How Foreigner’s Mix of Current and Old Members Overcame Hesitant Start
Foreigner singer Kelly Hansen admitted that the process of current members working with the people they replaced had a “hesitant” start, but said it had turned out to be a positive experience.
Last year, Mick Jones merged the present lineup with former members Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald, Rick Wills and Dennis Elliott to present the band's Double Vision: Then and Now concerts. The idea had come up after Jones and former singer Gramm had settled their longstanding differences.
“You'd think it would be really odd,” Hansen told Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. “It was a little hesitant when we just first met, but everyone had a great attitude, and no one came in with any bullshit. And they were really cool and really open and really giving and really trusting. And everyone just came in and we just did our thing, and it, surprisingly, worked out really, really well, and we have a good time together. We all like to hang out together as well.”
You can listen to the full interview below.
Hansen talked up the advantage of being in proximity with the original artists. “Those guys are really great about letting us kind of sometimes pick their brain, like, 'What guitar did you play on that song, on that piece? And how did it go?'" he recalled. "Because you can't really always get all that information just strictly from listening to the tracks. So it's been a really great thing, and I think it's been a really interesting thing for the audience as well.”
He added that "it's also a matter of sharing the understanding of the songs, because I think a lot of people know the songs, but they don't always know that Foreigner is the one that did them."
Looking back over the band’s career, Hansen said he thinks the band "has always gone through a lot of changing people … and over time, you start to look back and you start to recognize what you've accomplished and how much it's meant not only for you and your life but also for the musical world. … I think there's a little bit of that going on with the guys. And to be able, all of us, to come together to celebrate the legacy of this band was really cool. And I think the willingness of the original members to come out and do something with us was a nice thing to see, that they were giving us at least that credence. And that was very valuable and meaningful.”