Foreigner Singer: Tell Bands Using Tracks to ‘Go F— Themselves’
Foreigner's Kelly Hansen minced no words while discussing bands that rely on backing tracks for live performances, imploring fans to "tell them to go fuck themselves."
The singer, who's fronted the classic rock institution since 2005, aired his grievances during Foreigner's Monday performance at Austin's Moody Center, the most recent date of their ongoing farewell tour.
"As most of you probably know, this is what we're calling our farewell tour,” Hansen told the crowd before launching into "Hot Blooded," the final song of the evening. "This is not a decision that came too lightly."
Hansen then fired at bands who play head games with their fans. "I want you to understand something, from an artistic point of view — and I don't think that many people talk about this — but we all know that there are bands out there that are traveling, playing, taking your money and not giving you a real live performance," he said. "No matter what you say about me or about us, we're fucking real deal. And it's hard to sing this beautiful catalog of songs when you're 30. I'm 62. And what we decided was that we are gonna give you our best and leave you at our best, every single show to the very end, because these songs deserve it and you deserve it.
"Anything less is someone saying, 'Fuck you for supporting me for decades,'" Hansen continued. "So any time you see anyone out there who's doing that, tell them to go fuck themselves. Listen, if you ain't got it anymore, you ain't got it, all right? Just deal with it and move on."
You can hear his comments in the video below.
Hansen has not been shy about the fact that singing the Foreigner songbook is a Herculean feat. "This catalog of songs, it's extremely challenging for a rock tenor vocalist like myself to sing," he told Billboard when the band announced its farewell tour. "I never would have thought in a million years I'd be singing these songs in the keys at this age, and I don't know how much longer I can do that at the level I need to. You can drop keys and do this and do that, but I'm more of an old-school person. If I'm not doing it for real then I shouldn't be doing it."
The singer also balked at the band's exclusion from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in a recent interview. "They cite as one of their criteria as 'influence.' Well, how many people have picked up a guitar and tried to learn 'Cold as Ice' or 'Hot Blooded?' Or sing 'I Want to Know What Love Is' in a karaoke bar?" he asked the Houston Press. "This band has sold 80 million-plus records. And that's real records, not streams or downloads! That is the definition of influence!"
Foreigner's tour continues Wednesday in Denver.