Legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner spoke to Greece’s RockPages.gr about his collaboration with Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Tägtgren on a new album, tentatively due next year. Asked why it has taken him so long to release a new studio LP, Joe said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s been a long time — purposely it’s been a long time. I took some time to live life, because I was crazy for all those years working really hard, and doing different projects here and there — for Cleopatra [Records], et cetera; a song here [and] a song there — and writing with Peter Tägtgren from PAIN and HYPOCRISY. Finally we had a chance to do 11 songs and master them, and they’re ready to go. Now we’re dealing with Nuclear Blast, but we’ll see what happens.”
Regarding the musical direction of his project with Tägtgren, Joe said: “It’s a more heavy, darker… I’m using a different voice a lot of times because I wanted to get away from everything I was doing. An artist has to change or he dies. So I’m glad that the time period happened so it kind of put that in the past and it’s gonna bring this into the future. And I think a lot of people will be pretty surprised that I have this other voice that I’m using.”
Earlier this year, Joe told Metal From The Inside that his collaboration with Tägtgren came about naturally. “What happened was I played a gig for Tommy, [Peter‘s] brother — he’s a big fan of mine — in Sweden,” he recalled. “And we got to be friends, Peter and I. And driving back to the train to go back down to Stockholm, he gave me a cassette with a track on it that he wasn’t using, and he said, ‘Why don’t you write something to this?’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So, about a month later, I sent something back, and he just went, ‘Woah! Really?’ And I went, ‘Yeah. I think this is good stuff.’ And it’s gonna be the lead-off track — it’s incredible. So anyway, we said, ‘Let’s do something.’
“Meanwhile, he’s touring like crazy with two bands, I’m touring. We were writing a track here and so on and so forth,” he continued. “I finally got up to Borlänge [in Sweden] again, and we got in the studio and the chemistry was unbelievable. We just wrote two or three tracks in two days — I mean, soup to nuts; just as you’re gonna hear them on the record is the way we did them. So we knew we had something.”
Joe added that he was thrilled with how the music was turning out, saying: “I think it’s exciting. It’s different. It doesn’t sound like anyone else. I really mean that. Just because of the input where Peter comes as a writer, artist and producer. And, of course, it’s still melodic, because I make sure that I’ve got those melodies and choruses. When I say ‘heavier’ or ‘darker,’ [it’s] mostly because of the times we live in, [so there were] all these subjects [to write about]. So it is a real piece of art, in a sense of the word, because art should always be a reflection of its time; this is exactly what all great art has been through the ages.
“All I can say is that we’re very excited about it,” he added. “We think people are gonna absolutely love it, because it has all of the building blocks. It’s got a bit of industrial metal, it’s got a bit of classic rock vocals, it’s got subject matter. It’s darker, it’s deeper, it’s broader. So, we think it’s gonna raise some eyebrows.”
Turner‘s career spans more than 40 years and includes collaborations with the likes of RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE and Yngwie Malmsteen.
Tägtgren is the founder and co-founder of PAIN, HYPOCRISY and LINDEMANN, as well as the owner of a successful recording studio in Sweden. Most of his time is devoted to The Abyss studio, where has worked on many classic albums, including those by DIMMU BORGIR, IMMORTAL, ENSLAVED, DARK FUNERAL and CHILDREN OF BODOM.