Ex-Foreigner Frontman Readies Christian Rock Set

Former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm has finished recording his first Christian rock album, which he hopes to release this fall.

Former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm has finished recording his first Christian rock album, which he hopes to release this fall.

Gramm, who has been a Born Again Christian since the early '90s, tells Billboard.com that the as-yet-untitled album "rocks from one end to the next -- that kind of attitude but with a different subject matter." He recorded it in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., with his band, which includes brothers Ben and Richard and Don Mancuso from his pre-Foreigner band, Black Sheep. The album will be released by Spectra Records.

Gramm, who left Foreigner for a second time in 2003, says that his recovery from a benign brain tumor in the late '90s gave him the impetus for many of the album's faith-based songs. "It's about how you can be so out of line with the way God would have you be and maybe have a major incident in your life kind of wake you up," he explains. "I had my priorities not in order and I just think I'm looking at life in general a little bit differently."

Reaction to this direction from fans of Foreigner and his previous solo work has been "mixed," Gramm acknowledges. "I'm not sure what people think -- that by doing a Christian rock album you suddenly become a completely different person or your creative self changes? It really just means that a lot of the subject matter changes; a lot more thought goes into the lyrics and not a ton of songs about popping that girl after the show.

He continues, "But that doesn't mean I am a person who has no fun and no life; I definitely like to have fun. I just think I know quite a bit better where to draw the line now."

Gramm and his band will be touring this summer but don't plan on playing any of the new material until the album is released. So many of the Foreigner hits, he says, "don't work for me, but I will perform any and all of them for the time being.

"I can look back on (his previous music) with a lot of pride, and I can see how my path has led me to where I am now. But I am much more in charge of where this band goes and what the music is than I ever had a chance to be in Foreigner. So for better or for worse, it's my direction."