EXCERPTS FROM JON BON JOVI'S BJTV CHAT 1/25
ON LEARNING FROM THE PAST:
"If you just look back to something like Slippery and New Jersey, my experiences are going to be completely different from Richie's, Tico's or Dave's. Physically and mentally, they were in one place, and I was in another. So where Richie might really look fondly on the Slippery tour, I look at it as hard work. It was physically so draining, I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. It wasn't until in the latter years that I really to understand the nature of the beast, and how to deal with and control it."
"The pressure is definitely there. At one time or another, It's gotten to me--I'd be lying if I said it didn't. But it's part of growing up, and having to deal with the responsibilities that any job brings. Regardless of what you do out there, if you go to work, you've got a responsibilities to deal with sometimes. But I wouldn't have it any
other way--this is where I'm comfortable."
ON THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE BUSINESS:
"The business stinks. Compared to the movie business, though, it's the greatest! Music has a lot more loyalty to it than the movie business does. But one thing that the music business can't take away from you is your songs. I get no greater pleasure than to physically write a song. Everything after that is a bit of a letdown. The recording process takes a long period of time, when you really can't get many record guys involved in the record making process. They don't quite understand--they're salesmen, at the end of the day. I can't excite them by bringing them into the studio because they don't quite get it. Then it's up the radio programmers and the salesmen and all the other nonsense that enters into the picture. But the one pure moment is when you're sitting there with your guitar and pen and something comes out that just makes you go 'Wow!'"
ON OTHER MUSICAL ACTS:
"I think that everything is entirely cyclical in this business--trends just go round and round. There was a brief time, not too long ago, where everybody thought that disco was making a comeback. And there's someone like Cher who got just got some Grammy nominations--I mean, she's been up and down so many times. Rap music doesn't seem to go away. It's the voice of the inner city, and now it's gotten to the point where it's reached suburbia, and maybe it's educated people who wouldn't know about that kind of life. Sometimes it's been negative, but I think it's being done in a mostly positive manner."
"In America, our kind of music was shunned for most of the 90's. But it's really come around again, probably because of the lack of star power and catalogue. There are too many one-hit wonders in the world that radio and MTV befriend, and they don't see the big picture. VH1 does seem to stay people throughout their careers, and that's a good thing..."
"I enjoyed the Lit record--I guess it's their first. But it's a really good record--I enjoy it. And there's a little band called Splendor. I don't think they sold ten copies of their album, but it's a really good album. Everlast made a really good album, too... It all comes down to songs. If you have a good song, people have a record. If you sell enough records, the record company allows you to make another one. it's that simple."
ON THE FANS:
"Our fans are pretty good. You're in a good place when your music dictates interaction between the fans and the band. If your music is about fun and lightheartedness, you're going to attract fans who want to have fun. I've never been one who's been comfortable around a lot of security. Not that I'm inviting anybody to come to my house, because it's a fortress--don't come here! I'm most approachable when you think of me as just a guy who grew up next to you. I don't put myself on a pedestal, so don't you do it, either. Enjoy the music--that's all I ask.
There's been a couple of situations, but nothing that's been that bad. So we've been blessed in that sense..."
"I don't walk around thinking, 'Oh, I'm Jon Bon Jovi', People remind me of that wherever I go. If you're at a restaurant, a movie, or a ball game, obviously people are going to recognize you. But I think the idea of not trying to draw attention to that celebrity endears us to our fans that much more. If you see ten bodyguards, you wonder who's in the middle of it. I just go on about the business of having a real life."
ON MUSICIANS IN MOVIES:
"All you can do is the best you can do, and hope that people like it enough to take a shot with you. It's short sighted and narrow-minded not to give anybody an opportunity perform...They tell me that Jennifer Lopez has four movies coming out, and that she's making seven and a half million dollars a movie, and they consider her a singer. If you have a successful record it will help you, especially because these movie people change their minds more than people change their underwear, for Christ's sake. They're funny like that. But it seems that they're accepting more a cross-collaborative effort between music and movies."
"I think the world of Sean Penn. I think that he's wonderful. I think Brad Pitt is wonderful. John Cusack and Woody Harrelson are wonderful actors. Tom Cruise, I think is a great actor. I think there a plenty of guys my age who are just wonderful..."
