MorleyView: Joe Lynn Turner
With Ritchie Blackmore firmly ensconced in Blackmore's Night, chances of seeing a Rainbow reunion have been almost nil…until now. Former vocalist Joe Lynn Turner has put together a reunion of sorts under a new banner called Over the Rainbow.
The band will feature ex-members of Rainbow from various incarnations. The include drummer Bobby Rondinelli, keyboardist Tony Carey and bassist Greg Smith. Filling the guitarist slot is Ritchie's son Jurgen "J.R." who has been quietly forging a career in his native Germany. One listen to any of his songs and one can recognize the signature Blackmore sound.
I went one-on-one with Joe recently to talk about the new band as well as latest CD, a live record entitled Live in Germany. Along the way, Joe shared some great stories of recording with Rainbow, having his jacket stolen minutes prior to a gig in Germany and a lot more.
Morley: You know, there are a lot of fans that are pretty excited. There's a lot I want to talk to you about, but I guess the first thing, obviously, is the Rainbow reunion of sorts. How did this all come about?
Joe: Well, I'll tell you, quite honestly, I was sitting in Russia after a tour with a few promoters and what not and they were like: "You know, it would be great to have a Rainbow reunion. Huh? Do you think that'll ever happen?" I went, "Well you know, you're not going to get Ritchie, you know what I mean? He's really happy doing what he's doing and so on." And so they said, "Well who would you get?" And I said: 'It wouldn't work". And they said, "Well, it's got to work." And I said, "Well, you know, it's not a matter of all the other guys. It's the guitarist." So then it hit me. And I swear, all of a sudden they went, "What, What?" And I said, "I think I have an idea." And they said, "What is it?" and I said, "Blackmore's got a son." And they went, "You're kidding. Really?" Nobody knows that.
Morley: That's right.
Joe: Not many anyway. You know, because he's German, half German. And his name is Jurgen Richard Blackmore. And he's been playing guitar for like 30 years, and he's great. So I was in Germany, and I started to get this bug about it, and I called Jurgen and said, "Look, can we meet for dinner?" Because I knew him when he was like 16, 17 and he would come to the shows and what have you. He was a kid and I'd probably be like his big brother or something you know, Anyway I called and we had dinner and he loved the idea. So I said, now once I got Jurgen in place here, I got Blackmore on guitar, now I can start lining up the other guys, and of course I wanted to try to represent the incarnations of Rainbow as best we could. I'm not going to get into any names in particular but we certainly don't want any people who are using drugs or abusing alcohol to a GREAT degree…you know what I mean by that. (laughs) Okay if you want to have a few drinks, but you can't be drunk and stand around all the time. And that eliminated quite a few people. (laughs)
Joe: And they shall remain nameless to protect their identities. But anyway we got a great lineup; we've got Jurgen on guitar, Bobby Rondinelli on the drum spot, who's just phenomenal. We've got Tony Carey on keyboards. Tony had great success with Planet P as well. And of course on bass now from the very last incarnation of Rainbow, and a member of the Joe Lynn Turner band is Greg Smith. So we've got friends and family and actually we call this a family project. That's how we refer to it in emails. It's really strange because we've all known each other for over 25 years. Now, we're getting the set list together.
Joe: Yeah, so it's all like "Hey man, this is going to be great to play together." And we've dropped the news on everybody and the reaction is just amazing. Now we've got to live up to it.
Morley: No problem there. Have you ever played with JR before?
Joe: Not lately. There was one point in time we were hanging out and jamming a little bit. But that was when he was still very young and he's since improved a lot. So I did keep up with his MySpace and even before that, a few of the sites that he'd download stuff onto with his projects. And you know, he really had a great tone and he had a great sense of melody and now he's even got chops, so you know it's kind of like I said "You can cut your father's stuff, you know. Are you worried about this? Do you feel that there's an intimidation factor here or anything? And he said: "NO, as long as I'm allowed to you know, edify my father's leads. My father's never been a fast player." And I said, "No, but he's accurate though." and he said: "I can do exactly what he does but I'm more of a tone and a feel player." And I go, "Well some of my favourite guitar players like Leslie West and people like that are just that way." So I think this thing's going to work. But we were all like that in the beginning. We've all never played each other. So will this work? But we're all good at what we do so how can it not work? You know, that's how you start a band: you just call up your buddies and go "Come to my basement. We'll practice."
