Classic Soundtrack or Summer Styx, Foreigner & Don Felder
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Interview by Danny Coleman

We’ve all had various themes, songs, or movies which represent defining moments in life and for many, the music which accompanies these moments is as much a part of them as is the moment itself.


Photo by Michael Helms

There are certain decades of music which evoke memories or even mental time travel as we are transported back to youth or a certain someone, maybe even a place in which we haven’t been in years or hope to be once again. Whatever the case, the possibilities are endless, limited only by our own minds.

“Soundtrack of Summer” is one of these time travel moments as the combined talents and forces of Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder have taken to the road to bring their most revered material back to the masses. “This is one exciting tour!,” exclaimed Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson. “The songs from all of these bands, bringing back memories to people; I am crazy proud of it. This is fabulous and promises to be a fabulous summer!”

Pilson rose to prominence in part due to his years of service with the heavy metal band Dokken but being introduced to Foreigner was a matter of fate. “I’ve been with them for ten years now,” he explained. “I wound up joining them because I was working with Jason Bonham on the movie “Rockstar,” and we had a blast. Jason is an extremely musical guy and we just clicked; it’s like we read each other’s minds and he introduced me to Mick Jones.”

“I really didn’t want to do this,” said veteran rocker and guitarist Don Felder with a laugh. “At first I didn’t know who was involved; one thing I’ve learned over the years is to balance life, loved ones and golf partners with my music. So when I heard it was Styx and Foreigner, I said, “Sign me up!” Working with Styx is a delight and I had met the guys in Foreigner before so I knew this was going to be good. These shows are four hour rock-a-thons with a lot of people who are really nice. The other twenty hours spent off stage are great. I have a golf partner in Ricky (Phillips) and there are no egos and no drama unlike past situations I’ve been in; there’s a great balance.”

Styx bassist Ricky Phillips, in his eleventh year with the band, echoes the sentiments of his touring partners and seems rather amused at his good fortunes. “I joined Styx in 2003. I come from a heavier handed place; it’s one of those things you know, I mean with all of the things that I’ve done, I never thought that I’d end up here,” he chuckled. “I always wanted Tommy (Shaw) and I to play together so I am very happy with the way things have turned out. This is a real special combination of musicians.”

The tour to this point has been a boost for all involved says Phillips, “There’s a little something different every night; I’m kind of excited about it. I like Don (Felder) a lot, his songs, things like “Victim of Love” and “Hotel California,” these songs are great! He is so talented and his band is smokin’. Foreigner? I have a couple of close friends in that band. I turned them onto Kelly Hansen and it’s one of the reasons that they stay as good as they are. I’ve known Tom Gimbel for 25 years, we go way back.”

Along those very lines, Pilson was a fan of the very band he now is a part of; a turn of events that he is quite happy about. “It’s fabulous! It makes music a naturalthing playing with these guys. We show such respect and care in our performance for our own music; it is part of the reason this band is so acclaimed. We love the music and we try and play it with love. I’ve always viewed Foreigner as a hard rock band with great vocals and melodies and now that I’m a part of them, it’s great.”

All of the bands and their members are very anxious to be doing this together; realizing their longevity and status still appeal to mass audiences, be it through nostalgia or legions of new fans. “I think we now appeal to a broader pallet,” says Phillips. “I see 6, 7, 8 and 10 to 12 year old kids liking our music and singing along with their parents; it’s a good feeling.”

Felder CoverExtEd2014Felder loves the camaraderie between the bands and the reaction of the audiences as well; even tailoring his set list a bit to reflect his tour mates. “I re-released a CD, “Road to Forever” and I sat down with twenty seven songs; I took the best sixteen and I can honestly say there are no duds in the bunch. The one song, “You Don’t Have Me” is a bit heavier and quite appropriate to play on this tour. I can’t wait to get out there and be part of this every night we take the stage; the fans are great, I mean who doesn’t love Styx and Foreigner?”

Pilson and Phillips both say that fans of their respective bands will not be disappointed when they come to the show. “We change things up every tour. We try to make things different,” said Phillips. “We’ve been doing some material for twenty or thirty years but we also like to throw in a tune such as “Light Up” which die hard Styx fans will know.” “As long as Kelly’s voice holds out we can keep doing this,” says Pilson. “The quality is still there as evident by the crowd reaction so we’ll keep bringing our old and new material out.”

Felder, who says, “I do this because I love to play music,” loves being the lone “solo act” on the bill; allowing him the autonomy that makes it worthwhile. “Being my own act is great! I am my own decision maker, I get to say I will do this or I won’t do that; it’s not an ego thing, it’s just that I value my personal time and what I present to the audiences. I’ve achieved a nice balance of both and I feel it shows whenever we take the stage.”

The “Soundtrack of Summer Tour” will be allowing time travel in a town near you soon. To learn more about the tour, ticket information and the bands, please go to link below.











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