Interviewed by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Lisa Walker for setting up the interview
Thanks to Stefen at Zink Music for the help to get this done
Thanks to Frontiers Records for providing the promo pictures of Joe Lynn Turner
The legendary Joe Lynn Turner had the kindness of letting me interview him again and we talked about his new album and what plans he has for 2007. So here is an update on what the icon has been up to since we last spoke.
Hi Mr. Turner it’s nice to talk to you again, and first of all I’d really like to congratulate you to the great reviews your project album with Sunstorm got.
Thank you very much!
Are there any plans on do a follow up with Sunstorm?
That will be up to the record company and fans. Dennis and the musicians on the project were amazing and very talented. Certainly, it would be great to work with them again if the situation was right from a business, scheduling and creative standpoint.
Let’s talk about your new solo album SECOND HAND LIFE, how long did it take to record it?
I am estimating about 5 weeks from rehearsals to mix. I think the quality is exceptional and we did it all in a very concentrated time period. When the people I work with go to work on an album, we do not fool around…LOL…we get it done.
You have once again worked with Bob Held, Karl Cochran, Martin Briley and Jim Peterik, what’s so great with those guys?
They are amazing at what they do and extremely talented. They understand what god song structure is all about and understand that it’s important in most situations for the lyrics to sound like the song or track and melody. They also inspire me to come up with great melodies and lyrics as well. It’s a synergistic experience working with them.
Why did you name the album SECOND HAND LIFE? what was the thought behind that name?
It’s the title of one of the songs on the album but also a universal theme that I think many people can relate to. This is a song that came out of the Deep Purple sessions with Jim Peterik in Roger Glover's studio. Jim was brought in to commercialize the band in the same way that Def Leppard and Aerosmith were reviving themselves at the time. Peterik is an amazing writer, as witnessed by his hit band Survivor. Just as an aside, the title was inspired by this booklet that writer/producer Desmond Child gave me when he was living in a commune here in the States. The song talks about how most people live a second hand life that sets out to please our parents, so we often never become ourselves. We end up trying to be what society and parents want us to be so we really are never free to be ourselves!!! It's as if our lives are being passed down like an old pair of shoes. This song rebels against this concept as if to say "cut the strings…be who you want to be." A very strong statement!
If you look at the title of the songs the main theme seems to be again about love, is that right?
I think there are many themes on this album but eventually things do relate back to love whether it’s romantic love, self love, love for mankind. Love is a broad term so I guess it applies to most of the songs.
Have you produced the album this time?
Bob Held and I produced it.
The only remaining musician on the new album is Karl Cochran, the other guys are brand new, and why did you get rid of the other guys from the previous album?
I did not get rid of anyone. I use some different players on all my solo albums. If you go back and look at the musician roster, it’s always changing. Sure, I have what I call “the usual suspects” and those are musicians who I have worked with several times. However, they are not always on every record. Sometimes their schedules prohibit them from recording when I am in session. I only use the very best, high quality, “working” musicians which mean they may have other things they are doing when I am making an album and I respect that.
That all said, the musicians I used on this album are all world class with incredible resumes! I was fortunate they were all available as they are very much in demand.
The song “Stroke of Midnight” is written by you, Jim Peterik, Roger Glover and Ritchie Blackmore, what’s the story behind that song? Wasn’t it meant to be featured on a Deep Purple album and did not make it?
This was written for Deep Purple, complete with Blackmore's great riffs. We recorded this song when I was in the band working on the follow up to "Slaves and Masters." Purple re-did it as "One Man's Meat." I have Ritchie's blessing do it the way we did it originally and my version is pretty close. It centres around a classic bluesy riff and lyrically is about a dancer who leads two lives---a private life and a life on stage as every man's fantasy. There's a real person underneath that image people see and we want to know who she really is! Jim Peterik is also credited as songwriter.
When I last spoke to you, you said that Blackmore had locked the songs in his vault, how did this song end up on your album?
I already talked about “Stroke of Midnight” above. As for “Second Hand Life” it was a song Jim and I wrote when I was with DP. It was a very creative time so lots of ideas were being bantered about.
Are there anymore of these songs that you plan to feature on your own albums in the future?
Maybe… yes. Ritchie was actually encouraging me to do more. Perhaps more from the vault will surface in the future.
SECOND HAND LIFE is your tenth album; do you have any plans on releasing anything special to celebrate that?
Not really but we do have some interesting things happening now with the USA release. For one, as I am dictating this interview we just found out the digital version of the CD is out on I-TUNES. The deluxe USA release will be out on Friday Music August 28. There will be a VERY cool bonus track on that called “Freedom’s Wings.” Most people in the USA have never heard that song. It’s got a lot of soul, blues, a different but very good sound from the other tracks on the album. This album is all about variety. I am not a one dimensional artist…I never will be.
