Right before the first date of their European tour, we sat down with Danko Jones frontman Danko Jones to talk touring, recording and just why fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for another live album…
REVIVAL MEDIA: Hey Danko, this is the first date of your European tour and your only UK show how are you looking forward to tonight?
D: I’m really looking forward to it, like you said it’s the first night of the tour and we’ve been really angsty to play Fire Music songs so it should be good!
RM: With Fire Music, being your seventh album what tricks have you come up with to keep fans interested with your new releases?
D: Make a good record; it’s as basic as that. I mean what else can you do? If you do anything else apart from making a good record you’re just kinda like distracting people from the truth which is that you didn’t make a good record.
RM: This will also be the first album with Richard Knox as drummer, how do you feel this changed the recording process if at all?
D: It changed in that it was awesome and that there was no ego! So there’s that but Rich is great too, the record speaks for it. The single off the record, the first single is based on his drum pattern, so we based it around his drum pattern. So there’s his contribution right there and then of course there’s the rest of the record too. And then the real test is off stage, not whether you work onstage but whether you guys can hang out and be cool to each other as humans offstage and treat each other with respect offstage. So everything’s coming up daisies so I’m happy!
RM: You’ve worked with Eric Ratz on this release but how was the recording process as a whole with him as producer?
D: Eric’s awesome; we’ve known Eric for a long, long time. He engineered a session of ours back in 1999 and since that time we’ve watched him and his career and he’s watched us and he’s produced Cancer Bats and Monster Truck and Billy Talent and stuff so he’s watched us from the sidelines. So after the last record we wanted to change things up, not that doing records with our previous producer wasn’t good we just needed a change. We had a new drummer we just wanted to change. And Eric’s name just kept getting popped up and we met, we talked and found out that we’re all on the same page here. And Eric is a rocker so I trusted his judgement on certain calls and certain moments on making the record and trusted his opinion.
RM: Do you have a favourite track from the album which you think everyone should skip to?
D: That’s a hard question! My favourite song is track four I think. They’re all my favourite songs, everyone’s going to say that about their album but if you’ve got to break it down. Body Bags is the fourth track and it really set the tone for this record where we took it more in a punk rock style. After we wrote Body Bags, She Ain’t Coming Home, Twist The Knife and Gonna Be A Fight came fairly shortly after that so it really set a tone. I like Do You Wanna Rock? The first single and I Will Break Your Heart, I like that too!
RM: As a three piece which is known as the magic number, do you find it helps get along better in the band?
D: It can be sometimes more intense than in a five piece as there’s always more people so you could stay away from someone or members you don’t like and stuff. Yes and no, it gets more intense but I like intense things.
RM: Do you find when sharing opinions on tracks it’s easier for agreements?
D: There’s less cooks so it doesn’t muddy anything and you can get to the nub of what you need to do definitely.
RM: You recorded a live album which was released via Spotify; is there any plans of a follow up?
D: Noooo, hopefully not. Jesus someone’s probably going to email me when I finish this interview going ‘Here’s a new idea’ but no. I’ve always said we’re never going to put out a live record and even though it was released on Spotify to me it wasn’t a live record release. It was a Spotify thing and a new venture into a new form of media, so it was more of an experiment in a way.
RM: So no chance of you doing it again?
D: No, I’ve always said live albums are never going to live up to the live show. I’ve never really been bowled over by many live albums in my life although I could mention like three that I love but because it wasn’t a real what do you call it like organic release or what ever they call it for the term of pressing a vinyl or a cd because it wasn’t that I was okay with it because you know to me that’s what makes a release. I don’t know if that’s being old school, if it’s not on MP3 or a streaming now is the new medium I guess.
RM: On the topic of live shows you’re heading out on a Canadian tour not long after the European run, you’ve played across both countries many times before but which do you prefer and why?
D: Well you know Canada’s our home so there’s a ying and a yang to that. Your home; you want to do well with your countrymen, you want your countrymen to like you and you feel the sting harder when they don’t. It’s just like your family when your mum says something it carries ten times more weight than some person on Twitter. So there’s that but at the same time, the real mark of your band is when you take it out of your backyard and if someone salutes it outside your backyard it’s a real test and mark of your band. And plus the reason I got into a band was to travel and tour and do that and who wants to tour in their backyard. Who wants to do that? So I’ll always say Europe and European tour without pissing off too many Canadians.
RM: What can be expected from a Danko Jones live show?
D: Just the songs, I don’t know I’ve never been to one but I’ve been told they’re the best ever in the world in the history of rock’n’roll. But I just get up and play, I’m fuelled by the excitement of getting the privilege to play and have people come to watch this to see songs we wrote. It’s just a compliment.
RM: When can UK fans expect to see you again after tonight?
D: I can’t say but before the years out. That’s all I can say.
RM: Is it likely to be festival season?
D: I don’t think so but I know not all the festivals are booked but I doubt it. I think it’ll be more in a club setting.
RM: Which of your song titles/lyrics sums up your time in the band?
D: Jesus I don’t know, ‘I’m alive and I’m on fire’ that probably sums it up. That was our find kind of release and it’s really the first I wrote for this band. I wrote it when I was living at home in my bedroom and I wrote it write away when my previous band, I was in a two piece band broke up as the guy I was in it with didn’t want to play anymore. I just didn’t know what to do when I wrote this song.
RM: What’s next on the cards for 2015?
D: Touring, we’ve got the Canadian tour, the summer festivals and then there’s just more club touring after the festival season so other than that nothing else but touring. That’s a lot but it takes pretty much the whole year!
RM: Good luck for the tour and thank you for your time Danko!
D: Thanks a lot, thank you!