Morley: My first bit of hearing JR is with Ela and he has the same style as his father.
Joe: Yeah, he's got that same kind of feel to it. And even when I saw the YouTube stuff, he kind of grabbed the neck like Ritchie did and he looks eerily like his dad except he's a little fuller around the shoulders, but I guess that's the German in him. He's a little bigger like he can probably beat you around the head. (laughs) So he's just a little bit bigger a guy. Because Ritchie, he's so slender and thin really. That's a lot of football (laughs) I tell ya. But his face looks eerily like his father. He's got these piercing eyes.
Morley: So at this point have you guys actually had a practice or whatever yet?
Joe: Well, no. That's the funny part of this thing. This is all so all mail order bride, you know? (laughs) We'll have about a week of rehearsals before we actually play our first gig. But were all going to be rehearsed. We're putting together the set list now. Everybody's rehearsing on their own. Tony's going to get together with Jurgen and they're going to jam because they're both in Germany. I think Tony was in Munich. He may be in Hamburg now. I'm not sure. I've got to ask. I mean Bobby and I know the stuff anyway. I'm still playing the stuff. I mean, yeah, It doesn't really matter.
Morley: Yeah. Right. What kind of set list will you be putting together?
Joe: Oh it's going to be representing every incarnation of Rainbow. Obviously some of the things we like more than others. It's all been in agreement by everyone. But we will make everyone happy. Every incarnation of Rainbow, we will represent it in at least one song or two.
Joe: There are other songs, however. I mean, you know, "Street of Dreams", "Stone Cold", you know, "Can't Let You Go". Stuff like this has to be played.
Joe: "Spotlight Kid", "Death Alley Driver", I mean I can go on and on. "Can't Happen Here". (laughs) There are so many coming from my era, that it's just ridiculous. We're also going to do "Stargazer", "Man on a Silver Mountain" "Long Live Rock and Roll." We'll do "Since You've Been Gone", "Lost in Hollywood", possibly "All Night Long", you know? So, yeah, I mean you know, we'll get there. "Kill the King", all that sort of stuff.
Morley: Awesome. At one point Mr. Carey was unceremoniously booted from the band and Ritchie apparently called him The Rash. I don't know anything about Tony Carey. I just heard occasionally about problems working with him. Obviously I guess you don't have any trepidation about that?
Joe: Well Tony's definitely a loose cannon, he's got a personality like a firecracker, you know. But also…this guy, he's a very, very creative, talented guy. I don't know if that's the pot calling the kettle black.
Joe: As far as Ritchie… (laughs). I mean difficult to work with. I mean, HELLO. (laughs). What do you think you are Ritchie? A day at the beach? I mean, Ritchie's hard to work with too, you know. So, I know one story that Tony Carey literally sued either Blackmore and management or Rainbow in general. Somebody was charged for attempted murder. (laughs)
Joe: So the story goes, they were up at a chateau in France. And what happened was, is that Blackmore with his practical jokes used to be a bit over the top back then. There were so many shenanigans going on I guess between all the guys and he put a beam up over a door that Tony obviously had to come out of this room. And you know one of those tricks when you open the door the thing falls on your head? Well someone put a huge, like 6" x 6"…it was a beam. A very sizeable beam that could hold up a roof, a chateau roof, you know? That kind of beam. A post. Not something like a 2"X4" or anything skinny or little. And anyway this thing came slamming down, and just grazed Tony. And frightened the hell out of him, obviously because it hit the ground with a huge thud. And had he been hit by it would have done some damage. Well that was a little too much messing around, so I hear that…I'll get the story straight from Tony once I sit down with him over a few beers. (laughs) But he apparently sued them for attempted murder.
