Bon Jovi are set to begin tracking their eighth album and follow-up to 2000's comeback success, Crush. For the album, tentatively titled "Bounce," the band will again call on their Crush cohort Luke Ebbin to co-produce (alongside singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora), in Los Angeles' Henson (formerly A&M) Studios and at Sanctuary, Bon Jovi's home studio in New Jersey. Thus far they've penned twenty-six songs -- among them the front-runner for leadoff single, "Everyday" -- and expect to write considerably more before the process is through (sixty tracks were written for Crush). No firm release date has been set, but Jon Bon Jovi says he's eyeing September of 2002.
Bon Jovi also says the new album is thematically "very upbeat" -- the working title itself references, "the bouncing back of the band as well as this country" -- and a big handful of the tracks themselves are ripe with September 11th imagery. In "Another Reason to Believe," he sings, "Love lives in New York City/He got a place off of the Park/I saw him standing in the ruins/And in his hands a broken heart/It was him that was running up that stairwell/When the sky came falling down." In another new tune, "One," he sings, "That was my brother lost in the rubble/That was my sister lost in that crush/Those were our mothers/Those were our children/Those were our fathers/That was each of us/A million prayers to God above/A million tears make an ocean of one."
Not surprisingly, the events of that day marked a major turning point for Bon Jovi, something he hopes the band's new album will reflect. "People are going to finally stop and take notice of the wasted time we've spent over the last twenty years doing a whole lot of nothing," he says. "Creating movies and music and art that was somewhat disposable. If you were working on a crap movie the day that that happened, you sit back and ask, 'Is this all I'm doing with my life?'"
That notwithstanding, Bon Jovi is currently in Los Angeles filming nine episodes of Ally McBeal, where he'll be playing Ally's hunky construction worker beau, Victor Morrison. The band will record around his schedule until filming wraps in February, at which point they'll convene at Sanctuary for more intense sessions.
Musically, the band hopes to further explore certain technological toys -- loops, beats -- it first tinkered with on Crush, but not at the expense of an organic rock sound. "We're playing a little bit more with that stuff on this record," Bon Jovi says, "but not over-exploiting it."
When they've completed their next effort, the band will get to work on an as-yet-untitled box set, celebrating twenty years of Bon Jovi (1983-2003) and, if all goes as planned, 100 million album sold worldwide. Although it's not yet known how many discs the collection will comprise, the singer says the band has "tons and tons" of unreleased material to discharge from its vaults. "I don't want to just re-release our catalogue," Bon Jovi says. "Hopefully people already have the catalogue. It's more about the cool stuff."