Posts Tagged ‘demo’

Jason Newsted Talks ‘Metal’ EP, ‘Soldierhead’ Single, James Hetfield’s Influence + More Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted is back in a big way with his new band, simply called Newsted. The outfit has just released a new EP called ‘Metal’ and it features the blistering new single ‘Soldierhead.’ We spoke with Newsted for nearly an hour, and he covered everything from his new music to beating Justin Bieber on the iTunes chart to his current relationship with the guys in Metallica. In Part 1 of our interview, Newsted discusses his ‘Metal EP’ ( available on iTunes ), the new single ‘Soldierhead’ and the influence that Metallica frontman James Hetfield has had on him. Check out Part 1 of our interview with Jason Newsted below: The material on this new EP has a lot of interesting shades to it from the full on attack of “Soldierhead” to the almost Thin Lizzy-like tones that thread through the beginning of ‘Kings of the Underdogs.’ How does it all fit together for you? It’s all metal, you know? It’s all heavy music. Some of it’s fast and some of it’s slow and it has some of those different nuances that you’re speaking of. I think a lot of my obvious great teachers and heroes really rear their heads. Motorhead, [Laughs] Motorhead is one of the heads that rears for sure! [Also] Black Sabbath’s stuff and some of the original Ted Nugent band [material with] Rob Grange playing bass — some of that real musicality with old school bass players — that kind of thing comes through in some of the bass lines. I wrote all of the songs on GarageBand and iPad last August/September and played all of the instruments. I played all of the rhythm guitars on all of the recordings, played bass on half of the tracks [and] Jessie [Farnsworth] played bass on some of the other tracks and then lead guitars, I did some [guitar] leads, but all lead vocals. And then Jessie, he did background vocals, too. So it was my baby from the beginning and that’s kind of why it’s got my name on it, too. Because it’s the first time in my career that I’ve written the whole album from top to bottom myself, so it’s worthy of the name this time. When it came to branding it with your name as opposed to a band name, did you have any sort of hesitation about doing that? No, not really. It kind of all made sense, just because of what I explained. I never have an issue coming up with band names like a lot of my friends do. I just don’t have problems. I’ve always…I think anyway, [come up with interesting band names like] Echobrain and Papa Wheelie and a million of the other ones on projects — the different cool stuff we’ve come up with for years and years. So it was appropriate that the name’s on there. And also, now that this time has passed and I have spent 30 years working on this — half of it in Metallica and half of it with other bands — it’s a global thing. You know, Metallica is bigger across the ocean than it is in the United States. It always has been from the beginning. In that whole thing, we traveled around 50 countries we played in to take the music around. So I have to approach it as that and no matter what language you speak, if you are at all familiar with metal circles from the last few decades, “Newsted,” you know what that means and “metal,” you know what that means, no matter what language you speak. And I want to make it real clear that because of all of the diverse acts that I’ve played with and the music that I’ve recorded – Echobrain, Gov’t Mule, Sepultura, Unkle – you know, pick a few of those. I want to make sure that everybody is very clear on what they’re getting when they go after this one. Hearing ‘Soldierhead’ as the opening shot from this EP, it communicates and suggests that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what kind of music people want to hear from Jason Newsted at this point. How much did that play into what you’ve been writing? Is that something you think about? No, that’s kind of strange, actually. I’m old school metal. I can’t be anything but that. You know, I stretch out and round myself out playing with these other styles, Gov’t Mule and whatever [else] like that to make myself a better player, but I’m still old school thrash metal, man. And that’s what comes out, when I bare down on it and I play what I play best, this is what you get. This is what I spent the most years/months/weeks/eons playing [Laughs]. So that’s my forte, you know? So it’s what I know best and that’s why it’s what you’re hearing. I’m really not…..the fans did call me back into this and I am doing this because of the fans [and] because I want to. There is nothing about worrying about making money or selling a million records or any of that, [that] is not in the mix. The mix is about anybody sharing it with me that wants to. I have enough friends and fans around the world [and I] hope they’ll dig it for what it is and that’s all I really want. I want to be able to share it with anybody who wants to hear it. You know, when I went and played with Metallica at the end of 2011 at the Fillmore – when I got that response from the fans that I did that week….dude, for real, I’ve been telling everybody this, but it’s the absolute truth – they pulled me back in. They asked for it – they screamed for it [and] they looked right through me, right to the back of my skull and said “dude, we are so happy to see you – can you please do more?” and that’s really what it came down to. And now, as I reach myself out in the last couple of months on my social media and stuff, I am realizing how important that Metallica has been in so many people’s lives. And that I was always the people person in that band. I spent so much time with fans in my career that it’s really coming back to me in a very strong positive manner. How did you channel that when you approached making this music? Because I think some people might expect that you would take an experience like that and make an EP that sounds a lot like what you did with Metallica. There’s elements of that in this, but it’s certainly not all about that. I think really, as we started out talking, the influences show themselves very clearly and then [also] the people that I have been privileged enough to spend time with for myself, to learn from greater players. [James] Hetfield the most years, obviously, and he is the very best at what he does. No one can touch that same growl, playing those kind of guitar parts, singing the way he sings. He is it. So I got to be around that for a long time, in dressing rooms, it’s Lars [Ulrich] and Kirk [Hammett] in that one and Jason and James in that one. That’s how it was for the whole time. So as far as taking that on, you take on each other’s things. When you saw our Metallica onstage, after a while when we got in sync, it looked like we belonged together, really, a lot. It really fired off in that way and James and I took on each others movements, actions, styles and things like that. Anything that I got exposed to for a few years – even the guys from Echobrain, the way that they went about it in their musicality of things and their understanding of the way music goes together and songwriting and stuff – I learned a lot from that. And most of all, I think the four or five years that I spent with Voivod, were the biggest learning things for me, because the challenge was greater. You know, they speak in French and A-B-C-D-E on the guitar to them is do re mi fa so la ti and so that already to begin with was a challenge and then you go to Piggy’s [late Voivod guitarist Denis D’Amour] guitar playing and he doesn’t tune his guitar like anybody else tunes it – he tunes it his way. But it’s not a tuning that you can say “hey, he’s playing an A chord, because he’s not.” So all of that learning experience and especially with Snake [Voivod vocalist Denis Belanger], the vocal approach, weaving the words in – English is his second language, so he has no in between connector words. He just goes the direction that every word means something. So that kind of approach and just the way that he does weave it – I think he’s the very best at that, as far as me being a fan. I learned so much from him. Taking in all of these experiences, this is what we get now, from me paying attention. Vocally, how easy was it finding your vocal space when you came down to recording this material. Because I do hear the influence of your time with Voivod, but I also hear other things, so I’m just curious where you really were drawing from? I’ve been working on my real voice for like 10 years. Always, when we do the improv jams at Chophouse [Newsted’s recording studio] or any of the other things, I have my books of poetry and songs and stuff and they’re just put up on a music stand and we rock through improv stuff and I sing and sing it and sing it. [There’s] been years and years of that, developing a real voice instead of just “Diiiiiiie” [imitates guttural metal vocal] and all of that stuff, right? I can still do all of that of course – that’s what I’m kind of known for. The Papa Wheelie voice and things like that and in the beginning the IR8 voice and all of that Sepultura stuff. As time has gone by now, and especially with Echobrain, I tried to start learning to sing a little bit more. It’s actually a new voice [with this material] – I have a new voice, even though I’ve got some years under my belt, this is a new thing. I work it out like I do my regular workout of situps and pushups and all of that – I work my voice out as well with training, so I can be as good of a singer as I can when I present this to people, because I feel that the performances on the recordings are quite good and I really worked with them a long time and I practiced them a lot to get to that place. So it’s something that I’ve been really consciously working on for about a decade to try to come away from the Cookie Monster [vocals] all of the time. Some of the transitions and pacing of this material are really interesting. The moment when ‘King of the Underdogs’ kicks in right around the one minute mark is just brutal. Can you talk a bit about the building process for that song? Oh thank you – I love that part too! [Laughs] That song’s a little bit older and it just showed up that way. You know, once I built the songs, I’d burn a disc and I’d give it to Jessie and Jesse [Jesus “Jesse” Mendez, former Metallica drum tech and current Newsted drummer] and