Foreigner.com
Foreigner will be in Salt Lake City Tuesday, pictured is Mick Jones, left, Jeff Jacobs, Kelly Hansen, Thom Gimbel, Jeff Pilson and ex-drummer Jason Bonham (new drummer, Brian Tichy, is not shown).

Kelly Hansen said he is humbled and grateful for the response he has been getting as the lead singer for Foreinger.

"I've been with the band for four years now, and it amazes me how much people like what we're doing," said Hansen during a phone call from Los Angeles. "And I want them to know that I'm not trying to replace (former lead singer) Lou Gramm. He was an amazing vocalist, and I'm glad to be with this band now."

Foreigner — Hansen, leader/guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Jeff Pilson, guitarist Thom Gimbel and keyboardist Michael Bluestien, along with drummer Brian Tichy — has been making a name for itself once again.

Drummer Jason Bonham wrapped his last show with Foreigner so he could join Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who, of course played with Bonham's father, John, in Led Zeppelin.

"There was a time when things went down a bit for the band," said Hansen, who cited Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson as some of his musical influences. "And when Mick decided to revamp the band after the departure of Lou, he took a risk and it worked."

Hansen, who was the lead singer of the pop metal band Hurricane, got the Foreigner gig after seeing a newspaper ad about a Mick Jones music event.

"I got in touch with management, and one thing led to another," Hansen said. "I was sent a demo with the original Foreigner songs, and they told me to put my vocals on it."

When Hansen joined the band, he and Jones had a brainstorming session of what to do with the band.

"We were both on the same page," Hansen said. "I was taken aback that he wanted to confide in me with things, because it is his band."

Since 2005, the band has played all over the world, much like it did in its heyday in the '70s and '80s, Hansen said. "And there is a great response for what we're doing."

Last month, the band released a two-CD career retrospective called "No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner." It features a new song called "Too Late," which was recorded by the current lineup.

"This CD has songs in chronological order from the beginning to now," Hansen said. "'Too Late' was the song we had all ready to record from a bunch of songs we were writing for a new album. So we decided to put it on the two-CD release.

"The new album will be released sometime next year," Hansen said.

The sponsor of the current tour is AARP, Hansen said. "And they wanted to find a way to get in touch with younger people. So they asked us to join with them for a promotion."

The promotion can be found at www.winmickjonesguitar.com. "People can register and send in videos of them playing air guitar," Hansen said. "We will choose a winner online, and they will be able to join us on New Year's Eve in Waikiki, Hawaii. It will be great time for all."

If you go ...

What: Foreigner

Where: The Depot, 400 West and South Temple

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.

How much: $60

Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499

Web: www.smithstix.com


E-mail: scott@desnews.com