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Greg Bailey interview

By: Pieter van Wingerden
Date: May 17, 2004

Pieter van Wingerden: You've been Petra's bass player since January 2002. Can you tell the story of how you joined Petra?

Greg Bailey: I heard from a friend who knew the management of Petra and that there was a possible opening, so I called John [Schlitt] and we made an appointment to have a tryout.

You've seen some personnel changes in the band during the last few years. Quinton, Bryce and Louie left the band; Bob came back to the road, and there was a new drummer hired, Paul Simmons. Have all these changes had any effect on Petra's ministry? Have there been any significant changes in the live performances?

I don't think the personnel changes have had any effect on the ministry of Petra. The band is committed to bring the message of Christ and to encourage the saints, no matter who is in the band. The live performances are different, of course, since there is no keyboardist, but Bob is so good at using guitar effects and switching sounds that the live concerts haven't suffered — they just changed to a more guitar-oriented rock sound.

How was the decision made that you wouldn't play in the studio for Jekyll and Hyde? Did you have any influence on this decision?

When the decision was made to not have me play on J&H in the studio, I was disappointed. A lot of producers decide to use studio session players that they know because they are used to working with them. By the time I found out they weren't going to use me, the bass tracks were almost finished.

On the new album "Jekyll & Hyde" you've co-written a song with Bob Hartman. Can you tell me about writing the song "Would'a, Should'a, Could'a" ?

I had written the basic music for the song but had no lyrics. I gave it to Bob, and he wrote lyrics for most of it and finished some of the music. Then, I went to Bob's house and helped finish the music and lyrics — mainly the bridge at that time — and Bob made the final touches.

I've seen you several times in concert with Petra, so I've seen the bass you're using. I've heard some people wondering about your bass guitar. It looks like it's a custom-made bass, because of the slanted frets.

The bass I use in concert is a custom-made bass, made to my specifications. I designed the way I wanted it to look, and a guy in Michigan made it for me. The neck was made by a company called Moses Graphite, so that is the name on the headstock. The frets are slanted because of the Novax Fanned Fret System. It allows each string on the guitar to have its own different length so that, among other things, the tension on each string can be more uniform across the neck.

Can you tell what's in the future for Petra? On April 20, "Jekyll & Hyde En Español" will be released. Are there plans for a tour in Latin America or are there perhaps plans for a new album?

I'm not exactly sure what the future holds for Petra. We eagerly anticipate "J&H En Español", and hopefully it will let us do some touring in Latin and South America, since the fans there really like to hear music in their own language.

We are already starting to write some songs for Petra's next album, but it's way too early to tell where that will head.