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Lonnie Jordan, the original lead singer for the band WAR is coming to Miami! WAR will be playing at the Magic City Casino as part of the Legends Of Music Festival on November 21, 2014 along with Grand Funk Railroad. WAR is also nominated once again for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015.

Lonnie Jordan took time from his touring schedule to talk with rockbandreviews.com. Here is the interview in it's entirety...

Q: How did you first become interested in playing music?


A:  What started me was the fact of what was in my soul.  Listening to Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Earl Grant…I was listening to every kind of music in the world.  Growing up in Compton, we had R&B, pop, and country and western and gospel stations, so that’s what I listened to.  I listened to all of the stations.  I got turned onto Jimmy Smith Patsy Cline, Rev. P.M. Chambers, Jr.  I started playing in churches and took that experience and played in night clubs, then would go home and practice jazz.  When the band played together, we realized we had the same talents, same experiences from the streets.  We put all that together and realized we had a message to put out there to the people—stop all the crime and wars going on back then. That’s why we call ourselves WAR.  We took the opposite approach and let people know through our music our model will be shooting out beautiful notes, rhythms, harmony.  Our choice of weapons is instruments.  We knew this before we signed a record deal.



Q;You are skilled at plain g different types of instruments... guitar, piano, bass, and drums. Which is your favorite to play?

A:  My bread and butter is the keyboard. The fact that I can play bass, a little guitar and drums, they're all the same to me, but I prefer piano. That is the mother instrument of all. That's the mommy. 

Q: How did WAR first come about?

A:We had no musical training, our music came from the streets. That’s what we were putting on wax.  We called our music “universal street music.”  Ironic, we’re on Universal records now!  The fans wrote our music—the mixed salad bowl of people, of genres.  That’s why you hear reggae, jazz, Latin, classical.  We take you to a place in space, to our galaxy.  We give the people what they want—information.  When we say the world is a ghetto, we’re just giving you information.

We didn’t really care about making hit records.  We went into the studio and hit record and started playing.  We had no idea if anything would come out of it.  We were virgins of music back then.  That’s why we’ve never won awards—people never knew how to categorize us.  It was hard for the industry to select WAR to win awards because they just didn’t know how to categorize us.  Now here we are, up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!


Q: How do you feel about music today?


A:   Whenever I turn on radio or TV, I spend more time switching than anything else because back in the day we didn’t have as many stations!  Today, it takes a long time to keep it on one station because there are so many genres.   I listen to what other people are listening to; I’ll go to restaurants or what have you and listen to what they are playing and that’s how I learn what’s out there.  Or I may turn on VH1 to see what they’re playing.  I’ll spot a situation at the moment and listen.  Or I may turn on one of the mainstream stations to see what they’re playing.  I love all the music today.  It’s all entertainment, it’s all a form of art to me.

I do see WAR being on the radio today.  I believe we fit the format, it’s just getting it on and getting it plugged and getting it heard.  It’s all about getting the ears and the eyes, and getting butts in the seats to see you live.  It’s all connected.


Q: Why did you think that the War music continues to generate such a devoted following?

A: Because there are stories behind the rawness of the music.


For more information about WAR and their up-coming tour dates, log on to their website at www.war.com. To vote for WAR to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, log on to http://rockhall.com/voting/2015-rock-hall-nominees-fan-vote/ 

Many thanks go to Kimberly Christman for making this interview possible.