Zepparella, the all-female rock band that dares to channel the almighty Led Zeppelin through their own improvised magic, will perform at the Third Annual Malibu Guitar Festival, which runs May 18 through 21.
The festival pays homage to the Rolling Stones, a band fronted by two of rock and roll’s biggest icons—Mick Jagger and Keith Richards—both of whom have defined the look, attitude and sound of rock for more than five decades.
Other acts scheduled to perform include Steve Vai, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band and Hunter Hayes. Robby Krieger of the Doors will receive a special honor in celebration of the iconic American band’s 50th anniversary.
Zepparella, which features Gretchen Menn (guitar), Clementine (drums), Angeline Saris (bass) and Noelle Doughty (vocals), blend a diverse array of influences ranging from speed metal to classical to jazz, R&B and rock—all of which is channelded into a top-notch Led Zep tribute experience. The group also is featured in the upcoming documentary, She Rocks.
Menn is still riding the wave from her acclaimed solo conceptual project, Abandon All Hope, an album based on Dante Alighieri’s epic 14th-century poem, Inferno.
I recently spoke with Menn about the Malibu Guitar Festival, Zepparella, her music and more.
How has reaction been to your solo release, Abandon All Hope?
It’s been great. I assumed that by its nature it might be specific in its audience. But I recently had a supporter in Germany who bought it for his 78-year-old mom who wasn’t into rock at all, and he told me she absolutely loved it. On the flip side, I have a 6-year-old nephew who’s at an age where’s he’s not shy to tell you exactly what he thinks, and he loved it as well. I’m so glad it’s reaching and affecting so many people.
What can you tell me about Zepparella’s upcoming show at Malibu Guitar Festival?
It’s going to be a little different from a normal Zepparella show. Once in a while, we’ll have someone sit in with us for songs like “When the Levee Breaks” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” This show will be different because we’re going to be playing with a bunch of different people. Initially, we thought we were going to be the house band and play other people’s stuff. But Steve Vai said, “Let’s play some Zeppelin!” Can he be any more awesome? [laughs].
What’s it like for you to be able to share the stage with Vai?
I’m trying not to be completely freaked out about it [laughs]. Steve’s a guitar god, and it’s an incredible honor. When you’re 15, it’s something you never dream of. It all comes from a positive space.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Gretchen Mann by Clicking Here!
‘We Start Wars’: Vocalist Seana Discusses Band’s Infectious Debut Single and Performance At The Whisky A Go Go
We Start Wars, the new band which features guitar goddess Nita Strauss along with Nicole Papastavrou (eight-string guitar), Alicia Vigil (bass), Seana—a.k.a. Shauna Lisse (vocals), Katt Scarlett (keyboards) and Lindsay Martin (drums), prides itself on breaking down the “chick band” stereotype by combining virtuoso playing with multi-layered songwriting and high-energy performance.
The band’s infectious, groove-driven debut single, “The Animal Inside” showcases all of the aforementioned technical and melodic abilities of this adrenaline-fueled sextet as well as delivering something that has never been done before.
We Start Wars will make their live debut on May 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood.
I recently spoke with Seana about We Start Wars, her songwriting, career and more in this exclusive new interview.
How did We Start Wars come about?
It actually started with Nita [Strauss]. She’s been dreaming of putting this band together ever since she started playing guitar. She spent a lot of time finding girls by focusing on technique and abilities. I was the last piece of the puzzle. This band has a lot of energy and power and I love the fact that every song is different.
What can you tell me about the band’s debut single, “The Animal Inside”?
The music for the song had already been written, so I just took it and added the lyrics. I based the song off adrenaline. So, the animal in “The Animal Inside” is adrenaline. Adrenaline affects us all and gives us the strength and power to do whatever needs to be done. Whether it’s a wrestler before stepping into the ring or an artist taking the stage or an audience waiting for a show to start, it was inspired by that feeling. That adrenaline rush. It’s also a great way to introduce ourselves.
As an artist, what’s your writing process like?
My songwriting process is eclectic and no process is ever the same, which is actually what makes being in a band so awesome. I’ve written songs alone and have taken tracks home and added lyrics and melodies. I’ve also collaborated with other members and have hooks and melodies that come to me in dreams. No song is the same and that’s what keeps it interesting. As far as inspiration, I’m inspired by life, death and this whole crazy ride we’re on together. I like my songs to leave a person feeling like they always have a place to come back to. Whether it’s a place where you can get pumped up, laugh or cry I like talking about things in life and am not afraid to talk about the sad because life isn’t always perfect. I like to keep it real.
