DANKO JONES: 'I Think The Mark Of A Good Band Is If You Can Play Outside Of Your Own Backyard'
June 24, 2019
Prior to DANKO JONES's performance at this year's Sweden Rock Festival, frontman Danko Jones spoke with 4Sound. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On performing at festivals:
Danko: "We've been playing festivals for quite a long time. I like them, especially a festival like Sweden Rock where the lineup is so well-curated every year. Our day is great — everyone from UFO, Jared James Nichols, ELECTRIC BOYS, SAXON, RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW and STYX are playing. Those are a bunch of bands I'd love to see. It's a great day today."
On the band's profile being bigger in countries like Sweden than it is in their native Canada:
Danko: "I live in the bubble, so I really don't know — I can't tell if we're big in Sweden or not. There's nothing I have to compare it to, other than when we play, there's people who show up to our gigs... In Canada, our years of touring abroad — and it's been 18 years of touring abroad from Canada — has kind of hurt our popularity back home. It's a trade I don't mind doing, because in exchange for building up our audience in our home country, we've traded it for being able to tour abroad and building up our audiences in other countries, which I think is a better marker as to whether or not you're a good band. I think the mark of a good band is if you can play outside of your own backyard and have people get it and be into it just as much, if not more so... Usually, homegrown bands get judged a little harsher at home than [by] outside audiences. It also depends on the kind of music and audience [you're] playing to. I think in Sweden, rock really lives here, and it's the music we play, so we kind of got a head start on that. The first few times I came to Sweden, I really felt an affinity for the audiences we played for. They really understood where we were coming from, and the kind of music we were playing. The criticism I have for Canadian audiences is, as much as there are amazing rock bands that come from Canada, the audiences today don't have a starting point, and there's not a real rich history. There's a real generation gap for rock bands in Canada, whereas in Sweden, I find even younger audiences really like old rock bands. I often talk about Canadian rock bands more in Sweden than I do in Canada."
On whether he's experienced a "Spinal Tap" moment:
Danko: "I think '[This Is] Spinal Tap' resonates so much with people is because it is based on actual truths. Every band goes through that, whether it's a failed autograph session or you get lost in a club, or you get lost somewhere on your way to the stage, or there's infighting or girlfriends on the road. All bands have gone through all that kind of stuff. Everything that's happened in the movie, we've been through in one form or another. There's been people we've called Artie Fufkin [Editor's note: a record label employee portrayed in the film by Paul Shaffer] behind their back, and there's been more than one. The latest that happened that was very 'Spinal Tap'-ish, I can't even recall. It just happens — it's a constant thing. That's why the movie is from '83, and people still reference it today."
DANKO JONES's latest album, "A Rock Supreme", was released on April 26 via M-Theory Audio (U.S.),Rise Above (UK),Indica (Canada, AU, NZ) and AFM (rest of the world). The album was produced by Garth Richardson (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) and features cover artwork by Ulf Linden (GRAVEYARD, EUROPE).
This fall, DANKO JONES will join forces with VOLBEAT and BARONESS for an extensive tour of Europe that kicks off on September 23 in Manchester, England.