Morley: I understand you'll start off by touring. Do you anticipate recording new material down the road?
Joe: Yeah. Good question Morley. It's been discussed. Already it's been discussed, you know, whether or not, or when we should do new material. Right now we really feel that we've got to get this thing off the ground and it's got to be a good show and novel enough and valuable enough for people to want to come and see it. Which I think just the concept it already is. I mean, when I found out that Jurgen was going to do it, I said: "You know Jurgen," I said, "Even your father will come to the show out of curiosity."
So I really feel the curious masses will come out just to see us, even if it's only once. But I think we're going to deliver. I do believe, I know we'll deliver. I mean everybody's really pumped for this. So we're going to go out there and kick some butt. So I think it's going to be successful in that respect. However we said, "What about original material? Should we start off with some original material?" And the general consensus is: not right away. Because it's kind of like, let this sink in as to, we are Over the Rainbow, not Rainbow, and what we want to be is our own band and what we are doing is starting off with a sort of nostalgic kind of feeling, where you can come in and see all these ex-members of Rainbow including Ritchie's son coming out and playing guitar. I mean this is quite exciting, really.
So we want give the songs that people know and represent Rainbow properly. Because it's never going to be done anywhere else. Ritchie's never going to do it and none of the other guys are going to do it. This is the one last chance that we have. I think Over The Rainbow is a fitting name for it. But it was discussed whether or not we would write some original material. I know I have ideas and Jurgen has some ideas. And he's already going to send me some MP3s and what not. So I think down the road, like for example, say we do a live album, you know recorded at one of the shows or whatever, I think we should throw on an original song or two as a bonus.
Morley: Absolutely. Oh man, you're getting us all excited here.
Joe: Well, you know what? It SHOULD be. It SHOULD be exciting because, damn. When was the last time we all got excited about something, you know? I'm not trying to raise the dead here. We're not trying to be Lazarus or anything, but what we are doing is trying to come out and…are we a tribute band? Well, yeah, to ourselves. I hate that when they say tribute. Tribute band is a a bunch of unknowns playing somebody else's songs. We're a bunch of guys who played in this band in one form or another. And we played these songs. and whether or not I played "Stargazer", but I certainly sang "All Night Long", "Long Live Rock and Roll", and "Man On A Silver Mountain", that's for sure but what I'm saying is I know I can handle that stuff. But at the same time, we're not…we're giving tribute to the great effigy of Rainbow. We just think it was one of the greatest unsung bands ever. Because Rainbow should have been a lot bigger than it was. And it was pretty big, but you know, there are other bands that I could point out to you and you'd go, yeah, I know. They're like multi platinum sellers. Why? (laughs)
Morley: Rainbow was more popular in the UK and Europe until you came along and then you enjoyed great success with the records you were part of in North America.
Joe: And Japan. Huge.
Morley: Is that right?
Joe: Oh my god. I had a whole career in Japan because of Rainbow. I mean Rainbow was doing like one night at Budokan? When I joined the band we did like FOUR nights at Budokan? I mean the Japanese always grew up in more commercial end of it, you understand? They really did love the songs. That's the Japanese mentality, you know. There was a certain amount of commerciality inside …you've got to remember the Japanese picked up rock and roll from us. They're only like 20 something years old doing rock...and so it's not a whole lot of rock that they saw. So they always like the more commercial hair bands and stuff like that. And when Rainbow came out with this incarnation, we had the looks and we had songs and we had a whole stage presence and everything. And it wasn't just dungeons and dragons and you know kill the king at all this. We actually had girls in the audience. I'll never forget the roadies when I first started playing in the band. They were like: "Thank god for you" and I was like "wwwwhwhat?" and they said "see the girls out there in the audience?" and I say "Yeah" and they say "thank you for that." (laughs) and I go "Okay, okay, I get it." Because there wasn't a whole lot of females when Ronnie was there, because A the subject matter wasn't there, you know what I mean?
