What were your initial impressions on your first visit to Japan in the ’80s, and how do you feel about Japan today?
Japan is like our second home, you know? We’ll be down there in November, and it’s always our second home. I remember going there [in 1984], our first year playing Super Rock [Festival], and it was very isolated, if you will, and now, with the Internet, the world is way less isolated…everything’s becoming everything. It’s a very special place, very special fans, and the Japanese have embraced us, and it’s great, you know? We’re going to go back there and play and I’m going to bring Memphis there, too. Memphis is going to be a huge musical in Japan.
Compared to other Western rock bands, Bon Jovi is still hugely successful in Japan, selling out the biggest stadiums with each tour and enjoying healthy record sales. What do you think is the key to the group’s long lasting appeal over there?
As a band, we’ve strived to stay current. Our new record, The Circle, was Number One in 15 countries, you know, we just strive to be current, not just go, “Okay, the last record did good and that’s it.” You want to hear “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” on the radio, but yet you want to hear us playing the new song “We Weren’t Born to Follow.” So, the idea is that we keep pushing the envelope, keep pushing new songs and keep trying to better ourselves and keep expressing ourselves. Other than that, as a live band, we’ve always committed to walking on that stage and leaving your heart on the stage. We put out 150 percent every time we walk out on stage.
Read the full interview here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).