Following our review of Jim Peterik’s new single with duo Pride Of Lions, ‘All That’s Mine To Give‘, we were starstruck that he should agree to speak with us. Hope you enjoy Jim’s answers to our questions as much as we do!
What an absolute honour to speak to you Jim! Thank you so much. Of course it would be rare the person not familiar with your work with Survivor, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and so on. What is it that inspires you to write music, and has it changed over the years? What motivates you nowadays?
Thank you Essentially Pop people! Inspiration comes from 1000 different places. You just have to keep your antenna up. It could be a comment someone says to you that opens up a door to creativity. Sometimes it’s a news event. ‘The Search is Over’ was inspired by the headline of a news event. I then adapted it to my own situation. “I could hear you whisper – the search is over – love was right before my eyes”. The idea is really about missing the obvious. Sometimes we take simple things for granted.
Probably your best known work is ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, which was of course featured in ‘Rocky III’. To what extent do you feel music contributes to the mood of a film?
I feel that if a movie is paired with a great song the two together are stronger than either the film or the song individually. You cannot think of ‘Flashdance’ without ‘What A Feeling’. Similarly, ‘Eye of The Tiger’ will forever be linked to Rocky III. Memories will link them together forever.
The energy of a song should match the intensity and mood of the movie. My song ‘Vehicle’, by the Ides of March was a perfect fit for Stallone’s film, ‘Lock Up’ where the prison inmates are meticulously restoring a Ford Mustang while the soundtrack blasts ‘Vehicle’.
You’ve released music as both a solo artist and as a member of a band. Which is better, in your experience, and why?
When I collaborate with another artist, I try to put myself in their shoes. With .38 Special I try and bring out both sides of their trademark sound – equal parts pop rock and southern rock – it’s proved to be a potent brew!
How did your latest band, Pride of Lions come about?
Pride of Lions is releasing our eighth album on the Frontiers label, starting in 2003. In 2023 we will be releasing our ninth album as Pride of Lions – the awesome voice of Toby Hitchcock and my own. We just found out POL is one of the headliners in Frontier rock fest to be held in a Milan in October of 2023!
What’s next for Jim Peterik?
Producer Joe Thomas and have collaborated with the great Brian Wilson, one of the founding members of The Beach Boys. We will be announcing more very soon. Also we are beginning a new Ides of March which features songs heavy on the horns and harmony!
And finally, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?
How does my 50-year marriage to my high school sweetheart Karen affect my creativity as a songwriter? The stability of our marriage depends on the bed rock we laid so many years and memories ago. I run nearly all my songs by Karen. If she flips out, I know it’s a good one. Works every time! Peace and Rock and Roll.