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Interview:
New Means More Than Old To Foreigner Founder
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Foreigner’s multiplatinum, self-titled debut album. And it brings little more than a shrug from group founder (and only remaining original member) Mick Jones.

“Everybody’s conscious of it,” Jones, 62, says, “but I guess I just haven’t been dwelling on it much. I don’t think we’re even talking about it.”

Instead, Jones is preoccupied with what’s going on in Foreigner now.

He’s reconstituted the ’70s and ’80s monolith with a new lineup that features Led Zeppelin progeny Jason Bonham on drums, former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and Kelly Hansen on vocals. It’s a roster he says is both hungry and humble — and concentrating hard on the work at hand.

“There are no attitudes,” Jones says. “There’s a certain maturity in the band, but contrary to that, the energy and youthfulness of the band is there, too.

“It’s a lot of satisfaction. It’s like ... paying the dues that the band didn’t play at the beginning when it had immediate success. So it’s chal- lenging now, and that’s what I like about it.”

Jones hopes to release a new Foreigner album, its first since 1995’s “Mr. Moonlight,” “either the end of this year or early next year.” He has “about four or five” new songs and has been recording new versions of older material, including a “stripped-down” take on the 1987 hit “Say You Will.”

But he’s loath to reveal much more in the way of details.

“During the fall, we’ll take a couple months off to focus in on the writing and get some new product,” Jones says. “Gradually it’s been coming.

“It’s just been a question of feeling out where I want to go with the music. I want it to flow naturally. I don’t want to sort of do anything consciously to go in a certain direction. I want to be guided by my inner intuitions.”



Foreigner and Frank Roche perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (June 8th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $32.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www. palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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