I was chasing that and fell in love with it, and I saw where that would take me. Things evolved and one thing led to another. I never felt like I had super clear vision, I just let it take me where it took me.
RS: Does everyone in Foreigner contribute backing vocals behind Kelly Hansen?
MB: Yes, there is a strong background vocal component in almost every song. Most of them have two or sometimes three-part harmony. So we all sing too, except Chris, the drummer.
RS: Do you tend to switch from traditional piano to keyboard, depending on the song?
MB: I’m over there on my riser, and there are four keyboards that are each in sync with certain computerized sounds. There are no pre-recorded tracks – I play the keyboard on every song – but for example “Blue Morning” has a piano intro. There’s a lot of synthesizer parts, Hammond B3 riffs, stuff that runs the gamut of songs that have been important since the late 70s.
RS: I read where Foreigner had 23 top 100 hits; do you try to play all the hits during every show?
MB: We have this problem in that we can’t really reach them all, which is a nice problem to have. When you’re working in the solos, jams, improvisation and all, you just don’t have time to fit them all in.
There was an insane run of about 10 years where Foreigner was just churning out the hits, which in the pop music years is quite a long time when you consider how many artists from that era, or any era, are lucky to have maybe a great song. We have a complete set where every song is a great song that everyone knows and can sing. We feel pretty lucky to be able to have that.