FOREIGNER Is In Talks With LOU GRAMM About 40th-Anniversary Celebration, Says MICK JONES

FOREIGNER guitarist Mick Jones was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.

Speaking about his relationship with former FOREIGNER singer Lou Gramm, Jones, who is the sole original member of FOREIGNER still recording and touring with the band, said: “I think at the bottom of everything, all the way through all that, all through the changes that came in the ’90s and etcetera, I think, nevertheless, we had sort of a kind of a love for each other that was deeper, that was born out of the intensity of what we went through, or had been through for the last eight or nine years [prior to the band’s initial split with Gramm]. I could never sort of look at it that way, but eventually, it did start to get to me, just the noise that was coming out of his camp [about his solo career], really. And so that led to the first major breakup, and things continued… We were estranged after a while, but deep down I always had a great love for Lou, as a friend, as a coworker, as a musician, vocally, and as a lyricist too. It was just a tough, tough period — and unnecessary in a way, but I think also what fueled it was that both of us had a few little adventures in the drug area, and alcohol, I would have to say as well, has contributed perhaps. We managed what we were doing very, very well at the beginning, considering the expectation and the stress. But I guess the top had to come off it at some point, and it kind of did.”

Asked if there is any chance of Gramm returning to FOREIGNER for some special shows to celebrate the band’s fortieth anniversary, Jones said: “Well, it’s quite possible. We’ve actually been talking about it. I’m not at a point where I can say it’s definitely gonna happen, but we’re all working on trying to make it happen. So it’s kind of exciting. And hopefully it’ll be feasible and possible to pull it off next year.”

He continued: “Lou and I have communicated, and, of course, we got together when were beneficiaries of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame award [in 2013]. And since then, we’ve kept up sort of a loose communication, as I have actually also with Ian McDonald [rhythm guitar], Al Greenwood [keyboards], Dennis Elliott [drums] and Rick Wills [bass]. So, yeah, as I say, we’re in the early stages, but we’re trying to put something together to commemorate… It’s scary when I say… forty years. [Laughs]”

Talking in more detail about what FOREIGNER has in store as part of the band’s fortieth-anniversary celebrations, Jones said: “We’re putting my team — my people and myself — are physically putting it together right now, trying to find the right venues that would make sense for us. And, generally, there will be a lot of events that go around this, around the forty-year celebration. So I can’t really say that much about it right now, but we’re definitely… We’re talking about it. We have a communication with Lou and his people, and it looks like it might be something we can really pull off next year. And there’s gonna be a couple of new tracks [with the current lineup of FOREIGNER] coming out at some point within the early part of 2017.”

Back in 2011, Gramm told Spinner that Jones touring under the FOREIGNER moniker was “false advertising.” Gramm, who had gone on record as saying that Jones often treated him no better than a sideman during his years in FOREIGNER, left the band in 2003 to pursue a solo career and was replaced by current lead singer Kelly Hansen in 2005.

With Hansen a vocal dead ringer for Gramm, Spinner asked him its weird being replicated on stage by a band he no longer fronts. “It is. It totally is,” he said. “But what’s stranger to me is that, as I’ve learned talking to people who see those shows, is that in many cases the audience, especially if they’re younger, don’t even know it’s not the original lead singer. In FOREIGNER’s case, as I understand it, the singer was actually trained to deliver pretty much exactly everything as I did it, note for note. If I were in the audience and learned that while I was there, I’d get up and leave. I think when the band name remains the exact same, but something as important as the lead vocal is different, it’s misleading. It’s like false advertising.”

Gramm told The Pulse Of Radio that without him, there’s no FOREIGNER, no matter what Jones calls it. “He’s put a new band together, and is calling it FOREIGNER. And that’s all well and good, but unless I’m singing, it’s not.”

Source: Blabbermouth

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