Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson said the band could continue without leader Mick Jones but that it was the right time to bow out after their next tour.

Jones’ health issues have prevented him from appearing alongside his bandmates regularly; he shows up when he can and plays for as long as he can when he does appear. The band announced that its farewell tour will start in July, with Jones retiring at the end of it. In a new interview with Kiki Classic Rock, Pilson explained the thinking.

“It kind of makes it a nice, tidy way of wrapping it up, actually,” he said. “Because we did get to honor the original band with the release of the 2017 record that we did with them … then now we’re getting to kind of put the bow on this version of the band.”

You can watch the interview below.

On the subject of continuing without Foreigner’s only original member, Pilson noted, “I don’t even think that’s something he opposes as much as it just feels like the right time. And I think he feels like, ‘Let’s go out while we’re still on top.’ … The objective here is to go out on a high note, which not all bands do. I’m sure there’s a lot of bands that they simply need the money, so I can't begrudge them for doing that. But because we're in a position where we don’t have to worry about that, we’re going to go out on a high note and make sure that this legacy is preserved with all the respect and integrity that it deserves.”

He added that Jones was currently “doing great” even though it remained impossible to “predict the regularity” of his appearances onstage. "I think, to be honest with you, it hasn’t all quite hit him yet," Pilson said. "It’s just kind of catching up to him what this really means. Think about it – that’s been his entire life. Foreigner is his baby. … There are probably going to be some deeply emotional moments. And all of it, to him, is really significant. … I bet he’s only scratched the surface of having it really made its impression yet.”

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It's hard to imagine rock radio without the string of hit singles Foreigner peeled off in the '70s and '80s.

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