I saw Janick onstage before I actually met him, and that was when he was with Gillan at Wembley Arena. I saw this flamboyant showman dancing around the stage playing great guitar, and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. Then he came down to a few of our shows and I met him backstage in the bar and we hit it off pretty much immediately - he was a really nice bloke.
In 1990, when Adrian left the band, Janick had just worked on Bruce’s solo album (‘Tattooed Millionaire’) and obviously, he was going to be the first choice as a replacement. But I remember at the beginning that Janick was actually defending Adrian - he was upset that he’d left the band and I think he was trying to talk him into coming back, which shows you what a good guy he is.
He came down to rehearsal and the stacks had been set up facing each other, wall-to-wall, so it was like a stand-off in a Western like ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’, except I think we both wanted to be Clint Eastwood! We did ‘The Trooper’, we just went straight into it, there was no 'Let’s work it out together quietly.' It was just like one, two, three, four… bang! And straight away, sparks were flying round the room! It was apparent right away that this was going to work. He was very exciting to play with and it gave the band a well-deserved kick up the rear.
He is a genuine, salt-of-the-earth bloke, a very smart man with a great sense of humour. He’s a very sociable kind of chap. He likes going out strutting, especially on tour. He’ll go out for 20 mile walks and try to hit every bar on the way back!
He’s a good soul. He’s got a very good way of calming things down if they suddenly start to go overboard. He can pull everything together and make sure that people see things the right way. He’s very good at expressing himself that way, a very diplomatic man.
When he’s playing, he’ll push himself to the edge and really goes for it. There are two sides to it. His playing can be very controlled or it can be very spontaneous, but then he plays a lot of the melodic stuff. He’s got great feel, great dexterity, very fluid. So he’s fully rounded as a guitar player who goes from one extreme to another. He encompasses all aspects, from the quiet acoustic clean stuff into overdrive. It’s 360 degrees he plays everything. And he’s a great showman.
He wrote the track ‘Dance Of Death’ and it’s got everything on there, from the quiet moody melodic guitar to clean guitar to really heavy riffs, but done in the most complex and beautiful and sweet and heavy way, done with really good taste. If that song was the alphabet, from A to Z, it’s got every letter in it.