"Keep the Faith was a rebirth and a reinvention, These Days was rather dark and Destination was art."
|BJ Interview - Gallery of Sound
“Oh, man—I’m upside down!’’ Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora exclaims from his London hotel room.
Who can blame him? The New Jersey band’s guitarist, co-writer and co-songwriter has been on a late September whirlwind preparing for the release of Bon Jovi’s tenth album, Bounce. During the span of a week and a half he started in Los Angeles, came to New York for a pair of “NFL Kickoff” performances, then flew first to London, then Tokyo, then back to England.
One could argue that Sambora and his mates—singer-guitarist Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres—don’t have to do this, of course. Since debuting during 1983, Bon Jovi has sold more than 93 albums worldwide, has played to more than 31 million fans and has a chain of hit singles ranging from rockers such as “Runaway,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “It’s My Life” to tender love songs like “I’ll Be There for You,” “Always” and “Bed of Roses.”
And it’s not like the group’s success is stuck in any particular time period; Bon Jovi’s last studio set, 2000’s Crush, sold eight million copies worldwide.
Clearly, people still love Bon Jovi. So why the frenetic, jet lag-inducing travel schedule?
“It’s fun,” sneers Sambora, 43, as if that’s as dumb a question as whether he likes being married to actress Heather Locklear (he does—duh).
“We’re just happy to have something to say,” he adds. “If we’re still having a good time, that’s what makes it happen. If you’re happy about a record, you’ve got to go out and tell people about it.”
But Bon Jovi himself notes that any sort of promotional push remains necessary in the volatile music industry, even for its biggest bands
“I’m not gonna lose my record deal if they don’t sell 100 copies; that’s just the honest economics of it,” says Bon Jovi, 41, (real surname Bongiovi) who’s also launched a successful film career that includes roles in “Moonlight and Valentino,” “The Leading Man” and “U-571,” and a recurring role on TV’s “Ally McBeal.”
“When you’ve sold almost 100 million records, you can pretty much do what you want. But I sure do hope people like ‘em. We’re never gonna sell what *NSYNC, Britney and Eminem are doing. But that’s OK. It’s a marathon; I’m not going anywhere.”
Despite its upbeat title, most of the 12 songs on Bounce were drawn from one of the darkest days in American history—September 11. Sambora had already flown east from his home in Los Angeles, arriving on September 10 to start writing songs at Bon Jovi’s house in Rumson, N.J. “He actually woke me up; ‘Man, get up! Something really crazy’s going on,’” recalls Sambora who, like the rest of the band members, knew people who died in the World Trade Center towers—including the husband of the group’s publicist.
During the subsequent weeks Bon Jovi and Sambora performed on the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon and at the Concert for New York at Madison Square Garden. Their new songs, meanwhile, couldn’t help but turn towards the tragedy.
“We couldn’t write anything but songs about it for awhile,” Sambora says. “You’ve got to heal yourself, y’know? [Writing] those songs was part of the healing process. We wrote a bunch of songs we felt really hit the nail on the head; some were way too sad to put on the record.”
Ultimately, he says, the duo decided to focus not on the attacks themselves but on songs that dealt with the aftermath and material designed to be uplifting, whether it’s the declaration of eternal memory in “Undivided” or the rallying cry of Bounce’s first single, “Undivided,” which declares “I’ve had enough of crying/ Bleeding, sweating, dying.”
Read the rest of the interview by following the link below...
Related URL: http://www.galleryofsound.com/pages/type1u.asp?StoryID=1242&GENRE=1