And it was the time for MTV when I came into the band, so you had to kind of have a look too. I tell you one thing. When you get the girlfriends coming to the shows, the guys don't mind. And once you kind of knock them over the head and they realize you're not such a bad bloke and you're not so pansy assed or anything like that, I mean you can rock, they come over to your side too. They sort of, yeah, alright, I kinda like Turner, he's okay. He still looks a bit gay, but he's alright. (laughs)
Morley: Well considering that originally the band was more popular overseas, and when you came along it was North America, where do you expect the most interest will come from, in terms of promoters?
Joe: I got to tell you, right now, we're knocking them out of the park so far. As soon as the stuff went out on Tuesday, I know it was leaked on some message boards on Monday, but it came out actually to all of the wire services on Tuesday, we've had amazing response to this. The promoters are saying "I can book you all over Europe." Russian promoters already have a complete month in February booked. You know it's unbelievable. I heard that Japan is coming too except that we're really trying, we want Mr. Udo to do this because he booked us back then. And we really want to pay tribute and respect to him because he is one of the biggest promoters in Japan. So we're hoping that he gets on board with that too. And with Burn magazine and all that. So we really feel that we're really going to knock this out of the park with this particular project. And we're all very excited about the success that this project should and will have. Because we feel that even if we go around a year, a year and a half that this will cover all the bases. And if nobody wants to see us fine, then we've covered our bases and we did what we aimed to do which is to come out and just one last hurrah and come out and say, "Remember this great band? Remember these great songs from all these different eras? Let's celebrate the band."
Morley: Have you heard from Ritchie since you announced this? Do you have his blessing?
Joe: Well of course, Jurgen has been in touch with his dad before this, and when this happened he talked to his dad and his father was very happy for him. And he said, "You know, I always liked Bobby and Joey. I thought they were two good guys. I never had a problem with those guys. It was all the other guys. And I think you're in good hands, because they're not going to rip you off and they're not going to…, you know". Everyone's equal on this, I want you to know, by the way. Just in case that's important to any one. We're all just coming out and just going "There's nobody special here." Just because I was the lead singer, or this or that, it's got to be across the board, where everybody's the same. Having said that, I think Ritchie's right, you know. We're not taking advantage of the Blackmore name or Jurgen's first big coming out or anything like that. So he blessed it. He did say however, he didn't really want us to use the name Rainbow. So I said, well, I can understand that. Although he has really no more legal hold on it because after you don't use a name for so long,… the laws, international laws…. and we checked this out, I mean I have a Rainbow ice cream parlor over here, a Rainbow cleaners. There's rainbow everything. But you cannot come out with a band with what's called "intention". You can intend to have a rock band. And it's called Rainbow. And you can intend to do the same songs. Then there might be an issue. However, Over the Rainbow isn't Rainbow. It's clearly Over the Rainbow. And Rainbow's just a word. However, are we doing Rainbow songs? Do we have his son in it? Yes. Have we all been in Rainbow? Yes. It would be pretty hard for any legal team to have a problem with that because we were all in the band at some point. We all wrote songs at some point, played on the records. Blood is in there. He's got blood lines within the band, so we feel like we're in a safe place calling it Over the Rainbow.
Morley: You redid the song "Street of Dreams" with Blackmore's Night a couple of years ago. How strange was it to hear a female voice on there?
Joe: (laughs) Well, first I was honored obviously and flattered because they knew they had a great song there. I was really impressed with the way Ritchie handled the arrangement. I mean he had Anton Fig on drums who's amazing. And he had all the right people around. And I really loved that arrangement he came up with. So I think it did the song justice. And it was kind of really cool to be asked to do that again because as I said, I never had a problem with Ritchie. In fact, Candace and Ritchie, I was there when they met each other, and probably responsible for Blackmore's Night in a lot of ways because when Candace asked me what kind of music Ritchie liked, I told her he liked medieval renaissance stuff, he always felt like he was a 16th century man in a 20th century world. And look at them now. So I just think maybe if there's someone to blame or be responsible, it could partially be me. (laughs) I was honored, really and flattered and I thought they did such a great job on it. However when I heard she pulled my vocals off and did her own version of it, I was like, OKAY, but, you know, maybe that was a little bit of a slap in the face, I don't know. But I'm just happy to be here.
