A rock veteran with over 30 years of music under his strap thanks to tours of duty with Dokken, Dio and others, Pilson isn’t showing any signs of slowing down yet.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be reunited with a big chunk of the classic Dokken lineup?
Jeff Pilson: We are having so much fun. We still have such a great chemistry together.
Review Fix: How did you guys put the album together? What’s your creative process like?
Pilson: George and I wrote the songs, then brought them to Brian (Tichy) to add drums. Then I put down my first ideas for vocals- then worked them out with George til we thought they were right. On the Dokken stuff we went in old school with Wild Mick and cut drums, bass and rhythm guitars. Then had the guest vocalists do the vocals. Robert and Ripper cut their vocals at their own studios, Sebastian and Doug cut theirs at my studio. It was a blast.
Review Fix: The way music is now, many people will download a track or two off iTunes before they consider buying an album. With that being case, what two songs do you feel stick out the most and why?
Pilson: Hmmm, probably “Slave to the Empire,” which is a good high energy tune to intro the band, then “When Eagles Die,” which is our “epic” and contains all sorts of interesting elements-although it is a lot to digest. George’s solo on both are outstanding.
Review Fix: How did you guys get the vocalists to cover the Dokken songs? Any interesting stories?
Pilson: We just called guys whose work we loved and thought would do the Dokken legacy justice. I think we did quite well.
Review Fix: You’ve played with Dio, were in the cult-hit film “Rock Star” you’re currently the bassist in Foreigner and you play with T & N. You’ve got a lot on your plate, but that’s the way many musicians are. What else is on your list of things you want to get done, both short term and long term?
Pilson: Lots of touring with Foreigner, another T&N record next year, hopefully a tour to follow, then producing whatever I can in the interim. No down time for me next year.
Review Fix: How do you think fans of your previous work will feel about this album?
Pilson: I think, and hope, that they will enjoy the music as being fresh and inspired melodic hard rock. I don’t believe, stylistically, it’s too far off from where Dokken would be if we were still together. So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive- hope it keeps up.
Review Fix: How do you think this album with resonate with younger audiences who haven’t heard you yet?
Pilson: Hopefully younger fans would see this as fresh and high energy and they could relate to that. But it is also pretty far away from most of the newer hard rock. They’d have to appreciate it as being different from their norm- which could be great. I’d be interested to know how younger audiences would relate to it, maybe I’ll get the chance to find out.
Review Fix: How do you want this album to be ultimately remembered?
Pilson: Just as an inspired bit of melodic hard rock with a social message that relates some truth. Of course if it sold real well that’d be a plus- but not the only mark of success.