It's been four years since your last album, why so long?
Well, there's a lot more to life that making records and the older I get the more I want a little bit of time out. There's been a lot going on in the last four years. I remarried, had a daughter, I've cut the cord with Los Angeles and moved up here to Colorado so really I guess I've been working on this record for about a year and a half. Every time I've finished an album I've always sort-of allowed myself a year to do some other things so during this particular time-frame I did seven episodes of Wise Guy, I ran the Grand Canyon for Expedition Earth you know, a couple of other little do-dats like that and of course always dabbling in sports. Golf tournaments and things like that as well. It's nice to have a balance, you know. You want to lead a full life and when I was in my twenties I spent twenty-four hours a day working as a member of the Eagles and trying to "make it" in the music business and since the Eagles broke up in 1980 I've been able to, you know, see that there's other things in life besides making records.Was it a surprise to you when you made it big?
It's a surprise to me now. Somehow, when you're doing it you sort-of believe in a crazy sort of way, you actually do believe that you're going to make it, but, you know, you're going against a lot of, how do I say this? No, I didn't bargain for, I really didn't bargain for what was going to happen and the Eagles, all of us were trying to stay focused, trying to improve, trying not to let the success affect us too much, and keep that underdog mentality, you know, keep working. You never bargain that you're gonna be elevated tot hat sort-of rock legend status. No, I don't think we ever bargained for what was going to happen. over the last twelve years since we broke up I don't think we ever really realized the sort of impact that we had or how people enjoyed our music and it's stood the test of time.Were you aware at the time of just how big you were?
Well, as I said before, in the middle of all of this you're trying not to think too much about all of that. You try to stay even. Don't get too high when things are great, don' t get too low when things aren't great. While we were doing it we were just trying to make a better record every time and we were in the company of some pretty talented people who really, I think, you know, because our managers managed Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and I feel like Don Henley and myself and the other guys in the band just sort-of felt that we had to get better or we might not be around in this management company unless we showed that we were worthy of being in this management company so we worked really hard at our song-writing and we were constantly focusing on material and that's where it all starts you know. If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage and if you don't have good songs you really aren't going to go too far or for very long so we just kept working at the songs.You live in Aspen now. Why did you move here?
Aspen was the first place the Eagles really played, in the fall of 1971. Our managers in their infinite wisdom didn't want us to play first in L.A. They felt we'd be too scrutinized. We had a former Burrito Brother and a former Poco guy and there was already this talk going on in the music industry about this new vocal band the Eagles that were gonna get together and they decided that we needed to play somewhere other than L.A. for starters so that we weren't put under the Hollywood microscope right off the bat. They found this little bar in Aspen called The Gallery which was at the bottom of a little knell where the Knell Hotel and the Gondolier now sit but in 1971 it was just a little beer bar that help about 300 people. We drove up here in a jeep and a van and we got up here and played four sets a night and after the first set we did the place kinda emptied out and then for the third set three hundred people were there, you know, like, the first eighty people went out after the first set to other places and sorta said, "Come on, you gotta hear this band," so, you know, for 6 nights a week for two weeks we were sorta the band in Aspen, and of course in my foolish young bravado I said, 'You know, I think we can do this thing. I really like this place. If I ever make any money in the music business I'm gonna get a house here.' So four years later, 1975, Best of My Love is a hit and the Eagles album One Of These Nights is streaking up the charts and I get my first royalty check and I went looking for a house in Los Angeles, and just to have a backyard and a tennis court and a pool it was getting up into the severe moolah for me. So instead I took my first royalty check and came up here to Aspen and started looking for a house up here and as a result I've never bought a house in L.A. I was just like, kept renting and so I've been sort of trying to move here since 1975 and only this year was I finally able to let go of my L.A. house and get here full time. The best little city in America - Aspen, Colorado, and all you people stay away, [laughs] okay. We can't all live here.Are you afraid Aspen will get too popular?
Unfortunately you can't put a padlock on Paradise you know. It'd be just like getting to Hawaii you know, and also I'm fortunate enough to have another home in Hawaii and you just can't go there and say, 'okay, now, Im here. This is beautiful. Nobody else can come here now. That's it. Just me, okay?' This place is great. You can't do that. You can't, you know, close off Aspen, Colorado to hollywood and Houton and New York City and Chicago and all the other people that, you know, want to come here. Fortunatley though this is the sort of environment we only have a town of 6,000 people and if you get into your car and drive one mile out of town you're in the mountains. So it's sort of a nice balance and I don't really mind, er, you know, the influx of people from hollywood and stuff if that's what keeps the store owners and merchants happy. You know, if it draws torists to thisplace then you know, that's just all part of it but you know, Aspen is still in spite of having all its, I guess you'd say glitzy drawbacks, we still have a very strict building code. There's no building above three stories. You notice there's no blatant use of neon. You know, we're still somehow, you know, we're trying to hold it down and keep everything as controlled growth and the other thing I always keep in mind is whereas the rest of Hollywood just owns houses here, I live here and so if I have to put up with two weeks of nuttieness during Christmas because Cher is here nad everybody else is here -- I'll deal with it. I get the other fifty weeks a year here as well. I think there's so many pluses to living here and I don't mind a little of the cosmopolitan Hollywood thing, you know. If I want to go and do a little . . . I can go to town and see a first rate movie or I can go to a fancy restaurant and maybe, you know, run into somebody I know there and that's all part of it.Is "Strange Weather" the first album you have recorded in Aspen?
