Night Ranger Search for ‘Truth’ in New Song: Exclusive Video Premiere
More than 35 years after Night Ranger debuted, they’ve remained a consistent presence on the touring circuit. And in a day and age where tapes and tracks occasionally help flesh out what fans are hearing in concert, a Night Ranger show delivers the real thing.
“You know, Tom Petty, God bless him, I saw him on that last tour and he said something that I love onstage and it really holds true with Night Ranger," Night Ranger bassist and singer Jack Blades tells UCR. "When you come see Night Ranger, there’s no artificial sweetening involved. In other words, what you’re hearing is coming out of the five people that are onstage. The vocals, the guitars, the keyboards, the bass. There’s no artificial sweetening coming out of any tape in the background or anything like that. It’s all us.”
Night Ranger have a new album, Don’t Let Up. And we have the exclusive premiere of a new video from it for the song "Truth," which you can watch below.
The video's concept drew inspiration from a familiar place for the band: the road. “We’re playing live so much, we wanted to have a live scenario for the video," Blades explains. "There was a lot of stuff that we filmed in Japan, so some of that footage is from our sold out shows in Tokyo. To make the video, we just wanted it to be real. This is who we are, this is how it is. This is what Night Ranger is in 2018. We just wanted to keep it real, keep it honest. That’s the way it is. Keep it truthful. So that’s what we did, and we didn’t do a storyline, but we kept it rockin’, because that’s what Night Ranger is all about right now, just rockin’ and rollin’.”
Blades calls “Truth” a “straight from the heart and soul” kind of song. “When I wrote the lyrics and we came up with the song, it was like, ‘Just give me truth,’” he says. "That’s kind of what this world needs right now. How about a little truth? I mean, with everything. I’m not just talking about what’s going on currently in politics. I’m talking about in the world as a whole. If people were really true to themselves, if everything was just truth, think how it would be. Maybe it’s a fantasy dream and everything like that, and I’m not saying that we’re pie-in-the-sky dudes, because that’s the last thing that Night Ranger is. But I’m saying that we came up with the song ‘Truth’ for that very reason of what this world needs right now is some truth.”
They’ll be celebrating their career on the road this fall by performing their first two albums, Dawn Patrol and Midnight Madness, in full at special concerts in Waukegan, Ill., (on Oct. 18) and in Denver (on Nov. 29). The two shows will feature “a lot of songs that we’ve never played live,” Blades says, along with others that haven’t been performed since the original tours for those albums in the early ‘80s.
“We started rehearsing them and working them up," he says. "It was kind of like a walk down memory lane. Which basically is what the show is going to be about. We’re going to be telling stories about what was happening at that very time in rock 'n' roll in L.A. in 1983 at the Rainbow with Motley Crue guys coming down, with the Ratt guys on tour with us. It’s going to be nuts.
"It’s going to be so much fun. Some of these songs that we’re playing ... [drummer and singer] Kelly [Keagy] and I are looking at each other going, ‘What the fuck were we thinking when we wrote those words?' It’s pretty funny. But it was captured at a certain moment of time and that’s where we were.”
The band has plans to record audio of the Illinois concert, and Blades hints that they’re already looking at the possibility of doing other concerts where they'd play the two albums in other cities. One thing is for sure, they had plenty of fun in the ‘80s with a large cast of characters, including Ozzy Osbourne.
Night Ranger and Osbourne were on separate tours and heading to their next shows when they unexpectedly crossed paths on the interstate. It gave Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis, who had done a short stint playing with Osbourne on the Diary of a Madman tour, a chance to meet up with his old boss.
“We’re cruising down the highway on our tour bus," Blades recalls. "All of the sudden, there’s a bus in front of us. Back then, nobody had cellphones, so we told our driver, 'Get on the CB and find out who’s on that bus.' The guy says, ‘Hey, who’s on the coach?’ The other driver said, ‘I’m driving Ozzy Osbourne.’ We went, ‘You’re shitting me!’ Brad was in the back and it was like, ‘Go get Brad!’ Our guy said, ‘Tell Ozzy that Brad Gillis and Night Ranger are on the bus right behind him, driving!’ Their bus driver called and said, ‘Ozzy wants to talk to Brad.’ So we get Brad and he gets up there and he gets on the thing and goes, ‘Ozzy!’ Ozzy goes, ‘Brad? Is that you?’ Brad goes, ‘Yeah, Ozzy, it’s me!’ Ozzy said, ‘Who’s got the drugs?’ We go, ‘We do!’
As Blades remembers, the next thing they saw were red tail lights as Osbourne’s bus came to a screeching halt on the side of the road. “He pulls over, we pulled over and Jeff and Brad and I hopped onto his bus," he continues. "We drove for the next four hours with Ozzy, and it was just like a lost weekend in four hours. It was intense
“We all got out at like five or six in the morning and went to a truck stop. We’re sitting there and everybody’s staring at us. It was frikkin’ hilarious. That was it, and then we had to go a different way at about six in the morning and he had to go a different way. So we got off his bus and said, “Okay, see ya” and he’s like, “Okay, bye!” That was the end of that! We just peeled away.”
Night Ranger will be on the road for the rest of the year. But Blades says they’ll eventually start work on their next chapter. “We’re slowly floating around ideas about throwing down some new music,” he says. “There’s nothing really solid yet, but we’re touching on all of those kind of areas.”