Volume 96, Issue 10
Friday September 13, 2002

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The many angry, angry faces of Danko Jones

Niru Somayajula/Gazette

By Niru Somayajula
Gazette Staff


Renowned for being sexy, brash and a powerhouse on stage, Danko Jones made a stop in London at Fanshawe College on Tuesday night before embarking on his Canadian tour, which will be followed by a big European tour.

Jones has often been criticized for coming across as an egotistical and stuck-up rock star who only cares about being number one. However, he is quick to brush off this description.

"Every band wants to be the biggest band in the world, and every band that says that they don't are just lying. It's what gets us up in the morning and makes us work as hard as we do. This is what we want to do, and that's the only way to do it," Jones confesses.

What might surprise people is that Jones doesn't actually have it as easy as one might think.

"We are fully self managed – JC, our bassist, is our manager. All the supposed record deals that people think we have signed are really just licensing agreements, where we license the record so we retain complete creative control of what we're doing, and where we're going," explains Jones.

Keeping total creative control is one aspect that Jones feels sets Danko Jones apart from other bands.

"I don't know how many bands out there are doing what we're doing. A lot of bands are heavily in the public eye. But, what you don't realize is that they signed away their rights – they have signed away their creative control," Jones says. "They are almost just as good as puppets, and that's not what we are. And that's something that I have to say, because I'm very, very proud of it."

One reason they have chosen this path is due to their band's tough start, Jones explains.

Niru Somayajula/Gazette

"We stuck to our guns because that was the only option we had. No one really believed in this music or this band. The only people that believed in this band was us. We were years ahead of what everyone is doing now. We were playing contemporary garage rock when it was just contemporary garage rock, not this new rock revival that seems to be coming up.

"There are bands like The White Stripes, The Hives, who are great bands, but we were doing that six years ago. And that's cool, but we were told that we didn't know how to write a song, that there was no big deal about us, that we had to change the way we were doing things, and we had to do it a different way. We just stuck to our guns. That's something we are very proud of," Jones says.

Recently the band had the chance to open for the Rolling Stones, something Jones says he has dreamed about.

"To be able to play with the Stones is something I have always wanted to do. And to be able to listen to them in such an intimate setting was awesome. After the Stones, I don't know of any other band that would top my list, other than ZZ Top or Kiss. It was a dream come true."

However, despite this huge achievement, Jones refuses to call it the high point in his career.

"We haven't had any high points yet in our career. If we did, that would mean that we are on the decline. We still have so many things left to do."

On that list of things to do is multiple tours which will take them all over the world.

"Next week we start our Canadian tour. Then we have our sixth European tour and our third [tour] this year. In January, we're going to Australia to do Big Day Out, which is a huge event over there. Then, because our record comes out in Japan in November, we're probably going to do a round up of that side of the world and we're also starting to get offers to tour in the States, but we're not too interested in that right now.

"It's better to get on a support tour with a bigger band, than do a tour of your own [in the States]. So, we're just waiting for the right band to offer us the right tour."

Unlike many other groups, Jones downplays touring in the United States.

"A lot of people over here, especially since we're in close proximity to the States, think that [the U.S.] is where it is. I see what the bands in the United States churn out, and it sucks. The Canadian music industry basically looks for bands which are Canadian versions of U.S. bands – that's probably why Canada isn't really on the map in terms of music as much as, say, Sweden is.

"I don't want to put Canadians down, because Canadian bands are incredible, but I think people who like Canadian music only [like it] because that is all they are exposed to."

Danko Jones bring their talents to Call The Office tonight. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Call 432-BAND for information.

CHRW 94.7FM will be interviewing Danko Jones live today at 4:30 p.m.. If you can't get enough Danko, please tune in.

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2002 THE GAZETTE