they’d go study for a week or two and come back and we’d hit it and then we’d create what the songs are. So that just came from, building from the demo and then just going over and over and over it until we got what we liked and then we were able to really capture it in the studio. It’s just a natural thing — it just showed up. A lot of this stuff dude, it’s the same as the paintings – I just make myself available – I reach up and I touch into that zone and it just comes and I just channel it and I make sure that the recorder is on. I think – and I didn’t realize it until now, because I went so full on, with the recording of all of the parts and understanding the compositions of stuff like that – that the way I had to go about it was a long road, but when I finally got there, I was ready. All of the things that I had done, I was ready for it, so when I started channeling the music, it was recorded right away as it hit me, because I had a guitar in my hands. It makes for the immediacy of the song – like that part that you’re particularly speaking of — there’s such an anticipation….that tension and that thing that comes, that was a channeled thing — it just happens because I made it available and my capacity from studying all of the years, I could do it when it came to me. But it really is like that. ‘Soldierhead,’ I think it probably came to me in like 10 minutes and I got the main riff down and then the lyrics just came to me and I said “this is going to be the one” and I had it done by that night and it just showed up, because I keep chasing it, man. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Jason Newsted interview, in which he delves deeper into his new music and beating Justin Bieber on an iTunes chart, and Part 3, in which he talks about his relationship with Metallica and reminisces on his days in the legendary metal band. [button href=”” title=”Click to Watch Newsted’s ‘Soldierhead’ Video” align=”center”] ?

Big Wreck’s Ian Thornley Discusses Band’s Revival, ‘Albatross’ Album + Velvet Revolver Audition

Rounder Hailing from Canada, Big Wreck showed plenty of promise in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but after their sophomore set slumped the band members decided to part ways. Now, a full decade later, singer Ian Thornley reached out to his longtime friend and cohort Brian Doherty and by opening the lines of communication, his onetime guitarist returned and a surprise resurrection of Big Wreck followed. Loudwire spoke with frontman Ian Thornley about how Big Wreck came back into focus, the solid early returns from the band’s ‘Albatross’ album in their native Canada, the breakout success of the title track in the U.S., and Thornley also revealed a little about his onetime audition for Velvet Revolver as well. Thank you for the time and I’ve got to say that I’m so happy that Big Wreck is back as a recording entity again. Can you tell me how that came to be? Well it’s just Brian and I from the original lineup, but it was just my personal relationship with Brian had sort of fallen by the wayside after we parted ways the first time and that was something that was just sort of a sour spot for me. I just missed the guys and we had been roommates in college and had been really tight before and through all of the Big Wreck thing. So I just called and we just started hanging out and then he filled in for Paulo [Neta] for one show because Paulo was going to be in Portugal and then the idea to do a Thornley-slash-Big Wreck tour came up and that’s sort of the band that we have now. I just love the idea of playing with three guitar players and doing the record. We didn’t go in to make a Big Wreck album per se. I was just going in to make a record. And I think it was Nick Rasculinecz, the executive producer, who suggested calling it Big Wreck, which didn’t sit right at first, but eventually I came around to, you know. Well perhaps that is what makes it sound like it does, because a lot of times reunited bands feel like they’re missing something that wasn’t there in the past, but this sounds as fresh like it developed organically without any pressure. Yeah, I’m really proud of the record and the fact that it’s being received at all is just gravy. The fact that it’s being received well is just exceptional at this point and to go out and score a No. 1 up here [in Canada], that’s a big deal for someone who’s been at it as long as me. I’ve had so many Top 5, almost No. 1′s, that finally we get one when we go in to make a record by our rules, you know. There’s some sweet vindication to it and I’m also really proud of it. You mentioned the accolades and already there’s a couple of CASBY Award wins for you even before the disc drops in the U.S. So with that momentum going, how good does it feel to get that recognition right off the bat? It’s great. I don’t know how much that carries over, but it’s great. I’m in a position to … I think Brian and I, as well as the other guys, I think we’re all in a position to enjoy it this time around and really sort of take it all in. Cause I know how fleeting someone digging one of your songs can be. But it feels great, but I think the overall vibe with the guys and myself is a lot of