ATLANTA — As a unit, Bon Jovi has sold more than 130 million records, repeatedly toured the globe and, on March 12, will release its 12th studio album, “What About Now.” The band will also perform March 14 on “American Idol” and, in one of the more amusing notes on their resume, compete for favorite music group at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards March 23, alongside Maroon 5, Big Time Rush and One Direction.
That’s when you know your appeal is multigenerational.
Along with the accomplishments of Bon Jovi the band comes the rundown of their extracurricular activities of late: Jon Bon Jovi was nominated for a Golden Globe for his plaintive ballad “Not Running Anymore” from “Stand Up Guys” (he lost to Adele, just like everyone loses to Adele). Guitarist Richie Sambora released his third solo album, “Aftermath of the Lowdown,” last fall. Drummer Tico Torres maintains a busy side career as an artist. And keyboardist David Bryan brought more prestige to the New Jersey-born band when “Memphis,” the Broadway musical he co-wrote, nabbed four Tony Awards in 2010.
But no matter how potent the members of Bon Jovi are apart, together they’re still that rare superpower that sells out arenas and stadiums like few of their ilk are still able to do.
This new tour, dubbed Because We Can, after the first single from the new record, will travel the globe through at least July. Since many shows take place before the new album arrives, Bryan said Jon Bon Jovi, who crafts the set lists, will sprinkle in a few new songs at every show, adding more once the album is released.
In a recent conference call, Bryan, Sambora and Torres talked about the tour, the album, next year’s Super Bowl and how they feel about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
—On how they keep up with the pace of touring and their own extracurricular projects:
Bryan: How do we keep it up? Because that’s what we do. We’re musicians and we love to play and make music. And with every album we get better, and with every tour we get better, and it’s fun.
Sambora: To prepare for a tour that looks like a year and a half or something like that, you have to physically prepare for it. But once you get out there, you get in a groove, man. Fortunately, it’s an anomaly that we still all get along together and have a great time playing together, and we’re still making good music that people want to hear.
—On their goals for the year:
Bryan: The goal is to have fun with the upcoming year. The show’s going around the world. It’s an honor and a privilege to walk onstage after this many years and still be at the top of our game and have new records and new songs on the radio. And, in our job, there’s no days off. You walk onstage no matter what happens in your life, and you give it your all. So that is the goal, and we will achieve it.
—On the look of the new tour:
Bryan: With every tour we also try to up our game ... without making it such a production that you lose the fact that there’s a band there. So, for us, it enhances what we do, and we’ve really got some cool tricks up our sleeve.
—On how they would feel about playing the Super Bowl halftime show next year (the game is being held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey):
Sambora: Wow, man, we’d love to play for the Super Bowl. You know, I’m not sure if we’ve been contacted yet or not, but I think any time they would ask us, we would make time for that.
—On being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (the band made the ballot in 2011, but has not been inducted):
Torres: What’s always been important to us is what the people enjoy. Hall of Fame, you know, it’s nice to be in the company of so many great groups. There’s a long list of great bands that need to go in there, and there’s only a few that can go in every year, so, I mean, it’s an ongoing thing, but you don’t lose sleep over it. ... I don’t know if it’s political. There’s a lot of great bands that didn’t make it.
Sambora: I’d like to hope that we’re in there before we’re dead.