More specifically, the ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ hitmaker got candid about his new track ‘American Reckoning’, which was dedicated to George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, leading to a global backlash and protests against police.
After the interviewer explained that they had “never heard a more serious, and a more desperate Bon Jovi song ever” than the song on the album dedicated to Floyd, Bon Jovi said:
“I think it’s probably one of my best, I’m very proud of it and blessed to have written it. And it’s a difficult subject matter.”
He continued, “I was aware of all of the other shootings as they were reported on the news, I’ve been aware of the other George Floyds that came before, but for some reason, I was never moved to write it.”
“Maybe it’s because of the COVID lockdown, maybe it’s because we were all watching the news every day, all day. Maybe it’s because of the filming of it and the recording of it, you could hear it and see it, and it moved you so.”
“But when I saw this man in that situation calling out for his mum with his last breath, it moved me emotionally. And so I wrote the song, and I had to be very careful to get it right. And so I wrote it, I played it for my wife; she said, ‘It’s a great verse, the chorus isn’t good enough.’ I went back. I didn’t just say, ‘I’m right, you’re wrong.’ I went back and I worked on it,” he explained.
“And then I played it for several people of influence, real people of influence, and I played it for them and got their opinions so that I could defend every word.”
JBJ added: “And then when we went in the studio, Tico fought me on it to make sure that he pushed me to title it ‘American Reckoning,’ and it was Tico, you know, that was a lyric in the song, it wasn’t the title. And I agreed wholeheartedly when he and John, they pushed me in the studio – because it was ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ and they said ‘American Reckoning.’ And then it hit me and I said, ‘That’s the title – it’s even stronger.’”