Exclusive Interview by ReX, Rock Star Go Home Founder

Over the past eight weeks, we have seen the talent on Rock Star: INXS rise and fall. Recently, however, the performances of the five remaining rockers have displayed moments of brilliance and pure, musical energy. From Suzie’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" to Marty's "Wish You Were Here", we have all felt those special chills running down our spines.

The source of that musical energy is the Rock Star: INXS House Band. Last week, the band extended its membership to include strings, horns and a gospel choir. At one point, over twenty-five musicians were on stage… Jamming!

One of the multi-talented musicians in the House Band is Jim McGorman. Jim plays rhythm guitar, keyboards and opens his own pipes as a backing vocalist. Earlier today, Rock Star Go Home caught up with Jim to learn more about this Philadelphia native that has rocked with New Radicals, Michelle Branch, Poison and several other premiere acts.

RSGH: You ready for this?

Jim: Yah. Shoot.

RSGH: Right on. Let's start with a toughie…

Jim: Ahh. Ohhh-kay.

RSGH: Batman or Superman?

Jim: Ahhhhh. Batman.

RSGH: Why?

Jim: Because he's a real man. I mean, anybody you know could be batman. He really is human just like you and me.

RSGH: Gotcha. Another tough one. Coke or Pepsi?

Jim: Coke. Straight up. No cherry, lime or diet… The classic cola all the way.

RSGH: Right on.

RSGH: What's your top five cds of all time?

[Silence. Jim thinks and thinks and.... thinks some more. More silence. He then asks me if he could send me the answer via email because that question is so difficult for him to answer. Here is the cut-and-paste of that email.]

As far as the top five records - I've decided that if a record is something that you put on and listen to from beginning to end - loving every song, there are very little records that I can say I love all the way through. (not including Greatest Hits, which I realize are not within the guidelines).

But here are some of the songs/records that definitely influenced me. Pretty much most bands from England (Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Who - Tears for Fears, Travis, etc.), And, U2 Joshua Tree, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Hall N' Oates were HUGE for me. The Rolling Stone were HUGE also... Crowded House... Springsteen ("Streets of Philadelphia" is one of my most favorite songs). Most of the 80's pop/ rock stuff (from Bon Jovi to Genesis to Rick Springfield, Jackson Browne to Todd Rundgren... Prince and the Police too. As far as the soul side: JAMES BROWN is the funkiest man that has or ever will be "one of the best singers/ performers of all time". Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles piano playing is maybe my favorite - Philly sound, etc. Sorry for all the info, but know you've got an idea of the kind of stuff that moves me.

Jim with Suzie and Rafa doing 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

RSGH: You toured with Poison, a massive 80's hairband… So, is it Def Leppard or Ratt?

Jim: Def Leppard. Hysteria was epic… An amazing cd.

RSGH: As for rock movies, Purple Rain or Spinal Tap?

Jim: I'm a movie buff. I've been around them my whole life. My dad was in the business. So, I have seen Spinal Tap a million times. So, it's gotta be Spinal Tap. Purple Rain is pretty good but, ya know… it was Prince really trying to act. Spinal Tap was more a mockery of itself.

RSGH: Okay. How about Airplane or Caddyshack?

Jim: Caddyshack [no hesitation]. That was Bill Murray's introduction to the world. Plus, the flick gave Rodney Dangerfield the recognition he deserved as an amazing comic.

RSGH: Beastie Boys or Run DMC?

Jim: Run.

RSGH: PC or Mac?

Jim: I’m a huuuuuuuuuuuuge Mac guy!! Huge!

RSGH: What recording software do you use on your righteous Mac? Protools or Logic?

Jim: Mostly Protools. But I do some stuff on Logic.

RSGH: Are you sponsored by any music gear companies?

Jim: Yah, so I've got to give a shout out to all the folks that sponsor me – Gibson for guitars, Matchless for amps, Dean Markley for strings, and Trailer Trash pedalboards.

RSGH: Got it. You're trapped in an elevator for 10 hours… What one person would you want in the elevator with you?

Jim: Hmmm. That's a good one. My fiance. Yahh. I'd say it would be her. Ahh. Wait a minute! 10 hours is a long time. I'd get real hungry if I'm stuck for 10 hours. Scratch my last answer. I'd need a food vendor. Probably an ice cream guy. That would be cool. [Jim laughs].

RSGH: What was the last mp3 you downloaded?

Jim: I'm going back these days. I've sought out the tracks that remind me of when I was growing up – Everything from Joe Jackson to 80's hits like Springfield's Jessie's Girl. You just gotta have those classics. As for the more current stuff, I recently pulled Cold Play.

RSGH: Legal or illegally?

Jim: LEGAL! Alllll legal. You have to support your fellow artists.

RSGH: Which service?

Jim: iTunes. Again, I’m a mac guy, remember?

RSGH: Right on. Who would you say is your musical icon?

Jim: I could say the greats - more the Rolling Stones than the Beatles and the great songwriters... Billy Joel, and some of the Motown guys. I'm more of a melody and words guy and the man who introduced me to chords, melodies, harmonies… That was my dad. He really paved the way for me in music.

RSGH: Very cool. Back to food. Spicy tuna or California roll?

Jim: Spicy tuna!

RSGH: What do you think was the best performance on Rock Star: INXS to date?

Jim: Let me take two swings at that.

First, when it's just the band… We can be going off during a soundcheck. Not many people know but before the shows, during soundcheck, we jam out the tracks that the singers will eventually sing over. Paul will sing. Or, I will sing. During those sessions, it can groove so hard… Man, you should have heard when we let out "Rock the Casbah". There's just something about when this band plays together that really works. These guys really are some of the best musicians I've ever worked with. It's a bonus that get along so well and laugh so hard during rehearsals.

As for the cats trying out for the INXS lead, I'd have to say that anything Suzie performed after week two, has been stellar. She has great pitch, tone, phrasing and her rhythm is right in the pocket. Then again, she's had some great songs in "Start Me Up" and "Bohemian". Phew, that Bohemian… No one can touch that!

RSGH: Right on. Hey Jim, sometimes you seem to be a little distraught with some of the stylistic decisions the rockers make. For example, you've had some classic comments and made some excellent faces on camera. How frustrated are you in those moments? Is that reality or just good editing? Or, is that you after a long day of rehearsals?

Jim: Great question. I'd say it's mostly reality. I must admit, at times I'm a little bit dumbfounded by the choices made. Because, at the end of the day, it's a collective effort. And, none of us want to create anything less than something which is amazing.

Plus, we've been doing this for a while. And, when our opinions aren't considered or listened too, that's when it can get frustrating. Then, the looks and snappy comments come out. That's me. I'm an opinionated guy and I don't contain thoughts, emotions or feelings. You can see it on my face. I guess that could be a blessing or a curse.

All I really want is for each performance to be the best!

RSGH: Cool man. Thanks for the time.

Jim: No worries.

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