10 + 1 Q&A with Leroy "Lonnie" Jordan of WAR - one of the most popular funk groups of the '70s

"Blues to me is an expression of the streets."

Lonnie Jordan: The Funk Warrior

Singer/keyboardist, Lonnie Jordan is best known as a founding member of WAR. One of the most popular funk groups of the '70s, WAR were also one of the most eclectic, freely melding soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock influences into an effortlessly funky whole.

Leroy "Lonnie" Jordan was born in San Diego, California, was a founding member of War, an American funk band in the 1970s and 1980s. Jordan had a number of roles over the years, acting as vocalist and playing guitar, piano, synthesizer, and percussion. He was among the first three people to join the group after its inception; having joined before the group adopted the name "War" (it had previously been known as "the Creators" and "Nightshift").

Jordan recorded as a solo artist with MCA in 1977 and Boardwalk in 1982. He has also recorded with Eric Burdon, Tanya Tucker, T. Rex and Los Lobos. Jordan also made a record with two members of War, Harold Brown and B.B. Dickerson, "The Other Side of War Warms Your Heart" on Soufflé Records, which featured Bobby Womack on Guitar. He is the only current member of War remaining from the original lineup. "EVOLUTIONARY" (2014) is WAR's 1st studio album in 20 years. Available on 2CD, includes the new album and digitally remastered, multi-Platinum GREATEST HITS. Featuring special guest collaborations with Cheech & Chong, Tower of Power, Joe Walsh, and Malik Yusef.

Interview by Michael Limnios

What characterize Lonnie Jordan music philosophy?

45 years of musical experience.

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

Because there are stories behind the rawness of the music.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

There are way too many categories.

What is the best advice ever given you and what advice would you give to new generation?

Love what you do, but don't hurt anyone, or yourself, in the process.

A new album "Evolutionary" since 1994’s - has the style changed greatly over the years or have themes and techniques remained basically the same?

That remains for the ear of the beholder. Every new song created will always be different from the last.

The new song “Everything" says on lyrics “Don’t need the politics/Don’t need the lies,” but give him “a party groove.” How can the Music to crush the shackles of the human spirit and mind?

The song title to those lyrics is "This Funky Music".

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues with Soul and continue to Jazz, Latin and Funk music?

It's all an art form of interpretations.

What do you learn about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?

That it’s no different from rap music. Blues to me is an expression of the streets.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

It would be a beautiful thing if every person in the world, musicians, and none musicians, listened, understood, and appreciated all genres of music.

How has the music changed over the years? Do you believe in the existence of real Soul Funk nowadays?

I may have a few issues with some music being played by a machine, but as long as that machine has a soulful, funky knowledgeable player behind it…

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

Hawaii, because I've seen it grow from the early 70s to now, and it has always kept me musically creative.

The War - Official website

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