Hit Parader 1986
Hit Parader: In previous interviews you've aid the process of making an album and writing new music is very difficult for you. Was that true this time too?
JBJ: Things just flew along this time, and that surprised me more than anybody. When we finished, I said to the guys in the band. "Hey, either we're getting really good at this or all our minds have snapped". It really came easy this time. We wrote so many songs that the real problem was deciding which 1-s to use. Unlike the past, when we really had to struggle to find enough cuts to complete the record, we had enough to give some away this time. There are 2 songs in the Michael J. Fox movie Around The Corner In The Light Of Day and Columbia Pictures has 2 others put aside for their films.
HP: Why do you think things were so much easier this time?
JBJ; One of the reasons is that I'm in a great mood This is a real upbeat album There aren't any Only Lonelies where the guy's heartbroken because he lost his girlfriend. Maybe because everything's so much more upbeat it was easier to do. It's no fun writing about things that make you sad
HP: How did you get the material together for the record?
JBJ: After we finished the 7800° From Hell" tour, the whole band flew down to the Cayman Islands. All we did was lie on the beach in front of this bar that served exotic drinks. We wanted to get completely away from rock and roll. After a few weeks of that, we went home to New Jersey, and Richie and I started writing up a storm. Then we took over a recording studio In my hometown of Sayrevllle and demoed a bunch of stuff From there it was real easy. The toughest part was finding a producer We considered people like Keith Forsey and David Foster, who's more of a pop producer, but everyone was recommending Bruce Fairbarn. When we heard what he did with the last Black N Blue album, we knew he was the guy for us.
HP: You recorded the album in Vancouver. Canada was that Farbarn's idea?
JBJ: Yeah, he wanted to work here, but we didn't mind because we wanted to get as far away from New York as we could. If we had done the album in New York, the record company would have been breathing down our necks every day I didn't want that I wanted to do this one at my own speed My attitude from the start has been that if this isn't my Born To Run, it isn't coming out. By getting away from the rock mainstream, I was able to do it my way
HP: Vancouver's got a reputation as a pretty conservative city what do a bunch of rock and roller's do for fun up there?
JBJ: There are some strip clubs up there which are pretty wild. The girls were topless and bottomless, and they'd slide down from the ceiling and do their thing Afterwards they'd hop into this plexiglass shower right onstage. Tico's buying a strip club in Jersey, and after seeing the places In Vancouver he's redoing some of his plans. The best part for us was that all the dancers came over to our place when they got off work It was like a foreign exchange program.
HP: What are some of your favorite songs on the new album?
JBJ: You Give Love A Bad Name is a really different song for us, because it's something you can tap your foot to. There's a sense of humor in It and in a lot of the other songs, which is really a big turn-on for me. We've taken what we've done best on the first two albums and added some new things to the mix. Another one I really like is Wanted Dead Or Alive In fact, I think I'm prouder of that song than anything else I've ever done in my life I honestly believe 15 years from now, people will still be playing that one.
HP: You're starting your shows with the song Raise Your Hands Did you write that one with the stage in mind?
JBJ: Pretty much. We key ourselves on involvement with the kids, and that song really gets everybody in the mood to rock. When we start with that one, everybody wants to get on their feet.
HP: This album has a very commercial feel to it. Were you purposely going after radio acceptance?
JBJ: Not really, because I've learned that radio is a very fickle thing. They love you one minute and forget about you the next. There is no loyalty, but there's nothing you can do about that. I don't make records for radio — I make them for the fans. All radio cares about is selling refrigerators. I worry about the music and turning people on with rock and roll, not peddling air conditioners.
HP: But don't you feel this record is more commercial in nature?
JBJ: No, it isn't We just have more energy on this record than ever before Try to imagine an album filled with songs like Because The Night done the real way. I don't mean Keel and I don't mean Patti Smith I mean the way Bruce and the E Street Band did it in 1978 — filled with lots of energy and vocals that were screaming right at you.
HP: You've mentioned Springsteen twice in this conversation. Are you growing more aware of the Jersey connection between you two?
JBJ: In some ways I guess I am, even though our music isn't really that similar After the first album came out, if people asked me where I was from I always told them "America" ,After the last album. I just mumbled something under my breath Now all that's changed We had to establish ourselves without relying on where we were from or what we looked like- For example, we never tried to do any of that pin-up stuff. We wanted people just to react to our music. We're very proud of where we come from. New Jersey's a tot different from places like LA , where things are phonier, and there's tons of hairspray everywhere. I'm from the gutter, and that's where I like it I feel the most comfortable there, no matter how successful we become.
HP: Do you like to be on stage?
JBJ: The best part for me is just being up on that stage. Their’s times when you just feel you just can’t do it. You know like it is your 230-th show this year. I read a book about someone who’s done 160 shows and I see Tina Turner on the cover of Billboard, she’s done 97 shows. I laugh, I say both of them together do what I do, I they are saying, I’m exhausted. Oh, yeah. Tell me about it. And I get up to the back of the stage minutes before we go on and I might still be moping. But the minute I hear the crowd, I just get up there, man, and go nuts. I am Sugar Ray Leonards, Jugger, Bruce, Eddy Murphy… I am fucking superman.