different than it was 10 years ago. Everyone is a lot more positive and a lot more focused and I think the priorities have changed. So, any and all is icing on the cake. And I think the cake is still a record that I still listen to and it’s been out here for almost a year and I still enjoy listening to it. That to me is what I’m most proud of is, in my opinion, making a really kickass record. Having people recognize that and just dig it is just gravy. It’s great that you’ve reconnected with Brian but once you went head on into this thing again, can you talk about how that relationship has evolved? Is it different? The same? Yeah, everything is fantastic. I think all the time we were apart sort of, I think we both matured, a lot. When we started hanging out again, there wasn’t a sort of, ‘OK, well here is what upset me about…’ We didn’t hash anything out. It was just that neither of us were holding any grudges and I just sort of missed my buddy and we were in similar places in a personal way and we both matured a lot in dealing with the things you have to deal with in this industry. We deal with them a lot better now, whereas before a lot of stuff would get swept under the rug and get turned into something great down the line. I don’t think either of us is going to let that happen in this incarnation. One of the things I love about the album is that you can almost feel the room and how live it feels. I know as producer you have a lot of say in that. Can you talk about what you wanted from the sound of this album going in? There was a lot of discussion about the sound and the feel of the record before we even knew what we were going to do. How do we achieve a certain sound? Do we know those tricks? Do we need to know those tricks? But what you’re speaking of is the end result that I wanted. I wanted it to sound like a real band making a real record. It’s so easy now to do it the other way and there’s the pre-packaged guitar sound and pre-packaged drum sound and press ‘Alt’ click whatever and you’ve got drums. But it’s much harder to catch a performance and capture interaction between musicians and all the little ghosts that can make their way into a piece of tape, it’s much harder to get it on a computer screen when you’re putting it into a grid and making it all perfect and correcting this and that. I think as evidenced by a lot of the things you see on television or whatever, and musicians performing live and something goes down and the music’s still going. There’s a lot of that going on and it might be great for some, but it’s not really my cup of tea. I love hearing real sounds made by real people with real fingers and real throats and it’s harder work, but we still made a record in about month. We did it quickly and kept it fresh. Getting into the album, ‘Albatross’ the song, and you mentioned getting things to sound a certain way, I just love the guitar sound at the beginning and it’s got that great psychedelic feel to it. Well, the sound at the beginning is just an electric 12-string with some delay on it, but it’s in an open tuning, which also lends itself to that sound, but nothing was not considered that went into the whole album. Everything wasn’t argued over, but it was discussed. I think it should be this guitar with this amp and we distance mic it so we get more ambiance with it and it’s all those things, but still having said that, it was all very quick. It was a lot of go with your gut and go with what you know sounds good. The psychedelic stuff is fantastic. But a lot of my trick bag is about trying to get the sounds that I know and love from all the albums I grew up listening to. I have to ask, I know that riff for ‘Albatross’ has been hanging around for a long time. So how gratifying is it to not only see it completed, but embraced as a single? [laughs] I didn’t think it was ever going to be single. I was thrilled when the guys at Warner here in Canada were like, ‘Well we want to go with ‘Albatross,” and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s ballsy. Go for it. Have at it.’ But I think for me the satisfaction was hearing that riff finally being in a song. That little na-na-na-na melody has been kicking around for, I can’t put a date on it, but well before the first Big Wreck album. I’ve tried a million different things with it. I tried to put it on the end of a song. I tried to put in the middle of another song. OK, maybe an intro then. But I never tried it as the focal point, the meat and potatoes of the song and then have it be the song. But that’s the thing … sometimes it takes ten years to write the song that writes itself in five minutes. I was listening to Rod Stewart. I was listening to ‘Gasoline Alley’ a lot and it dawned on me that I should just try the 12-string acoustic trick and as soon as I started playing the 12-string acoustic, like the demo of ‘Albatross’ was all acoustic, and then a song popped out and there you go. Finally! But to have it be a single, yeah, why not?! There’s a slide guitar solo on radio. Who would have thunk it? I have to say, ‘A Million Days’ off this album has to be one of my standout tracks. Where did that track come from? It’s hard to say. I had that sort of mellow