Talk Music: Original Restless Heart lineup welcomes in the New Year at Schroeder Hall
Dec. 25, 2013 at 6:25 a.m.
With 30 years under their belts, the men of Restless Heart are still going strong.
Since Restless Heart's big debut in 1985, the band has charted more than 25 singles, with six consecutive No. 1 hits, gold albums and many awards.
Despite the tumble of the business and the ups and downs that come with relationships, the five-piece original lineup is back together doing what they do best.
Before the band's New Year's Eve show at Schroeder Hall, lead guitarist Greg Jennings caught up with Get Out to talk about aggressive solos, piecing the band back together and their new album.
Throughout 30 years, which of your songs do you think have best stood up to the test of time?
"I'll Still Be Loving You" was a big wedding song; "Bluest Eyes in Texas" is still popular and was in a movie. "When She Cries," I hear that in elevators everywhere.
Elevator music? I don't know about all that. I am curious about "That Rock Won't Roll." I heard that before it made the charts it was considered "too cutting edge." Is that true?
We had some songs early on that we had to go back and redo the guitar solo because it was too aggressive and too offensive.
We were cutting edge back in the day. The sound was not what people were expecting.
All I know is I had to go back and change the solo in "Heartbreak Kid."
Was that of your own volition?
No. I didn't want to, but I did.
When did you realize you could do what you wanted to do, rather than what you were told to do?
We always had good people around. "Heartbreak Kid" is an isolated incident; that was not the norm.
We had great people around us to pick songs. But we don't have a label deal now, and we're in charge of our own destiny. It's a great freedom.
So will you fill it with offensive and aggressive solos?
Our next record will be the most offensive guitar-centric record you've ever heard.
Things weren't always rosy for the band. What kept you moving forward, even after your lead singer left?
There's a famous quote that says everybody hates us except the people. The critics and the whoever that didn't like us - there were always our fans who liked us, whether we were a five-piece band or a four-piece band or a three-piece band.
We've been through a lot of changes. We're best when we're a five-piece.
Did it take going through those stages to find that?
It took some time to realize that. That's why we went through the different configurations. There's a special chemistry when the five of us are together.
That's what we do; we play. We're lifelong musicians. This has always been the best venue for us. The five of us together are stronger than any of us separately.
Throughout 30 years, what experiences with Restless Heart stick out the most to you?
There's been great television shows, iconic shows; we've been on the "Tonight Show," "Joan Rivers," "Solid Gold." World tours with the military, and we've gone everywhere in the world.
Great tours with other artists where we played in front of thousands of people. I'm just grateful that people like the music.
We were fortunate enough to find some really good songs early on, and they've stood the test of time. We're appreciative of that.
After all this time, you guys are still at it. How do you keep things fresh after three decades? Avoid just rehashing the past?
The people keep it fresh. Our audience started out as one age group, and they had children. Now, they come out to our shows with their children, and it just goes on from there.
What's on tap?
We've got a new album project we're working on. It should be out the second quarter of next year.
We just finished the Christmas album that's out now. It's going to involve some guest appearances from other artists on their songs we've redone and then doing some of our songs, too. It's in the process.