29 December 1989
Translated from French with Internet translator
-At the time of our first meeting at the last tour, you seemed very tired. I
hope " New Jersey Tour " makes you feel better!
JBJ: It is necessary to say that last year we were simply exhausted. We made 225 shows! This time, we have only 150 approximately for the moment. Last time we were precipitated in an infernal circle which we didn't expect. Nobody envisaged what really happened. Non stop there were surprises. Each day there was something. The technician responsible for the stage was null; if our sound was off he did nothing to fix it; and to travel so much from one place to another, that killed us. This year, we could organize all so that we have more time to put back and have better equipment. The clip "Wanted: Dead or Alive " shows well the tiredness from the tour "Slippery ". Yes, it is the plain truth in images. There is nothing truer than this clip. People think that it is a setting on stage and that all is prefabricated. For this clip, we gave the keys to the guy of video production and you can see when they awake Tico: he has the hangover and a desire to piss. Or then, in Chicago which must be the last image of the clip: no musician heard, only one word of what I sang. I could not compete with the amplifiers: the drums were right behind me, the cymbals were in my head, it was the hell. I was disgusted. We had worked so hard to come to this result: it was a shock and that is seen on the video.
-Is it all well now?
JBJ: I am not really a sad individual but I have to say that I was crushed enough last years. All my personal life, moreover. I always had something to prove to somebody and perhaps this is the reason that today, we do not have anything any more to prove to anybody. We are in a very comfortable situation if it's refer to the sells of our albums. We opened for Judas Priest before even an album came out, things were such that three years and from this time to today, we were ridden in a vertiginous way. The weight of all that on our shoulders, especially the first year, did not allow us to realize what fell on us. From now on, we can understand the process and appreciate it. I found my balance in success.
-Have this success changed you?
JBJ: I am calmer. I sleep better, I sing better and I found more satisfaction to do it.
-You have just released New Jersey- your native area...
JBJ: There is not great deal to say. I like this place, as everyone can like its native cradle. We made this interview in Quebec (Canada). It is a very beautiful city which has very European look. I was persuaded that there were small bands in the garages which were very proud to be from Quebec. When I was young, I did not even think to play in Quebec. I did not have an idea where it was located! When I decided to entitle the album "New Jersey ", we were at a point where we wanted that people know that we were originating in "jersey " (he hesitates). We felt rather sure to raise and protest high and strong our identity. If you did not know the band and you saw one of our plates, you would read "Bon Jovi ": you would no idea of our origin. We could be French or American. Thus, when we opened for Judas Priest, I carried this kind of patch of motorcyclist in my back which indicated "New Jersey ". The album was to be called "Sounds of Beaches ": I had engaged a professional designer for the cover, and just like for "Slippery ", this guy was null. After 11 hours, I said: "Enough" and I said to the other members of the band: "Oh this guy! I had thought of putting that inside, why not outside?" It was the blazon "New Jersey ".
-By the way I want to know more about New Jersey, the places which you appreciate, your memories.
JBJ: Last year, I spoke about Vancouver and since then I cannot put the feet in the studio (laughs) any more. Not, seriously, when I was younger, I like that it was very close to New York- forty minutes by car from where I lived, to be precise. We lived in a district which belongs to the working class in its majority. Not only your father worked, but your mother also had to face the end of the month. We had a small school and several rock bands, formations of rythm' n' blues, country rock, heavy, all kinds of music. There was also the circle of cover-bands and they received really good money. These guys had the Corvette, lived in large huts and played Led Zep! They did not have any personal repertory and nobody wanted to hear their songs. There was also the other circle in Asbury Park and this kind of places where you could see four bands per evening, interpreting only personal compositions and which received only one about fifty dollars per evening. It was my place. "Fast Lane"... All is finished now, they closed it in 1982.
-Did you live always there?
JBJ: Now, I am at five minutes from my old place. I live in what one could call the countryside and if you cross the bridge, you discover the ocean.
-Let's return to the music, did you begin with personal compositions?
JBJ: Not, at the beginning I played covers of Kiss. When I was 18 I played in the band "The Atlantic City Expressway " which was from ten musicians, kind of a little blues and we made only covers. It was at that time that I made a step to my own compositions, seeing that it was the only way for me to be followed. I left the band and I auditioned for an original formation. I had just obtained my diploma from school, in 1980. My band was called "The Rest ".
-Did you study music only in school or take courses?
JBJ: I had courses of music at school but I forgot the major part of all I learned there.
-What made of you a star?
JBJ: I don't know. If I knew it, I would bottle it and I would sell it. I don't know. In fact, people simply appreciated the songs we write. We are lucky, I believe.
-Did your aim in the life change?
JBJ: Of course! My motivation was very simple. I remember the first time with Kiss. We were five tourists who walked all day with large open mouths, amazed "Oh God, I am in Paris, I am in London!" I was completely insane to see Gene and Paul and be able to speak to them. These were unforgettable memories for me! During this tour Gene was super, the best of the four. He really did everything so we feel at ease. But my aim was simply to play, just to exist. The more time passes and the more your ambitions grow.
-Which is your aim now?
JBJ: To play " Giants Stadium " as it was the case in June. It was the show which I waited all my life. My second aim is "New Jersey " to exceed " Slippery When Wet ". You see, they are possible aims.
-You played in the U.S.S.R.. How did it happen?
JBJ: Soviets came to New Jersey and they wanted to sign with us a contract. During a discussion, they invited us in U.R.S.S and we answered "yes" without really believing in it. And it happened! We are the first band from the West, distributed over there.
JBJ: I am proud, it's sure. You know, that is not like calling a promoter and organizing a show; there you speak about governments, it is a place where they never had show like that and to insert all the equipment and production in the country- it was a considerable work.