Original Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm might have repaired some major issues with his longtime writing partner Mick Jones in recent years, but that doesn't mean he approves of Jones' current version of their band.
Gramm was asked in a recent interview for his thoughts on his Foreigner replacement, singer Kelly Hansen, who joined the band in 2005. While his proficiency is without question, Gramm feels Hansen's vocals are more imitation than interpretation.
"Kelly is all right," Gramm began. "He's a good singer. But I think Mick really told Kelly, when he first got in the band, that he had to study me, because he sings those songs with the same musical innuendos and vocal licks and ad-libs as I have. He's mimicking me. His voice doesn't sound like me, but he's singing the songs the way I would sing them."
Gramm continued: "I don't take it as a compliment. You're a singer with a big band like that — use your voice and your style. Don't hang your coat on my back. I don't think he should sing the songs verbatim like me. Maybe sing a couple of parts. But let his own influences show — show that fans that he's the new singer now, not me."
Gramm and Hansen have shared a stage with Foreigner a handful of times during the band's 2017 and 2018 40th anniversary shows. He says the reunion shows were "okay," but he doesn't feel anything pulling him back to the band, especially since the deaths of original bassist Ed Gagliardi in 2014 and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald earlier this year.