by Helen M. Orcutt
Rarely does the individual being interviewed make the phone call, but on this instance Danko Jones called me from Toronto, ON. I was literally amazed to see how intense their coming Tours are. Yes, I said Tours. Danko explained to me that they had been waiting to be asked to do a US tour with another band for years. “When we were asked to join Voltbeat, we wiped everything off the table to do it!” Danko Jones has been touring in Europe for 10 years now. Danko also told me, “We headline in Europe. Our stature hasn’t kept up with us in the US. There we are known on an underground level.”
With the recent tragedy that happened in Rio, I asked if any added security changes would be added, but I was informed that there were tragedies that are closer to home than that unfortunate accident. Danko made references to the shooting of Pantera guitarist, Dimebag Darrell and Great White in Rhode Island. “Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in mosh pits and crowd surfing, but we have a huge female following, that are usually right up front and they don’t need to worry about getting hurt by all of that. We aren’t a male-bonding hard core show.”
Not being backed by a label and touring so extensively says alot about the band and their music. This has been their Full-Time job for the past 12 years. “We aren’t Trust Fund Babies. We’ve never gone Gold. We’ve never gone Platinum. It’s never concerned me.” They do it because they love the music. Danko writes all of the lyrics, since he’s the one singing them, but they have changed their writing process up: Danko and Jake would write and then they go into the Studio, now they do it collectively by Dano, Jake and Atom doing together and then they go into the Studio with “The end result are a bunch of Rock songs, no stylistic change, just a solid Rock Album.”
The subject matter they write about was well explained to me. “The subject matter is LIFE from three perspectives: 1. Who you want to go out with. 2. Who you are going out with. 3. Who you went out with. This explains why they have such a large female following, they are singing about to us about us. Danko was very adamant when he stated, “People sing about saving the world. Don’t sing about the problems, FIX THEM!”
The most profound statement he made keeps echoing in my head, “I don’t care how they see it, just as long as they connect with it. I write for me and chances are someone else will like it too.”
It is hard to imagine how these men will keep up with anything other than their music this year. They are touring the US, Canada, Australia and Europe starting in three weeks. Although nothing is better than home, the tour bus and hotels will be their homes through August. It might be nice gesture if some of their fans would send a care package with them for these back to back concert dates.