ZOMFG, Denise Richards and Richie Sambora are back together? Apparently. But we didn't ask him about that when we interviewed him on Monday, because we don't care. We care more about the Bon Jovi guitarist's upcoming indie rock album. Yep, that's right, the as-yet-unnamed record will be released by the Silver Lake-based Dangerbird Records, home to acts like The One AM Radio and and The Promise Ring.
Sambora, the Bon Jovi guitarist whose hooks have graced stuffed stadiums and booze-stained karaoke machines alike, spoke with us before getting a philanthropy award called the Golden Heart last night from skid row's Midnight Mission (one of L.A.'s oldest homeless outreach organizations) at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The man with the perfectly feathered Meg Ryan hair has been involved with the program for seven years donating, time, money, and endless celebrity visibility. But we just couldn't get over the fact that he's making an indie rock album.
On his new solo record:
“Well, it's a really personal record. What isn't? I mean, we're all the same motherfuckers right? Well, we're taking a really indie rock approach.”
Wait, indie rock!?
“You know what? The music business is broken, we all know that. Everyone is kinda hanging on by a string. I was a big label guy, but I was lucky enough to free up my solo contract. I still have a big label contract with the band, but I can do whatever I want with my solo stuff. There's a whole new approach. There's a company out there called Dangerbird Records. My record doesn't sound like Bon Jovi at all. It's got different musicians and I have a different point of view. There will be a lot of jamming on there…different stuff.”
Isn't Dangerbird in the philanthropy business, too?
“Yeah, Jeff [Castelaz]'s son had an unfortunate situation and he used the label to help out with that …the Pablove Foundation. And yes, I plan to get heavily involved with Pablove. We've already been talking about that and I can't wait to help out. “
Wait. Really? Indie!?
“Yeah, that's why I feel really good about the whole indie thing. I feel really good about bands that are out playing, they are out there playing real instruments and playing real shows and they're actually bands. And that lends itself to a live performance …which I will be doing. I'll be going on tour this fall and playing some shows. Maybe even in my backyard, who knows? Yeah, I'm gonna get back down to the bottom of the barrel and work my way up…without that whole corporate structure thing.”
About being a Catholic-Boy-Done-Good.
“My upbringing was that East Coast Catholic spirituality kind of thing. My family perfected the golden heart…my dad, god rest his soul, was one of the most non-judgmental people I've ever met and my mom's the same way. I grew up on a dead-end street next to a swamp, man. They worked hard and they gave back. So, that's what I'm trying to do all the time.”
About his work with Midnight Mission.
“My good friend Norm Harris from Norm's Rare Guitars got me into it. They invited me to play a benefit show and I did it. Then, I started doing some research and getting more involved and I've been into it ever since. I love going down there and I've done everything for them…I gave them a car…tonight I'm going to announce that I just donated a fifteen passenger van.”