Singer Lou Gramm has confirmed that he and the other founding members of FOREIGNER will join the group's current lineup to perform "half a dozen songs" at several concerts on the band's upcoming tour.
FOREIGNER's 40th-anniversary summer tour will see group founder Mick Jones reuniting with original members Gramm, Ian McDonald and Al Greenwood at a few as-yet-undisclosed dates.
During an appearance on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Gramm stated about the prospect of playing with his former bandmates again: "Mick and I have talked about it at length. I think there's a number of the original bandmembers that still play their instruments, and I think that if I make an appearance, it will be with the rest of the band, the original band. And we'll do half a dozen songs and then maybe do some things with his band."
Although Gramm said that he would be open to doing "a song or two" with only the current FOREIGNER lineup, he added that he "would feel a lot better with the original members around me. I just would think it's appropriate, given what we're celebrating."
Pressed for more details about which concerts he and the other original FOREIGNER members might appear at, Gramm said: "I think it's basically supposed to happen a few shows in the summer and a few in the fall. I think we're talking about maybe six shows, seven shows total. And they'll all be in the States, as far as I know. And the original members, [including] myself and Mick, of course, will perform thirty-five, forty minutes, maybe we'll do seven or eight songs, and then that will end, and [Mick's] current band will go on and finish the night. And I think for the encore, there might be some sort of a jam session with all the members on stage."
He continued: "We haven't locked in a particular amount of shows, but we're starting to zero in on a few shows that we know that we'd like to work this package together. And I know that the dates are gonna be places that we used to play back in the day and that were really big for us. So that's about all I can say now. I'd love to tell you the names of the cities and stuff, but I was asked not to get too specific."
Gramm, who learned two decades ago that he had what he called an "egg-sized tumor with tentacle-like appendages" in his frontal lobe, said that his health was "very good" at the moment "considering what I went through back in 1997." He explained: "I take care of myself explicitly. I've let go of all the alcohol and the drugs and that kind of life. And the life I'm leading now is probably what I should have been doing for all those years too. But I'm doing it now. And all my numbers are good, thank God. And after something like that, you can live a good, healthy life, but you have to really be serious about maintenance."
Gramm's tumor turned out to be benign and he recovered, but it took years to retrain himself as a singer. He told "Trunk Nation" that adhering to a healthier regimen has helped him keep his voice in shape while out on the road. "Huge! Big time!" he said. "I drink a lot of water and try not to drink sugar-loaded things or things that will create phlegm, like milk and stuff. There's just certain things that you can do to help yourself. I warm up extensively before a show — my voice, that is — singing scales and little pieces of our songs and such. I get a short massage to loosen up shoulders that are tight and shoulder blades and neck muscles that I'll have to really depend on to hit the high notes. It's just a number of things that I do for myself that are good, instead of like the old days, when I was young, I'd do anything I could that was bad for me [laughs], as long as it felt good."
Gramm and Jones's June 2013 performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Juke Box Hero" at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in New York City marked the first time the pair has performed together in a decade after Gramm left FOREIGNER for a second time. Kelly Hansen has fronted the group since 2005. Jones is the sole remaining founding member in FOREIGNER's current lineup.
FOREIGNER's 40th-anniversary tour — with support from CHEAP TRICK and JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE — kicks off July 11 in Syracuse and runs through through September 9 in Auburn, Washington.