The only way I could move to Colorado was to build a studio and where we're sitting right now, this is, this is Jimmy Buffett's old house. Jimmy was my neighbor for eight years, uh, right here and the only way I could really move here was to build a studio so that I could make my records here and I don't think I would have made a record like Strange Weather in Los Angeles. For some reason I just don't think it would have been as good or as inspired as the record that I made being here. I think it's really great to have a studio so close to my house. Every idea I have for a song will now be turned into a 24 track or 48 track master. I've never had a backlog of material. I've never had the luxury of saying, well, you know, you have some extra songs left over. I actually do and I'm saving them to make a record in Nashville next year. So it's really worked out good for me. I'm really happy that I did it and I have a studio. It's a private studio. It's not like, you know, I'm flagging down down business and someone is going to be recording in here sometime next week. It's a studio sort-of built for me. I think it would have appeal to certain other solos artists who might enjoy doing their lead vocals or mixing their records up here but it's not a big enough studio to record a live band track. If you work on ... with a drum machine and build your tracks like the way I did it's ideal but me feeling about the studio is it's mine and if somebody calls me and wants to use it you know, we'll just have to talk and it's possible but I'm not trying to be, like, a commercial recording studio here in Aspen."Strange Weather" is less Rhythm & Blues than your last record. Why?
You know I've never really, like, tried to precalculate what I was going to do musically in my career. I just sorta followed what my instincts were and I have a big place in my heart for American rhythm & blues and the Memphis style in particular and I've explored a lot of that in my solo career and not sold as many records as I've wanted to. So I decided maybe this guitar thing should come back to the forefront, uh, actually, in all seriousness this is just how this record turned out. I did talk with me wife and with my producer Elliot Scheiner and they both said, "Glenn, play more guitar this record." So I said, "Okay, I'll play more guitar this record," and in starting to write vehicles you know, for this, all of a sudden I've a lot of material that's a little more topical. I think Strange Weather's a more topical record than any record I've ever made from top to bottom. Uh, on my first solo album No Fun Aloud, there's nothing topical. It's a romp, sort-of me spreading my wings and enjoying being out of the band and trying a bunch of things for the first time. On The Allnighter, Smuggler's Blues, the first and maybe only time, topical song before this album that I'd ever written and only because I just felt, you know, sometimes it's not good for me to get on the soapbox and if you don't do a good job of reporting it can sound shoddy so I wanted to write something about smuggling for about ten years but never did 'cause I never quite had all the pieces to make it a song and that didn't glorify. didn't condone, you know, it had to be just right. Somehow on this record I've managed to come up with some things I've been thinking about for a long time, I've decided I could write songs about. A little bit of this global warming, a little bit of this "I've got mine" selfishness that I see pervading society, you know, there's just other things that I'm thinking about talking about now that ... it's just the right time for it so I've sorta got an opinion about things and I'm playing electric guitar at the same time so you know hopefully we'll capitalize on this global warming thing ad make a bunch of money on, you know, this the world's ending and why not pay me I know all about it [laughs]. If you feel bad about what's going on on this planet you'll feel better if you buy the Glenn Frey record.You think the record stands a good chance of being a success then?
I think when you make a record you try to make every song as good as it can be for what it is and you don't try and make it commercial or anything. You just try and treat it as a song and allow it to be as good as it can be. I think that record companies tend to work records that they pick a lot better than records that you pick so I'm sort-of wanting to listen to the opinions of others when it comes to releasing singles and, you know, we just take our chances.Are you going to tour this year?
The one thing I will do this year that I haven't done with my last record, because I got sick, is tour. I've wanted to tour. I feel now that where I'm at with my life is right. I feel more like an athlete than a degenerate. I feel that I can handle the rigors of touring and avoid the pitfalls of partying so I'm really excited about going on the road this summer. I'm gonna come to Europe. I'm gonna play at Nuremberg in Germany with Elton John. Also the Montreaux Jazz Festival. It sounds just cool, you know - I know it's a great event. I'm gonna play England and Milan and Paris. It'll be a lot of fun for me this year. I'm gonna go on the road and play live again.
Yeah, but we're gonna tour the States later. You know we'll give this record a little bit of time to be out. We're gonna go to Europe first and see how we fare there. You know, as an American musician, every time I leave the country I find that there's a world of knowledgeable fans waiting out there for me that know my material. You know, like the Eagles, like what I've done and you know, I enjoy playing outside the United States. I find the receptions to be exceptional.