Extreme (band)

Last updated
Extreme en 2017.jpg
"Garage Sound Fest", 2017
Background information
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Years active1985–1996, 2007–present (reunions: 2004–2006)
Labels A&M
Associated acts
Website www.extreme-band.com
Past members

Extreme is an American rock band, currently headed by frontman Gary Cherone and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. The band reached the height of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s with original line-up Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Paul Geary and Patrick Badger.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Gary Cherone singer-songwriter

Gary Francis Caine Cherone is an American rock singer and songwriter. Cherone is known for his work as the lead vocalist of the Boston rock group Extreme and for his short stint as the lead vocalist for Van Halen. He has also released solo recordings. In 2007, he reunited with Extreme.

Nuno Bettencourt musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist

Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt is a Portuguese-American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and record producer. He became known as the lead guitarist of the Boston rock band Extreme. He has also recorded a solo album as well as having founded bands including Mourning Widows, Population 1, DramaGods, The Satellite Party. In 2007 he also reunited with Extreme to record new music and tour.


Among some of Extreme's musical influences are Van Halen, Queen, Eagles, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. The band played at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Geary left the group in 1994 to form an artist management company, and Cherone joined Van Halen in 1996. [8] The band has described their music as "funky metal" in the early days, but it would evolve much more in the mid-1990s by blending classic rock influences with post-grunge and alternative rock.

Van Halen American heavy metal band

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with "restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene", Van Halen is known for its energetic live shows and for the work of its acclaimed lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Queen (band) British rock band

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

Eagles (band) American country rock band

The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. With five number-one singles, six number-one albums, six Grammy Awards, and five American Music Awards, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. Their albums Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California rank first and third, respectively, among the best-selling albums in the United States, with 38 million and 26 million album units in sales. The Eagles are one of the world's best-selling bands, having sold more than 200 million records, including 100 million albums sold in U.S alone. They were ranked number 75 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

They have released five studio albums, two EPs (in Japan) and two compilation albums since their formation. The band was one of the most successful rock acts of the early 1990s, selling over 10 million albums worldwide. [9] Extreme achieved their greatest success with their 1990 album Pornograffitti , which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200, and was certified gold in May 1991 and double platinum in October 1992. [10] That album featured the acoustic ballad single "More Than Words", which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

<i>Pornograffitti</i> 1990 studio album by Extreme

Extreme II: Pornograffitti is the second album released by the Boston rock band Extreme on August 7, 1990. The title is a portmanteau of pornography and graffiti.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Band biography

1985–1989: formation and debut album

Extreme was formed in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1985. [8] Vocalist Gary Cherone and drummer Paul Geary were in a band called "The Dream" ("Extreme" was the evolution of Cherone and Geary's former band "The Dream", meaning "Ex-Dream"). Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt was in a band called "Sinful", and bassist Pat Badger was playing with a Berklee-based act called "In The Pink". Bettencourt joined the group in 1985, followed by Badger in 1986.

Malden, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Malden is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the time of the 2010 United States Census, the population was at 59,450 people. In 2009, Malden was named the "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in Massachusetts by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Paul Geary is an American rock and roll drummer and Artist Manager. He is a co-founder and drummer of the Rock band Extreme. He left the group in 1994 to pursue a career in artist management. He was succeeded by former Annihilator drummer Michael Mangini, who is currently the drummer for Dream Theater.

Pat Badger American musician

Patrick John “Pat” Badger is a musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the bassist in the band Extreme. He is also a former member of Daemon, In The Pink, Super Trans Atlantic, and Tribe of Judah.

Cherone and Bettencourt began writing songs together and the band performed continuously in the New England area. Extreme grew a large regional following, and were named "Outstanding Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Act" at the Boston Music Awards in 1986 and 1987.

Boston Music Awards

Founded in 1987, the Boston Music Awards are a set of music awards given annually that showcase talent in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

The band had accumulated several original songs by the time A&R director Bryan Huttenhower signed them to A&M Records in 1987 (which was soon sold to PolyGram) in 1988. The band recorded their self-titled debut album which was issued in March 1989. The first single was "Kid Ego", a song that Cherone would later admit made him cringe. The final track on the album, "Play With Me", was used as the "mall chase" song in the film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure .

A&M Records

A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Gin Blossoms, Dishwalla, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.

PolyGram was a Dutch entertainment company and major music record label. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch Philips and German Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disk gramophone, Emil Berliner.

<i>Extreme</i> (album) 1989 studio album by Extreme

Extreme is the first studio album of Boston funk-metal band Extreme, released on March 14, 1989. Being released on a major label, the album sold modestly well at around 300,000 units. It produced four singles: "Little Girls", "Kid Ego", "Mutha " and the radio-only "Play with Me". It was not until their next album, Pornograffitti, that the band become well known.

