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Vocalist Joe Lynn Turner is one of the premier hard rock vocalists around today having fronted Rainbow and Deep Purple, plus working with fellow vocalist Glenn Hughes in the Hughes Turner Project. JLT's new solo album, 'The Usual Suspects' has just been released via Frontiers and is a 'must have' for all lovers of quality hard rock/Rainbow...

1. What are you currently up to?

Promoting the new CD "Usual Suspects" in Europe and Japan. It's possible I may tour but that is just in the "talking stages" now. I have a lot of other things happening also. The best way to keep up with what I am working on is the home page of my website:

My media relations person and webmasters are great at making sure the latest news get up there once it's "legal" to print ;-).

2. Take us through some of your personal highlights of the new album 'The Usual Suspects' please...

We used home studios to do most of the recording. When we needed a big studio for drums we went to Bear Tracks in Suffern, New York. That's the same studio Rainbow recorded part of "Bent Out of Shape." The technology affords us this luxury and ability to record in such intimate places. I actually laid down most of the vocal tracks and keyboards in my own home. It was a challenge but also very comfortable to be able to sing in my own living room. The advantage of recording something in a home studio is you are not "on the clock" or being charged for recording time by the hour. This obviously enhances the creative process.

It is more song oriented than past releases after "Nothing's Changed and "Rescue You." There are some softer tracks but the overall sound of the CD is very powerful. I had a radio programmer friend of mine compare it to good have the rock `em sock 'em moments and tender intimate aspects. It is multi dimensional.

3. How did you hook-up with Frontiers Records for this album's release?

Frontiers has been trying to get me on the label for a long time and we finally said "Yes." I have no problems with MTM. They have a great staff but we thought we would do something new this time.

4. When you compose a song where do you get your ideas from and do you miss writing/recording in a band environment?

Most ideas come from real experience and life. Some are total fantasy. Imagination, real life and somewhere in between. Yeah... it is completely different writing with a band. When you are 1/4 or 1/5 you have different influences. When you are solo you are on your own so you have more autonomy.

5. What were the highlight(s) of Hughes Turner Project '2' album and the subsequent tour?

Fantastic. Both the album and tour. It was a great time. Glenn is amazing and an inspiration to me and probably anyone who writes and works with him. It was a real creative and visceral time.

6. What were the live highlights with Rainbow and why did the band call it a day?

Highlights...too many to mention. Playing Madison Square Garden in NYC near my hometown of Hackensack, NJ was a big event. All the radio airplay we received and hearing ourselves on stations all over the country. We had a great deal of commercial success and to see that many people enjoy your music is a great "high." It was an entire self growth process for me.

We were supposed to get back together. It was supposed to happen after the DP reunion for "Perfect Strangers" but it never did. So there was no major "falling out" or problem. The band really never "called it a day" so to speak.

7. Deep Purple - did you enjoy your time in the band and why did it last only one album?

It was awesome!! Of course I enjoyed it! We made a great album with "Slaves and Masters" and toured the world when many bands were afraid to go out on the road during the Gulf War.

I was fronting one of the bands that was a major influnece. As for the second part of your question, we were in production for the second album and that was when the other 3 guys (aside from Ritchie and I) thought it was becoming too Rainbow-ish.

8. Anyone else you'd like to work with in the future and would you consider joining a band again?

I would totally consider joining a band if it was the "right" project. Bands are fun. I like co-creating with great guitarists and songwriters. I would love to work with Ritchie Blackmore again. We had an awesome combination and synergy.

9. What do you enjoy most and least about being a singer? get a lot of glory but the downsidee is it is a very difficult job. You have to keep your voice in shape constantly. That can be as much work as some body builder keeping his or her muscles tight and strong. Your "instrument" is your voice.

10. Message to your fans?

Without the fans there is no need for me to do any of this. They are the reason I keep going.

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Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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