Richie Sambora says he felt a lack of freedom in Bon Jovi ahead of his departure last year.
Drama erupted after he pulled out of a world tour leg just hours before it was due to begin. A chain of claims and counter-claims followed – but the guitarist has repeatedly claimed he’ll return to the band at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, he’s gearing up for a European tour with his solo band, and admits he’s enjoying his career more than he has done in some time.
Sambora tells Rock Radio NI: “There’s freedom there, obviously. That’s one of the main things I was missing in music over the past years – and also in Bon Jovi, actually. There wasn’t enough room to improvise, to have that moment where you can actually lose yourself musically.”
He’s working on an album with his guitarist Orianthi, who has previously collaborated with Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson. He says his creative output is in full flow, adding: “What I’ve done is assemble an amazing group of musicians. I asked the guys in my band to express themselves and bring all the input they can.”
The process of songwriting is easier than it’s been in a long time, Sambora reports. “The songs are just coming out of me right now – I just keep writing and writing,” he says. “I always felt there was some kind of nobility centred in my desire and passion for what I do. I still have that, I think I have it even more now.
“I’m loving music right now. I feel like I’m 15.”
Last month he released a song called Lighthouse to raise awareness of painkiller and heroin abuse among young people. And Bon Jovi’s wife was rushed to hospital earlier this week after suffering a hand injury.