1990–1993: Extreme II: Pornograffitti , and III Sides to Every Story and mainstream success

Sales of Extreme's first record were sufficient to support a second release. Michael Wagener, who had previously worked with Dokken and White Lion, was hired to produce the band's Extreme II: Pornograffitti album in 1990.

The record, which showcased Cherone's thoughtful lyrics, and Bettencourt's undeniably strong guitar-playing, was a mixture of funk, pop and glam metal sounds. "Decadence Dance" and "Get the Funk Out" were released as singles. "Get the Funk Out" reached No. 19 in the UK charts in June 1991. Neither single was initially successful in the United States, however, and the album had fallen off the charts when A&M sent the third single to a number of US radio stations.[ citation needed ]

The acoustic ballad "More Than Words" entered the Hot 100 on March 23, 1991, at No. 81. It later became a huge smash, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The subsequent single, "Hole Hearted", another acoustic track, was also successful, rising to No. 4 on the same popular music chart.

The band began recording their third album in 1992. Their appearance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in April 1992 interrupted the recording sessions, but it gave the band considerable exposure beyond the heavy metal fraternity. By playing a medley at the tribute, as well as "Love of My Life" and "More Than Words" acoustically, Extreme gained a considerable number of fans along with the Queen fan base. At the introductory speech before they played, Brian May noted that they were "possibly more than any other group on this planet, the people that understand exactly what Queen have been about all these years, and what Freddie was about all these years".

III Sides to Every Story was released on September 22, 1992. The first single from the album, "Rest in Peace", had an accompanying video clip inspired by a film short by the National Film Board of Canada called Neighbours .[ citation needed ]

1994–1996: line-up change and Waiting for the Punchline

Prior to the band's appearance at Donington's Monsters of Rock festival in the summer of 1994, Geary left the band to pursue a career in artist management. Mike Mangini succeeded Paul Geary on drums.

Waiting for the Punchline , the first record to feature Mangini on 3 tracks, (Paul Geary played on the rest of the album before departing), was released on February 7, 1995. The singles "Hip Today", "Unconditionally", and "Cynical" were released, but the album was not a commercial sales success. Extreme disbanded after the tour in 1996, on amicable terms, when Bettencourt decided to leave to pursue a solo career.

1997–2003: first hiatus and Van Halen

On the recommendation of former Extreme manager Ray Danniels, in 1996, Gary Cherone joined one of the world's most successful rock acts, Van Halen. During 1996, Van Halen's fan-base weathered the acrimonious departures of two of rock's most successful lead singers: first David Lee Roth, the band's original frontman, (1974-1985) and then Sammy Hagar, who had fronted Van Halen since 1985. Into this fractious, and very public situation entered Cherone, whom guitarist Eddie Van Halen later called a "musical soulmate". [11] In 1998, the Cherone-fronted Van Halen released Van Halen III .

Van Halen III was a departure for the band—experimental, sometimes acoustic, and socially conscious, lyrically. It bore little resemblance to the band's earlier, riff-driven classic rock.

Van Halen III reached No. 4 on Billboard's top 200 album charts, and sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone; however, by Van Halen's standards, it was a failure. All 12 of their previous albums had all sold over 2,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone, with two selling over 10,000,000 in the U.S. alone—and the previous five studio albums had all reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts. Van Halen's tour was successful; however, not as successful as in previous years.

In late 1999, after Van Halen's second album with Cherone was 'sent back' by Warner Bros. Records, Cherone left the band. He later formed Tribe of Judah, which released an album called Exit Elvis in 2002. In 2005, Cherone released a four song sampler CD, entitled Need I Say More.

In 1997, Nuno Bettencourt released his first solo album titled Schizophonic . In 1998 he formed a group called Mourning Widows who released a self-titled album that year and a follow-up album, Furnished Souls for Rent, in 2000. Following the breakup of that band, he released another solo album under the project name of Population 1 in 2002. Acquiring new members for the tour, he decided to keep the name Population 1 and the first release as a band was a five-song EP entitled Sessions from Room 4 in 2004. They then changed the band's name to DramaGods and created a follow-up CD entitled Love in 2005. Nuno, along with bandmates Kevin Figueiredo and Steve Ferlazzo, then went on to collaborate with Perry Farrell's project Satellite Party.

A 13-track Extreme "best-of" collection, The Best of Extreme: An Accidental Collocation of Atoms? , was released in 1998. A re-packaged collection with a different track listing titled Extreme – The Collection was released in 2002.

