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Jersey Boy

On Jon Bon Jovi's first album since 9/11, the arena rocker remembers where he came from.


New Jersey -- particularly Middletown -- was devastated by 9/11.
There are children in my kids' school who lost their parents. You want to help, but you're not sure what you can do. We did shows in Red Bank for the local community, and we participated in the "Tribute to Heroes" telethon as well as the Concert for New York City. I'm not a fireman, I'm not a police officer, I'm not a metalworker; this was what I could do.

So does Bounce, like Springsteen's The Rising, reflect on 9/11 at all?
The title is open to interpretation, depending upon who is holding it in their hands. It could be literally as simple as bouncing up and down, but it is also a reference to Bon Jovi's resiliency over the years as well as the resiliency of the city and the country. We had already begun the writing process when the Trade Center was attacked, so obviously we were affected. But as the weeks went on and we continued, we weren't writing so much about the day itself but about how we felt afterward. So the first batch of songs was much darker, whereas the later songs, the ones that ended up on Bounce, don't shy away from the topic but aren't heavy-handed about it.

And like Springsteen, you've managed to remain relevant even as subgenres like "nu-metal" take over the pop charts.
We have always considered ourselves a bar band that plays really big bars. After almost twenty years, we know who we are. We know where we fit in. We're still relevant because we haven't tried to become something we're not. We focus on writing the best songs we can for ourselves, and when folks embrace them, it's magic.

(Universal; October 8).


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