What can fans expect from We Start Wars’ debut at The Whisky?
This is our first show, so expect lots of adrenaline and high energy. We have a lot to prove and we’re going to prove it on stage at that show. I’m stoked!
Was a career in music something you always aspired to have?
For the most part. I always saw singing as a hobby until Amy Lee and Evanescence showed up on the scene. That was a game changer. She made me think of my singing as something I could make a career out of. I decided then and there that I would work really hard and never give up.
Who are some of your other musical influences?
Prior to Amy Lee, I was influenced by Pink Floyd, who were life changing for me. My first best friend was my grandpa who passed away when I was four. He had this room where we used to play together and after he was gone, I remember sitting in the room by myself listening to the radio and Pink Floyd’s “Time” was playing. It was the first time I understood that music was more than just words and instruments. It was therapy. Other influences would be Jewel, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Heart and Rage Against The Machine. My grandmother was a piano teacher and was also a big influence on me.
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I have a pop project I’m working on which is just my name, Seana, and have a few songs recorded that I’m piecing together. It’s definitely different than my rock stuff, but I love all kinds of music. I did vocal jazz in school and went to college for vocal performance where there was a lot of opera.
What are you most looking forward to about this next phase of your career with We Start Wars?
I’m excited to share this experience with other amazingly talented ladies. I’ve never been in an all-girl band before and am looking forward to sharing the stage with other strong-willed, talented women.
Terrorized at multiple stops on a road trip to Joshua Tree, three friends realize something unexpected is pulling the strings.
“Voyeur” is the feature-length thriller written and directed by Delaney Bishop. The film includes a diverse cast that includes Riker Lynch (“Glee,” “Dancing with the Stars” and founding member of R5), Ayla Kell (“Make It or Break It”), Lisseth Chavez (Netflix’s “One Day at A Time”) and Robert Romanus (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”). In addition to an inspired script and the unique use of cameras Bishop promises “Voyeur” will also have a cinematic twist that’s never been done before.
Bishop and his partner, Felix Brenner have begun a Kickstarter campaign for fans to help push “Voyeur” to completion. Perks for supporting the film include everything from social media shout outs, posters and screenings to an executive producer credit. Bishop and Brenner’s past collaborations include the award-winning films, “The Death of Salvador Dali” and “Metermaid”.
I recently spoke with Delaney Bishop about “Voyeur”, his career and more in this exclusive new interview.
Where did the idea for “Voyeur” begin? How did the project originate?
It was actually inspired by two trips I took to Joshua Tree. On the first trip, I noticed there were some kids up on the rocks that seemed to have less than benevolent intentions. They were terrorizing people, and the people really had no recourse because they were so far away from civilization and cell phone reception. It got me thinking, this terrain could be very dangerous if someone had bad intensions and was able to track someone down.
The second trip was more of a magical one where we went to the Integratron. It’s located on what’s supposed to be a cosmic gathering point in the desert and is said to have a lot of mystical properties. When I came out of there the idea really came into place and the story unfolded in my head. I was able to get home and write the entire outline in a few hours and wrote the first draft in about three weeks. I teamed up with my partner, Felix Brenner, who’s worked with me on a number of short films. We said let’s do it and that was it. We were up and running.
How would you describe the story of “Voyeur”?
It’s the story of three young friends who take a trip to Joshua Tree desert to hike, spend the night in Palm Springs and attend the festival. But something is following them in the shadows and their trip quickly turns to terror as they’re mysteriously harassed by the same people everywhere they go. The twist reveals that everything was happening for a reason and something very close to home is pulling the strings.
What was the casting and filming process like?
We had a relationship with a manager who represented Riker Lynch and Ayla Kell. When they were cast that’s when the whole project became real and something I could visualize much more easily. They were absolutely perfect. We also have Lisseth Chavez, who I had auditioned before for another project and Jennifer Blanc, who’s done a lot of horror. We were looking for a father for the three brothers in the film and Robert Romanus was perfect. The whole cast and crew was incredible. It was a very positive set and a lot of fun.
Were there any challenges you experienced during filming?
Part of the twist in the film involves the cameras. There’s a secret that’s revealed at the end that had to consciously be avoided during every scene. There was a certain way we had to shoot in order to hide certain things. The framing was very crucial and quite challenging.
