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Jimi Jamison

Interview with Jimi Jamison from Jimi Jamison
by Grigoris Chronis at 12 November 2008, 8:09 AM

Look 'into' the artist as he's tugging your heartstrings singing, and you will find a neat heart willing to cleanse your soul. Jimi Jamison (SURVIVOR, COBRA, TARGET) is one of those singers you can't resist to his voice, if 'into' melodic Rock. Due to the release of his latest Crossroads Moment solo CD, we had the chance for a brief interview with one legendary - by any means - Rock singer.

Hello Jimi, thanks a lot for doing this interview!

My pleasure to be here.

First of all, congratulations on your latest solo album, Crossroads Moment. To begin with: is there a special meaning behind the album's title? Is this era a 'crossroad' for you in particular?

I felt that I was at a point in my career/life where I needed to decide if I was going to just keep playing live shows, which is what I have been doing for the past several years, or if I should try and reach out one more time worldwide with a new CD. It really is a lot of work promoting a new CD…But I'm glad I chose this path because this time it seems to be flowing a lot smoother. I think it's because I have some really great people to work with and I'm really proud of the finished product.

 The photo of you in the CD cover portrays a tranquil man, with consciousness regarding his past and present. Did I see the wrong things, haha? Why did you decide to put your picture? Or you were advised to?

You are pretty much right on the mark. At first I didn't really want a picture of myself on the cover. I saw all these great covers that FRONTIERS always came up with for their other artists and thought yeah, that's what I want!. But then we met a new photographer, Christie Schram, who seemed to capture me and the mood of the CD perfectly, so I'm happy with what we used.

I spent a lot of time with Crossroads Moment, not only due to you being a beloved performer but also because I gradually did connect personal experiences/feelings with the atmosphere of the album and enough lyrics themes. In what terms you have the impression Crossroads Moment can touch the heart of your fans, apart from the - anyway - wonderful melodies?

I think the translation of the song by the vocalist is the most important part of  the whole recording/writing process. Our fans are very smart and can always tell if the singer really means and feels the words he is singing.  You can have a great song and not even know it if the singer gives the wrong translation vocally. I'm not really sure how other vocalists approach recording a vocal…all I know is that when I'm doing it, I'm oblivious to everything else.

What was the timeline regarding Crossroads Moment's release? Did you start working on this new album instantly after SURVIVOR's Reach CD?

No, after the Reach CD came the moment I realized that I needed to go one way or the other. So I left SURVIVOR but didn't really have a plan mapped out at all.

So, when was the songwriting completed and when did the recordings start?

The songwriting never seems to stop. The recordings started around February of 2008  but we did it a song at a time with trips from Memphis to Chicago frequently.

You cooperated with Jim Peterik (SURVIVOR, PRIDE OF LIONS), right? How did you decide to write songs with Jim, or he did write them all for you?

We just decided to work together. We didn't specify who would do what. After we went in the studio and recorded a couple of demos Jim got really inspired and all of these song ideas started coming out of him. He sent a couple of songs that I knew before, I sang them, were great and the rest he wrote and we  built together in the studio as I sang them.

Did Jim handle the production, too?

Jim and Larry Millas handled the production and did a wonderful job. Of course as always in life, but not on paper,my input was a welcomed and important part of the production.

His magic touch has helped the new album, anyway, since enough songs/parts can relate to monumental SURVIVOR albums like When Seconds Coun and Too Hot to Sleep. Really, how would you in-brief present Jim the musician but also Jim the man to someone?

OK…Here is my friend Jim. He feels without touching when he writes and he touches with feeling when he plays.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was (amongst other well-known artists) ex-SURVIVOR frontman Dave Bickler's guest appearance. Under what circumstance did you two join forces? Is he singing only in the When Rock Was King song?

Yes, Dave only sings on the When Rock Was King track. We did the recording for the PBS Soundstage in Chicago and literally ran in to each other in a hotel. We immediately struck up a great friendship.

For this song, in specific: it seems it's a special tune in your new album. I just saw on YouTube the video shot for this song, plus it's the track in which many artists are doing 'guest' vocals plus the lyrics are of special importance of course for all rockers! Any additional info (idea, lyrics, motive) you'd like to share regarding this 'tribute' song?

Yes…that it is such  a wonderful feeling to know that all of these great and famous singers are all close friends of mine and that they were there when I needed them as I will be for them.

Were you thinking of adding any more modern elements in your music, while making the concepts for Crossroads Moment, so as to coincide with some of today's requirements in Rock music? Or you wanted to sound kinda old-school, the Jimi Jamison fans have been knowing and loving for 30 years now?

You know, I think production-wise and instrumentally we added more modern sounds. Also Larry's mixing of the CD is on the cutting edge today.

Really, Jimi, do you feel you've achieved what you - in general - wanted as a singer? TARGET, COBRA, SURVIVOR, solo…looks like a great CV to me!

Those were all great bands with different vocal styles on each, but I think there is even  more uncharted territory for me to venture into and I can't wait to do it.

Are you planning to hit the road so as to promote your new album? Would you consider visiting Europe, too? I feel here fans are more passionate and faithful towards their much-loved artists.

Europe is the first on my list of performance plans. On this earth there is no where and no people who know and are as passionate about their music as the European people are…and there is no place that I enjoy performing and visiting more. They have been so good to me over the years and hold such a special place in my heart. I feel so at home when I'm there.

Jimi, thanks for taking the time for this brief interview. Really hope we'll be hearing from you more often in the years to come!

Always a pleasure!



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