FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson recently discussed his work with DOKKEN on the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below (interview starts around the 45:00 mark). A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On reuniting with George Lynch, Don Dokken and Mick Brown for a handful of DOKKEN shows in 2016:
Jeff: "[I] wasn't really sure what to expect going in. [I was] a little apprehensive, as I think we all were. But it ended up being great. I think everybody just decided, 'You know what? I'm going to enjoy this. The fact that here it is 30 years later, and somebody — somebody being Japan, mostly, but people want to see this, you've got to love that. And I think everyone kind of came in with sort of a humble appreciation of what we had, and as a result, the vibe was the best it's ever been, really. There was a period on the 'Back For The Attack' tour where we were really getting along great and really enjoying it, and then of course, we broke up. [Laughs] But it kind of reminded me of that, where we all just kind of settled into a nice place and everybody had fun. The first day we got together, we met at the hotel bar in South Dakota, and the first thing, George walks up to Don and goes, 'Come on,' and they give each other a big hug, and then the two of them walk off to the corner of the bar by themselves for two and a half hours, just sitting there talking. It was unbelievable. I'd never even seen that 30 years ago. It was just really fun, and consequently, the whole tour ended up being a pretty pleasant vibe with a lot of laughs. We didn't dredge up the past and all the ugliness, and we had fun and we enjoyed ourselves, and I think that energy comes across on the ['Return To The East - Live 2016'] CD and DVD."
On "It's Just Another Day", the new studio track that appears on "Return To The East":
Jeff: "George and I got together, I couldn't tell you exactly when, other than I know it was well before we knew... we knew we had this thing coming, but we didn't know... the talk was, when we first started planning this in the spring of '16, the talk was, 'Let's do a new song live and record it live.' George came over, and we did the music, and it came out great, and we were really excited by it. We sent it around to Don and Mick. As it worked out, it didn't get finished before we went to Japan, so we didn't [play] it live. Actually, I'm glad we didn't — I prefer having a studio version of a new song anyways. When we came back, Don mentioned, 'You know, I love this, but it's got to be a lot faster.' So we tried it, like, a lot faster — quite a bit faster. And it worked great. Both George and I were, like, 'Yep, you're right — this is the thing to do.' So we got it faster; it came out great; Mick came out, put the drums on it; and then Don came out in a very quick but very magical session — he was only in the studio for a couple of hours, but we got an amazing vocal. He was pretty prepared when he came. It's funny — he didn't have anything written down, but he remembered most of it in his head, which is very unusual. We bounced ideas off each other, and the vocal came together very quickly, and then he left, and I put the harmonies on, and boom — it was done. It was really one of the more magical DOKKEN sessions I can ever remember, all-time."
On whether he shares Lynch's hope for additional "classic DOKKEN" shows in 2019:
Jeff: "I would love to see the right thing happen, sure, of course. I would love to. Of course, the obstruction has always been the schedules, and my FOREIGNER schedule is really intense and kind of never lets up, so it is hard to schedule dates. But yes, of course I'd love to see more of it. It's a great thing. I'm really appreciative of DOKKEN, and the fact that people still want to still hear [us] this far into our lives is pretty flattering, and it kind of makes you think twice. So yeah, I'd love to see some more [shows]. We'll see. I hope so."
On SUPER STROKE, his new project with Lynch, Brown and WARRANT vocalist Robert Mason:
Jeff: "[I'm] very excited about that. Wow, that's coming out amazing. We have eleven songs written already. Seven of them have vocals, and Robert is sounding like a god. He's phenomenal. He's got everything — the range, the tones, the soul. It's pretty phenomenal. George and I have written eleven pieces of music, so there's four more to finish up with vocals, but it's coming out amazing. That should be out in early 2019. Musically, there is a bit of DOKKEN in there, but I think it reminds me of DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB kind of morphed together a bit, although there is quite a bit of harmony stuff going on. I'm trying to stick that in there too. It's bluesy rock in the way that LYNCH MOB is — groove rock kind of thing, but with some DOKKEN elements to it. There's a few moments that get kind of deep and interesting musically — we do make a couple of stretches — but overall, it's pretty much groove rock, and I think DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB fans are all going to like it."
"Return To The East - Live 2016" will be released on April 20 via Frontiers Music Srl.