What made you decide to begin a Kickstarter campaign?
With some of the effects that we’re doing and the intricate sound design, we really wanted it to be a notch above what we had originally budgeted for. So we decided to reach out to friends and fans and bring it into the community. So far, it’s been going great.
Was having a career in entertainment something you always aspired to do?
My father was a director and by the time I was sixteen it was pretty much all that I knew how to do. I was taking a lot of pictures and writing quite a bit and went straight to film school while still in high school. It’s always been my passion and something I’ve always been working toward. There was never an alternative.
What excites you the most about “Voyeur”?
We worked so hard on this film and there are things that have never been done before as far as the reveal and the twist. It’s a bold turn that we take but I think people are ready for it. It’s like piecing together a puzzle and I can’t wait for people to see and appreciate how intricate the puzzle is and recognize how much planning went into the story and the way of shooting. Because the technology and the cameras in the film play such a big role this had to be a film and not a novel or an essay. The way of shooting goes hand in hand with the story and I can’t wait for people to have a conversation about it.
For more information on “Voyeur”, Click Here
Sierra was a competitive figure skater. Andre, an animation expert and filmmaker. Both had their own dreams of making a mark in the world. But it wasn’t until a chance encounter in the heart of Los Angeles led them to begin a journey together. One of love, inspiration, hope and a desire to do something for the greater good.
Although known for volunteering their time to various causes, their passion project, Love Set Run is more like a way of living. It stands for taking action to spread a message of love, unity, and the interconnectedness of everything.
This summer, Andre and Sierra Mercier will continue that mission. Traveling around the globe volunteering and giving back everywhere that they go. Along the way, they’ll be documenting their travels for a web series they hope will inspire others.
The couple’s five-month journey will take them to eight countries on five different continents. From volunteering at an organic farm in Costa Rica, visiting a monkey sanctuary and partaking in a spiritual ritual in Peru and even working with locals in Bandipur, Nepal. Each destination chosen to make a positive impact in some way.
Perhaps the most inspiring part of Sierra and Andre’s story isn’t so much the beautiful places in the world they’ll be visiting, but the selfless love and compassion they have for each other and the world. Their drive to do something for the greater good proves that offering something as simple as your time can be the greatest reward in giving back.
I recently spoke with Sierra and Andre about Love Set Run and more in this exclusive new interview.
How did the two of you meet?
Sierra: We both moved to L.A. for the entertainment industry. I was a competitive figure skater and trained in California and Salt Lake City but had an injury that ended my skating career. I began doing other things that interested me and found a new passion with acting. So I moved back home to save money to move to L.A. I had met a family while I was visiting L.A. and planned to live in their guest home temporarily until I found a place to live but there was a miscommunication and on the day I drove in, I found out that I could only stay a few weeks. So I frantically started looking for a place and saw an ad for a room that piqued my interest. I called the number and left a message— it was Andre. I went to see the place and we both hit it off. We became friends and few weeks later I moved in as a roommate. We spent some time getting to know each other but it was pretty clear that there was something other than “friends” flying through the air.
What else can you tell me about your love story?
Andre: About a week after Sierra moved in I asked her to be my girlfriend and a month after that we decided that we were going to get married. Shortly after I proposed, Sierra’s mom suggested that we apply to a few online contests where they were giving away honeymoon packages. Sierra found out that TheKnot.com was having a contest for a dream wedding in New York. The idea was to create a video on why your love story was unique and romantic. I was skeptical at first but Sierra encouraged me to use my video making skills to make a video. A few weeks later we found out that we had been selected as one of the finalists. Fan voting determined the winner and we wound up getting the most votes. The wedding was at Bryant Park in the winter and we flew in a bunch of friends and family. Everything about the wedding was voted on by the public—from the dress to the cake to the decor and rings.
Our vows were aimed towards creating a positive impact to the world and giving back more than we receive. We knew that we weren’t able to give a lot monetarily, but we could give a lot with our time and spread our message. So on our honeymoon we did tsunami cleanup relief in Japan, visited an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and worked with an orphanage in Bali. That was the first of our charity travel ideas. That’s when we said let’s see more of the world and do more volunteer work, because it feels good to give back.
Was there a defining moment on that trip?
Sierra: Sometimes, volunteer opportunities are unexpected. I remember we were traveling in Japan after a major typhoon. We were walking along a path where waters had flooded and local people were there trying to block the flood and transporting sandbags. We just stepped in and helped them. Then a little while later it started to rain and we noticed a local business shoveling mud and rocks out of their business and moving sandbags to keep it from flooding. We just went in, picked up some shovels and started hauling out debris. We were hot and sweaty and wet but it felt so good to help people. The most amazing part of that whole experience was that while were doing it, other tourists that were walking by saw what we were doing and offered to help as well. As two people, we can only make so much of an impact, but it’s the ripple effect it can cause that makes it so special. If what we do can inspire four people to make a positive difference, then maybe those four people will inspire four more people. It made me realize that’s what Love Set Run is all about.
How do you plan to document your journey for Love Set Run?
Andre: Throughout our travels we’ll be posting vignettes and snippets to Instagram and Facebook. We’ve also got a blog going on our website that we’ll be posting to regularly. Once we get back, we’ll start editing the full web series, most likely one episode per country. We’re also considering doing a full feature out of it.
What satisfies you the most about giving back?
Sierra: It’s engrained in my soul that my duty here in this lifetime is to help others. To light a lantern and be a light to the world. It’s just feels so natural for me. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Andre: It’s gratifying to give back and help others. It’s a selfless act that rewards you. It also feels good to inspire other people. We’ve heard from people who tell us that our love story has inspired them to not settle for anything less. So if we can inspire friends and family through our work, then maybe the next time they go on a trip they’ll be inspired to volunteer. What’s satisfying is that you can create a ripple effect of positive energy and impact. The world needs more of that.
Is there a message you’d like people to take away from the journey you’re about to undertake?
Sierra: A message I really want people to feel is realizing that the more love you give, the more you’ll receive.
Wendy Dio and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund will present the third-annual Ride for Ronnie this Sunday, May 7.
The event kicks off at Harley Davidson of Glendale, California, and ends in Encino with a live concert, auction and dining at Los Encinos State Historic Park.
This year’s event is hosted by Dio’s longtime friend, Eddie Trunk, and the lineup includes performances by Lynch Mob, Dio Disciples, Eddie Money, Rough Cutt and an all-star band featuring Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses). There’ll be a silent auction at one of the exhibit booths throughout the afternoon while live auctions—featuring one-of-a-kind rock collectibles—will take place between performances.
Last year’s event raised more than $50,000 for the cancer charity, and 100 percent of funds goes to cancer research and education.
I recently spoke with Wendy Dio about this year’s Ride for Ronnie and more.
When did the idea for Ride for Ronnie begin?
It really began when we were trying to raise money for cancer and keep Ronnie’s legacy alive. When we did the fifth memorial for Ronnie, we realized there were a lot of people coming in from Sweden, Italy and from all over the US. We decided to try to find something for them to do over the weekend and at the same time help raise more money. So we came up with the idea of putting together a bowling event the day before and having a Ride for Ronnie the day after. Harley Davidson from Glendale came on board as our sponsor, and it was so successful and we had so much fun that we said this is great idea.
At the first one, we had about 150 riders and 500 people. Last year, we had 350 riders and 1,500 people in attendance and raised more than $50,000. We’re hoping this year to have more people and do even better. We have a great lineup, and it will be fun day for everyone keeping Ronnie’s music and memory alive while raising money for cancer research and education.
How does the Ride for Ronnie work?
“Kickstands Up” will start at the Harley Davidson in Glendale and then we’ll ride with a police escort ride to Encino where we’ll have bands playing. But people don’t have to ride to be a part of the event. They can just buy a ticket to come into the show—it’s $25 pre-sale and $35 on the day of the event.
What can you tell me about this year’s entertainment?
Eddie Trunk, who’s been a great supporter of heavy metal music and a great friend of Ronnie’s, is hosting again. We’ve got Lynch Mob, Dio Disciples, Eddie Money, a re-formed Rough Cutt, the Loveless, Sonia Harley and No Small Children. We also have a surprise—Steven Adler recently came on board and is putting together an all-star band to do some Guns N’ Roses songs. There also will be vendors, food trucks, beer and wine, live and silent auctions and raffles, with items that include a signed Great White guitar as well as a bundle of Black Sabbath and Dio stuff.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Wendy Dio by Clicking Here!
