Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Jeff Pilson
Jeff Pilson - Back For the Attack

Interview By Keith McDonald


Jeff Pilson made his mark in the metal world as the bassist for the heavy metal band Dokken. But that’s not all Jeff has done and is doing. He has just finished up a new War & Peace album and will be touring with Dio in the very near future. He also has been producing some new up and coming artists lately. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jeff about his projects. Check out his website at www.jeffpilson.com.

What made you record a new 'War & Peace album'?

The sheer love of having that creative outlet. As much as I do like to collaborate with people, I have a strong need to create in such a way that I can see the vision through to completion, without compromises. It's a healthy creative release for me.



How would you describe the music?

Not too dissimilar to the Lynch/Pilson record, heavy but quite melodic.



Who is in the band?

Michael (Fro) Frowein and Bartholomew Toff on drums, Alex Masi played one guitar solo, and I did the rest.



Are the other W&P albums still available?

Yes, we have them on my website (time for a shameless plug- www.jeffpilson.com.



Will you tour behind this new album?

As it turns out, it looks like I will. We're talking about UK dates in September, with some hopeful stateside shows before that.



What happened with the Lynch/Pilson album? Why didn't you tour behind it?

Well first off George and I were so extremely pleased with the reaction to that record - it was wonderful. As for touring, our schedules just never really coincided. I'm mostly producing acts these days so it's hard to set up a time when I can go on the road. But I wouldn't say that it would never happen. We may surprise everyone and hit the road someday- you never know.



What are your thoughts on the new Dokken lineup?

I think it should be real strong. Jon Levin is an extremely talented guitarist- wait till people hear him. He's also a great writer, so I think this record has the potential of being the strongest in a long time. Don is probably in a much more receptive state to working with others right now, and hey, Barry and Mick ain’t exactly slouches! Should be good.



Do you speak with either Don or Mick?

I saw Mick, briefly, several weeks ago and we had a short chat. But I've only seen Don once in the last 3 years- and that was settling our lawsuit. Gotta admit it wasn't too unpleasant, however. Once we got past the "lawsuit walls"- we were kind of friendly- a little bit.



How did you rejoin Dio? How is that experience?

They just called and asked if I could play on the new record. They (Ronnie and Wendy Dio, his manager) know we have a baby due in July and that I'm not able to go on the road right now. Dio is like family to me and, although we haven't started rehearsing yet, I know it's gonna be amazing.



Are you still producing any new artists?

Yes, we're still eagerly awaiting a release date for the Clear Static record we finished (Island Def Jam) and we'll be doing some writing soon for the band Revis. We worked with them a few years ago and helped them procure their deal with Epic.



Anything you'd like to plug/promote?

Just War & Peace for the moment. I really hope people make an attempt to hear the record. I know they have sound clips from all the songs up at the Z Records website, and we have a few complete songs available at my website. It's the proudest I've been of a record in a very long time.



What lies ahead for you?

Well, hopefully a successful War and Peace mini-tour, a great Dio record (the songs are so extremely great), and producing lots of great bands. Then I'd love to get into soundtrack work.


Band Website: www.jeffpilson.com