2004–2010: reformation and Saudades de Rock

Bassist Pat Badger and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt performing live in 2008. Bettencourt is one of the two constant members of Extreme. Extreme - Live Madrid 31 10 2008.jpg
Bassist Pat Badger and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt performing live in 2008. Bettencourt is one of the two constant members of Extreme.

Extreme reformed for a short tour in 2004 playing in the Azores (August), in their hometown of Boston at the WAAF anniversary (September 19) as well as a few concerts in Japan (January 2005). After a hiatus during 2005, the band returned in 2006 with the "classic" Pornograffitti line-up to do a small, three-show reunion tour through New England.

In July 2007 Bettencourt quit Satellite Party for the definite Extreme reunion with Cherone and Pat Badger. On November 26, 2007, the band announced plans for a world tour in the summer of 2008 with King's X as well as a release date for their new album, Saudades de Rock , produced by Bettencourt. Kevin Figueiredo, who played with Bettencourt in DramaGods and Satellite Party, took over drum duties for the band. Original drummer Paul Geary would still remain involved with the band, albeit in a management position. Singles from the album have been available on MySpace including "Star". The album was released on July 28, 2008 in France, August 4, 2008 in Europe, and August 12, 2008 in the United States.

The band then embarked on the Take Us Alive World Tour, supported by King's X in the US and Hot Leg in the UK, with various other dates in Europe and Asia, through all of 2008. In 2009, the band continued to tour, co-headlining the East Meets West Tour with Ratt. The final date of this tour, in their hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, was recorded for the release of the band's first live DVD called Take Us Alive .

2010–2015: second hiatus, Hurtsmile and other projects

According to a December 2010 interview with Cherone, Extreme had been writing new material for a new album, which they planned - at the time - to release in 2011. Asked in the same interview if the band will produce the new album by themselves or get an outside producer, Cherone replied, "There's talk of a few people. It would be great to get an A-list name. I don't know if that happens. My dream producer would probably be Rick Rubin. Here's a guy that's done Johnny Cash, the Chili Peppers and you know, Neil Diamond." [12] But due to conflicting schedules with Bettencourt supporting Rihanna on her tour during 2011, plans to go into the studio were postponed to 2012.

Also in 2010 rumors started about possible commemorative shows for Extreme II: Pornograffitti, given the 20th anniversary of the record. Finally, in 2012, initially a small string of such shows in Japan has been confirmed, marking the full return of the band's activities after a hiatus when Bettencourt was on tour with Rihanna, as well as other side projects by other members, most notably Cherone's Hurtsmile. Extreme were to tour Australia in April 2013, with Richie Kotzen as support act, but the shows were cancelled due to scheduling conflicts with Rihanna's 2013 North American tour. They then did their very first show in Singapore.

2015–present: new album

In a May 2015 interview with Eddie Trunk, vocalist Gary Cherone said that Extreme had been writing and demoing new material for their follow-up to Saudades de Rock, and would enter the studio in the fall to begin recording. [13]

In a September 2016 interview, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt revealed that Extreme had been working on approximately 17 songs for their new album, and added, "We're about 17 songs into it. We're just wrapping them up. We've got to do vocals, some guitar. Slowly but surely." He also stated that the album was expected to be released in early 2017. [14]

In 2016, the band released Pornograffitti Live 25: Metal Meltdown, an audio/video presentation of its 2015 concert at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Casino.

During the 2017 KISS Kruise, the band invited original drummer Paul Geary to join them on stage to play Hole Hearted.

Recordings for the new album are being finished and the new album is now being slated for a 2019 release.

In June 2018, Extreme toured Australia with Mr. Big, would mark the latter's first tour of Australia and Extreme's first tour of Australia since 1993, all concerts met with successful attendance and positive receptions.

After their Australian tour, they went on to tour Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei. (Taipei tour cancelled due to personal issues)

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Extreme among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [15]




Current members
Former members


  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Peter Hunt – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Hal Lebeaux – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Paul Mangone – bass, backing vocals
  • Paul Geary – drums, percussion
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Paul Mangone – bass, backing vocals
  • Paul Geary – drums, percussion
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Paul Geary – drums, percussion
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Pat Badger – bass, backing vocals
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Pat Badger – bass, backing vocals
  • Mike Mangini – drums, percussion


  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Carl Restivo – bass, backing vocals
Additional personnel
  • Mike Mangini – drums (Azores show)
  • Steve Ferlazzo – keyboards (Azores show)
  • Paul Geary – drums (WAAF concert)
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Paul Geary – drums, percussion
  • Laurent Duval – bass, backing vocals
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Paul Geary – drums
  • Pat Badger – bass, backing vocals
Additional personnel
  • Mike Mangini - drums (guest for three shows)
  • Gary Cherone – lead vocals
  • Nuno Bettencourt – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Pat Badger – bass, backing vocals
  • Kevin Figueiredo – drums, percussion


