DANKO JONES: 'I Just Wanna Be In A Band That Puts Out Great Rock Records'

March 31, 2019

Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with Danko Jones, the namesake front man of the Canadian hard rock power trio DANKO JONES. You can listen to the entire chat via the Spreaker widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On what fans can expect from DANKO JONES's new album, "A Rock Supreme":

Danko: "You know what? If they know us, more hard rock songs. That's pretty much it. We stick to the story and we don't veer off too much. The trick is to write and record ten, 11, 12 songs, more hard rock songs that are hopefully fun to listen to. Simple as that. [Laughs]"

On what inspired him while writing the album:

Danko: "This is our ninth studio album. The routine or the process, I should say, is a familiar one. I'll write a whole bunch of riffs at home and I'll just play guitar and whatever hits my ears, I'll record. I'll bring it into rehearsal, then I'll amass a whole lineup of riffs, then I'll throw it at the guys. Then whatever hits their ears, we'll start working on. So, it does go through this kind of vetting process and gets filtered through many filters until it becomes a song. The only compass used is our ears as to whether or not this sounds cool. Sometimes there's albums in the past where I've gone, 'Wow, this is inspiring.' Suddenly, poof! A song is born. That's happened many times before. But on this album, I can't really pinpoint [anything]. We have a song that sounds very much like THIN LIZZY. We have a song that sounds very much like VAN HALEN. There's some ZZ TOP in there. There's some garage punk from our old days in there. There's all kinds of stuff."

On making their songs "as catchy as possible" while recording in the studio:

Danko: "It's not in the studio. By the time we hit the studio, the songs are pretty much chosen and we're going for it. There could be some arrangement changes, but there's nothing written from scratch. There might be like a part, 'This song needs an ending,' or, 'This part needs a little bridge that joins these two riffs.' That's happened many times. It usually happens in the rehearsal space. I'm only speaking for me — all three of us approach songwriting differently. For me, it's what's catchy to my ears. I'm an album guy. I'm a deep-cut album guy. I like the songs that don't get released as singles. I just write songs. If they're good to my ears, I just like writing the riffs. 'Dance Dance Dance' you say is 'catchy', but honestly, the main riff — it was catchy enough for me to bring it into the space. I remember when I came up with the main riff at home. But what it is, is very reminiscent of 'Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings' by ZZ TOP, a song that I mined many times before in my discography of songs. I don't know — it's not my favorite ZZ TOP song, but it's very reminiscent of that. It's not me trying to come up with some sort of sing-along anthem. It's me going, 'Yeah, I can dig this.' No one else. Not the audience. Not anybody. Not trying to hit some sort of Justin Bieber demographic; just me. Hopefully, if I like it, chances are someone else will like it too."

On working with producer Garth Richardson (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS):

Danko: "First of all, we've heard for a few years that Garth wanted to work with us. We wanted to work with him, too. We were impressed by his CV, but he's outside of Vancouver and we're in Toronto, so it's opposite ends of the country. We were very happy with Eric Ratz. Eric lives in Toronto, so we could stay home and do [the albums]. We decided to take a chance, fly out to Vancouver and work with Garth and what ended up happening was we had a great time. We had a great time with Eric too. We wanted to try something new and we did and we just laughed through the whole session. It turns out that Garth lives in Vancouver, but he grew up ten minutes from where I grew up. It was crazy. So he started naming off certain places that only someone within our kind of five-kilometer radius would know. I don't know what it was — we did get along very well. He's great to hang out with. So we had a great time. We had a great time. I would really say the last three records, starting with 'Fire Music', 'Wild Cat' and 'A Rock Supreme', the last three records are our best albums. We have nine, but I would say the last three records are our best albums. Usually a band will say, 'Oh, our new album is the best. That's the best we've ever sounded.' And I'll say that, but I'll always say that those three are equal to each other and best to each other in certain aspects, and 'A Rock Supreme' is just a continuation of great rock records. I just wanna be in a band that puts out great rock records. And we've put out nine, and I love them all for various reasons. But I feel with 'Fire Music' and Rich Knox joining us on drums, it's a new era. We've put out three really solid albums, and 'A Rock Supreme' is rocking solid and just really worthy of its title."

"A Rock Supreme" will be released on April 26 via M-Theory Audio (U.S.),Rise Above (U.K.),Indica (Canada, AU, NZ) and AFM (rest of the world). The album features cover artwork by Ulf Linden (GRAVEYARD, EUROPE).

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