Richie Sambora discusses future with Bon Jovi, solo artist

When Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora left the band in the middle of its Because We Can Tour in April 2013 for “personal reasons,” rumors began circulating that there was a feud between the axeman and his longtime partner and namesake, Jon Bon Jovi. While Bon Jovi publicly insisted there wasn’t a fight with Sambora, other articles stated he was fired from the tour. In February 2014, Sambora discussed his future with the band stating, “There will have to be a lot of communication, a lot of talking” before reuniting with his bandmates of 30 years. He also compared the band touring with guitarist Phil X to buying a real can of Coke.

In a new interview with the Belfast Telegraph, published on June 14th, Sambora insists there are no current plans to reunite with Bon Jovi anytime soon.

“I don’t think I’m out of the band, but right now, there’s no plans,” he shrugs. “The last two tours were the biggest tours in history. I’m the guy that writes the songs and co-produces the records, and that takes about nine months, and then you go on the road for over a year. In the last 31 years, I think I’ve done that 14 times or something.”

He continues, “I also managed to fit in three solo albums and three solo tours, and write and produce for other artists. No one could ever say I was shy of work, that’s for damn sure!”

While Sambora understands his bandmates’ stance on the touring circuit, he reveals how happy he is being a solo artist and getting to do things when he wants as opposed to when he’s told.

“Those guys wanted to go out and work and continue that insane touring pace, and now, doing it as a solo artist, I get to do it at my own pace,” he says.

“When you’re out there on the road, you’re in a cocoon, man,” he states. “You go to the hotel, you go to the gym, you get some food; next thing you’re at the gig; next thing you’re on a plane. That’s what you’ve got. You miss a lot of life doing that. But 30 years is a pretty good run.”

When Sambora revealed that his time away from the band involved spending time with his 16-year-old daughter Ava, he said he got a lot of flack from the fans and the industry.

“It wasn’t the most popular decision in the world,” the 54-year-old laughs. “But as a man, sometimes you have to have the courage to do things that are unpopular, and that was one of them.”

“Those guys wanted to go out and work and continue that insane touring pace, and now, doing it as a solo artist, I get to do it at my own pace.”

“I missed a lot of my family life,” he continues. “That was one of the reasons I left the band on this particular tour. My kid needed me, and I needed her. She’s 16 years old, and once they start driving, you lose them a little bit. They become very independent.”

Sambora released his latest solo album, Aftermath of the Lowdown, in 2012, his first since 1998’s Undiscovered Soul, and the new track, “Come Back As Me” in August 2013, while on hiatus from Bon Jovi. He has also been steadily writing, recording and touring with guitar prodigy (and current girlfriend) Orianthi, who are working on a new album together, and have more tour dates planned together.

“I’m coming to Europe to do three weeks, and then in August, I do two weeks in Japan and Australia, but then I get to spend most of the summer with my daughter. With Bon Jovi, summer is gig time.”

While no release date has been set for the album, Sambora describes the tunes as classic rock.

“Ori and I have been writing, and it’s been so good,” he reveals. “The best way I can put it is it’s like a modern-day Fleetwood Mac on steroids. It goes from everything from acoustic to blues to very heavy.”

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.