chorus, the ‘Stay with me for a million days’ which was hooky and pretty if not a little corny. And then I just started surrounding it with things that were going to take the tease out of it. And then then challenge became how do I make this sound like one arcing song with all the mood changes and color changes, but I think it was successful. What I wanted to do, and maybe it’s just me, but contrasting colors to where if you heard one section of the song without the others, there was no way you would say that was the same song. But hearing the whole thing in context, there’s a good arc to it and I think it makes sense. But yeah, I love trying things like that and musical experiments that work out. It’s one of my favorites for sure. Watching some of the videos you’ve done, ‘Wolves’ sounds great live. Is that song starting to be one of the live favorites for the band? Yeah, it’s one of my favorites on the album. Certain songs just have a feel and a vibe and a life to them and it’s a little different than the other ones. For me, ‘Wolves’ has always been that. When we first put it down, I got choked up listening to it. And I still do get a tingle listening to it, but doing it live and seeing people singing those lyrics back to me is just huge. That’s one that is near and dear to me for sure and it’s a lot of fun to sing. ‘Control’ really feels like you have a chance to let loose. Can you tell me what it was like putting that track together and what you were looking for? ‘Control’ is born of me picking up a Strat, with Mark Knopfler being one of my heroes and certainly those first two Dire Straits records being close to me. And you’ve got that chorus, that’s where I was going for that Peter Gabriel vibe and I just thought marrying the two, how do we do that? I just that adding that Fleetwood Mac drum sound laid the whole vibe for that. And then lyrically, it’s pretty well-mined territory, but there’s some room there. And live, it’s one of those things I look forward to every night because you never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes the solo will go on a little too long and sometimes not long enough and sometimes it’s just right, but when it’s just right, that’s when everybody is strumming with their iPhones, you know. I see you’re doing some dates with Theory of a Deadman . What are you thoughts on joining them on the road? Great guys man. I’ve toured with them a few times on the road here and there and Joey, the drummer, is an old friend and they’re just nice guys. I couldn’t say enough nice things about them. It’s been great so far and it does make it a lot easier when the guys in the other bus are easy to get along with. It makes every day go a lot quicker and it’s been great so far. I noticed on Twitter that you’re wife has her black belt. So does that make things a little more dangerous around the house for you? [Laughs] No, but for anybody else trying to get in the house, sure. It’s something that’s a hobby for her and it’s one of her passions. She’s also a chef, so she’ll kick your ass and cook you a nice meal. But it’s been great for her … and both the kids are involved and I love the martial arts. I know a couple of years back your name was mentioned for Velvet Revolver and they’ve gone through so many different people trying to find a singer. What was your experience trying out for the vocalist spot? It was great. They were all great guys, and Slash in particular was really [cool]. I was really taken aback by how genuine and what a real human being he is, well actually all of them are. They’re just really good dudes. But I flew down and jammed with them for a few hours and the music part was great, but I think they were looking for a guy that doesn’t play guitar. At least at that time, they wanted a guy who was a frontguy, like an Axl or Scott Weiland or one of those dudes who doesn’t play guitar — he dances and gets the crowd going and all that stuff, and that’s just never been my thing. So when I was up there, it was like, ‘That was great, but do you mind playing it without the guitar?’ And I was like, ‘Nah, nah, it’s not going to happen.’ What am I gonna do if Slash takes this awesome 10-minute guitar solo. I don’t want to, I don’t know any of those moves. I just think and Slash has said this in interviews too, ‘Well he was great but he wanted to play guitar and that’s why he’s not in.’ And hey, I’m fine with it. Had I tried to do something without a guitar around my neck, it would have felt unnatural and weird, you know. I couldn’t imagine doing that night after night. I gravitate toward the guitar, that’s always been my cool factor. I’m a Keith more that a Mick. I know you did Thornley in between the Big Wreck periods. What do you see for the future of Big Wreck? Will you continue or balance projects? I’ve learned enough to never say never in this biz. But right now everything is going great, sounding great and everybody’s in a really good place, so for the time being, I’ll say absolutely to [more Big Wreck]. Having already sold well in Canada, Big Wreck’s ‘Albatross’ album will arrive in the U.S. Feb. 19. The disc may be pre-ordered here . The ‘Albatross’ single can already be purchased via iTunes here .

