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Richie Sambora: new Bon Jovi album The Circle "rocks hard" 18 September 2009 interview


Bon Jovi went to Nashville for 2007's country-tinged Lost Highway album and the result was mega-platinum: the record debuted at number one in the US - a first for the band. But on their upcoming release, The Circle (due out 10 November), the Jersey hitmakers are "back to rocking," says Richie Sambora.

"It was great dipping our toes in different waters," says the guitarist. "Jon [Bon Jovi] and I loved working with all these Nashville cats on Lost Highway, and that music definitely came through us in a natural way. We went down there with a couple of notepads and some guitars and magic just happened.

"But the last thing we want to do is try to Xerox something till it becomes a pale imitation of the original. So when Jon called me up last year and said it was time to start writing, the first thing we asked ourselves was, 'What do we feel like doing? Where are our heads at?' And rocking was the answer."

Fruitful writing sessions

Sambora describes the writing sessions between Bon Jovi and himself as "extremely easy, prolific and probably the most fun we've ever had creatively. I went to Jon's house with nothing and before you knew it we had something like 28 songs. Hey, when you're on a roll, you're on a roll. You don't question it, you just keep going till you're done."

Describing their demoing process, Sambora says bluntly, "We don't. Meaning, we don't do these elaborate sketches of songs with this part and that part. It's a time-waster." Instead, the duo "just grab two acoustic guitars, sit down in front of our old-school cassette record or an iPhone and we play the songs.

"We're of the belief that you can't polish bullshit," he says. "You have to remember, Jon and I have been doing this for 25 years. We know when we have something great and when we have something sub-par.

"To us, when we write a song, we knock it out and then we bring it to the band. When you go into a studio and you press 'Record,' that's a different story. That's when you start sprinkling all the fairy dust on the tracks. But that should come only after you have something that's unbreakable."


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