Night Ranger are currently on the road as part of Bret Michaels’ Parti-Gras tour. We caught up with Drummer/Vocalist Kelly Keagy and Bassist/Vocalist Jack Blades of the band via Zoom. The conversation was fun and joking right from the start. We did speak early in the morning, especially by a rock band clock. Kelly even hoisted a coffee cup as we began to speak. The banter lead straight into discussing the party atmosphere of the Parti-Gras tour. Jack was quite animated describing what it was like when Bret first told them about his idea for the tour. I think it speaks to how excited Bret was about the concept and how happy Night Ranger is to be part of the tour. Kelly described it as being “Old school with tons of people on stage.”
They discussed other artists involved in the tour in former Journey singer Steve Augeri and Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath. Jack said Mark is “Quite the crazy guy, he’s hilarious.” There was even a comparison between how high Bret can jump on stage and how high Mark McGrath can. We also spoke about jamming together at the show. The guys described as “Controlled Chaos.” They mentioned about all playing together on the final song of the night. But they chose to keep the final song a mystery. Kelly spoke about all the people playing guitar, including Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis, and so many people also playing percussion. Jack said all the singers have microphones so they can share the vocals as well. They even compared it to the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” tour that Joe Cocker did with Leon Russell and a host of guests.
We even had a chance to discuss the 40th anniversary of the Night Ranger album “Midnight Madness.” The album had some monster hits for the band in “Sister Christian”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America” and “When You Close Your Eyes.” They spoke about making the album in just a couple weeks after their record company went out of business. They needed to record the album to help them get another record deal. Kelly said, “Sometimes you do your best work when you’ve got a gun to your head.” That lead to a conversation about their latest album “ATBPO” and the question about if they’re already working on a new album.
The fun we were having made me throw out there that the insanity of this kind of energy on stage has to be quite the spectacle. Jack mentioned they’ve been doing this for 45 years as Night Ranger. We even then talked about a project that Jack, Kelly and Brad were in prior to Night Ranger, a band called “Rubicon.” They talked about other members in the band and how it was certainly a different style of music to what they do with Night Ranger.
Watch our conversation at the top of the page and see the remaining dates on the Parti-Gras tour here.
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