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Joe Lynn Turner: Solo Artist, Former Vocalist for Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, & Deep Purple

Interviewed By: Rich Catino


Joe Lynn Turner AlbumJoe Lynn Turner


1. Tell us about the song choices for your recently released live album "Live in Germany"?

JLT: Well first of all, we did not know the concert was being recorded. We were playing a festival in Germany, United Forces of Rock, so we decided to make the setlist mostly classic songs that I was best known for from my Rainbow days. We actually have been told many times since that we should include more songs from my solo career since Rainbow and we are injecting more of them into future setlists.

Basically, we were giving the fans at this event what we thought they wanted to hear having played in Germany some years ago...we will be doing more original songs in the future!

2. Why did you choose to play "Burn" instead of something off the Deep Purple album you did sing on, "Slaves and Masters"?

JLT: It's a song that translates really well, live. It's one my band does well and that I like to sing because it's such an all out rocker...and I wanted to do some classic Purple!!!

3. There are thirteen songs on "Live in Germany". What other songs would you like to have performed?

JLT: Again, the fans say they would have liked a couple more tracks on the CD from my more recent solo past. So, if we do another live record down the road, we'll definitely include more from that era.

4. Will this performance be released on DVD?

JLT: Not that I know of. I do not think it was videotaped professionally. Plus, there are many legalities that surround something that is videotaped and then later released for commercial purposes. I am sure if that was going to happen I would know by now.

5. Who is currently in your band?

JLT: I have what I call the usual suspects and depending on availability, the roster changes a bit but I almost always draw from the same pool of extremely talented musicians. On this album, the players include longtime collaborators Karl Cochran on guitar and Greg Smith on bass, Michael Sorrentino on drums and Carmine Giglio on keyboards. Recently I have used Paul DeLeo on Bass because Greg has been committed to other projects...like Ted Nugent.... but all the players are awesome !!!

6. Have you started working on the next solo album?

JLT: I have been doing some writing, yes, no recording yet. I have just finished laying down the vocals for a second Sunstorm CD. That should be out in the early part of next year.

7. Do you see it following the same path of your previous release "Second Hand Life"?

JLT: It's too early to tell because I have mostly been focused on the Sunstorm sessions. It will be melodic...and it will defintely rock!...but it may have a bit of a twist!

8. Why was it called "Second Hand Life"?

JLT: One of the songs on the album has that title but the song and title have a deeper enough meaning that it makes for a strong enough album title as well. The song that came out of the Deep Purple sessions with Jim Peterik in Roger Glover’s studio. The title and concept was inspired by this booklet that Desmond Child gave me when he was living in a commune here in the USA. The song talks about how most people live a second hand life that sets out to please our parents...religions...and our boss at work! We often never become ourselves!!! We end up trying to be what society wants us to be ....we are made to conform to the way they think and live...so we are really never free. It’s as if our lives are being passed down like an old pair of shoes. This song rebels against this concept as if to say ....cut the strings....go your own direction....be who you want to be.?

9. Do you prefer to perform harder songs like Rainbow's "Death Alley Driver" or something like "Stone Cold"?

JLT: I think both have their place in the live set. "Death Alley Driver" is a great show opener or an excellent way to rev up the crowd mid-set.... "Stone Cold" was Rainbow's biggest mass appeal hit so it's a no-brainer. The crowd will often sing along to it so it works well live too. ...I like rockers and ballads!...

10. Do you feel your solo work gets the recognition it deserves or find it gets lost in the shadows of your work with Yngwie, Rainbow, and Purple?

JLT: Since I have had more than 10 solo albums out after Rainbow, there is now enough of a history. As I said, the big thing I keep hearing is how fans are now wanting more of the solo material incorporated into my live shows. There's enough of it that there is a lot to draw from. As for recognition, it amazes me how people (including the media) tend to really emphasize the past. I wish that wasn't the case but it is what it is. In order to attract attention to the new material my past associations need to be mentioned. Some people have short memories....but Im starting to get the acceptance as a solo artist!....and that's a good thing!

11. What songs do you think are your strongest from your solo albums?

JLT: They are all like children...it's hard to pick the strongest. I would rather leave that decision up to the fans that attend the concerts and radio people that choose to play the songs. I think they are all strong in their own way but some come off better, live, than others. A song can sound great on the radio but not get a great reaction at a show. ...there are some songs that stand out...”Blood Red Sky” is one that comes to mind!

12. Ever perform songs from the Yngwie Malmsteen album "Odyssey"? If no, why not?

JLT: I did recently perform a couple with Yngwie in Russia at a private show for the Prime Minister, Mikel Fradkov and his cabinet!! It was great!...we played for about an hour and did lots of 'Odyssey' !...And this summer I toured Brazil and played a few songs in the set list....I would like to add some of those songs on a regular basis!

13. Would you ever collaborate with Yngwie again?

JLT: If the timing and situation was right, absolutely! I told him in Russia that I'd love to do it!

14. I'm sure you get asked this question all the time but I have to ask. Chances of a Rainbow reunion?

JLT: Well...amazing that you ask this because as I am doing this interview we are just starting to get inquiries about Over the Rainbow which is a Rainbow "union" between several ex-members, including myself, and Ritchie Blackmore's son, Jurgen.

Over The Rainbow is:

Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow 1980-1984)
Keyboards: Tony Carey (Rainbow 1975-1978)
Drums: Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow 1980-1983)
Bass: Greg Smith (Rainbow 1994-1997)
Guitar: Jurgen ("J.R.") Blackmore

We have been overloaded with requests for Rainbow to reunite so we decided to do this. Of course, it would have been great to have Ritchie along for a Rainbow reunion but he seems to be totally committed to Blackmore's Night which has been very successful for him and his wife Candice. I always wish them both well and I know that for many years it was Ritchie's dream to make the type of music that Blackmore's Night is making ...but we have the bloodline here!...Should be interesting!

15. Plans for 2009?

JLT: Definitely some touring with Over the Rainbow. Sunstorm 2 will be released soon....I have a solo cd to do at some point...and then 'Big Noize' is another project that is getting more popular!...so...looks like I'll be very busy!

Official website: http://www.joelynnturner.com

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