Issue #2 of the newly launched U.K. magazine Rock Candy features an exclusive hard-hitting, no-holds-barred candid interview with guitarist who clarifies all of the setbacks and revisits all of the unbelievable issues he dealt with during the recording of WHITESNAKE’s classic 1987 album “Whitesnake”.
Sykes launched an incredible verbal attack on David Coverdale in Rock Candy, claiming the WHITESNAKE singer “used every excuse possible to explain why he didn’t want to record his vocals” for the multi-platinum album. “He blamed the weather. He wasn’t happy with the studio. He even went so far as to say the microphones weren’t good enough,” said Sykes. “I honestly think David suffered from nerves.”
Sykes, who co-wrote nine of the album’s tracks, including mega-hits “Still Of The Night” and “Is This Love?”, found himself thrown out of WHITESNAKE, alongside bassist Neil Murray and drummer Aynsley Dunbar, even before the album had been released. Coverdale then assembled an entirely different, MTV-friendly group to tour the record. Sykes admits that he’s still “very bitter” about how Coverdale treated him. “David said nothing to any of us about having decided to kick us out of the band,” the guitarist told Rock Candy, claiming he only found out he was no longer a member of WHITESNAKE when he asked the band’s A&R man John Kalodner what was going on.
“I was furious and wasn’t about to accept this,” said Sykes. “So I went down to the studio where David was still recording his vocals, prepared to confront him. Honest to God, he ran away, got in his car and hid from me!”
Sykes claims Coverdale blamed record company Geffen for forcing him to change band members. “I knew he was fucking lying,” said Sykes. And he insists Coverdale’s claims to have written 95 percent of the album’s guitar parts are also false. “When I knew him, David could barely play the guitar,” Sykes said.
With 2017 being the thirtieth anniversary of the classic album, fans are hopeful that Coverdale and WHITESNAKE will do something special to mark the event. If it happens, it most certainly won’t be with John Sykes.
“I know David has been saying recently that he and I have been talking about working together on a project outside of WHITESNAKE,” said Sykes. “That’s completely false. I really have no interest in ever talking to him again.”