Foreigner’s Kelly Hansen Says ‘Door Is Always Open’ to Lou Gramm
"The door is always open to all the original members, all the surviving members of the band to come and play with us,” Hansen explained when asked about Gramm during an appearance on The SDR Show. “I encourage that and I really enjoy doing it. I've always loved having those guys and respected everything that they've accomplished, even though sometimes it's not always reciprocal.”
Hansen, who has been Foreigner’s lead singer since 2005, previously shared the stage with Gramm in 2017 and 2018 as Foreigner celebrated its 40th anniversary. The band is poised to head out on a farewell tour later this year, leading to natural speculation that Gramm -- who fronted the group from 1976–1990 and again from 1992–2003 -- may make a guest appearance. Still, as Hansen alluded, his predecessor hasn’t always been glowing when discussing Foreigner’s current frontman.
In 2022, Gramm told SiriusXM host Eddie Trunk that Hansen “mimics my style right down to the ad-libs, and I'm offended by that. I just think that if he's gonna sing the songs, he could sing the melodies that are familiar, but when it comes to the ad-libs and all the little things that set me aside as a vocalist when I sing them, he should make his own up. He should have his own ad-libs that are his own; he doesn't have to mimic me."
In the SDR Show interview, Hansen was diplomatic regarding the criticism. “If you're the guy who did the stuff originally and someone's out there doing it now and you're not [in the band], I understand," he explained. "But I'm only trying to extend the legacy and present these songs as faithfully as I can, and I'm not trying to hurt anybody. I'm just trying to do my thing."