KELLY HANSEN Wants To Figure Out What His Next Chapter Is After FOREIGNER Stops Touring

June 6, 2023

FOREIGNER lead singer Kelly Hansen spoke to Peachtree TV's "Monica Pearson One On One" about the legendary rockers' recent announcement that they were embarking on their farewell tour. The trek is set to launch on July 6 at Atlanta's Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. For the first leg of the U.S. Live Nation-produced tour, FOREIGNER will be joined by LOVERBOY.

Asked what he plans to do after FOREIGNER completes what is being billed as the band's last-ever run of shows, Hansen said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I have a lot to do before I get to that place; I have a lot of shows I've gotta perform, I have a lot of things I have to do. But I do want to, with my wife and my family, figure out what our next chapter is and come up with those answers. Because I've been on the road doing this for almost 20 years, nine months out of the year away from home, so it doesn't give you a lot of chance to plan out the next place. But I wanna spend more time living my life.

"There are different types of people on the road," he continued. "There are people who are road people, who are, like, that's what makes them happen, is they have to be on the road doing it; it makes their world complete. And I have other passions, other things I like to do. And I want to live life and I wanna make sure that I do it wisely and give myself time and not wait too long to where things are too difficult."

Regarding what other things he likes to do, besides cooking, Hansen said: "I'm a motorcyclist, and I like to work on those and old cars and things like that. And I like — the pride of home ownership; I like to actually fix things around the house and do things. So I enjoy doing that. And I always don't have enough time to do it. And I really hate having to pay someone else to do it. [Laughs]"

Hansen previously discussed FOREIGNER's decision to call it quits this past February in an interview with the 96.1 KLPX radio station. He said: "One of my things that was important to me is that I not be out there doing these songs that I shouldn't really be doing anymore 'cause I can't do them anymore. I wanna do these songs justice and deliver them strong and vibrant and then quit while we're ahead like that. I've seen far too many people who are — for probably many different reasons — still out there when maybe they shouldn't be. And I guess everyone has their own view of their vanity, whether it's visually or instrumentally or vocally, and I think that we're really at a peak right now. It's getting harder and harder to do this really difficult, challenging but wonderful catalog of songs every year, and I just wanna do them right. And I don't wanna start having to do less of them right."

This past January, Hansen was asked in an interview with Rob Rush Radio if this is indeed FOREIGNER's last-ever trek. Kelly said: "Our plan is to do this into 2024. I've been asked many times by many different people to continue doing this. And, really, for me, it's a matter of being able to perform these songs at the level they deserve and that the fans deserve, and I cannot allow myself to do less than that, just as a human being.

"It's gotten tougher and tougher every year to sing this great catalog of songs," he admitted. "And it maybe sounds like I'm whining. I'm not trying to whine; I'm really fortunate to be able to have done this and do this with the band. It's just I don't wanna sacrifice the quality of these songs and the performance of these songs. So I think it's better to say, 'You know what? I'm gonna leave here strong and let the memory of this live thing be strong as well."

Asked what he will miss the most about touring with FOREIGNER, Kelly said: "Amazing crowds and amazing band. I mean, what a great band with people that we all enjoy being around each other. We enjoy each other's company, and playing a catalog of songs that you couldn't dream of, you couldn't buy. And as a singer, to sing so many hits songs — from the start of the show to the end of the show, there's no fluff or filler — and that's just a dream to have happen. And so I'm gonna miss all that. And it's been a hard decision to make, but I think you have to get on to these things early and make sure you're doing the right thing. I've seen far too many other live entities happen that I really feel shouldn't be out there anymore."

The only remaining original member of FOREIGNER, guitarist Mick Jones suffered from some health issues beginning in 2011, eventually resulting in heart surgery in 2012. Ever since, it is never announced whether he will be appearing with the band for specific shows — it just depends how he is feeling.

After singer Lou Gramm left FOREIGNER in 2003, Jones took some time off before regrouping a couple years later with an entirely new lineup, featuring Hansen and bassist Jeff Pilson, among others.

Gramm was the voice on FOREIGNER's biggest hits, including "Feels Like The First Time" and "Cold As Ice" from the band's eponymous debut in 1977, and later songs like "Hot Blooded" and "I Want To Know What Love Is".

Photo credit: Karsten Staiger

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