The Afghan Whigs‘ spellbinding new album, In Spades, which will be released May 5, is the long-awaited followup to their internationally acclaimed Do to the Beast (2014).
The album, which was written and produced by Greg Dulli, features the tastefully eclectic singles “Demon in Profile” and “Oriole”—both of which you can hear below—plus the guitar-centric “Arabian Heights.”
In addition to an already-planned European tour, the Whigs will perform a sold-out show at New York City’s Apollo Theater on May 23.
Unfortunately, the new album and tour happen to coincide with Dave Rosser’s recent cancer diagnosis. Although Rosser is unable to tour for extended periods, the guitarist promises to perform at the Apollo show—and maybe even a few other dates.
The Afghan Whigs are Greg Dulli (vocals/guitar), Dave Rosser (guitar), Jon Skibic (guitar), John Curley (bass), Patrick Keeler (drums) and multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson.
I recently spoke with Dulli, Rosser and Skibic about In Spades, touring, gear and more.
How would you describe In Spades, and how does it relate to the band’s previous work?
DULLI: Honestly, it’s the next evolution. This is the first record we’ve done live in the studio together in 20 years.
ROSSER: It’s pretty guitar-centric and there’s lot of riffing, but it’s still very cinematic. With Rick Nelson in there, we’ve got the multi-instrumentalist who plays violin, cello, piano and guitar.
What was the songwriting process like?
DULLI: I write songs based on the feeling of the riff. The riff and its subsequent arrangement then tells me what it wants to be. I’ve written that way since I was 13. But I’ll never tell anyone what my songs are about, because I feel songs are personal to the listener—and the interpretation is up to them.
SKIBIC: It was a pretty organic process. Out first session was about two weeks long, and at times it seemed we were writing a song a day.
ROSSER: A lot of times during sound checks we’ll jam out to ideas and record them. The time in between albums and touring is spent collecting ammo and then after that, it becomes a matter of finding targets to fire that ammo at.
Read the rest of my
Interview with The Afghan Whigs by Clicking Here!
“The Animal Inside” is the groove-driven, debut song from We Start Wars, a new, all-female band led by Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss.
The band—which also features Nicole Papastavrou (eight-string guitar), Alicia Vigil (bass), Seana—a.k.a. Shauna Lisse (vocals), Katt Scarlett (keyboards) and Lindsay Martin (drums)—prides itself on being a “chick band” that breaks down stereotypes while combining virtuoso playing with multi-layered songwriting and high-energy performance.
Strauss has always been fascinated by the idea of the female warrior, and admits We Start Wars is the band she’s been wanting to build ever since she first picked up the guitar.
We Start Wars will make their live debut May 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood.
I recently spoke with Strauss and Papastavrou about We Start Wars, their debut single, gear and more.
How did We Start Wars come together?
STRAUSS: I’ve been trying to put this band together since I started playing guitar. I’ve always felt that female musicians were under-represented in the music scene. It’s not that they weren’t out there, it’s just that there wasn’t a lot of all-female bands getting notoriety, especially ones with good technique and musicianship. I started out looking for great musicians and great performers that cold elevate the status of the female musician. I met Nicole at a NAMM show a few years ago and after we started talking we realized we had very similar views. It was an instant connection and it’s cool that we’ve finally gotten a chance to work together.
How would you describe the band’s sound?
PAPASTAVROU: I’d say it’s super melodic metal but also has a little bit of something for everyone. We wanted to broaden our audience not do anything too aggressive, but there’s still a little bit of heaviness in there.
STRAUSS: There’s a lot of crossover appeal. Nicole and I probably have the heaviest influences in the band, but when it comes down to it we make music a lot of people can enjoy.
Why the name, We Start Wars?
STRAUSS: I’ve had that phrase stuck in my head for at least 10 years. I remember being in school when one of the teachers said to us, “The greatest wars in history were fought over a beautiful woman.” I just remember thinking how badass that was. The concept of how the love and honor of a woman was worth putting everything on the line for. I also love the aesthetic and idea of the female warrior and someone who can fight her own battles and not have to depend on anyone for anything. That’s a lot of what this band is all about.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Nita Strauss and Nicole Papastavrou Here!
While continuing to pay homage to their Thin Lizzy legacy, Black Star Riders’ third album, Heavy Fire, also represents a major turning point for the band.