Extreme (band)


See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Van Halen III</i> 1998 studio album by Van Halen

Van Halen III is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Van Halen, released on March 17, 1998 by Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Mike Post and Eddie Van Halen, it is the band's only studio album to feature Extreme lead vocalist Gary Cherone, and the last to feature bassist Michael Anthony before he was replaced in the band by Eddie's son Wolfgang in 2006. Work on a follow-up album with Cherone commenced in 1999, but never advanced past a few demos.

<i>III Sides to Every Story</i> 1992 studio album by Extreme

III Sides To Every Story is the third album by the Boston funk-metal band Extreme, released in 1992. It was the follow-up to the very successful Pornograffitti album. It was the last album with the band's original line-up: Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger and Paul Geary; Geary later left, and was replaced by Mike Mangini.

<i>Schizophonic</i> (Nuno Bettencourt album) 1997 studio album by Nuno

Schizophonic is the 1997 debut solo album from guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, the lead guitarist in the band Extreme. Bettencourt is credited on the cover simply as "Nuno". Schizophonic is Bettencourt's first and, so far, only solo effort after the group disbanded.

Tribe of Judah is Gary Cherone's post-Van Halen band featuring a couple of former members of Extreme. An eponymous EP was released in 2001 and a full-length album was released in late 2002. Tribe of Judah is different from Cherone's other work as it features a more industrial/electronic sound. At least one song, "Left for Dead", was (supposedly) slated to be a track on a follow-up Van Halen album which would have featured Cherone.

<i>Screw It!</i> 1991 studio album by Danger Danger

Screw It! is Danger Danger's second full-length album. It was released on October 1, 1991 on Epic Records. The album was recorded at New River Studios in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is the same studio that the band Skid Row used to record their second album, Slave to the Grind.

More Than Words 1991 single by Extreme

"More Than Words" is a song by rock band Extreme. It is the fifth track and third single from their 1990 album Pornograffitti. It is a ballad built around acoustic guitar work by Nuno Bettencourt and the vocals of Gary Cherone. The song is a detour from the funk metal style that permeates the band's records. As such, it has often been described as "a blessing and a curse" due to its overwhelming success and recognition worldwide, but the band ultimately embraced it and plays it on every show.

<i>Waiting for the Punchline</i> 1995 studio album by Extreme

Waiting for the Punchline is Extreme's fourth album, which was released in 1995. It is known by fans as a distinctively raw sounding record - especially when compared to the big production of the two previous albums - with a significant influence from grunge, while still showcasing guitarist Nuno Bettencourt's talents. Due to its lyrics focused heavily on social matters it is often cited as a concept album. It is also the only Extreme record to feature drummer Mike Mangini . After the album's tour, the band subsequently disbanded in 1996 when Bettencourt informed Extreme that he was leaving the band to pursue a solo career. After the breakup, singer Gary Cherone also joined Van Halen in the same year as their new singer, but left three years later.

Dramagods is a rock band led by Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt.

<i>Saudades de Rock</i> 2008 studio album by Extreme

Saudades de Rock is Extreme's fifth studio album, released on August 12, 2008 and most recent album as of 2019. It was the band's first album of new material since 1995's Waiting for the Punchline, and also their first release with new drummer Kevin Figueiredo.

"Star" was the first single off Extreme's fifth studio album Saudades de Rock. It was the band's first single after the reunion of the band in 2007 after a thirteen-year hiatus. The song was first released to the band's Myspace page and then on a single promo CD.

East Meets West Tour

The East Meets West Tour '09 was a concert tour by hard rock band Extreme, taking place in the summer of 2009, in support of their 2008 album Saudades de Rock. It followed the Take Us Alive World Tour in 2008 which was in support of the same album. The tour started with a performance at the M3 Rock Festival on May 30, with the official tour beginning on July 12. This tour was co-headlined with Ratt on almost all dates, excluding New Haven, Springfield and Boston.

Extreme's 2006 Reunion Mini-Tour was a series of three reunion concerts by hard rock band Extreme, taking place in the summer of 2006 in the New England area, in Boston, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and Ledyard, Connecticut. Unlike in the 2004 and 2005 reunion tours, this time all original members reunited, including bassist Pat Badger.

Hurtsmile is a band fronted by Extreme singer Gary Cherone.

Kevin 'kFigg' Figueiredo is an American drummer.


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