FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson says that there is a "very, very simple" reason his band has not yet been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Criteria for inclusion includes "the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll."
Eligible since 2002, FOREIGNER has had a huge number of rock hits, including "Cold As Ice", "Double Vision", "Hot Blooded", "I Want To Know What Love Is", "Juke Box Hero" and "Urgent", and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, with no wins.
Asked in a new interview with Jeff Gaudiosi of MisplacedStraws.com why he thinks FOREIGNER has yet to get the Rock Hall nod, Pilson said: "I think it's very, very simple why, and that's because critics were never all that into FOREIGNER; they always viewed it as very commercial and corporate.
"You always have to see where critics are coming from, and to them, when something sells a lot of records, in most cases, they will view that as having been because of some kind of compromise made by the artist," he continued. "And I just don't feel like FOREIGNER did that. I feel like we made honest music that's just really good that people happen to like.
"So, to answer your question, I think that they just look down on the band, and that's okay — they're critics; that's what they do. But I have a feeling that that has a lot to do with it, because The [Recording] Academy and everything very much reflects on that whole credible side of things and FOREIGNER was just never included in that.
"I think over time, I think someday FOREIGNER will get inducted," Pilson added. "I don't think I will — nor necessarily should I — but I think the band will, and I do think the original guys really do deserve their due.
"I know bands, like DOKKEN that I was in in the eighties, we used FOREIGNER as an example. That was what helped us to solidify the idea of hard rock with great songs and big catchy choruses. That comes partly from FOREIGNER. So FOREIGNER does deserve its just due, and hopefully, with time, it will get it."
Three years ago, FOREIGNER guitarist Mick Jones was asked by Tigman of the Q103 radio station in Albany if it means anything to him to get inducted into the Rock Hall. Jones responded: "Well, let's say it's not something I wrestle with or something that affects my life. Of course, it would be nice, but sometimes you wonder if it's a political thing more than a musical [thing] or [anything to do with] achievement. Because as far as achievements, we've certainly achieved a tremendous amount with the band. And we'll see. I guess someday. Who knows?"
FOREIGNER's recent release of "Double Vision, Then & Now" is a DVD/CD package that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the iconic album. It features a stunning reunion concert that brings together the current and original band members playing all the hits at the top of their game.
FOREIGNER's last album, "Can't Slow Down", was the only full-length collection of new songs to have been released by the band since Kelly Hansen took over vocals after original singer Lou Gramm left the band for good in 2002. The album entered the Billboard Top 30, driven by the radio singles "In Pieces" and "When It Comes To Love". The band also has released a series of live albums and compilations, including 2016's "In Concert: Unplugged" and 2017's "40".
FOREIGNER's current lineup is rounded out by Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Chris Frazier (drums) and Bruce Watson (guitar).