Gearing up for Uproar, Danko Jones will share the stage with Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, and Coheed and Cambria, on August 24 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. The vocals and guitar of Danko Jones is accompanied by John “JC” Calabrese on the bass guitar, and Rich Knox on drums. The smooth frontman rocks, whether singing “Just A Beautiful Day,” or donning fangs in “First Date.”
Author Marisa Williams: What is your home town, and is that where you live now?
Danko Jones: Toronto. Yes.
Marisa: How did you get started in music? Did you come from a musical family? What were your biggest musical influences?
Danko Jones: I liked Rock Music. My Mom plays piano. Influences are as wide as AC/DC to ZZ-TOP, and BIRTHDAY PARTY to BLACK FLAG.
Marisa: What instruments do you play, and how old were you when you learned to play them?
Danko Jones: I play guitar and started when I was 13 years-old.
Marisa: What was your first concert that you attended, and how did that compare to the first concert that you played?
Danko Jones: Metallica, and it was waaaaaay bigger and louder than the first show we played.
Marisa: How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?
Danko Jones: We write all the music as a band together in a room. I might come up with the main riff and bring it in to the rehearsal. If the guys like it we move forward with it until it’s finished.
Songwriting hasn’t changed that much over the years. If anything, we write songs to record rather than play first.
Marisa: What can people expect at Uproar, and what are you looking forward to the most about Uproar?
Danko Jones: They can expect a rock show filled with Rock songs. I’ve heard it’s the greatest rock show ever, but I’ve never actually seen a show.
Marisa: What’s the coolest thing about your latest project?
Danko Jones: Huh? I’ve been doing this band for 17 years. It isn’t exactly my latest anything.
Marisa: What is the scariest thing about being on the road?
Danko Jones: Being away from home.
Marisa: Best or worst tour moment?
Danko Jones: Too many to recount here. Probably meeting other bands that I like, those I would count as my favorite moments being on tour. Also, of course, a great show is a feeling nothing can beat.
Marisa: What’s your favorite way to travel and why?
Danko Jones: In business/first class. Don’t get to do it much, but isn’t it everybody’s favorite way to travel?
Marisa: What’s your favorite place to travel to, and is there anywhere you have not been to that you would like to go to?
Danko Jones: We love playing in Scandinavia, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Australia, all over Europe actually. We’d still love to play Greece, China and India. We’ve never played there.
Marisa: What’s your biggest musical fantasy?
Danko Jones: That’s an odd question. Maybe playing with my favorite musicians in a jam? I don’t really know the answer to that one.
Marisa: I have three personality questions that I ask everyone. They might sound like hogwash, but I promise, there is a psychological basis to the answers ;-) First, if you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and would you have any special powers?
Danko Jones: I would be brown, and I would be able to fly and read people’s minds when I want to.
Marisa: If you were yogurt, would you be mixed fruit, fruit on the bottom, what flavor and why?
Danko Jones: Blueberry.
Marisa: Describe yourself as either a dog, a cat or a cartoon.
Danko Jones: Spiderman.
Marisa: Do you collect anything?
Danko Jones: I collect records and bootleg DVDs of certain bands.
Marisa: Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Danko Jones: Yes – and they’re gonna stay hidden!
Marisa: What’s the most important thing to remember?
Danko Jones: Your name and the phone number of someone who will bail you out of trouble.
Marisa: What was your most influential moment?
Danko Jones: Finding out about Kiss. Finding out about Minor Threat.
Marisa: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?
Danko Jones: I’d probably be starting a band.
Marisa: What are three things you must have with you when you are on the road?
Danko Jones: I need my iphone, laptop and ipad.
Marisa: Any advice for musicians starting out?
Danko Jones: Yeah, QUIT. It’s not worth it. The payoff sucks if you think this is gonna be a career. Listen to your parents. This industry is filled with snakes, rats, hucksters, wannabes, posers, losers, basket cases, egomaniacs and sociopaths. I’m still here only because all my other life skills have faded away. I’m still a fan of music only because I ignore the plague of locusts that surround me known as the “music industry”.
Marisa: Where can people find your music?
Danko Jones: Do a search online. “Danko Jones” on Google will get you to where you need to find us. iTunes etc.
Marisa: Closing thoughts and additional comments?
Danko Jones: We have a new record called ROCK AND ROLL IS BLACK AND BLUE. It’s bangin’.
Also, read my Huffington Post column every week. Listen to my podcast – THE OFFICIAL DANKO JONES PODCAST.
For more on Danko Jones, check out www.dankojones.com. For more on Uproar, explore www.rockstaruproar.com. The author of more than 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master’s in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University; for more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz.