Mickey Thomas is putting the finishing touches on the first Starship studio effort since 1989, even as he gears up for a five-night visit as part of Raiding the Rock Vault at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Thomas collaborated with Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson on the new album, to be called 'Loveless Fascination.' Pilson has also had lengthy stints in Dokken and with Dio.

"After so many years of thinking about a Starship album, and stopping and starting, I got together with Jeff," Thomas tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "He's just a great talent. A very energetic person. He had this great collection of songs, and he and I got together and our relationship just clicked. With Jeff's help, I've finally been able to put together a brand-new Starship album with totally new original material. I'm really excited about it."

Meanwhile, a national tour with Starship brought him close enough to Las Vegas that Thomas was able to appear from July 5-9, 2013, as part of the Raiding the Rock Vault show put together by his friend John Payne, of Asia. The massive production tells the story of classic rock through songs made famous by the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, Deep Purple and others.

"We're also so fortunate that classic rock is still as popular a genre -- even with young kids today," Thomas says. "I have a couple of daughters in their mid-20s, and they and all of their friends love classic rock, too. It's nice that it's kept going."

The music focus of these Raiding the Rock Vault shows is not dissimilar from Thomas' own "Starship and Friends" concerts, which feature his main band for 30 minutes and then a series of special guests. In the past, Toto's Bobby Kimball and Survivor's Jimi Jamison have participated. "That's more like a revue, though," Thomas says. "Obviously, the Rock Vault is much more of a stage production, with sets and lighting and video. It will be interesting to see it taken to a new level."

Payne's regular musical co-horts for Raiding the Rock Vault include guitarist Tracii Guns from Guns n' Roses and LA Guns, drummer Jay Schellen of Badfinger and Asia, guitarist Howard Leese of Heart, and vocalists Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot) and Andrew Freeman (Lynch Mob, the Offspring), among others.

Mixing, sequencing and work on the cover art continues on Starship's 'Loveless Fascination,' which Thomas says is due September 17, 2013 via Loud and Proud Records.

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