Danko Jones on New Album, Showmanship + Social Networking

Adrenaline PR It’s been a pretty significant year for Danko Jones and the icing on the cake came with the recent release of their latest studio album, ‘ Rock and Roll Is Black and Blue .’ Singer Danko Jones and his longtime musical cohort, bassist John Calabrese, spoke with Loudwire about the significance of the album title, the occasionally misunderstood showmanship that they bring to their shows, and how much stock they place in the immediate response of social networking. ‘Rock and Roll Is Black and Blue’ is a great album title. How did that come to be? Danko Jones: It was a term we had that we were going to call the very first thing we ever put out, ‘Rock and Roll is Black and Blue,’ but our scene in Toronto, there was another band called the Deadly Snakes that put out a 7-inch called ‘Real Rock and Roll Tonight,’ and we just thought the titles were too similar so we didn’t use it. We just kept it and it’s always been around, and then J.C., we were trying to think of titles and J.C. came up with the title again and Atom [Willard] liked it and we still liked it obviously, so we went with it. The title definitely lends itself to what you do live. If you can talk about the energy you unleash onstage and the commitment you have to rock ‘n’ roll. DJ: For me personally, I think ‘Rock and Roll Is Black and Blue’ signifies that it’s not the most popular genre of music anymore. Not even like the fifth or sixth most popular genre of music. Pop music, rap, country music, metal and electronica music are more popular than rock and roll, even though it used to be the most popular form of music. It almost made popular music, but now it’s just seen more as jazz – an old form of music, but it still has an energy to it. There’s a representative for each genre, like Lady Gaga and Jay-Z and Metallica and Green Day and arguably so, but there isn’t anyone of that stature for rock ‘n’ roll. There’s Wolfmother and Airbourne, but they’re nowhere in comparison to like a Lady Gaga or Kanye West in terms of popularity, so it really shows how much it’s not very popular. It’s underground almost. So that’s kind of what the title is saying and you can take from the title what you want, but for me personally that’s what it means. Can you talk about the single ‘Just a Beautiful Day’ lyrically? DJ: Lyrically, it’s actually how I don’t like beautiful days and how I don’t like the sun. [laughs] It was the first day of the year this year where everybody, at least in Canada, like L.A. you guys are lucky that it’s like this everyday, but in Canada, it’s winter for six months of the year, so the first day that it’s good and everybody busts out their shorts and their t-shirts and they just walk [everywhere], it was one of these days, a weird odd, freaky day where it was plus-20 or whatever that is in Fahrenheit, but I saw people walking around, and I couldn’t relate. One of the first noticeable things about that track is the drums and what Atom Willard brings to the song … DJ: Well that’s Atom. Atom’s been in the band for just over a year and it’s been great having him and he joined the band because he’s a fan of our band and we were fans of his band, so it was like a mutual meeting. In terms of drumming he wanted to take it back to how it was on our previous records. Obviously he’s going to do what he does, and especially on that record he really threw in a lot of the fills and stuff so it was good. Did you know it was going to be the single? John Calabrese: Hindsight’s always different when you put out the record because you don’t know what songs, cause you’re so attached to them that you don’t know what people are going to think is the single. I kind of have no idea, cause I know I like this one or that one, but I’m glad that that’s been taken as the song to represent this record in a way cause it has a lot of elements to it that are rocking and have a lot of melody. It can translate. You shot the video for the track with the Diamond Brothers, who already shot your documentary and several of your videos. What made them right for this? DJ: We had a good time making those videos for ‘Below the Belt’ and I think they knocked the documentary out of the park. It was really well done and put together considering the amount of footage they had to wade through that we gave them. And it was only natural to not fix what isn’t broken. If we went with them for a very simple black-and-white performance video, why change it up? JC: And they’ve been looking at our faces constantly for the last three years. They’ve been going through this footage and whatnot. Have to say, excellent work on the documentary and it really shows off what great showmen you are. Looking at some of the early footage through the present, you’ve really got command of that audience. DJ: It gets misinterpreted a lot by people who come to music, I think, young and they don’t understand where it’s coming from. But I have no time to explain it to them. I really don’t. I care that they don’t like our band, but I