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Interview:
Foreigner will unplug for a good cause in Dearborn
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

After a summer of touring with Kid Rock -- including 10 nights at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- Foreigner plans to unplug. At least for one night.

The veteran group will be taping a new acoustic CD and DVD on Monday, Aug. 24, at the Ford Conference and Events Center in Dearborn. It's for a good cause -- proceeds will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (tour manger Robin Irvine's teenage daughter suffers from diabetes) -- but Foreigner founder Mick Jones says it's also a chance for the band to strip hits such as "Feels Like the First Time," "Hot Blooded," "Urgent," "I Want to Know What Love Is" and more down to their basics.

"A lot of those songs, most of them really, were written with acoustic guitars or without a full band around," Jones, 70, who founded Foreigner in 1976, says by phone. "They take on a whole other character with the electric guitars and the drums and the volume, but at the heart they are good songs, fundamentally, so it's nice to pull all the layers off and show that to people."

This isn't the first time Foreigner has taken the acoustic route; it previously released a studio set called "Acoustique." But Jones -- who returned to the tour this week after taking time off due to health issues -- says the new session will benefit from some technological advancements that will capture the music more accurately.

"We have a bunch of new equipment and new technology that we'd like to try out on this album, and that's one of the main reasons we're doing it -- to get the absolute best quality we can and give it an extra dimension," Jones explains. "It's to do wtih the micing and the pickups. It sounds more real, less process, like a pure acoustic guitar, full of body and tone. There's less of the unpleasant things that we hear as musicians, I guess. Maybe other people don't hear that, but we can."

Foreigner hopes to release "The Hits Unplugged and Live" during early 2016, Jones says. And he's hoping the group will sneak "maybe a couple of new songs" into the mix that the band has been working on during off days from the summer tour.

"I've got some stuff I'm tinkering with," Jones reports. "I'd say there's probably six or seven main ideas and some others in sort of various stages of development. When we get in the studio it's pretty intense, and most of the stuff comes on the spur of the moment. So I'm interested to hear the other guys' views as well, and hopefully we will have something new to play for the show.

"That would be a great way to start off the year, too, with the album and some new material. That would make us very happy, and I'm sure the fans will be, too."

Foreigner

8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24.

Ford Conference and Events Center, 1151 Village Road, Dearborn.

Tickets are $150-$500; some proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Call 313-248-1655 or visit www.jdrf.org.

Note: Foreigner also performs before Kid Rock on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township. Tickets are sold out but promoters say some might be released prior to the shows. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.


Web Site: www.jdrf.org

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