Richie Sambora says the secret to Bon Jovi’s lasting success is their steadfast determination not to change.
The guitarist – who walked out on the band just hours before a world tour leg was about to begin in 2013 – says too many acts have tried to make drastic changes to their sound, only for it to backfire.
Without addressing his status in Bon Jovi, Sambora tells Ultimate Classic Rock: “I think it was good songs and the authenticity didn’t really change. You know, you can’t all of a sudden be Bon Jovi and turn into fucking Pink Floyd. Some bands try that and it doesn’t work.
“Stick to who you are and be authentic — I think that was a big part of it — and then just go out there and work. I don’t care what band you’re in — you’re a live band, you’ve got to go out there and prove it every night, and we did. We kept on working really, really hard. It was all hard work and that work ethic never stopped. We’re blue-collar kids at heart.”
Sambora adds that he’s much happier with the freedom he’s found working with fellow guitar maestro Orianthi, who he teamed up with for his solo work in the wake of his departure from Bon Jovi.
He says: “That’s the interesting thing that I feel somehow is missing in music today is people actually having a musical conversation and jamming on stage, having some improvisation happen.
“I demand that, because I was obviously starved for that a lot in Bon Jovi. I mean, you’re pretty much in that frame and that’s it. So now I can go out there and both of us, we just feel each other’s rhythms and grooves at the same point.
“From the first time we ever went out on stage together, it was just a magical thing and everybody saw it. From there, we just kept on going. What’s happening now is that both of our musical views, Ori’s and mine, we’re kind of bringing a lot of people together and it’s becoming interesting.”