Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with vocalist/bassist Jeff Pilson of T&N (formerly TOOTH AND NAIL), the new project featuring current and former members of DOKKEN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On T&N's debut album, "Slave To The Empire":
Jeff: "'Slave To The Empire''s main message was to address all of the inequality in the world. There's a lot of wealth being accumulated by a very small amount of people, and it's getting more and more that way. We see that as being dangerous for one thing, and unfair on the other side. We're trying to have a very human element to what we're saying, and we just want people to be awake so they can participate in their own destinies. Let's turn things around a bit; let's make things not quite so skewed towards a very few people. The only way to do that is making people aware, and not letting them be asleep at the wheel."
On whether Mick Brown or Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE) will drum for T&N in future:
Jeff: "Who knows? That's the thing; we can do either. If we were to tour I think we would probably like to use Mick first just to keep the DOKKEN connection alive, but you never know. We might use Brian. Who knows? That's why I say the beautiful thing about T&N is that anything goes. There are a lot of possibilities there; it's gonna keep it fresh for us and interesting for a very long time."
On re-recording 12 DOKKEN tracks:
Jeff: "We just contacted people whose voices we loved and whose work we loved, and that we thought would be really appropriate for the DOKKEN material and would bring something interesting. The way we chose the five that we did was we talked to the singers, and told them what songs were available. We let them decide what they wanted to sing, and that narrowed it down to the five. The other seven we'll hopefully put on record number two. I can tell you Mick Brown sang a version of 'When Heaven Comes Down' that's gonna come out on the next record, and that is absolutely amazing. He just did a fabulous job on the song, so that's one. The others you could probably pretty much imagine, because we pretty much chose the obvious 12 that you would choose I believe. We couldn't be happier. We got an interesting range of singers on this record who all did an incredible job. Like I say, I'm very, very pleased with the results. Hopefully we'll get some guest singers on the second as well. I think it's gonna be real fun."
On "Broken Bones" being DOKKEN's final album:
Jeff: "If Don [Dokken, DOKKEN vocalist] isn't inspired to do another record, he shouldn't. I'm glad he's opting out rather than forcing himself to do a record if he doesn't feel it. You've got to respect somebody who does that. He sounds like he's got some other interesting things going on. I believe he's working with Michael Schenker on something, so I can totally understand him wanting to try something different at this point. I completely support him in that. There's a part of all of us where you'd hate to see DOKKEN go away, but I don't think it ever will. I think it'll always kind of be in people's hearts and minds to whatever degree, so I applaud Don wanting to try something creatively different."
On why George Lynch (T&N, LYNCH MOB, ex-DOKKEN guitarist) and Don Dokken have an acrimonious relationship:
Jeff: "Sure, there are reasons they don't get along. I could go into all sorts of psychological explanations for why. Things have happened over the years. [laughs] We were kind of a volatile band for many years — there was a lot of stuff going on. The easiest way to sum it up is just egos. I think it was just a battle of egos all of the way through. Sometimes George says things that he shouldn't say, but he's pretty much a from-the-heart kind of guy and he pretty much means what he says. He says things sincerely which people don't get, and that's the problem sometimes. [laughs] Overall though, he's a very from-the-heart kind of guy. It's a shame that they don't get along, but I think a lot of that has kind of dissipated over the years. I think they get along better than people realize now. If they were in a room together right now, they'd laugh and it'd be fine. I won't say that there haven't been some hiccups in the last couple of years. [laughs] There have been a couple of times when things have been bad, but the last I heard they were fine with one another. I think they even spoke not that long ago, and it was fine."