Having grown up up in the 80s it is no shock that bands like Dokken eature on any guitarist’s area of study. We were lucky enough to catch up with current Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson here is what he had to say :
When did you start making music and what attracted you to bass guitar ?
JP: I started playing at 12 years old (although I started playing cello a year earlier). Some guys heard me singing on the playground so they asked if I’d buy a bass and be in their band- I did it.
Who were your influences growing up ?
JP: Beatles, Zeppelin, Yes and the prog movement, AC/DC, most 70’s rock, the list goes on
You have worked with many of the greats, what has been the highlight of your career personally ?
JP: Working with Ronnie Dio, working and writing with George Lynch, and anytime I play with Vinny Appice. Actually there are lots of highlights, but those stand out.
You stared in the movie ‘Rockstar’ how did that come about and what did you learn from the experience ?
JP: I started by playing bass on the sessions for the soundtrack, the director saw me working with the band and offered me the part. What I learned is how well actors are treated!!! You should have seen catering!
Being a massive fan of Dokken in the late 80s what was your favourite Dokken song and why ?
JP: Its Not Love, I just think it’s a great song that still makes me feel good.
With the advances in technology many musicians and employing computer based recording have you ventured to using a computer live ? if so how do you use the technology ?
JP: I don’t use a computer for any of my stuff live, but the keyboardist for Foreigner does. It’s just part of a keyboard players gig now.
Your fan site has been running a few years now and you are exceptionally responsive to you fans, what is the strangest request you have received via the site ?
JP: Somebody wanted me to go to a school dance with them, I think they were serious!!
If you could work with anyone who would you choose and why ?
JP: If you mean living than Ringo or McArtney would be nice. I also assume you mean people I haven’t worked with, so Slash comes to mind, as does Coverdale. Also, Keith Emerson. If they don’t have to be alive, Beethoven and John Lennon would top the list.
What is your favourite song / band and why ?
JP: My all time favorite song is Clair De Lune by Debussy, fave band is the Beatles- because the music is so good
If you could change one thing about your life what would it be ?
JP: Being able to make the music I want staying at home
We have met a few musicians of late you literally have 100s of guitars in their home. Do you have a large collection or historic equipment ?
JP: I do, not 100s but I do love my guitars, amps and I have a mellotron. I also have good old mics and microphone preamplifiers
Your currently touring with Foreigner, how is that going ? are there any UK plans ?
JP: All good with Foreigner. We have a best-of CD coming later this year with one new song and an acoustic version of Say You Will and two songs from our Live 05 CD.
The new song is a Mick Jones Marty Fredericksen collaboration that is real strong. Has an old Foreigner sound, but also modern in a Maroon 5 sort of way. Great song, it’s called “Too Late”. Look for that in the fall. Hopefully will hit the UK next year.