Photo by Alexander Sedelnikov
Interviewed by Barry (Zeezee) Dawson (Editor/Senior Staff Writer) Myglobalmind Webzine
Zeezee: Hi Joe, firstly can i just say that on behalf of us here at Myglobalmind and all of our lovely readers that it’s an honor for us to be doing this interview.
JLT: Thank you for the kind words. I greatly appreciate the support of your website and fans.
Zeezee: As we do this interview the new Sunstorm album Emotional Fire is just about to be released to the masses, obviously the press has had it’s hands on the album for a little while now. Have you been happy with the overall feedback so far?
JLT: Yes! The reviews I have seen so far are great! Again…thank you to all the fans for supporting melodic rock and the Sunstorm Project.
Zeezee: It’s a fantastic record and the idea to delve into your back catalog of sessions as a backing vocalist to get a majority of the track-list is a very interesting one. Can you tell us a little bit about how this idea came about?
JLT: In the past, the Sunstorm CDs were collections of songs that I had in my archives combined with some tracks that the staff at Frontiers thought would be a good for the Sunstorm project.
“Emotional Fire” is different. None of the songs came out of my collection of this time…Frontiers picked out because they feel those songs sounded like the melodic rock concept of “Sunstorm.” I do regret that songs from my archives were not a part of this third Sunstorm but that was not possible this time. I was on tour in Russia, Eastern Europe and doing business plus much needed vacationing in Turkey when the song list had to be finalized. It was Frontiers who suggested all the song ideas but it seems like the fans love it so I am glad about that!
Zeezee: I want to thank you personally for an amazing version of Gina. I always thought it was a fantastic song that just needed a little more grunt, which you certainly provided. Is there any particular track or two on Emotional Fire that you enjoyed working on more than the others?
JLT: I enjoyed working on them all. They are all unique in their own way although I do admit having more feelings for the ones I had work on in the past only because some of the memories came back…the Bolton and Cher tracks were special in that way. That was a very exciting and creative time for me, writing with people like Desmond Child and Bonjovi, working with so many artists, so diverse.
Zeezee: You have released three albums under the Sunstorm moniker now, each with a bit of a different theme to the others. The first two albums have been widely praised in melodic rock circles across the globe, how do you think Emotional Fire stacks up against SUNSTORM and HOUSE OF DREAMS?
JLT: The concept is a bit different. This third one is not quite as diverse as the first two but the musicianship and production, thanks to Dennis Ward and the musicians he chose, is very strong as always.
Zeezee: Real rock music, especially of the melodic variety, has been making a very strong comeback over the last seven or eight years and it seems that you personally have been in demand more than ever. What’s your take on the recent comeback of good rock music?
Photo by: Arnie Casamenti
JLT: I think that after being bombarded with so many artists that do not stand the test of time or are not really good singers/musicians that people are finally starting to realize that there is no substitute for authentic, REAL music. Everything goes in cycles.
Zeezee: Many people, myself included, have said that the combination of JLT and Dennis Ward is a melodic rock dreamteam. I guess a lot of this comes down to the fact that you both seem to have a similar amount of passion for this type music, what’s the chemistry like working with Dennis?
JLT: Dennis is a brilliant producer and the fact that we have produced three Sunstorm albums that have been decent quality and well-received without being in the same studio says a lot about his abilities. We exchange emails, Skype, etc. So, we are not in the same room but we have mutual respect for each other. And, he does have a great ear as well.
Zeezee: What sort of stuff have you been listening to lately, are there any recently released albums that have gotten you excited?
JLT: Jonny Lang is definitely on my “must listen to” list! I also like Nickelback, Papa Roach, Apocalyptica and Rammstein is great while working out (i.e. at the gym, etc.).
Zeezee: As many people know, you are one of the busiest men in the melodic rock business. Now that EMOTIONAL FIRE is done and dusted, what’s next?
Can we(hopefully) expect a new JLT solo album soon or are you too busy with your many, many bands and projects? I heard though the grapevine that you have been doing some collaborative work with Chris Antbland. Is this something that will se the light of day anytime soon? I’m sure it’s something that would have people very curious as what it would sound like.
JLT: I am working on collaborations more close to home (in the USA) with Joe Bonamassa, who I have worked with in the past, as well as my longtime “JLT Band” guitarist Karl Cochran. I’ve been in contact with Paul Rodgers about having him do some covers. I am working on a possible “reality TV” show here in the USA as well as a rock opera for actor Robert DeNiro’s company. You also mention Chris Antblad here in your interview.
Hopefully, that material will be out in Sweden sometime before the end of the year. We did not want it to conflict with Sunstorm. As for how it will sound…some of it may sound different that you might expect from me. It is different from my solo work and different from Sunstorm but I say that in a good way.
Zeezee: Are there any plans to take SUNSTORM out on the road in the future?I think there would be a lot of people who would want to see Dennis Ward and JLT rockin’ a stage together.
JLT: Not now but I wish there was! We would need to have the tour supported financially (by record company or corporate sponsor, etc.) in order to make it happen in a way that would make for good business “sense.” I would love to share the stage with Dennis and the other Sunstorm musicians. I am a bit disappointed that there has been no offer for a Sunstorm tour. I think the fans would love it also! It is absolutely something I want to do and would do!
Zeezee: With your involvements in so many projects you are out on the road a lot, has anything interesting or funny happened on tour lately that you would be willing share with us?
JLT: Nothing really specific lately but certainly one of the highlights of my career was playing a command performance for the President of Russia.
Zeezee: A typical question, but one that always gets an interesting response….Can you think of four or five must-have desert island albums? what are the essentials we should all be listening to?
JLT: Free’s first, “Axis Bold As Love” from Hendrix, “Machine Head” by Deep Purple…there are too many to name. I would need more than four or five choices!
Zeezee: Can you tell us something about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
JLT: That I have been told that I am hysterically funny.
Zeezee: Joe, hopefully this interview has gone into enough detail without encroaching into your personal life, is there a question that I didn’t ask that you wish I did? If so, feel free to answer it anyway.
JLT: LOL! No…it’s all good! Thank you for the questions and for taking the time to check out the third Sunstorm CD! Thank you to all your readers as well!
Zeezee: I know you’re a very busy person at the moment mate, so I’d once again like to thank you very much on behalf of all of us here at Myglobalmind, and our loyal readers for catching up with us for a little while.
Good luck with everything in the future, and congratulations for yet again releasing another melodic rock gem for our listening pleasure.*
JLT: Cheers and Peace to you as well…JLT
Webzine Review for Sunstorm – Emotional Fire