High Voltage Scoop: Foreigner’s Mick Jones Talks About Dio
When legendary melodic rockers Foreigner play at High Voltage on July 25, it’ll be their first outdoor show in the UK since the Reading Festival in 1978.
Words: Xavier Russell
Talking exclusively to Classic Rock, guitarist and founder-member Mick Jones says:”We really are looking forward to playing England again. We toured Germany last year, but sadly never made it over to the U.K. Playing High Voltage is gonna be great for us. It’s an excellent way to reach a lot of people.
“I’m really happy with the new-look Foreigner, there’s absolutely no egos and we all get along great, and this comes across in our live show. We will basically play a greatest hits set at High Voltage, and a longer set at The Roundhouse the following night (at the iTunes Festival). We will probably include three songs from the new album, Can’t Slow Down: the title track, In Pieces and When It Comes to Love.
Jones also explained why original vocalist Lou Gramm is no longer with the band (he left in 2003).
“Lou was very ill about 12 years ago with a brain tumour, thankfully he made a full recovery. We drifted apart musically, because he suddenly started leaning more towards christian rock, which to be honest is not my bag at all. Having said that, I wish Lou well. Lou will always be part of the magic that made early Foreigner so successful”
Jones also paid tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio, who will be in everyone’s thoughts when Heaven & Hell do a tribute set to him on the Classic Rock stage, right after Foreigner perform on the same stage.
“I always admired Ronnie James Dio as a singer and, of course, our bassist Jeff Pilson who played with Dio for quite a while (1993-97 and 2004-5) was particularly upset at his passing away Before you ask, no we’re not gonna play Holy Diver!. But Ronnie will be in our thoughts when we’re onstage at High Voltage.”
Foreigner have recently been touring in America with fellow AOR giants Styx and Kansas.
“It was a great tour, and considering the current economic climate in the States, this was one of the big success stories of 2010. We played the Sheds as they are fondly known in the States (outdoor arenas), and we pretty well sold out wherever we played. All the bands got on really well, and it was great to hear Styx and Kansas belt out their big hits, as well as us. I am seriously looking at bringing this package to Europe.
“There’s talk of a possible Foreigner European tour later in the year, including the UK, but nothing has been confirmed, There is also talk of touring Germany with an unplugged set, which is great fun to do live.”
Find out more about High Voltage at www.highvoltagefestival.co.uk.
All the Foreigner info is at: www.foreigneronline.com