Morley: Both versions are on the cd, anyway so…
Joe: Yeah, you know what, that song is a great song and I had a moment with that song vocally and the great story behind that is when Ritchie did the guitar lead; he was like really intimidated by the vocal and we came in and talked about it, drank a couple of Heinekens and I sent him back in the studio and said: "Light your candles. Do what you have to do, but you're going to go in and play the most melodic and memorable solo you've ever heard." And he did just that. He did. And that just proves or shows to go ya that he's really a player. He plays for the song. He plays for the music. He's not just some show-off lead guitar player.
Morley: You recorded Straight Between the Eyes at the studio in Morin Heights in up here in Canada, near Montreal. What are your memories of those sessions?
Joe: Fantastic. Had one of the best times of my life there. St. Sauveur, actually, just above Montreal. Skiing, we had a lake behind us and you know The Police were in the studio just before us, recording Ghosts in the Machine. So we kind of overlapped them and we listened to a few of the new tracks. It was just mind-boggling, you know, to hear some of those songs before they came out. And then we got settled in and everything. And there's a small lake, man-made of course, and everything but we could play hockey on it because it had froze over and so on and so forth. So we had skating and hockey and we just had a blast throwing snow at each other. Everybody was skiers in Purple and Rainbow. I planned on going to Switzerland to ski and everything. And I had to learn to ski and I'm still not the greatest but I certainly have a good time. But I remember skiing down at the Black Diamond run which is asinine really because I'm still a beginner but they said you've got more balls than brains. (laughs)
But I had obviously the time of my life there. The people were amazing. You know we'd go to the clubs and the bars and ski lodges and all that sort of stuff when we went out, when we'd get a moment out, and I can remember, "Stone Cold". Oh my god, here's a great one for you. If I've never told you this story, I'll tell you now really quickly. Roger Glover and I were going to the studio and it was a vocal night so the rest of the guys were probably out doing something.
So Roger and I were going to go across the lake because the studio was across the lake and it was a pretty good snow that day. So we figured, alright, we'll just walk across the lake and took a short cut cause you could see the lights in the studio, and it wasn't all that much farther. So instead of taking the jeep or the four-wheeler and going through a couple little roads and having to fight all that snow.
Well we got to the middle of the lake and we started to hear 'crack, crack". So…s---. It was pitch black. Freezing cold. You know what it is there. And they're like, "Oh my god!" We go: "Lay down. Lay down? We're in about 8 inches of snow!" And now we're kind of sort of making snow angels in the snow all the way to the shore…until we got to back to not such a deep area, where it was cracking. And we made it back. We were s--- scared. And we were like, oh my god. Now we're soaking wet, freezing.
We go back inside, change our clothes. Now we're like an hour and a half late, you know. (laughs) We go: "Screw this. We're getting the jeep, the four wheeler and we'll plough through the snow. We get there, okay, have a couple shots of brandy just to kinda take the edge off. Okay, we almost died out there. Oh my god. And I'll never forget, Nathan, our engineer, who wasn't aware of the situation, said yeah man, you can't just walk across the lake. You've got to make sure it's totally frozen. So we're like" duh!
So anyway, he's going okay. "What do you want to sing tonight? You know what, "Stone Cold", let's bring that up. So now I'm in the studio and the studio has a plate glass side and stone side all the great components you need in a studio for reflections and so on and so forth. And I can remember, this day the storm came back and there were these icicles hanging off the corners of the studio building that were huge. I hadn't seen such big icicles before. And then the snow was just swirling all kinds of dervish ways…really crazy. And there I am singing "Stone Cold". And "you put me in a deep freeze" that ad lib actually came from a moment of just looking out through the glass which I had because the left side of me was all glass and the right side was stone and so on. It was just a moment.
Morley: That's amazing.
Joe: Yeah, and I have to thank Canada for that because it was just a moment that without that scenario I don't think the song would have come out the way it did.
