FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson has once again said that it’s unlikely the band will release another full-length studio LP as a follow-up to “Can’t Slow Down”, which came out more than a decade ago.
“The chances of us doing a full-on record of new material is pretty slim at this point,” he told Thorn Of Rock in a new interview (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “Mick [Jones, FOREIGNER founder and guitarist] is in New York right now, so we haven’t been together enough during this whole pandemic to really do the recording that would be necessary. And then, once everything starts opening back up, we have to go on the road. I mean, we’ve got a crew that’s been out of work for a year. And so we’re gonna have to get back to work. And our touring schedule makes the thought of doing an entire record of new material pretty daunting.”
He continued: “I would say what’s gonna happen is we’ll continue to put out the kind of stuff we’ve been doing in packages and live stuff and all that kind of thing. And then we’ll throw in new material on that stuff and make the packages more interesting. That’s probably what’ll happen, and I think you will see some of that start to happen over the next couple of years.”
According to Pilson, part of the reason FOREIGNER hasn’t made an effort to write and record a new album is because how there isn’t a real reward in classic rock bands making new music, with fans preferring to hear the hits.
“If you’re gonna do a record of all-new material, you wanna go out and play that stuff,” he said. “The audience, in reality, has a limited appetite for that. Yes, there’s diehards that will listen to everything and all that, but we are a well-oiled machine, and part of that is because we know how to entertain, and we know how to put on a show.
“FOREIGNER had 16 Top 30 songs,” he continued. “You know what the hardest part [is] about making a setlist for FOREIGNER? Which songs do you leave out? That’s the hardest part.
“So, yeah, that, and even more than that, it comes down to the time and the fact that we’re on the road working so hard. And we really want to be out there doing that, that just the time to pull up the stakes and do a whole record, that’s tough.”
Last month, Pilson spoke to Kylie Olsson‘s YouTube show “Life In Six Strings” about the new songs he and his FOREIGNER bandmates are working on. “A couple of them were actually written by Mick, like, 20-some years ago; there’s stuff that he had,” he said. “So what we’re doing is we’re just kind of working it out and arranging it with Mick. Like one of them right now, we’ve kind of worked on a beginning bed of it, and then Kelly‘s [Hansen] gonna sing it. Another one, we’ve tried a few different treatments; we haven’t really settled on that. There’s another couple that are kind of in the same state — they’re written; we just haven’t decided exactly where to go. One of them needs a bridge, and things like that.”
This past December, Hansen told the “Iron City Rocks” podcast that writing songs and putting out records in this day and age is “not a money-making proposition.” He explained: “The streaming and online services do not provide anything that would even come close to providing a living for a musician — for, I would say, 99.9 percent of musicians in the world. But this off time [during the pandemic] has given us the opportunity to work on some new stuff. I was just working on a track yesterday. And Jeff Pilson is an extremely prolific writer and musician and producer, so he’s been doing a lot of records on his off time.
“I don’t need that much artistic fulfillment from writing new tunes, although I do get inspired, and I do do it,” Kelly clarified. “But it all depends on what’s inside that musician’s mind. But it’s not about the money, that’s for sure.”
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 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).