From the immediate riffs of “When the Night Comes In” to the dirty bass groove of “Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” and the familiar, trademark dual guitars of Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson on “Testify Or Say Goodbye,” Heavy Fire takes the band out of the past and further cements Black Star Riders as one of the world’s premiere rock acts.
Black Star Riders are Ricky Warwick (vocals/guitar), Scott Gorham (guitars), Damon Johnson (guitars) and Robert Crane (bass).
I recently caught up with Johnson and asked him about Heavy Fire, his gear and more.
How would you describe Heavy Fire in terms of its sound and how it relates to some of the band’s previous work?
I would describe Heavy Fire as the album where we feel we’ve musically made a statement. It’s the final chapter in our trying to find a way to stand on our own. We’ll always be grateful and respectful to our past history—certainly Scott’s history—and without a doubt, the Thin Lizzy fan base and the support they’ve given us to even try something like this.
We’ve been touring, writing and recording over the course of the last four years and this was our opportunity to show we’ve made real progress. We’ve been energized and rejuvenated as a band at how great this album turned out. It’s very special to us.
What led to the transition from Thin Lizzy to Black Star Riders?
Ricky had joined Thin Lizzy in 2010 and I joined in 2011. Over the course of the dates we did together right after I joined, it was the first time Scott had brought up the subject of possibly making some new music and maybe even recording. For Ricky and me as fans, it was a dream come true to even consider having our contributions on a Thin Lizzy album, but we all quickly realized that to give the music a chance and for people to evaluate it on an even scale, it would be impossible to call it Thin Lizzy.
There were multiple guitar players and periods of music the band captured and recorded and went out and played live over the years, but everyone knows the common thread in that band besides Brian Downey was Phil Lynott. So the idea that anyone would give thought to recording new music without Phil in the band seemed ridiculous. That’s when we said let’s not bail out on the idea of recording but instead call it something else.
It’s been very gratifying to get the feedback from fans, the media and even fellow musicians that respect that we would step away from an established name and record it under a different one, and that’s really what Heavy Fire represents to us. This is the one that pushed us up to the next level to where we can see ourselves as Black Star Riders.
How does the writing process work for Black Star Riders?
It comes from a multitude of things. Generally, it starts with a musical idea that’s quickly followed by a vocal melody. Sometimes Ricky will come to me with his guitar and will sing what might be a verse or chorus and we’ll throw it back and forth. Other times, Scott or I will have a riff and bring it to Ricky who will then look in his lyric notebook and, 19 out of 20 times, he’ll already have a cool lyric to go with it.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Damon Johnson by Clicking Here!
Following the success of their self-titled 1977 debut album, Foreigner went on to record some of rock’s most enduring anthems, including “Hot Blooded,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Urgent,” not to mention the Number 1 hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
Since then, they’ve become one of the best-selling bands of all time, with 10 multi-platinum albums and worldwide sales exceeding 75 million.
On May 19, Foreigner will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a new career-spanning compilation, 40, which features 40 hits from 40 years. The band also will embark on an extensive U.S. tour with Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
These days, Foreigner is Mick Jones (lead guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar/flute/saxophone), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (lead guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums).
I recently spoke with Jones about the band’s 40th-anniversary plans, his upcoming autobiography, gear and more.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Foreigner. When you look back now—with so much perspective—what thoughts come to mind?
It’s a real gift and has basically been two-thirds of my life. It’s been a passion for me and I’ve stuck with it through thick or thin. I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to have an experience like this and to be doing something that I really love. It’s outlasted any expectations.
What does the band have planned to celebrate the occasion?
It’s the 40th anniversary, so we have the Foreigner 40 album that’s coming May 19. We’ve also got my book coming out, which is my first autobiography where you’ll find out a bit more about me. Then we’ve got a huge American tour where we’re bringing along Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. We have a couple of the guys coming out to play with the band, including Rick Wills and Dennis Elliot. There’s also plans for Lou Gramm to come out and do a few shows. We hope to make it a celebration.
Kelly Hansen has been with the band on lead vocals for more than a decade. What’s it like having him with the band?
Kelly was the reason I felt confident to go ahead with this in the first place. Obviously, those were big shoes to fill, but Kelly is a go-getting front man and performer who carries the songs incredibly well and gives 150 percent every night. But that’s really the thing about the whole band—everyone is totally dedicated to what we’re doing. It’s a rare thing to find something where everyone is on the same page. There’s good feeling all around.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Mick Jones by Clicking Here!