Morley: And on a side note. Do you ever look back at your time with Rainbow and go it was an awesome time but I was part of the three worst covers ever?
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. I don't know what they thought they were doing Hypnosis, with those covers. I had other ideas, but to make a long story short, yeah it was an awesome time and I'm so thankful. But some of those covers were absolutely dire. Nobody really gave a s--- about the videos or the covers. We were not into that. I can remember, to show up at a video was like pulling teeth. Yeah, if you look at the "Street of Dreams" video, we're in it for like five seconds, because it was like trouble to get us all together because we were always on tour or something. So I remember just going in this underground cellar and walking around. They took some footage and that was it. What that had to do with anything, I don't know. They had some psychiatrist, you know, and he was hypnotizing somebody on street of dreams and all this crap. We used Hypnosis which is the company that Pink Floyd used. But yeah, I mean that Straight Between the Eyes cover with a Stratocaster coming out of the guy's head, which really was a comment comic between Jeff Beck and Blackmore when they said about Hendrix, they said, "Yeah, his music hits me straight between the eyes."
Joe: Yeah, that's exactly how that happened. Jeff and Ritchie were talking one night in a bar someplace in England I think it was and Jeff goes "yeah, his f---ing music gets me straight between the eyes (with cockney accent)." And Ritchie always remembered that and he said, "Yeah, I'm going to call an album that." So this cartoon character, you know, with the big huge eyes and that which were really cool and that was also a Hypnosis thing. They built that. There was some coolness to it but there was also some really dorkiness to it, you know, the covers and all and the videos. I can remember being backstage for example and we won a gold medal in Cannes, we were touring Japan or someplace. But anyway they reached us a day later and they let us know, and we were backstage and I picked up the phone and it was management they go, "You guys won the gold medal for the first… it was like, what do you call it, animation and it was a live band and animation mix.
Joe: Yeah, it was the first of its kind on MTV. So yeah, we won that award for animation slash live. And when I turned around and said, "Hey guys, we won this award, you know!" and they were like, "Ah, f--- you" and I was like, "okay, nobody cares." And we hung up the phone. And when we got a Grammy nomination, I'll never forget this, my Grammy nomination is still hanging in the bathroom because that's where it should be, you know. That was our way of saying we really didn't care about awards or numbers or top of the charts. It wasn't like that. The band was really had more integrity. We had more commercial appeal because that's why Ritiche got me in the band in the later years. My albums were a lot more commercial. Believe me we had a lot of success with that. But at the same time we weren't cognizant of you know, award shows or Grammy nominations. Nobody cared about that s---. It was just a strange kind of other-wordly feeling. It was more about the music and whether our stage show was great and all that stuff. Where other bands were nothing but video, nothing but mugging for the camera.
Morley: You have a new live cd out which is just phenomenal. I can see how the Over the Rainbow will be successful because you can still sing the crap out of these songs…
Joe: Thanks. I appreciate that. Yeah, I'm trying.
Morley: Was it recorded over one show or…
Joe: Oh yeah. Let me tell you. I'll give you the background on that. There's this festival in Stuttgart called the United Nations of Rock. And it's happened almost every year at least for the last four years that I can remember or five years. And they wanted me to headline for I guess the last three years and I turned it down only because I was on tour in other places and the commitment always comes first. This year they said, "Look, we're telling you like a year in advance." They said, "We want you to headline this event." And my manager said, "Look, you turned it down all these years. You should do it." and I said, "Okay, commit me now. No matter where I am on this planet, I'm flying Stuttgart with the band and we're doing the show."
Okay, so we're in Spain before that and we had some really great shows in Spain and then we get into Stuttgart and it's this festival going on all day and I mean it started at noon in the afternoon and we didn't go on til midnight. So everybody's burned out by the time we get on. I mean people are drunk, and the audience is laying over stools at the bar and everything else. It's crazy. It's a big crowd but at the same time, 12 hours of music, please, you're exhausted. So I was kind of put off by that. Now I'm signing and kissing babies and doing merch and everything else for the record company.
