'India has been fascinating'

'India has been fascinating'

energetic Kelly Hansen  dh photos by vishwanath suverna

And when you meet them in person, you realise that they can give any current band a run for its money with their boundless enthusiasm and never-ending passion for music.

Foreigner was in the City recently to perform at Seagram’s 100 Pipers concert tour When Rock Stars Meet Rock Sitars with Niladri Kumar. During their stay, two of the band members — Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen — spoke to Metrolife on the legends of music and their personal favourites.  

Mick Jones is the original member of the band, the only one to have stayed since the inception of the band in 1976. “It’s been an evolution,” he reveals. Ask him about India, and his face lights up. “I love the food here and I really want to explore India — its parks, jungles and coastlines,” he exclaims. “Unfortunately, we have lots of shows lined up and not too many days. But we are glad we could make a trip and allow people to see us,” he adds.

For Kelly Hansen, the lead singer of the band, “India has been fascinating. I am a California boy and have never been here before. It’s a totally different culture. The people have been wonderful and the food is incredible,” he says. Any special dishes he is talking about? “All curries, biryani and garlic naan,” he smiles. Tell him about his uncanny resemblance to Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, and he laughs out loud. “Well, I am the youngest Steven Tyler with less money,” he jokes.

Speaking of music, Kelly says he loves Indian classical music. “Not the Bollywood style you know!” His influences are the black R&B artistes like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Mayfield. Ask him about his current favourites and he says, “I like Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys.” Are there any artistes they would like to collaborate with? “There are many but it happens as it happens,” Kelly smiles.

 Mick has rubbed shoulders with the greatest legends of music in the past. He has produced the albums of Billy Joel and Van Halen. “I am extremely fortunate to have met and played with legends,” he says modestly. “I have spent time with Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Eric Clapton,” he smiles. Among the new artistes, Mick likes The Killers and Coldplay. “I like anything with soul in it,” he explains.  

When it comes to lives shows, the band certainly gives its best. “But every night and day is different. So though we might play the same songs, the band may be good one day and not so good the other day,” says Kelly.

He hopes that Foreigner gets a chance to play in China and Ireland. “We have played almost everywhere else,” he notes.  After the Indian tour, the band will be heading back to the United States.

“In June, we start a tour with Journey. Though Journey and Foreigner have toured together before, we have never played together in the UK,” sums up Kelly.

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