JIMI JAMISON & JIM PETERIK - 2008 INTERVIEW

Thu
12
Jun
Artist: 
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Categories: 


 

 

Jimi Jamison: The Two Jim's Crossroad Moment

When Jim Peterik reunited with former Survivor buddy Jimi Jamison, high expectations were immediately raised. And a 15 track CD delivers some of 2008's best AOR moments, with Jimi sounding in fine voice and Jim Peterik providing some magic songs. Both Jim's talk about the creative process behind the album and what drove them back together again after all these years.

I'm sorry that I missed you earlier-40 minutes or whatever?
JP-No problem. We had a wonderful dinner and a couple of glasses of..um..
JJ-(mumbles)
JP-….of whatever.

(laughs)

JP- But, we're still coherent. I think. I think.

Well, I'm stone cold sober so I'm not impressed.
JJ-Well I'm sober, too.
JP-It's 12 o'clock, noon, you'd better be stone cold sober.

(laughs) I know but this job drives me to drink though, I can assure you.
JJ-I can imagine.
JP-I know about that.
JJ-You've got so much information on that site. I don't know how in the world you do it.

Well, tell me, what are you 2 vagabonds hanging out about tonight? Why are you hanging out together in Chicago tonight?
JP-I'll tell you what; we're together doing a show at the House of Blues in Chicago on Thursday….

OH!
JP-it's one of my World Stage shows. Jimi came in a little early to do things like talk to you.

Priority ONE!! (laughs)
JP-…priority one….
JJ- For sure.
JP- And we're doing WGN news at noon tomorrow to publicize House of Blues. The House of Blues is gonna be a World Stage. It's got Jimi Jamison, Dave Bickler, Mickey Thomas of Starship and Stephanie, who he works with now. She's fantastic; she does all of the Grace Slick parts. And, who else do we got, Jimi?
JJ-Is Don coming? Don Barnes?
JP- No, not tomorrow. No. We've got Ray Parker, Jr., the Ides of March…
Kelly Keaggy and Night Ranger. Oh, Martha Davis.

Really?!
JP- Yes.

Oh, my wife loves Martha Davis.
JJ-Yeah, she's great, isn't she? She's a sweetheart.
JP- Wonderful.

She did a tour, an ensemble tour, down here last year and she was the highlight of the night.
JP-Her voice is flawless and she's such a wonderful person.

Really?
JJ-Yeah, she really is.
JP-and that comes across. I don't know if we are missing anyone else. Oh, Toby Hitchcock of Pride of Lions, Lisa McLowry of Life Force and of course her own career…
JJ- and Colin's band…
JP- Oh, Colin, my son's band, Lobster Newburg. Thank you.

Fantastic.
JP-Wow. What a show.

What a groovy CD that Lobster disc is, too.
JP- Oh, thank You!!!

Please tell him that I think it's great and I must feature it on the sight somehow, but it's..he's lost in another decade there, Jim.
JP-He is, thank God.

(laughs) exactly.
JJ- (laughs)
JP- This new one is coming out in a couple of months and, as good as that first one is, this one is just amazing and growing in leaps and bounds.

Let's put aside some time to do a spot on that when the time comes.
JP-Right on.

Absolutely. Well, look, I didn't realize you had a World Stage this week. So that's great! I'm really excited for you; I wish I was there.
JJ-Yeah, we wish you were here too.
JP-This is a little bit different. It's one of those $250 a plate benefits…

Oh! Great!!
JP- You know—the high rollers come in for the San Miguel School. There's 2 independently funded schools that cater to the ghetto children. There are amazing success stories. They take these kids and they become lawyers and doctors. It's just incredible stories. So, last year the Ides of March played and we raised $300,000 and this year we are hoping to beat that. And, oh by the way, Lovin Spoonful are opening up for the World Stage, so that's another very cool thing,

That sounds like a great cause and I wish you both a lot of luck with that show.
Jim, I'll pick your brains about the House of Blues. After the show is all said and done, because that might be a good venue for another show for me next year.

JJ-Yeah.
JP- No doubt.

A little bit smaller than South Bend and a little less formal. Hopefully, about $30,000 cheaper. (laughs)
JP-And, very close to metropolitan Chicago which is great.

We need to do it in Chicago next time, don't we.
JP-I think that was the main problem last year…

Yeah. Live and learn.
JP-yeah. Right on.

I survived.
We should talk about this album, called Crossroads Moment.

JP-Yeah.

What a fantastic record! I know that I've told you guys this already, personally, but---wow! You really nailed it.
JJ-Man, thank you so much, Andrew. That really means a lot coming from you, it does. I've never been more proud of a record in my life. I never post stuff on the internet about any record I've ever done; this is the first time I have ever done that. I've been posting like crazy over at MySpace and stuff…

(laughs)
JJ-…I'm just real proud of it…..

And you should be.
JJ-...Jim out did himself with the writing….

Oh yeah.
JJ-…I think I kind of out did myself. (laughing)
JP-I can say that. He sang so well. People are comparing it to Vital Signs and even saying that he sung better than Vital Signs. That's high praise.

Yeah. I'll come back to the…..well, let's hit the vocals now. Jim, what did you have to do to get Jimi back into top vocal shape? I didn't actually criticize but I did at least raise the question over some of the vocals that were on the Reach album because some of them sounded smooth as silk, some sounded hoarse and raspy. I think you told me at the time that it was Frankie's decision on how much time to spend in trying to get the right vocal out of you…
JJ-Right. All the time was actually spent on the guitars.
JP- (laughs)

(laughs)
JJ- You know, it took me a week to do the vocals-2 or 3 days to do all the tracks and the band-and the rest of the time was guitars.

So what did you do to get Jimi back in shape? Or, bring the best out in him?
JP-First of all, we love each other and the atmosphere we create is very important. You can't do great vocals without a good atmosphere of support. I really support his talent. He supports my talent. And, he loved the songs.
JJ-You know, Jim, that's the main thing. If you're not inspired…. I was so inspired by the songs. If you've got a great song to sing, you're gonna sing it great. If you've got a crummy song, it's not gonna be as good. I was really inspired with these songs; I really was. It made it so much easier to sing. It made it so much easier to hit the high notes; I had no problem hitting the high notes. It was weird, actually, you know? (laughs) But, it was great at the same time. When you are really inspired, that means a lot. Your adrenaline gets going, you know, you are excited to do it. And when you get to listen to it when you are through singing it and it will be great. Touch fists, like Jim and I did after every song.
JP-Yeah!

Yeah. I remember driving around in Jim's truck in Chicago and he said, “I've got 2 songs! I've got the first 2 songs to play for you!” He played Behind the Music and I thought, “Wow. That was great!” And, he goes, “I'm not sure if you'll like this one quite as much.” Then, he put on Crossroads Moment and it just FLOORED me.
JJ-It's a killer, isn't it?

I was like, “WOW! This is even better than the first song!”
JJ-Exactly. And, you know the sequence on the album starts off great and it gets better as it goes down. You hardly ever see it on a CD like that and I'm not just saying it because it's ours. That's the way it feels to me-it just gets better as you listen to it.

I love track one, I love track two but then track three and I think, wow, that's got something special. And then, Crossroads Moment hits and then 4, 5, 6 and 7 are like one bang bang bang bang and you are almost 2/3 of the way through the disc and you haven't come up for a breath of air, you know?
JJ-(laughs) Exactly! I did an interview with a big rock magazine, I can't remember the name, in Germany the other day, and the guy said, “My favorite song is Til the Morning Comes.” I said, “I LOVE that song!” We both said it at the same time—it makes you feel good. We said it at the exact same time. It was great. It just gives you a good feeling, you know?

There's so many good feeling moments and I really like the pacing of the record. The two ballads are really well placed. Jim, the 2 ballads are classic Jimi Jamison but quite different in their own right.
JP-Well, you know, as is, it's one of those, like Jimi said today, that Josh Groban can sing that. It's very dramatic. It's very much a statement of Jimi and where he is right now and take me-- As Is. I've been through the fire and here I am. I survived. And Lost is it's own thing. The melody is I think really special on the chorus. We love it.

Yeah. Lost is just a dramatic song; it really, really is.
JJ- I think the background vocals really make it sound even better than it is. Jim, I guess you came up with those. When I heard it, I was like, “Oh man. He did it!”
JP- Actually, Thom Griffin did almost all the backgrounds except Jimi did some. Like in Crossroads Moment, it's Jimi and I did some. But Tom was brilliant. Of course, you know Thom, and he was truly into it.

Yeah, I know Thom. I met him for the first time in Chicago. He's just a gem of a guy.
JP- He did great. The background parts on Lost–that was Tom's creation and we just let him have his way with it.
JJ- And he did a great job on that, too.

It's obviously a really personal song and an honest raw emotion but, could you, in the lyrical theme, is there an underlying theme of faith in that song, Jim?
JP-Well, you know I think there is. The ending of the bridge, “Now I stand before the kingdom that is His….

Yeah!
JP-….you know that is very….I mean if you don't catch that then you're not listening.

Yeah-that's what I caught.
JP- As Is. Not to be too preachy or anything but the Lord takes us as we are and accepts you. And, it's really about self acceptance.

Oh, I just think it's an amazing lyric, to be honest, and Jimi, you nail it with the vocals….
JJ- Thank you very much.

….you do the right thing by the lyrics, you know what I mean?
JJ- Thank you. I appreciate it.
JP- My favorite story of this record is As Is because Mickey Thomas came in and sang, which is another really cool song, Jimi, we didn't talk about…
JJ- Bittersweet.
JP-Bittersweet. Mickey came in to sing the harmonies. That was great because it was like reliving Vital Signs when he came in and did I Can't Hold Back. Mickey's a great friend and he's gonna be on this show, by the way on Thursday.

Yeah.
JP- But, before we started, he said, “Well, let me hear a few things from Jimi's record.” We were just finishing As Is and we played it for him. Afterwards, he said, “Jimi, this is the best you have ever sung and it is a classic song.” And we said, “Stop there. That compliment is enough for me.” So, you know, it was so great.

Absolutely. What was the catalyst at the very start to bring you guys back together?
JP- Hmm.

What kicked this thing off?
JP-Jimi, you wanna tell the story?
JJ- Yeah, we—you know Fergie Frederickson had hepatitis C so we were actually doing a benefit for Fergie…..

Ok! I remember that.
JJ- …and it has turned into the Hepatitis C Foundation which we do every year. Fergie invited Jim to do it and he invited me to do it and whole lot of others—I can't remember who was on the show—some of the guys from…..
JP-Beaver Brown…..
JJ- …yeah, Beaver Brown…So we decided to, when we saw each other, and immediately, we like ran across the field and (laughing) it was great.

(laughing)
JP- YEAH!
JJ- And it was SO good to see him and Karen. We just started talking and it was like we had never stopped, you know? And so we decided to The Search is Over, just us two.

Wow. And doesn't that work a treat?
JJ- Oh, it was great. When we started doing the song, we looked around behind us and all of the musicians were standing on the stage behind us and they were like in a semi-circle, listening. I tell you, what really started this whole thing was actually Karen's suggestion that Jim and I do it. We almost said it but she came out and said it. That's what really started it.
JP- Yeah, it's true. Karen was very big in this. I was a little hesitant, I mean, I love Jimi's voice as much as I love Jimi but there was so much blood on the tracks and it was like, should I really get into this again? When Jimi and I sang The Search is Over on stage, Jimi and I said, “yeah, we gotta do this.”
JJ- Yeah, it was all over especially when all your peers and the guys you really respect are standing back there listening and applauding for you. It was shocking.

Yeah.
JP- I'll tell you Andrew, and Jimi will probably attest to this, we are having more fun this time than when we had a number one record in 1985. It means a lot more and we're having more fun.

Excellent!! Yeah!
JJ- We really are. If this record never does anything, which I don't think will happen, but if it never does a thing, I'm still more proud of this than anything I've ever done.

That's fantastic. And you can hear it. It's just…there's a real spirit in the songs.
JP- Cool. Cool. You know, the very last song---we kept thinking that we must have cut, what, Jimi, about 20 songs.
JJ- At least.
JP- Serafino and Frontiers are very tough on our songs. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't but more often I, at the end of the day, I think they have made some good decisions. I mean, there will always be differences but what they did do was push me to my limits. When I thought I had the record done, they said. “No, we need one more. We need two more.” Deep inside I'd say, “MAN! I've done my best!” But then I would pull out, what's the song, Jimi….
JJ- Yeah, uh, Love the World Away.
JP- Yeah…..
JJ- Serafino knows it was coming up.

Yeah. Love the World Away is one of the last ones, wasn't it, as well.
JJ- Yeah and whether he says he likes the last song or not, he's gonna say, no because he wants Jim to come up with another one. It'll be great. The other one's gonna be great!

Absolutely.
JJ- The record actually started off to be a country record, didn't it, Jim?
JP- Oh my God. Yeah. We were looking for what direction Jimi should go. He's equally good at rock, country, you know, the whole bit. We must have cut 8 things in the country genre. And, they're all good. They're all good. But, you know what? That's not what Jimi thought he would want. They wanna hear what he does best, you know, and that's melodic rock. We decided we are going to preach to the choir; we could always do a country album down the road but it is time for this.

Yeah.
JJ- Even if we do a country, it is still gonna be melodic rock, no matter what we do because there's no way to get around it-we sound like we sound and that's it.

Yeah, exactly and I'm really glad. I know you've guys tested out the country thing first but as a way in to start working together but I'm REALLY glad you ended up where you did though.
JJ-Yeah, me too.
JP-Yeah.

And I'm really glad that you posted this week on MySpace, Jimi, that there would be a record next year.
JJ-Yea, I did. Jim doesn't know that yet.(laughing!!)
JP-(laughing)

So is that the country record??!!
JJ-Yeah, it will be country but it won't be country. You know, it's gonna be good, whatever it is. I put A Sound of Home on my MySpace just to see what would happen and I have got so much response. I took it down the other day and you wouldn't believe all the email that I got saying, “OH! You've got to put it back up!!” Because you can only hear the song-you can't download it or anything. You can only—if you go to MySpace you can listen to it. They said, “I've got to have my fix.” They are flipping out over that stuff.

It's proof again that a good song is good in any format.
JJ- Yeah.
JP-Yeah, it's funny. It's a Pride of Lions song—in fact, that's the one we're gonna do with Toby on Thursday. It's like you said-it's all down to the arrangement.

Yeah. Absolutely. Now, talking of arrangements, Friends We've Never Met—what a great little lyric and what an uplifting song that is.
JP-Thank you. I always felt that so many cities and so many people and you make eye contact and they become friends for that night and then they are gone, you know? This is our way of saying thank you to the royal—I call them the “Royalty” of the fans.
 

I'd love to hear this song live. It's got such a great spirit and I love the last couple of minutes. It's like a rousing final. It's almost like an encore track.
JJ- You know what grabs you right off the bat is when those keyboards come in…
JP- (sings) (all laugh)

It starts off slow.
JJ- Oh my god…..

Yup. Yup.
JJ- …….it's so majestic.
JP- I have to say there's a little bit of Styx there. But, anyway….

(laughs)
JJ- More Asia. (all laugh)
JP- Well, alright. Well, ok Asia. At the last minute, Andrew, the last line of the song used to be, “for friends we've NE------VER met” and all of a sudden we, Jimi and I thought of Happy Trails, the old….
JJ- Roy Rogers.
JP- ….Roy Rogers thing. And we changed it to “someday we'll meet again”. That just made a goose bump moment for us.

I completely agree. And who was responsible for the guitar soloing?
JP- That's Jim Peterik.
JJ- (laughs)

That sounds like you. I'm glad you left that in because I know sometimes you can second guess or think, “maybe I should restrain myself a bit here.” But, I'm glad you didn't.
JP- Well, I really actually play a lot of lead on this record.

I can hear it, Jim, I can just really hear it.
JJ- Yeah, and I can't, in a lot of the places, I can' tell who's playing what. I have to ask Jim. Unless it's that real fast thing, I can tell it's Joel. But otherwise, I'll have to ask Jim, “did you play this?” (laughs)
JP- Well, except for the real fast Joel stuff, Make Me a Believer and When Rock Was King, I do almost all the leads. Now, I relied on Mike more for the rhythms-the really great riffs like on Battersea. He had a lot to do with that but the melodic lines—I like a lead part that you can sing.

Yeah.
JP- No offense to Mike or Joel but they're fast and they're technical but sometimes you can't sing the lead parts. Frankie's talent was playing leads that you can sing; I was trying to pick up from that.

I can hear you playing, Jim, and I can hear you soloing; I know it. And I think people will get a real---I think you are underrated as a guitar player.
JJ—Oh dude, you know the whole time that I was in Survivor with Jim, I never knew he was a guitar player.
JP- (laughs)

Yeah!! He's always the keyboard guy. And I think that's just so unfair.
JJ- I never knew it.
JP- Yeah, there were a lot of frustrations with Survivor. One of them was that there was only room for one guitar player on that stage and it was Frankie. You know, as a vocalist, it's public record, I really, really missed singing. When I first started with Dave Bickler, it was supposed to be kind of like a duets thing but other people had other visions and that's the way it went. I don't regret because we had a huge success but it was frustrating as a musician.

And, these days at least, you've got your solo record outlets.
JP- Right.

There's a couple of tracks that Jim, that you sent me for this record that you are thinking about demoing and that's gonna be the lead track on your next solo record.
JP- I don't remember which one.

Which one? Hang on. I think I've got the disc here, I think. (shuffles stuff) Somewhere.
JJ- He's gonna be singing a lot more when he goes out on tour with me.
JP- There you go!!
JJ- (laughs) I didn't talk about that yet!!!

(laughs) I think you guys really do need to put a setlist together. I really do. Heads Are Gonna Roll. Jim?
JP- You know, Hearts Are Gonna Roll.

Hearts Are Gonna Roll, yeah, sorry. Hearts Are Gonna Roll.
JP- Yeah, that's such a neat song and that could be a JP you now it's a little more…like Above the Storm or whatever. You know what, I've got to tell you though, I really live through Jimi Jamison though and it's almost like I don't need to sing when Jimi's singing one of my songs. It's such a thrill to hear him singing.

It's just great to hear the chemistry between you two.
JP- It's really real and we just….
JJ- Thank you, Jim. (sobbing/laughing)
JP- bwahhhh! (sobbing/laughing) I love you, man.
JJ- I love you, man.

(laughing)
JJ- (laughing)
JP- (laughing)

Even better to know that it's going to continue.
JP- Yeah. There's no doubt. You know, we're joined at the hip, man, and we're gonna do a lot of things together.

Yeah. And wouldn't it be great to do some live shows?
JJ- Oh yeah, it'd be great. That would be so much fun. We have working together. As long as it's fun, gee.
JP- I'll do shows, as long as I can still do the Ides of March, and of course Life Force is gaining momentum now as well as my solo jazz thing. But, I would love to go out with Jimi and do some shows.

Absolutely. Well, there's one next year I've penciled in for ya, so….
JP- Yeah. You tell me the date-we'll be there.
JJ- Andrew, I've never been to Australia and I wanna come badly. Just help us get over there. (laughs)

Yeah. I'd love to try and make that happen, too. It's just so bloody far to get here and it's so expensive. You know, it's like over 2 grand, $2,000, just for a coach seat.
JJ- Jesus.

That's U.S. dollars. It's like 2,600 Australian to fly anywhere. It's ridiculous. But, you know, that's what you get for living in the ass end of the world.
JJ- Hey, you never know. Maybe that's the head of the world and we're the ass end. (laughs)
JP- That's right! (laughs)

Maybe. (laughs) Can I ask you a couple of things, Jim, that you told me that you are up to? Or anything else that you'd like to add Jimi at this stage?
JJ- No, I think we've pretty much covered everything.

I just wanted to talk about the album and concentrate on that.
JJ- Yeah, go right ahead, Andrew.

Is there anything you'd like to add about the album?
JJ- I'd just like to add that I'm really, really, really thankful and very proud of this record. There would always be a track on a record I did or maybe 2 or 3 tracks that I did that I didn't really want to play for my friends. But with this record, I will sit down and play the whole thing, for anybody and not feel any weirdness whatsoever or feel like I could have done something better. Everything fits just perfectly and God bless Jim Peterik and Karen for sticking with me and Jim for writing such great songs.
JP- And I wanted to add just a couple of things. One is that Jimi really inspired me to do my best writing. I mean, it reminded me of back in '84 when I was thinking of his voice, imagining it and writing songs like I See You in Every One and Popular Girl and The Search is Over. To me, as a writer, it takes a great voice to inspire and great song and that's what happened with this album. I also wanted to give accolades to Larry Millas who co-produced this record. Of course, he's done all the engineering for Pride of Lions and Ides of March and I really think he hit a stride with this in terms of the sonics for this record. I think it's very punchy, very rock and roll, the drums sound great, the guitars sound great. So accolades, definitely, to Larry.
JJ- Yeah.

Good. Everything sounds fabulous on the album, Jim.
JP- And it's not fakey--too many albums, even in the melodic rock vein---I'll not mention any names---sound very synthetic, like their drum machines and guitars that are just going through the electronics, as opposed to real amplifiers.

Absolutely.
JP—We tried to get the real meat of the analog recording like the 80's really and I think we pretty much got it.

People are asking me, Jim, about the Sound Stage performance. Is it gonna be a DVD or a TV thing or both?
JP- It's gonna be both. It's coming out in March- the DVD—

Fantastic!
JP-and will air in March as well, on PBS. In fact, we're just editing it and doing whatever fixes need to be, if there's a bad guitar note. Luckily, there are very few problems. John Barnes just did his vocal repairs today and so we're right in the trenches. But it looks brilliant, sounds brilliant and I think everybody is represented so well. So, it's gonna be probably a double dvd set…

Wow. That's awesome. I can't wait to see that.
JP- It's gonna be great. It really is.

Absolutely, Fantastic. So that's great. You've got the jazz record—that's out officially? Is that out now?
JP- Well, it's off my website but it's going to hit the stores in February for an actual release.

Oh good. Ok.
JP- Yeah, we've got the whole distributorship. We have radio promotion; we have PR; we have everything set up and we're really going to go for it. And, as a spin off, I'm producing Lisa McLowry and a solo jazz album for her, too. It's kind of a spring board for her, as well.

That's great. An iron in every fire.
JP- (laughs) As long as I'm passionate about it, I'll do it. I'm at an age where I don't do anything I don't love.

Yeah. And why should you? I agree completely.
JP- Right.

Hence, the unlikeliness of a Survivor reunion.
JP- Right. I mean, I think it would be more pain than gain. It would be very tough and right now, I don't see the need for it.

Yeah. You know, there are a lot of people that would love to see the three of you on stage again or even both vocalists and you and Frankie.
JP- That would be pretty tough.
JJ- I think it would be really good if it was just me, Jim and Dave.
JP- (laughing)

Well, how is Dave doing?
JP- Dave is great. I just spoke with him. He's going to be on the show on Thursday. We're doing Somewhere In America, which is a real oldie that is from the very first record. We're doing it because it was like a hit in Chicago. We're doing Summer Nights. We're doing The Eye of The Tiger, of course, Dave's singing it. This is gonna be a blast. Jimi and Dave are gonna go up there and do a duet—something—I haven't figured out what yet.

Fantastic. I'd love to hear that. Do you get asked about Pride of Lions, too, Jim?
JP- Yup.

