Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Richie in Rolling Stone

(August 17)

From Rolling Stone:

As the founding guitar-slinger in Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora has done everything he can to live up to his job description. He's shredded solos in stadiums across the planet, married and divorced a famous actress (Heather Locklear), been to rehab and experienced all the excesses, pitfalls and perks of international superstardom. As the song goes, he's seen a million faces and he's rocked them all.

However, Sambora is sometimes portrayed as the Robin to Jon Bon Jovi's Batman, the Watson to Jon's Sherlock. Now that Bon Jovi has some downtime between album and tour cycles, Sambora is stepping into his own well-deserved spotlight with his third solo album, Aftermath of the Lowdown, out September 18th. For the first time in his 30-year career, Sambora signed with an independent label, Dangerbird, instead of sticking with the majors (Bon Jovi has stayed with Universal Music Group, home of Sambora's previous solo albums).

Sambora chatted with Rolling Stone about his master plan for his new album and asserting his independence while staying fully aligned with his legendary main band.

Bon Jovi recently came back from an incredible, extremely successful world tour. You were selling out stadiums around the globe. At what point did you start getting material together that was specifically for a solo album?
I really didn't start writing until the tour was over. We did a mammoth 18-and-a-half month tour, 52 countries. The first 12 months was named the biggest tour on the planet; that was pretty amazing. Actually, you know, I got home, I took a 10-day vacation with my daughter, and I came back to my house and I was extremely energized and I knew that was going to be my window. So right then and there, I started. I didn't know what was going to happen. I just said, "You know what, I'm going to start writing some songs and see what happens." Once I started writing, I really liked the material and it was authentic, passionate and honest. And that's what makes a really good record. So there was a bit of magic happening right off the bat. Building the foundation of this record, obviously, was the writing process.

This is a solo project, not a side project. You get to assume the role of dictator. In Bon Jovi, does Jon assume the dictator role or is it a democratic process that you all get to participate in?
At the end of the day, Jon has to be out there; he has to be the mouthpiece. So I mean, even from a writing standpoint, essentially, I'm really writing for Jon to actually sing those lyrics. But luckily, we grew up five miles away from each other, a couple years apart, in the same place, the same kind of blue-collar work ethic of New Jersey and stuff like that. We have a lot of common ground, so it's quite easy. But obviously when I'm making a record like this, like you said, the words for me are uncensored because I get a chance to tell my story here.

And also I think what was important to me as I'm growing up – because I always think I'm growing up and I still think of myself as a kid – [is that] I hope I'm going to be able to change people's perspective as to who I am. As a lead vocalist, as an artist in his own right, away from the band. Because I think that my music also has merit and I think that it has a lot to offer people.

I've had a very, very interesting view of the planet over the last 30 years, touring as excessively as I have. And music is the most evocative, transformative, connective force in humanity, man. I've seen it firsthand. I've seen it all over the world, how it connects people. I'm hoping that my music can be a part of that whole energy.

Read the whole article here.

~ Hath


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