Mickey Thomas says it’s hard for him to believe he has been doing anything for 30 years, but for the last three decades he has indeed been the frontman for Starship, which will play a free concert at Branson Landing’s Town Square next Friday at 8:30 p.m.

“When I first joined Jefferson Starship, I wasn’t sure if it fit the musical direction I wanted to go in,” said Thomas, who became part of Jefferson Starship in 1979 and stayed on when original member Paul Kantner left in 1984 and took the band’s name with him.

“I thought, ‘I’ll give it two albums, three years.’ But you turn around and it’s been 30 years.”

Starship saw its share of number one hits in the 1980s, with “We Built This City,” “Sara,” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” reaching the peak spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 from ‘85-‘87.

And Thomas is at it again.

Earlier this year, Starship released a new single, “Get Out Again,” which Thomas said went to number 38 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It is just a single for now, but Thomas has plans for a full album, one he intends to make between gigs.

“We hope to get in the studio enough to have it out by October,” he said.

Thomas said the music industry has changed since he first began, mainly due to the Internet and the way people access music.

“It’s sad to see so many great bands come along and get put on a shelf,” he said.

In his opinion, the staying power of bands like The Who and other classic rockers is turning into a thing of the past.

“We’re not going to see that kind of longevity anymore,” he said.

But he does have a taste for a more modern take on rock and roll, saying he listens to Muse, Collective Soul, Radiohead and My Chemical Romance. And whether or not Starship would have the chops to make it through if they were getting started remains to be seen.

“Who knows?” Thomas said. “It’s so tough now. There’s a thousand American Idols but there aren’t too many great rock bands coming down the pike these days.”

Other changes Thomas mentioned include the audience at live shows.

“What I might see now is generations. I may see three generations all in the same audience.”

Thomas said he’s looking forward to playing in Branson, having performed here before in the ‘80s and again in the ‘90s.

“It’s going to be a great show,” he said. “Branson is heavily based in music and entertainment. I have really good memories of Branson.”

Information & Image courtesy of Branson Daily News