Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder Talk ‘Soundtrack of Summer’ Tour
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Foreigner and Styx are hitting the road with Don Felder for the Soundtrack of Summer tour, scheduled to begin May 16 — and they stopped by the Ultimate Classic Rock offices to talk about how it came together, what inspired their new re-recording of the Eagles classic ‘Hotel California,’ and what we can expect to see and hear during the tour.
“I think it makes sense for the three bands that have this many hits that really were the soundtrack of a lot of people’s summers,” said Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen regarding the name of the tour. “It kind of just wrote itself — it kind of made sense.” He went on to share his excitement regarding this particular combination of talents: “Put it all together,” he pointed out, “and it’s pretty powerful stuff.”
As for that new version of ‘Hotel California,’ Felder says it came out of feeling like he needed to do something new with the song for the album the bands are recording together as a tour promotion. “I didn’t want to do just a remake of the same version of ‘Hotel California,’ I thought that had been done twice. It had to be new and fresh,” he argued. And as far as he’s concerned, they pulled it off. “The choruses where the harmonies come in is just stellar, I have to say,” he added. “I haven’t heard that song sung quite that well in a long time.”
For Styx’s Tommy Shaw, the ‘Hotel California’ sessions were a little daunting at first, but once he got acclimated to the notion of re-recording a song he loves, he was able to enjoy the process. “It went from being something that I wasn’t quite sure what it was to become something that we’re all extremely proud of,” said Shaw, adding that it “changed the whole dynamic of what we’re doing, I think.”
Continued Shaw, “We’ve known each other, but we got to know each other on a more personal level, seeing how each other works when they’re putting their head down and getting serious about how you approach music. It’s just been one really pleasant musical surprise after another. We didn’t have to do that — we could have just gone out and played some gigs, showed up and played your songs, that sort of thing.”
As far as on-stage collaborations go, you never know. None of the band members have publicly committed to anything yet, but Styx’s Lawrence Gowan joked, “We’re working on a human pyramid right now, but we’re not sure who’s going to go on top, so that remains to be seen.”