the musician?

Tour with Ted Nugent all summer then Dokken and my own band will try to keep as busy as we can. As long as I am playing music I am on the right track.

What is the biggest misconception of Barry Sparks?

Dont think there is a misconception? I am pretty easy going, look at my bio, hahahaha

Word Associations:

If you have a one word answer that sums the person up, that will do. If you'd like to share a thought or memory, we welcome that as well!

Ace Frehley:

Col as hell. best make up in Kiss!

"Wild" Mick Brown:

Funny, loud and one of my best friends.

Jon Levin:

Awesome guy, great friend and one of my fave guitarists.

Jeff Pilson:

Dont know him that well, he was always nice to me.

Ted Nugent:

Kick ass guitarist, kickass guy and he is a real life superhero, I love Ted.

Yngwie Malmsteen:

King of shred guitar. My first big break. many many great memories......

Michael Schenker:

One of my fave players. very melodic.

Don Dokken:

Great singer, great friend and band mate. see ya soon Don.

We'd like to thank Mr. Barry Sparks for spending this time with us at the Metal Epicenter. Do you have any closing words you'd like to share with your fans, site links, or anything like that?

Visit my site and thanks for the support! all the best.

Once again, thank you for doing this.


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