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Monday, March 18, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Jeff Pilson is Bursting with Excitement Ahead of The End Machine's Album Release & Live Shows

(Photo: The End Machine- Facebook)

Foreigner's bass guitarist, Jeff Pilson,  is undoubtedly one of the busiest guys in the business. Aside from traveling 200+ days a year with that classic rock powerhouse machine, he also juggles a few side projects at a time. If you think that supergroups were a thing of the past then you need to pay closer attention because Jeff has a knack for not only combining established rockers but also bringing them to a higher musical level. Later this week, on March 22nd, The End Machine, his project with ex-Dokken bandmates George Lynch and Mick Brown, plus Warrant's Robert Mason on vocals, will release their first studio album. Jeff is always bursting with excitement (a little more than usual right now) and I had a chance to steal a few minutes of his time ahead of this momentous week.

Cate Meighan: So, how are you?

Jeff Pilson: I'm good, busy but good. Foreigner's last Canadian date is tomorrow and then we're down in the states for about a week and a half and then I go home and get ready for The End Machine shows. I'm extremely excited about this. There's a lot of prep work going into this because even though it's only three shows, we're starting a band from scratch. There's rehearsals, hotels and just getting everybody on the same page. Putting the VIP's together and the merchandising ya know? We're starting a band (laughing) and it has been a lot of work, but I think it's going to pay off in the shows and I'm really looking forward to playing. We start rehearsal on the 30th and I'm really just so excited about it. 

CM: How has the fan reaction felt so far? You've got two videos out, obviously, the first two singles have dropped and everything that I've seen has been so positive. You had said that everyone pushed a little bit harder on this project and kind of broke out of who we think they're supposed to be and that's definitely the feeling that I've gotten from what I've heard.

JP: Oh cool! I'm ecstatic at the reaction. I mean, we knew that there would be automatic comparisons to Dokken, of course, that's okay and it's only natural. But what seems to have overwhelmingly been the reaction is that there's Dokken in there and some Lynch Mob in there, but this is its' own thing and that's what excites us the most. The End Machine is recognized as its own being and that is because of the chemistry.  Everyone in the band gets to shine, that's our chemistry. No one is like 'stay in your lane because I've gotta shine', it's that everyone gets to do it. How cool is that (laughing)? It's really an exceptional place to be in. 


One of my favorite quotes is from Vinny Appice who was playing in Last In Line and (he's) from Dio and everything (laughing). When you're working with him and mixing everything he'll say to you, 'Look, everything has got to be the loudest.' (laughing), and he's right, that's what a great mix is at least for this kind of record. Everything is loud and it just pops out at you. I think that's what we've got here and so I'm really excited for it all to come out. 

I'm really looking forward to doing these shows with Robert Mason on vocals and jamming with George is going to be so fun. We've got Will Hunt on drums and he's a really exceptional drummer so we're looking forward to playing live with him. We're going to miss Mick Brown in this, but I'm really looking forward to playing because it's going to be so much fun.

(Photo: Cate Meighan)

CM: Can you guys get together and not play a few Dokken songs? Is it possible to ever leave that behind?

JP: I don't think we should. I suppose we could but we've definitely got some Dokken songs in these shows, either five or six songs are in our set. There's some Dokken, some Lynch Mob and then five songs from the new record so it's really going to be quite a set. 

CM: But no east coast dates!

JP: There's a guy that has been working with Foreigner for thirteen years and he goes back with George even longer than that. His name is Ed and he is our secret weapon truly, he's the secret weapon of the band. Without Ed, I don't think that even these few shows would be possible. He's going to be driving the truck and doing all the crew stuff, he's a superman. He really is and even as Superman, I don't think Ed could logistically get us to the east coast this time (laughing) so as much as I love him, I'd never do that to the poor guy. He is an unsung hero.

CM: So what comes next? The album is out on the 22nd, do we get another single too?

JP: There is another video coming for the song "Leap of Faith".  I'm not sure when it's coming out, to be honest with you. Since there's a lot of momentum with this band I don't think they're going to push it out too fast, but we've already done the video so it's coming at some point.


CM: The last time we talked you told me about another little side project with Robin McAuley and so you know I had to go and talk to him (laughing). He is so excited about working on this with you, can you divulge any more details on that yet?

JP: Oh good, good and you did tell me that you would (laughing), so I can tell you everything but the name at this point, or the title of the record. I can't tell you those things but I can say that the record is done and musically we're really, really happy. It has to be mixed, but the same guy that mixed The End Machine, his name is Alessandro, is gonna mix it and I have a whole lot of faith in him. It's going to be great and I also know that it's probably going to be early 2020 when it comes out. So we have a ways to go but it's going to be worth the wait because once again, everyone just so delivered. It really feels like a band, even now and I'm so excited. Gotta wait until next year but in the meantime, there's going to be plenty of The End Machine to keep you company. 

Follow The End Machine on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram for updates! 
You can also follow Jeff on Facebook & Twitter for updates including Foreigner tour dates!

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