"Acting has helped me become more of an extrovert. I had no desire whatsoever to become an actor. But when I wrote the sound track for Young Guns, I wanted more scripts so that I could write songs for movies. Or, I'd write for myself based on ideas from the movies--it was just another outlet for me to find material. But what I realized when I went to these acting classes, where I started with my nose in a book and my legs crossed, was that I was afraid to speak. I've learned to open up. Now I'm not afraid to express myself on a set if you have to laugh or cry. Now I'm able to pursue other things in the arts, not just the recording and touring aspects of it. It's helped to grow as a person--to read books, look at other films. It's just broadened my horizons..."
"When I was doing The Leading Man--starring in the film and living in London--I would bring my character home with me. A couple of times, people would tell me, 'Hey, leave Robin Grange on the set!' And I'd go, 'Sorry, it's just that I'm still there.' You can easily do that. It takes a great committment, but if you're working enough on the set, it does take you over. That's an exciting place to be--I enjoy it."
ON CHOOSING HIS ROLES:
"I've come to realize that I'm drawn to the darker scripts--to smaller, quirkier movies. It's a big part of the reason why I've been in them--those are really the ones that appeal to me! There have been movies that I've tried to get made and to promote because they were intelligent, darker scripts that could be successful if promoted properly."
"I read scripts for blockbuster movies, and I just don't want to be a part of them. I've even had to agree to audition for a couple of things where they've said, 'The script isn't going to get to you until tomorrow morning, the audition is tomorrow afternoon.' And I'll go in and read for the director and walk out of there thinking, 'I don't even want this offer.' Sometimes I get the offer regardless--I've turned a lot of those down. I don't want to be in a hit movie for a hit movie's sake. I'd rather be in small, Mirimax type of film where I'm really enveloped by the story and by the character."
"I distance myself from a script if the character is boring or the story is too unbelievable to be any good. I was offered 200 Cigarettes. I didn't care for the script. They said, 'Pick any male role you want.' I didn't want the script. I've been offered TV things, sitcoms--'Please come on our show.' If I don't watch the shows, I wouldn't want to be on them. There were little darker scripts that really appealed to me, that I was willing to fight to get, but they couldn't get the financing."
"Just before Christmas, I went in for this very small part. I had to play this redneck bigamist who's got a whole other family on the other side of town. He's abusive, a major alcoholic. I went in there as redneck as I possibly could. I didn't shave for a few days, I started nuzzling on the casting agent's ear, I was just really going for it!"
"There have been auditions where you have go in and just sit in a folding chair while someone reads you the dialogue and you have to read it back. And they expect you to emote, which is difficult. I've gone in to auditions where I've had to cry and cried. I've gone into auditions where I've had to scream and screamed--that's a little easier! But you have you prepare. When you walk in the room, you have to be what the director envisioned. Sometimes you can be great, go way above and beyond the call of duty, and not get the part because you're not right. You can be too young, too old, too small, or look too much like a rock and roll star. The luck of the dice has to be with you."
ON HIS UPCOMING WORLD WAR II MOVIE U571:
"U571 is an exception to the action genre because when we shot it--and I don't know how it's going to turn out--the dialogue and characters were rich. My character was in great contrast to Matthew McConaughey's. We're best friends, we're of the same rank, and it would have been easy for me to say, 'He's the star of the movie--I'll just do what he does, and maybe I'll get another role.' Wrong--I went in there and did the polar
opposite, so that my character stood out as his own man. Now if the rich dialogue isn't cut out--and it might be because of the movie people who get involved--it will challenge the audience to pay attention to something that can be commercially successful and emotional. That's what you really hope they'll find."
ON BECOMING A LEGEND:
"One of the jokes I've said around here is that get I get critical acclaim in the movie businesss--that means I'm not going to be successful. In the meantime, I get no critical acclaim in the music business, and were incredibly successful...Trophies donut make you feel any better when you look in the mirror in the morning, and they're not going to put food on your table...I would be shocked if we ever got in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Aerosmith and Queen were up this year and were overlooked. I think it will be one of those bands that sells well over one hundred million albums. And we'll probably not get it. It's not a big deal, but on other hand, you really feel that you're supposed to hang up your number after that and walk away. By no means do I want to walk away. It would be fine if we got in, but it's not something that really matters to me..."
"All we did was set out to have fun, and we gave you the feeling that you can do this, too. There was never any attempt on our parts to have a social agenda. It was just the times of our lives that we documented. If we could be remembered for one thing, it's for making people happy. A song is a snapshot of a memory you look fondly upon. That's good enough for me."