Prior to DANKO JONES‘s performance in Munich, Germany on April 26, vocalist/guitarist Danko Jones spoke with Thomas Metalmoser of Rock Antenne. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group’s just-released new album, “A Rock Supreme”:
Danko: “I’m excited, because we all know that this is a really, really solid record. We knew it when we finished it and it was mastered… Now that it’s out and I’m getting people’s response through social media minute-by-minute as it happens, it is exciting. It’s not exciting in the fact that there’s less record stores now and it’s our ninth album and we’ve done this many, many times before. It’s exciting because we’re getting the response immediately, and it’s all great. People are digging it.”
On the album title, a nod to John Coltrane‘s “A Love Supreme”:
Danko: “It was almost a joke. It was the eleventh hour, and record companies and managers and all these people in the background were demanding the name of the album. The one we had was still tentative, and we weren’t really sure of it. We were going to name it after one of the other songs off the album, and it didn’t really scream out ‘title track’ anyway. We were kind of figuring it out, and Rich [Knox], our drummer, he just threw ‘A Rock Supreme’ out, almost as a joke. We all thought, ‘Well, that would be a play off arguably the most successful, most loved jazz record of all time, so it’s kind of sacrilegious to do that. That’s kind of rock ‘n’ roll to be that sacrilegious, so we thought, ‘If there’s any group of people to hate us, jazz purists are always the most fun to piss off,’ so that’s why we did it. We’ve done it before — we did it with ‘Fire Music’ in 2015, [which] was a play off an Archie Shepp record called ‘Fire Music’. I thought we were going to be asked about Archie Shepp for two years, but we never [were], so we thought, ‘Okay, let’s do it and see.’ Because ‘A Love Supreme’ is more popular, we have been asked about John Coltrane, and all three of us are very big Coltrane fans, so it was easy for us to go, ‘Well, we can speak about that — we can speak about Coltrane and we can back it up.’ ‘A Love Supreme’ is an incredible record, and I can speak for Rich and [bassist] JC — we’ve spent hours with that record. It’s not something that we’re just pulling out of our hat.”
On if he finds it “easy” to write songs:
Danko: “Yeah, honestly. I hope I don’t come off like a dick, but it is easy to write. I’m not revealing some sort of magic trick. It’s pretty easy to write rock if you like it a lot and you listen to it a lot. We’ve been doing this band for 23 years, [so] if we can’t write a good rock record by now, we shouldn’t really tour and be around. It’s a long process — it can get tedious, where we start to dig into the weeds and figure out, ‘We should go to the G [chord] after that part.’ That’s more songwriting and arranging, but the general gist of the riffs and the general gist of a song, to make it good, is very easy to come up with. In 10 minutes, I can come up with 10 riffs. Whether they’re good or not, I don’t know — but in an hour, there should be one that at least I can bank and put aside for when we do start writing the next record.”
On the truth behind the album’s opening line, “I’m in a band and I love it”:
Danko: “We have been doing it for a quite a long time. After everybody’s kind of faded away, we’re still here. We’ve never broken up. There’s never been some sort of interim where we’ve taken a break or we’re doing a side project, or a reunion tour where we ask for more money. That’s a play that a lot of bands are doing these days. What happens to all the bands that just keep doing stuff and never break up, and can’t bump up their image? We never broke up, so there’s never a chance to cash in on anything because we’re just steady. We all take a page from MOTÖRHEAD — MOTÖRHEAD, every two years like clockwork, they would put out a new record and go on tour… I’d rather use MOTÖRHEAD as a playbook or a role model than a band who breaks up and then comes back together, and then there’s a whole reunion and a big fuss. It’s happened so often that it’s just not genuine anymore.”
“A Rock Supreme” was 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 was produced by Garth Richardson (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) and features cover artwork by Ulf Linden (GRAVEYARD, EUROPE).