And some idiot a--hole stole my best leather bike jacket. So I was very pissed off. So now I'm in a great mood, right? Okay. So now, people are saying, there was a rumor, "oh, he's not going to go on," and all this crap. They made a big announcement about my jacket. But the thief was gone by then, okay? He was absolutely gone by then. So I was a little bit incensed by then because here I am signing autographs, taking pictures, and kissing babies and one of those fans, literally, went under this table round about way and saw my jacket on my chair and stole it which was really, I thought appalling. I was a little bit indignant to say the least. But I'm not going to crucify everybody for that, for one person's bad deeds. I'm going to go on. The show must go on and so on and so forth.
So we go on and we have a great night really, I thought, and we're back stage and we're toweling off and we're having a few beers and all of a sudden Ted Poley From Danger Danger comes down and goes, "Hey, did you guys know you're on Harddrive?" and we went" What? What do you mean Harddrive?" "Yeah, you've been recorded." We went" WHAT?" and he goes, "Yes, you have been recorded live tonight!" and we looked at each other like, "Were we any good? Wait a minute. First of all, who the hell said they could record us live?" Now, I'm furious. My jacket's gone. I'm being recorded without my knowledge. When did I lose control of this whole thing? The security wasn't up to par. I had to chase people out of the dressing rooms. You know, people were just wandering in with no passes, or anything which really is off the hook. So to make a long story short, we didn't even know we were being recorded. So yes, it was ONE performance. It was EXACTLY as the set was. The only thing you're missing, I don't know which version you have but we did two Purple classics which was "Burn" and "Highway Star" and they released, as a bonus track they released "Burn". Here in the North American area and Europe and they released "Highway Star" in Japan. Yeah, so yes it was one night. We didn't know we were being recorded. They stole my jacket. The show went on. You're hearing exactly what you get. I thought it came off great.
Morley: There was a bit of fire in you that night for sure then.
Joe: There was. You can actually tell I was pissed off. At least I could tell because I was going after stuff like crazy. But that's pretty much what the band sounds like any given night. We just got some great players in this band. And no matter who comes in, they're up to at least that caliber. So yeah that's what you get live. And that's I'm sure what Over the Rainbow is going to be to, we don't accept anything but perfection. So it's going to be great.
Morley: At this point you've got your solo stuff. You've got Big Noize and you've got Over the Rainbow coming. Have any more projects on the go that you want to mention?
Joe: Well there's Rockin' Pop Masters which is a great bunch of guys, I've been with them for about 10 years now. We've changed the name from Voices of Classic Rock to Rockin' Pop Masters. You can go on www.rpmconcerts.com. So I play with those guys occasionally and it's a great line-up. Anybody from Jimmy Jamieson, Buck Dharma, Mark Farner, you know I can go on and on with the list, Edgar Winter. It's like a core band and a bunch of guest singers. So it's a really fun project too. But of course it's not my ultimate project or anything like that. But it's one of the things I do. I'm concurrently now in the studio doing Sunstorm 2 so it's going to be another great record, I can assure you. There's some great songs on there from Jim Peterick and myself, and a couple of great contributors and stuff like that. So hopefully we'll have as much success as we did with the first one. I'm freaking out about writing some new stuff for the Joe Lynn Turner album (laughs) solo album because I have a bunch of songs written but they're not along the typical generic style people would assume of me. I'm really interested in going into some sort of, I don't know, not reinventing myself but it's certainly a song-oriented type of album.
Joe: Now I realize I'm always song-oriented, but I mean really song-oriented, like I've been in Nashville for two weeks writing with people. I've been in Sweden writing with people. I've got some really great songs. And I don't want to use the word mature because people will get the wrong idea. But when I say mature I mean in a classy, really well crafted way. In other words, these are really great songs. So I'm looking forward to doing a record like that, you know, with just some great songs. And of course, it's going to rock. My audience wants to rock, and they also want integrity of great songs so I've got a lot on my plate this year, and I'm tired already. (laughs)
Morley and antiMusic thank Joe for taking the time for this interview.