Hey Jack, what's happening?
I'm just sitting here waiting for you to call!
I appreciate you taking the call Jack.
I just want to touch on Neverland for a minute. Last time we talked I had it on the way, but it hadn't arrived yet.
It is a bloody fantastic album!
Why thank you.
It is a very mature Night Ranger wasn't it?
Yeah it was. I think this new Night Ranger is more immature Night Ranger. Ha ha!
Yeah, this one is a lot more fun. I think you are really going to enjoy this one.
Neverland was a pretty serious album.
Yeah, this one is pretty not serious. This is a pretty fun record. The Japanese called me last night. They are flipping out over it.
They are really excited.
I am really pleased, and even surprised to see another album so quickly.
Well, so am I.
Actually we just got off the road, and I started writing a bunch of songs, and we thought well, lets go in and cut them.
And Zero said they would like another record. So we said okay, let's do it right now.
So the band must really be smoking right now.
Actually, if you think about it, we are releasing about one year from the last one. Which is really amazing!
I just wish more bloody bands would do the same these days.
Yeah, it normally takes two, three or four years. It's a joke.
Absolutley. Trends come and go between records.
It's like the old days, where The Beatles put out records every six or so months. Know what I mean?
Even you guys - in the early days '82-'84.
Yeah, a tour an album, a tour, and another album.
I guess you can burn out on that after half a dozen years or so.
I think so. This time around it was a lot of fun doing it this way.
We got an engineer by the name of Noel Golden, who mixed Sammy Hagar's last album 'Marching To Mars'. That's who we brought in as an engineer, but he did such a good job, we decided to have it a co-production thing.
There is a Rolling Stone interview you did. Brief, but you said press in 'American doesn't give a shit', but you are glad to be doing it anyway.
Yeah, so true.
I didn't recognize the producers name.
Yeah, he is more an engineer. He is from Canada.
And you guys know what you are doing anyway, eh?
Yeah, we've done a few of these before!
It's pretty easy for us to make a record. And we did it up here in my studio.
I was going to ask if you recorded on the Ranch.
Yeah, it turned out pretty nice.
I have a few of the tracks here. The track 'Let Him Run' pops up.
Yeah, yeah. We did 'Let Him Run' with Fitz playing the keyboards.
Instead of Jeff playing the guitars, we had Fitz play the keyboards.
You know, the Japanese love that shit.
They sure do!
They love remaking stuff. It is kind of neat. It turned out really nice. Kelly sang it. It seamed much more like the way we perform it live, which I personally enjoy.
Makes it sound fresh again.
The other thing this Rolling Stone blurb said, was that you wanted to ship 'Panic In Jane' to radio without the band's name on it - to eliminate any pre-conceptions.
Yeah, that would be something interesting.
Very cool song.
Different for Night Ranger?
Different, yet definitely us.
Can you describe the overall sound of the '7' record?
Well the sound of the album is much more rocking than the Neverland CD. It is much more like in your face rock n roll.
The songs like 'Panic In Jane', 'Kong' and 'Mother Mayhem' - those three are probably my favorites.
'The Sign of The Times' is a real, like furious straight ahead rocker, like 'You Can Still Rock In America' type song.
And um, 'Sea Of Love' is a great rockin' tune, straight ahead, a real pounder.
But the album rocks a lot harder. It rocks more than say the 'Neverland' CD, because we simply wanted to make a raw straight ahead, in your face record.
The last album was very precise and perfect, and I enjoyed it, but I also enjoyed making this record.
It was different also having another person at the helm. Like I said, with Noel throwing all this stuff in the works, making this record the way we wanted it to sound.
It kind of wound up really nice.
Ron Nevison is a very technical producer isn't he.
Yes he is, where as this way, you would admire our adherence to low tech! There is no high tech on this record!
Night Ranger has always had the signature vocals, and 'Neverland' in particular had many layers of vocals.
Have you still retained those features?
Oh yes, it is differently Kelly and I singing big choruses.
And you know, we brought up a friend of mine Jack Russell. He sings with Great White.
I am glad you brought that up. I was going to ask you about him.
Yeah, Jack came up for a couple of days and sang backgrounds on the whole album.
You will hear his voice in there a lot.
'Panic In Jane' and 'Kong' especially. He is a good friend, and said 'Yeah. I'll help out'.
Originally it was going to be Tommy Shaw, but then he started doing a solo album - which I have ended up last week in LA playing on six tracks.
Tell me how that came about.
Well, he was making this record, and wanted me to play on it. It was like song after songs and I ended up playing on over half of it.
Playing bass. Unfortunately I didn't get to sing on it, I was too busy and then I had to leave.
He is doing vocals now.
Almost a Shaw/Blades thing!
Almost, yeah! Which is nice, as I love the Shaw/Blades thing.
Who else plays on the record?
We brought in Michael Carabello, the conga player for Santana. He played some conga's and percussion on some of the songs.
That's very cool.
My friend Pat McDonald played some acoustic guitar on 'Mother Mayhem', we co-wrote that song.
He used to be in a band called Timbuk 3.
And Tommy, Mark Hudson and I did the background vocals on 'Kong'.
So it is pretty neat.
And it is out through Zero at the end of March.
Yeah, the album's called '7'.
The name was in question there for a while?
Well in Japan, it is our Seventh studio album, so we thought we would call it '7', and then we were thinking 'Panic In Jane', but he label wanted '7', so that is fine with me.
Maybe people will go in thinking they are buying the Garth Brooks album, and end up with the Night Ranger album. Ha ha.
They will get a culture shock when they get home!
Oh boy will they!
What about a US release?
Probably in the summer time. Early summer.
Looking pretty good to have Legacy get it out?
Well yeah, we are signed to Legacy, that's out Label.
Will they change it around like they did the last one?
It all depends. I gave them a song order.
I got the US version of 'Neverland', and found the running order much better.
It's much better. Much, much better.
I only found it a little strange to have 'Forever All Over Again' kicking off the album.
Well, Legacy wanted to focus on that ballad to take it to radio.
I think it was great adding 'Walk In The Future' to the record.
Yeah, that was on the Japanese EP.
You know 'Neverland' only got released officially in Australia in October of '97.
Oh, my God, really?
Isn't that funny! Here we are getting ready to do another album!
I ran into a mate I hadn't seen for about a year, and was filling him in on Night Ranger, saying you know, you had a record out, and he's going nuts, saying play it to me.
I just said sure, and they have another one out next month!
Ha ha. That's funny! Really!
This album is fun. I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about this kind of music or that, as long as it's fun, that's what counts.
A good song is a good song, and there are plenty of them on the new album.
Cool Jack, thanks!
Well all right mate! You think you got enough?
Hey - before you go, there are still rumors of Damn Yankees doing a record. What do you think of that?
Right now, there is a lot of talk between the people. Betwee the band members. We would like to do another.
I would think there is going to be another. I think it will be this year.
We could start work on it as soon as a month or two.
So anyway, I think that could happen!
That would be great.
Yeah, THAT would be FUN!
All right! Bye mate.