JEFF PILSON Says FOREIGNER's 'Songs And Music Are More Famous Than The Band'
March 29, 2021
In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson was asked what keeps the band inspired to continue to make new music after all these years. He responded: "Like anybody, you wanna be relevant. Mick Jones [FOREIGNER guitarist and founder] has a very open-eyed attitude about everything; he understands where the market's at. So, for him, it's all about, well, these songs have just gotta be great; that's all. I don't think he's thinking in terms of, are they going to be a hit or whatever, because who knows about that anymore. But making it great. And it's really fun watching Mick, and then the rest of the band kind of react to that, because it really ups your game.; you have to really bring it to make something really special. And it's good for you as a writer, it's good for you as a musician and as a producer. Any time I can be with Mick, I value, 'cause he's just such a brilliant, wonderful dude and such an amazing songwriter. So, what excites us is the music itself, and that's how it should be."
Regarding the secret to FOREIGNER's longstanding success as a band, Pilson said: "It's the songs, for sure. FOREIGNER was really never much of an image band, so I would say it's definitely the music. I mean, you could talk to people on the street, and you may find a lot of people that don't really know the name FOREIGNER, but you won't find anybody that hasn't heard of 'Cold As Ice' or 'Hot Blooded' and stuff like that. So the songs and the music are more famous than the band, which is amazing, because it gives us the ability to do this long-term touring and bringing it out there. I mean, it's just an amazing collection of songs that FOREIGNER has. It's amazing — it really is. I mean, 16 Top 30 songs. How many bands can say that? It's really special. So, yeah, it's the music that's connecting with people. And, sure, people have fallen in love with personalities and all that kind of stuff over the years, but I really think it's the music. And I love that, because I love the music too."
FOREIGNER's last album, 2009's "Can't Slow Down", was the only full-length collection of new songs to have been released by the band since Kelly Hansen took over vocals after original singer Lou Gramm left the band for good in 2002. The album entered the Billboard Top 30, driven by the radio singles "In Pieces" and "When It Comes To Love". The band also has released a series of live albums and compilations, including 2016's "In Concert: Unplugged" and 2017's "40".
FOREIGNER's current lineup is rounded out by Thom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals),Michael Bluestein (keyboards),Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums).