AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFF PILSON
By David Iozzia
FEATURED CELEBRITY: Jeff Pilson
CURRENT BANDS: War and Peace
PREVIOUS BANDS: Dokken, DIO
When we caught up with Jeff Pilson, he was sitting at his computer, enjoying a cup of tea. With a newborn baby at home, Jeff shared his last few minutes of relaxation for the next five years with us!
DI: First off, I'd like to congratulate you and your wife Ravinder on the recent birth of your daughter, Olivia. Parenthood is highly recommended.
JP: Couldn't agree more! Sleep is at a premium, but it's soooo worth it!
DI: You handled bass on the upcoming DIO CD, "Master Of The Moon." Rudy Sarzo is doing the European tour that starts mid-July. Do you have any future plans playing or recording with Ronnie James Dio?
JP: My connection with Ronnie is too deep to not ever work together again. I couldn't say when or how, but I'm sure we'll do more together down the line.
DI: You recently released a new War and Peace CD, "The Walls Have Eyes." What can you tell us about the CD and its musical direction?
JP: The direction is not too dissimilar to the Lynch/Pilson album from last year. In fact, most of the writing was done immediately following that CD. It's definitely a more serious overall effort than previous War and Peace CDs. Most of the other War and Peace CDs were demos that got released. This one was a serious start-to-finish effort to make a strong new record. I feel it's more cohesive and contains better overall songwriting and performances.
DI: War and Peace live will feature you singing, Michael Frowein drumming, Mitch Perry on guitars, and Brad Lang on bass. What can you tell us about your bandmates?
JP: Mitch is a monster- wait'll you hear him with this. He's definitely a guy who should have gotten more recognition, but maybe through this he can get a great deal more. He so deserves it. Fro is a monster groove drummer- and what a great vibe while playing- he sets the pace for this band. And Brad, not only a great player- but monster singer. The background vocals with this group will blow people away!
DI: War and Peace is playing live in September at The Beatles' old stomping grounds, The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. Will you release a live CD of that show or another studio CD first?
JP: I'm fairly sure the live CD will come out first, although there are already plans for a new War and Peace studio CD, probably in the spring.
DI: What are War and Peace's tour plans for the United States and Europe?
JP: U.S.- whatever warm-up dates can be scheduled before Europe- and hopefully that's a lot. Other than that, nothing concrete yet. I'm hoping the reaction to the band will spark a lot more dates.
DI: In 2003, you released "Wicked Underground" by Lynch/Pilson. Working with George Lynch again must have been awesome. Was it simply scheduling that prevented you from touring live? Do you have any future plans to share the live stage with George?
JP: Yes, scheduling was the problem there, we both have so much going on. But we talk all the time, and yes, would love to someday do another record and hopefully do at least a handful of dates for the next one.
DI: 2003 also saw the second CD release from Wild Horses. Who else, other than Scorpions drummer James Kottak, plays in Wild Horses?
JP: Rick Steier is on guitar and John Levesque is the singer. They were also both on the 1991 Wild Horses record. Both records are bluesy hard rock.
DI: Your Underground Moon CD from 2001 is a personal favorite of mine. Any future plans for Underground Moon?
JP: No plans at this time. I have to narrow my field a bit, and with all the stuff happening for War and Peace right now, it's just too much. I'd love to do another Underground Moon record someday, it's a great outlet for me, and I really miss the live band. What a great bunch of guys, and what fun to play with. But I can't spread myself too thin!
DI: I heard a rumor from the West Coast that you played some live dates with ex-bandmate Vinny Appice. The Hollywood Allstars, we believe. Please tell us more.
JP: yes, that's our fun gigging band. Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot) is on guitar, Chaz West (Bonham, Lynch) on vocals, and Alan Krigger (Giuffria) is also on drums. It's actually a great band, doing real strong covers. It's a blast. We'll keep doing gigs- it's too much fun.
DI: You have worked with so many legendary rock musicians. If you could remove money, contracts, lawyers, record companies, and personalities from the equation and create a supergroup for one CD/tour, what two guitarists, drummer, and vocalist would join you?
JP: George Lynch and Mitch Perry, James Kottack, and Ronnie Dio.
DI: Use the same criteria, with musicians you've NEVER worked with but would like to work with. Who would that supergroup comprise?
JP: Tough one, Slash and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stoneage, Tommy Lee, and David Coverdale.
DI: Please share with us your thoughts on metal music and today's music in general.
JP: I like anything as long as it's good. I think it's cool that each generation has its heroes- that keeps it rock and roll. I do also think it's cool that Velvet Revolver can come out at number one- it will be interesting to see how that affects young bands. They are the ones who must carry the torch forward.
DI: Are there any comments you'd like to extend to your fans and metal music fans?
JP: Just to check out the new War and Peace disc- I'm very proud of it, and to come see the band live if we're playing in a city near you!!!
DI: I would like to thank you for letting us conduct this interview. In closing, someday soon it will be time to buy your daughter the one CD that defines what Rock and Roll is all about. Which CD would that be?
JP: Let's hope it hasn't been released yet- wouldn't that be cool???