Jeff Pilson Says Most People Don’t ‘Know the Name Foreigner’
Jeff Pilson believes that most people don’t know Foreigner by name - and he and the band are perfectly fine with that.
“Foreigner was really never much of an image band,” the bassist explained during an interview with Audio Ink Radio. “You could talk to people on the street, and you may find a lot of people that don't really know the name Foreigner, but you won't find anybody that hasn't heard of 'Cold as Ice' or 'Hot Blooded' and stuff like that.”
Pilson sees this as a reflection of the quality of Foreigner’s work.
“The songs and the music are more famous than the band, which is amazing, because it gives us the ability to do this long-term touring and bringing it out there,” the rocker declared. “It's just an amazing collection of songs that Foreigner has. It's amazing — it really is. I mean, 16 Top 30 songs. How many bands can say that? It's really special.”
Pilson credits Foreigner co-founder Mick Jones for maintaining the band’s perspective.
“Mick has a very open-eyed attitude about everything. He understands where the market's at. So, for him, it's all about, well, these songs have just gotta be great; that's all. I don't think he's thinking in terms of, are they going to be a hit,” Pilson explained. “And it's really fun watching Mick, and then the rest of the band kind of react to that, because it really ups your game... It's good for you as a writer, it's good for you as a musician and as a producer. Any time I can be with Mick, I value, because he's just such a brilliant, wonderful dude and such an amazing songwriter."
Pilson joined Foreigner in 2004, replacing bassist Bruce Turgon. Prior to that, the rocker found success playing the bands Dokken and Dio.
More recently, Pilson has collaborated with Lynch Mob founder - and fellow Dokken alumni - George Lynch. The duo released an album of cover songs, Heavy Hitters, in 2020. Their supergroup project the M Machine - which also features drummer Mick Brown and singer Robert Mason - has an album titled Phase2 arriving in April. Both albums were recorded under COVID-19 constraints.
Watch Pilson's interview with Audio Ink below.