Bon Jovi has had a career spanning three decades, 11 studio albums and sales of over 130 million albums during which it has won innumerable awards. And from what front man Jon Bon Jovi tells us, there still is more to come. "The beauty of my life is that I had no plans," he says. "I have dabbled in acting, philanthropy and running a sports franchise. I’ve had more success in some than in others, but I’ve had no intentions of quitting."
This is the band’s second Greatest Hits compilation in two decades in spite of going strong. The reason behind the release, Jovi says, is because through this album, he wants to introduce their music to the "new generation".
"We’ve got five new songs on this one for all those who’ve been with us through these decades," he adds. Although he won’t visit India to promote the album, Jovi genuinely hopes it happens soon. "We were supposed to come in 2008 for Live Earth concerts but that got cancelled because of terrorist acts," he says. "It was tragic because we had a great experience in Mumbai in 1995."
Why come up with a Greatest Hits album when you’re still going strong?
The album is testament to the band’s longevity. Initially I rejected the idea of doing it — we wanted to make a country album, Lost Highway. But the record company asked us to also make a compilation. While Lost Highway ended up being a success, we had a commitment. We aren’t doing this for the sake of it — we’ve added new songs to the list.
When you make songs for a Greatest Hits album, isn’t there pressure that those too should be hits?
There isn’t because you can always slip in the hits with the old songs. We could have added two songs from The Circle, ones that didn’t fit there, but we came up with three additional tracks with the Greatest Hits album in mind. The first of those says we have no apologies about who we are and the second one talks about how fads and fashions come and go, but good songs remain forever.
At what point did you think Bon Jovi was at its peak?
When I was 16 and playing at a night club, I thought I had hit big time. When we got a record deal, I thought that again. When your album hits the No 1 spot, you believe you have hit big time. At every step, there’s another rung of the ladder to climb. And we’re forever looking forward to climbing the next rung.
Jon Bon Jovi...
...on what keeps him going
I love putting pen to paper, seeing it turn out the way I imagined, and sharing it with everyone.
...on what keeps the band going
Liking each other. We are committed to the band and set our egos aside. There may be compromises, but our vision is so similar that we never do songs we’re not comfortable with.
...on his spotless reputation
I’ve never believed in the cliché of drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. I have had my share of self-abuse but every morning, I make a decision to never be fat Elvis!
...on rock music today
There is so much nonsensical pop stuff on the radio that it’s hardly inspiring. But social networking allows for the discovery of creative musicians with a new sound. They may be the pioneers who will save what’s left of the music business, and they wouldn’t need a label for that.