Any plans? Or is it just sort of in the back of your mind for sometime later, perhaps?
JP- Well, no, it's getting more specific. We've got Frontiers barking down my door now, and I said, “Look. I just finished Jamison's record. I've got to re-group. I've got to build up my juices again”. Yeah, but '09 will definitely be a Pride of Lions record. I don't know exactly when yet but I'm starting to think about it-starting to collect ideas. Of course, we want it to be the best one yet.

Yup. Great stuff. It's good to see that. Just keep things continuing on all fronts. Keep everybody happy.
JP- Yup. There ya go.

And then we'll have a new Jimi Jamison album……(laughs)
JP- Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
JJ- (evil laughing)

Keep it rolling. Fantastic. Anything else you'd like to add, Jim?
JP- Ides of March are putting on a new record. That will be spring of '09.

Oh! A new studio album?
JP- All new original studios, yup.

Great!
JP- I'm very excited. It's called Keep Rockin'. Every song is up tempo; there's no ballads.

Really? Ok.
JP- It's a very, very cool record. Yeah, so that's about it right now.

That's enough, isn't it?
JP- Yeah, I mean, come on. It's gonna be a great '09. Jamison is probably the thing that I'm most excited about because it's gonna wake people up. I think the AOR melodic rock world is ready for this record. They're really seeing what Jimi can do—what really is Survivor—what was the magic behind Survivor. Of course, Survivor is Survivor and there'll never be another Survivor but I think, on this record, we've captured a lot of the essence of what people really loved about Survivor. One really little small thing about Jimi's voice is that, when I first met him and he started singing for us, I didn't know how to describe it but he had a kind of a catch in his voice that made him very unique. If you listen, I call it a yodel. It's hard to describe but nobody else does it, ok? Through the years, I think the yodel disappeared. Certainly on the album Reach, there's not a yodel to be found. I think it makes Jamison—well, first of all, it identifies him as a Memphis guy. It's just a little bit Southern, what he does. But NOBODY else does it. No one else can do it. So, with this album, I said, “Jimi, you've got to bring back the yodel”. (laughs)

(laughs)
JP- And it's there. It's part of the reason Jimi's vocals sound so distinctive on this record. Almost like harkening back to When Seconds Count or Vital Signs.

Yeah. There's definitely a classic Survivor sound on there and just a great all around record. You both should be very proud.
JP- Thank you, Andrew. And thank you for your support.
JJ- You're definitely part of the team, brother.

That's what I love doing so I was happy to jump in and help and I'll be there next time.
JP- Yup, thank you, man.
JJ- We know you will.
JP- Anything, we can do. Tell me about the shows and we'll be there.
JJ- For sure.

Fantastic. Long way off but we'll definitely—I'd like to do something.
JP- How's your new baby boy? Is it a boy?

Yeah, another boy, I've got three kids, three boys now, yeah.
JP- Wow.
JJ- Wow. When did you have the last one?

He's 10 weeks old-eleven weeks old.
JJ- Wow! Congratulations
JP- What's this one's name?

His name's Toby.
JP- Oh Toby!!
JJ- (yells) Toby Wayne?
JP- Toby Hitchcock. Toby Wayne. (all laugh) The other ones are called what?

Nicolas and Zachary.
JP- Toby. He'll come out of the womb singing the Sound of Home.

Yeah. Exactly. The other 2 kids love their music so we're on the right path.
JP- Good. Good deal.

So we're all doing ok.
JP- Well, I'm glad we got a hold of you and do you have enough to write about?

That's plenty. Thank you, mate. Absolutely.
JP- Good. Well, we're gonna go to bed. (laughs)

One more toast before bed.
JP- You got it. You got it.

Alright, Jimi and Jim, thank you both very much again.
JJ- Thank you, Andrew. Man, you're the best. We really, really, really appreciate all your help. You've helped us immensely.
JP- No doubt.

Anytime. Anytime. And I look forward to catching up again soon.
JP- Ok. Alright, Andrew. Take care.

Alright, thanks, mates. Bye.
JJ- See ya later, buddy.
JP- Bye bye.
 

c. 2008/9 MelodicRock.com / Interview by Andrew McNeice June 2008