They've never really suffered from writer's block, but Bon Jovi have become especially prolific since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The band has written 25 new songs since June (see "Bon Jovi's Future Holds Vampire-Slaying, Another LP"), and many of them have come over the past month. In addition, Bon Jovi have assembled the skeletons of many other tunes.
"How can you not have a creative period with all this emotional stuff going on?" guitarist Richie Sambora said Saturday backstage at the Concert for New York. "If you're a writer, you take all that stuff in. Music is a mirror of what the times are. You take stuff in and it comes back out."
While the new album won't come out until the middle of next year, frontman Jon Bon Jovi said it will probably be called Bounce.
"The name pretty much personifies what this country is going through," he said. "We bounce back. There's a song called 'Still Standing' and one called 'Another Reason to Believe,' so it's pretty obvious what the stories are about."
At a time when many artists are looking at the dark side of life, Bon Jovi continue to focus on the light. Instead of succumbing to fear, the band wants to celebrate the resilience and vitality of the human spirit.
"We're really into writing optimistic, upbeat, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kinds of songs," Bon Jovi said. "I wish we could have played them at the Concert for New York because they're very fitting for the occasion. I can't wait to get back in the studio."
Not that the entire album will be a feel-good affair.
"There's some sad stuff that's coming out, too," Sambora said. "You can't help that when something like this happens. But I think the optimistic songs will live on, where I think the sad songs will sort of paint a picture in
The band will continue working on the record after Jon Bon Jovi heads to Los Angeles on November 1 to start working on "Ally McBeal," a project he put off for a month in order to play various benefit concerts (see "Bon Jovi Puts 'Ally McBeal' On Hold To Play Benefits"). On the show, he'll assume the role of a working-class man he likens to the seductive house painter he played in 1995's "Moonlight and Valentino." Bon Jovi will remain with the cast for nine episodes, finishing on Valentine's Day.
"I'm doing it as a way for my movie career to continue to grow," he admitted. "When I agreed to do it, I didn't know we'd be this far along with making the record. If I could go into the studio today, I would."
But if Bon Jovi is reluctant to focus more on "Ally" than on the band, Sambora welcomes the chance to continue working on the album in his hometown.
"I'm just glad that he's gonna be out on the West Coast," Sambora said with a laugh, "so I don't have to keep traveling back and forth between coasts."