Ex-GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell has once again blasted his former bandmates for the "despicable" way his successor, Terry Ilous, was kicked out of the group.
Ilous, formerly of '80s L.A. hard rockers XYZ, joined GREAT WHITE in 2010 after replacing touring vocalist Jani Lane (WARRANT).
The Ilous-led GREAT WHITE released two albums, 2012's "Elation" and last year's "Full Circle", before Terry was shown the door earlier this month and replaced with Mitch Malloy.
Ilous later released a statement in which he claimed he was blindsided by his dismissal from GREAT WHITE, saying that he "proudly invested" all of his energy and focus "into the GREAT WHITE brand."
In a new interview with Daily Boom, Russell, who was himself fired from GREAT WHITE in December 2011 (after being on hiatus from the group since 2009), commented on Terry's exit from the band, saying: "I actually heard for the first time one of [GREAT WHITE's] more recent songs about a month ago and I have to admit that Terry Ilous's voice sounded really good on it.
"I was really surprised that they [GREAT WHITE] let him go recently, and so I got in touch with him because I've heard he's a really nice guy," he continued. "I have a feeling we're going to end up being friends. We're both singers and we've both got lead singer disorder [laughs] and I don't blame him for anything. He just took an opportunity that was offered to him and it was a good career move, so why not? He wasn't being deceptive at all; it was my dear friends that were. They turned around and did this lousy thing to him and he was totally blindsided and I feel really bad for him.
"I saw the video of them with their new singer and Terry onstage together [at the Monsters Of Rock cruise in February 2018], showing that it was in the works for months, and, to me, that just made it such a despicable act," Jack added. "They couldn't tell him in person or even make a phone call, and that was exactly how it happened to me. That was what upset me. It wasn't the fact that they didn't want to play with me, because I get it — I was a mess, I was a total wreck — but rather than have that conversation, they kept dodging me. I know what that's like to be treated that way, and I felt bad for him. Terry is a good guy, and I wish him the best. I have no ill will towards anyone at this point, and I wish them all the best, but Terry maybe just a little more success than the others now."
Russell sued his onetime bandmates in 2012 over their continued use of the GREAT WHITE name after the singer had taken a leave of absence from the band for medical reasons. A short time later, Russell was countersued by guitarist Mark Kendall, keyboardist/guitarist Michael Lardie and drummer Audie Desbrow, claiming the vocalist's self-destructive behavior was damaging the GREAT WHITE name (they also alleged he was charging promoters less for his own touring version of GREAT WHITE). The parties settled in July 2013 without going to trial, with Russell now performing with a new lineup as JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE while the others are continuing as GREAT WHITE.