Although Baltimore's SR-71 ended 2000 by watching their major-label debut album, Now You See the Inside, reach gold status, the power-pop foursome are still living on a prayer.
Following a winter tour with Nine Days, American Hi-Fi and Collapses that hits the U.S. in January and then Europe and Japan in February, SR-71 will hit the road with Bon Jovi.
"I can't wait," singer/guitarist Mitch Allan said. "It's a trip, man. Here's a guy who back in the '80s, when we were in junior high and high school, we listened to and looked after. He was at the top of the music world. It doesn't get any bigger. Now we actually have a chance to support him on the road. In the '80s, Bon Jovi pretty much brought the rock back, and now it's starting to come back again, and I would like to think we're part of the new rock."
Dates for the Bon Jovi tour have not been announced, but Allan said it kicks off April 18 and runs six weeks.
SR-71, whose lineup also includes guitarist Mark Beauchemin, bassist Jeff Reid and drummer Dan Garvin, began touring nationally last year with Marvelous 3 and went on to headline tours with Wheatus and Harvey Danger.
"It's hard because you are playing an hour's worth of music that if people don't have your one record, they don't know," Allan said.
"But we're out with our friends [now], and it's easy. We're playing some of the smaller towns that go crazy because they don't get some of the big bands. When we do Bon Jovi, it's all major markets, so we figured we'll hit the smaller markets now and make some kids happy."
SR-71 are still promoting Now You See the Inside, which includes last summer's hit single, "Right Now," though Allan said the band plans to remix and reissue their independent debut, Grow, this summer on their own label.
"It has eight tracks, two of which actually made it onto Now You See the Inside completely redone, so people are going to have a chance to hear the original versions," Allan said. "Plus we're putting on the original version of 'Nontoxic,' which is also on the new record and is the song that got all the record labels interested in us."
Meanwhile, "Politically Correct," the second single from Now You See the Inside and an ode to Mel Brooks' 1974 classic comedy "Blazing Saddles," is #22 and climbing on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The band recently performed the song on "Baywatch Hawaii."
"There were plenty of scantily clad women," Allan said. "We made a lot of friends."
As for Bon Jovi, the New Jersey rockers were nominated for their first two Grammy Awards last week, for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for "It's My Life" and Best Rock Album for Crush, their seventh album. Bon Jovi's new single, "Thank You for Loving Me," just hit radio and video outlets.
SR-71 tour dates:
1/10 - Hilton Head Island, SC @ Blue Nite Cafe
1/11 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
1/12 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
1/13 - Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
1/16 - Jacksonville, FL @ Club 618
1/17 - Fort Myers, FL @ Orbit Nightclub
1/18 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
1/19 - Tallahassee, FL @ Floyd's Music Store
1/20 - Atlanta, GA @ Coca Cola Roxy Theatre
1/23 - Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm & Brews
1/24 - Nashville, TN @ 328 Performance Hall
1/25 - Big Rapids, MI @ Wink Arena
1/26 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
1/27 - Johnson City, TN @ Rafters
1/30 - Concord, NH @ Chubb Theatre
1/31 - Killington, VT @ Pickelbarrel