In the bio you say that SECOND HAND LIFE could be described as a hybrid between THE USUAL SUSPECTS and SUNSTORM what do you mean by that?
Exactly as I said it…LOL! It’s got some of the rockier edgier bluesy aspects of “The Usual Suspects” mixed with the pure melodic rock full production sound we had on “Sunstorm.”
You’re really fast when it comes to deliver albums; you release about one album a year, how come you work so fast?
I am always writing, always observing life, and always collecting tracks and coming up with melodies. Plus, I work a lot as a vocalist in many projects so I am always singing. Therefore I am always “fresh” and ready to go. It’s not about working fast it’s that the record companies want product at a certain time.
Were there many songs that didn’t make the final cut on to SECOND HAND LIFE? If so do you have any special plans for those songs?
There were a few…they go into my vault and some point I may dust them off and use them again.
Is the album released world wide and have you read any reviews of it yet?
First of all, I do not read a lot of reviews. If you read your own reviews it can really mess with your head…whether they are good or bad. I do ask for overall feedback from my media relations people and they will tell me, overall, after reading MANY reviews what the fans and critics say. “Second Hand Life” has been released in Europe, Japan and now the USA.
Are there any differences between how the media treats you in Europe and Asia for example?
If you mean Japan when you say Asia… I am treated like a King over there. I think the main reason is cultural differences. Same in Russia and some Eastern European countries. The mainstream media in all those countries will do interviews with me or write about me, feature me. For example, in Turkey, I will be on CNN and in Russia featured in their version of what is similar to USA Today newspaper.
I checked out your website and I noticed that you have scheduled gig in Japan and America, are you not coming to Europe way is that?
I have some dates in Europe coming up: Germany, Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, and Russia. Keep checking the Tour Dates section of the website. As we confirm dates we will post them.
On the dates in Japan you will go out with singer Graham Bonnett what can you tell us about this show’s?
The shows were amazing. It was a pleasure to work with Graham and we will be doing more shows in Finland together. He was part of Rainbow legacy also. It’s a great show for the Rainbow fans because they get two singers associated with that band as well as two singers associated with Yngwie Malmsteen.
I’d guess that many of your fans would love to see a JLT live DVD coming out soon, got any plans on a making a DVD with your material?
It has to be the right situation and the material has to be high quality. Right now, there is a great DVD out from my tour of Turkey with Cem Koksal. Go to cemkoksal.com
It’s amazing…we played before crowds of over 30,000 people. The quality is excellent. So, for now, fans can check that out.
I’ve read the American shows are going to include you and an all star band, what can you tell us about the all-star band?
The only USA shows I am planning now are warm up shows in September for the forthcoming Europe shows to follow.
Who’s currently in the JLT band today?
The roster changes depending on the situation and whether or not the musicians I want to work with are available.
Do you see any comeback with Mother’s Army in the near future?
Universal has expressed plans to release some of that material via their download sites. Hopefully this will mean people will be able to check it out and download it if they have never heard it before. It certainly as quality music, very deep and intense. I am very proud of the work I did with Mother’s Army…all musicians involved are brilliant.
Is the HTP project a closed chapter or can we expect an album anytime soon with that?
Right now Glenn and I are both working on other projects and we are very busy. I would love to do another HTP record if the situation was right. Again…another project I am very proud of.
Do you have any contact with Nicolo Kotzev today? I know he’s currently working on a new theme album, are you going to feature on that?
I hope so! I will be featured in the Berkrock Festival with Brazen Abbot outside of Sofia Bulgaria. I will discuss it with him then.
What are the upcoming plans for JLT for the rest of 2007?
Dates in Europe, a lot of writing sessions and session work,a few USA dates with my band and Rock and Pop Masters (www.rpmconcerts.com). I just got off the very successful Classic Rock Cares tour (www.johnentwistle.org) with some of the AC/DC guys, Mark Farner of Grand Funk, some of the musicians from John Entwistle’s band and more.
What album are you going to appear on next besides your own albums and projects of course?
At the time I am dictating this interview, I am unable to reveal any details because too many things are still in the talking stages.
How many projects/bands are you currently involved in to day?
Too many to name! LOL!
Finally, Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions again Mr. Turner, all luck in the future, are there anything you’d like to say to the readers and fans?
I would like to thank you and your magazine for continued support and devotion to making sure fans of this genre of music keep in touch with artists like myself. I also want to sincerely thank the fans for their loyalty and support.
Read the reviews of the Joe Lynn Turner albums here
Read the review if the project Sunstorm here
More info about the band