IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Bon Jovi’s new album a tale of growth

Group tries nontraditional songs on new release
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jon Bon Jovi is laughing, really laughing.

The lead singer has just found out that the Bon Jovi fan Web site has put up, a place for fans to show off their sometimes off-the-wall uses of the not-so-happy smiley face that adorns their new album, “Have A Nice Day.” And Bon Jovi can’t get over the fact that somebody has tattooed their arm with the album cover.

AP: Are you surprised fans would go to this length?

Bon Jovi: I knew that when we created the logo this is what it could be. This is bigger than the album cover. I think it says a lot. It’s not the Kool-Aid man and it ain’t a smiley face. He’s got a definite 2005 attitude. He’s a little more knowledgeable than the yellow smiley face of the ’70s that was about peace, love and let’s have fun.

AP: So is ’Have A Nice Day’ a kiss-off song?

Bon Jovi: It’s a social commentary, that’s for sure. If you take ’Have A Nice Day’ for its literal translation, you would think it was a cheery, wonderful, insert-happy-music-here song. I think it’s a little wry, a little more ironic.

AP: How so?

Bon Jovi: The song was inspired by the polarization that I witnessed in our country last fall with what was happening with the election and the war. I couldn’t believe I was witnessing what was happening in this country. There was a serious dividing line that was breaking up friendships, and having brothers fighting with brothers and spouses fighting with spouses. But in what I was witnessing, I realized you couldn’t be a sore loser and you couldn’t be a sore winner. From Nov. 3 on, we need to come together as a country. Forget about being red and blue. It was about being purple. Everybody has to make a series of compromises in order to move on. Ultimately, I was trying to write a record of inclusion. My ’Have A Nice Day’ was to say don’t judge me. ...It just says I’m simply going to live my life.

AP: There were a lot of reports earlier this year that the label was unhappy with the record and sent you back into the studio. Want to straighten that out?

  "type": "Slideshow",
  "element": null,
  "html": null,
  "ecommerceEnabled": false

AP: So what happened?

Bon Jovi: It was Christmastime and I went in the studio to listen to the album. As I was listening to it, I thought I cheated a bit. I hurried to finish the record so I could make that presentation (to the label) as a one-two bunch. So then I, not they, said it’s not complete, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It didn’t tell what was going on in my life. So I sat down and wrote a few songs and took off a few songs. And that was it. Not that I wouldn’t be open to a suggestion from a record company, if they ever did say anything to me.

AP: There is music on this album that people don’t traditionally expect to hear from Bon Jovi. For example, ’Story of My Life.’ Was that a conscious decision to depart from the band’s rock sound?

Bon Jovi: No. I just felt the track. I just felt the song. I just started strumming away and there it was. ’Story of my life’ was one of those that came at the end. And much like a movie or a book, I always feel I need a beginning, a middle and an end to what this part of my life is. So I summed it up in that song and said ’Every day, I’m trying to write it.’ It bookends the record.

AP: And with the song ’Bells of Freedom’?

Bon Jovi: It was a very interesting period of growth for me last year. ’Bells of Freedom’ came because I wanted to relate the idea that I was looking for anyone to find personal freedom. People have misconstrued it already. They’ve said it’s a Christian song. People have said it’s political, it’s pro-Bush. No. No. No. This is about inner peace, about reaching that place where you’re free.