Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder Fired Up For Summer Tour
When members of Styx and Foreigner get in a room together, there's a lot of laughter to go around.
So you can imagine what happens when one-time Eagles member Don Felder joins the mix. There are plenty of fun moments -- interspersed with reminiscing and talk about the state of music. Those candid conversations will likely continue later this year when all three acts hit the road together on the "Soundtrack of Summer" tour in May.
"This is a great band -- what we have right here," joked Felder, sitting alongside members of Styx and Foreigner during a recent interview with CBS News.
That super-group idea is actually not too far from reality.
Styx, Foreigner and Felder recently got together to record a new version of the Eagles' 1977 classic "Hotel California," which Felder co-wrote. "We decided we’d start it off just light and easy with just a little percussion…and it builds a little bit in the first chorus," Felder said about the new version. "And then Mick [Jones] jumps in with a great solo and we play the harmonies on the way out. It worked out really great."
Styx and Foreigner have toured together before, and Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw worked with Felder on material for Felder's latest solo album. "We recorded and wrote a couple of songs together, and I’ve sat in with Don before in his band. Great band," said Shaw. "And I don’t sit in that much. His band and Don are just off the hook great…I loved it...Same thing with Foreigner. I’ve always been a huge fan…When we worked together we were outside of the country and away from home. So you really find out who your friends are and who you’re like-minded with."
Despite their collective years in the business, they continue to learn from one another. "We sort of had a Traveling Wilburys experience…These guys aren't your typical shredder-type of guys. It’s more taste and expression,” Shaw said. "That's what attracts me as a guitarist. So you really see the individual come out. So as we are sitting and learning each other’s songs, I’m watching fingers and watching how people do stuff. And I actually improved how I'm playing my own song by watching these guys interpret it."
Kelly Hansen, lead singer of Foreigner, said he couldn't agree more. "You get to learn about people and know people," he said. "Sometimes on the road you don't get to do that. You both have your buses and you're both doing your different time-slots and you sort of pass a lot and there's a a lot of 'Hey, how are you doing?' But when you get to hang out, it's a really nice change."
"We have a bunch of really good songs," said Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones. "It makes for a great show. Plus, we have very versatile and very good guitar players with us."
The classic songs are at the crux of the summer tour. Foreigner -- alone -- can pump out "Juke Box Hero," "Cold as Ice," "Feels Like The First Time," "Urgent" and "Head Games" on any given night.
"I think the bottom line is the quality of the songs and the ability of them to cross trends and time and they become songs that people pay in the household -- not just in a room," added Jones. "They're in the car. Kids are listening to classic rock a lot these days. If I look at my kids' selection, a lot of it is '60s, '70s."
Still, the guys have their eyes on the future, too. Foreigner plans to release an album later this year. "It's starting to take shape a bit," revealed Jones. "We also have a project we’re thinking about -- thinking about doing the '4' album of ours, which was sort of our iconic album I guess, if you like. Doing that live...And we're probably going to do an album with guest artists doing mostly our songs."
In March, Felder will re-release his 2012 solo album, "Road to Forever," with four additional tracks. Some of those songs will be heard while on the road this summer.
"It's a real treat," Shaw said about touring. "We still get fired up. We've been doing this a long time, but to have it be something that you just can't wait to get up and get out of bed and go do, that's pretty cool."
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