Nearly two years after their hit album Have a Nice Day, Bon Jovi's newest release, Lost Highway, takes a very different approach to the band's traditional rock 'n' roll. Gayle talks with Jon Bon Jovi about the Nashville-influenced album and his focus and interests more than two decades after the band's first number one song.
While Jon says that Lost Highway is by no means a traditional country album, he does say it is very different than what the band has done in the past. "It would be stale to just continue to live off the past," he says. The first single off the new album, "(You Want to) Make a Memory," is attracting fans of all ages, something that Jon says he is proud of. "It crosses generations," he says. "That is magical—who knew?" Jon says he hesitates to label the album one genre or another. "If you write a song from a pure place, it is music without prejudice and people can listen to it—from country fans to rock fans," he says. "They just relate to a lyric."
Jon says many of the songs he and his bandmates wrote for the new album started with a title and progressed from there. He says despite years of working together, the writing process is still enjoyable for the band. "Living life gives you the opportunity to write another page in the book," he says. "The writing process is my favorite part of it, more than recording it, far more than performing it."
In addition to his work with the band, Jon says performing as an actor in movies and TV is something he is also passionate about. Some of his credits include the movies Moonlight and Valentino and Pay It Forward and TV shows The West Wing and Sex and the City. Jon says auditioning for roles can be a humbling experience—especially when he is turned down by directors. "It brings a great humility as well as subject matter to write songs about," he says. "I enjoy the craft immensely."
Aside from his acting and music, Jon says working with Habitat for Humanity has been a very fulfilling and important part of his life in the past few years. Working with Oprah, Jon says he donated $1 million to the Angel Network to build 28 homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He says he plans to continue building homes for those in need across the country. "In your 20s and 30s you are trying to build your legacy, but when you come to your mid-40s, you are trying to leave one," he says.
Published on June 20, 2007