just have no time and they’ll have to come back to us when they grow up a little bit. That’s plagued us for a lot of time that we’ve been a band. Nobody understands that this is a tribute to the performance of a rock band more so than it is me shouting at people. The people who get it, get it, and it creates a strong bond between us and the audience when they do get it. I’ve seen audiences turn where they do understand mid-show what we’re doing and what this is about and there’s never ever been a show where I’ve come onstage and not been self-deprecating in a sly way. I’ve always made sure that I’ve telegraphed that to the audience. Now it’s up to them to be smart and understand it, and if they don’t understand it and don’t get it, well I’m telegraphing it to them. There’s nothing more I can do other than take out a billboard and tell them that I don’t really think of myself like this. It reminds me of one of the last times we played in America, could have been the last time we played where we did this huge festival called Rock on the Range in Columbus, and we got pretty much 99% bad comments after from these people who didn’t know. It wasn’t spoonfed to them, so they didn’t know. All they saw was some guy going, ‘I’m the best! I’m the best!’ … I’ve come to the point where I just can’t explain it. If you’re too stupid to get it, it’s not rocket science, it’s really not. I’m obviously not as stupid as you, but I’m not that smart either. So if you don’t get it, you’re just stupider. [laughs] Now I’m starting to realize that you can’t care. There will be a majority of people who will not understand what you’re doing and you’ve just got to be fine with that. Now that I’ve started writing for the Huffington Post, and you read the comments section, or you’re on Twitter or Facebook and you read these people’s comments, on social media, it’s so immediate and so accessible that people either don’t read or don’t think before they write or open their mouths and you really get an inside view as to how people really think, and wow, there’s a lot of really stupid people out there. [laugh] So you’ve got to march on. Before Twitter and Facebook, a comment meant so much more, and that was only three or four years ago, where it carried so much weight. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, if this person thinks that, then all these people thought that.’ Like, ‘We’ve really got to change the set times because this guy is really indicative of what everybody is thinking.’ Well, no, not really. Honestly, it’s really changed how I … it’s made me more confident to go, ‘No, I was right in the beginning.’ I second guessed myself for a long time, whether it’s the performance or comments that I say in interviews or anything like that, because that one comment carried so much weight. But even last week with the Huffington Post article, people were commenting and I’m like, ‘Did you not read the article? No? You did but you didn’t understand it.’ Okay, short of me asking for your email address and explaining it to you personally, there’s nothing much I can do. JC: To follow up on that, the performance thing, sometimes people come up to me and are like, ‘What’s wrong with him?,’ and pointing at him like why does he have so much attitude? It’s just like, they don’t understand it. It’s the showmanship and he’s really excited to be there and he’s never talked down to an audience. And just like he said with the self-deprecating comments, that just makes you equal to everyone else in the same room. The only difference is that he’s got a microphone and he’s a bit louder. Well, he’s the loudest guy in the room. [laughs] That’s the only difference and that’s it … It’s all for the purpose of being entertained. DJ: If Iggy Pop came out and was like coming out like he comes out onstage which is all guns blazing, but he came out going ‘Aw shucks guys,’ he wouldn’t be Iggy Pop . So there’s a certain amount of Iggy Pop and David Lee Roth and Paul Stanley and Freddie Mercury in the way that I approach the stage and attack the stage and talk to an audience. ‘You Wear Me Down’ is another great track on here, and it’s got that obvious Led Zeppelin feel and born out of a jam session… JC: Yeah, you just played the riff and jammed on it. Yeah, and I would record all the sessions we were doing and that jam is basically the template to what the song is and basically a little bit of polishing here and there, but that was it. So we’re like that’s gonna be [on the record]. DJ: There was one jam where we tried to match that in the studio, at least for me in terms of soloing, I was trying to match the demo of it. But I really get a kick out of that song, and maybe some people would consider that to be super classic rock on our part for a band that professes to have more of a punk background, but that in itself is why I wanted it on the record. You look at the discography and we did start out as a garage rock band, which was very basic and very primitive songs – sometimes not even choruses or bridges. And here we are, like six studios album in, and we’re taking a stab at Led Zeppelin . Zeppelin is and always has been the musician’s musician band. They were studio guys in there. So it does stand for something … and to take this primitive garage band and you can actually track it through our discography that we’re taking a stab at Zeppelin, I got a little kick out of that because you can see the growth of the band through the discography. JC: We played it for the Diamonds when they were in Toronto. We had them in the studio and they listened to the song and they just turned to us and said, ‘You guys went there.’ That was the first thing they said. So fans who know the band like those guys do will get it. DJ: It’s not a ground that a lot of bands tread because it’s holy ground and a lot of bands who have tried it have failed and been made fun of, but I think we did it in a more jovial way because of our background. There’s just nobody who’s going to think that we’re trying to rip off Zeppelin – especially with past albums where things sound like AC/DC or Kiss . This is just another stab at a rock sound and that’s why I also felt comfortable including it on the record and not throwing up a red flag like, ‘Aw, this is gonna paint us as this.’ We’re not going to be Kingdom Come or something. After listening to ‘I Believed in God,’ I have to ask how cool was it to have a gospel choir on a song? DJ: It was pretty cool, but it wasn’t originally intended when we brought the song into the session. It was a wish, but we hadn’t really nailed down gospel singers or anything and the organ was at the studio. We didn’t pick the studio for the organ, it just happened to be there, so things happened quite naturally. However, if we were so hellbent on having them before we started the session … I don’t think it would have come off as it did. It might have been better, it might have been worse, but it was cool that we found these girls and they did it. There was this one girl that’s on it, she was on it the most, and she really f—ing knocked it [out of the park]. When she started singing, I could really start seeing how the song would end up. It ended exactly as I thought when she started belting out the song thankfully. On the song ‘Legs,’ many props on the bass playing. DJ: Yeah, I agree man. The bass playing ‘Legs’ is one of the biggest reasons why I fought for that tune to be the first single. I thought it was really standout. JC: Thanks man. ‘Legs’ was a tune that we had for ‘Below the Belt’ and we went and added a twist to the chorus. [Danko] loved the riff that we had for ‘Below the Belt,’ but we never took it anywhere further. And then we felt that if we changed it to the ‘Legs, long legs’ part that became the chorus that it is now and the ‘Ooh la la’ part… DJ: We added the ‘Ooh la la’ and it sounded so much better. JC: It was just little things that we made up, and then to kind of color it there were a few little things I did on my end that kind of worked with the song that way. It does make it sound really raw. It is the band, so it’s not like I’m trying to go for something different, but it is a really fun song for sure. Off the new record, what are you most looking forward to playing live? DJ: Looking forward for me, I’d say ‘Terrified.’ It’s one of my favorite songs on the record and I can’t wait to play that song. It’s just heavy and all the half-steps I love, so it just makes things heavier and I like that. JC: We’re just about to start the journey that is the supporting of this record, so I’ll go with him on ‘Terrified.’ It’s gonna be fun. I really want to play ‘I Don’t Care’ cause that’s gonna be a real crowd pleaser and ‘Get Up,’ I can see those two ones there really working well in the set and bringing a lot of high energy. Obviously you’re moving forward with this record, but with this year of reflection with your ‘Bring on the Mountain’ documentary and ‘Too Much Trouble’ book, can you think back to what you hoped for as a new band back in the early days and how you view that now? DJ: It’s in the book and I did the interviews for the book before Atom was in the band, and what I say in the book was, for me, the only thing I wanted to do was tour with Rocket From the Crypt and record with Doug Easley, because Doug Easley recorded all those Blues Explosion jukebox 7-inches that I thought were like better than his records, so those were my goals. I remember saying that out loud, “I want to tour with Rocket, record with Doug Easley, and tour Japan.” I don’t know why those were the goals, and also get signed to a cool indie label in America like a Touch & Go or Matador or something. Only one of those things happened, which was we were able to play Japan. But the guy in Rocket when we started is now in our band. So, you know, it’s a yin-yang thing. Things have a way of evening out in the end. But had no idea that we would be taken around the world by Axl Rose or get to sing with Lemmy or get to sing ‘Night Train’ with Guns N’ Roses … Never knew any of that would happen. JC: And it’s still happening. We were in Toronto a few weeks ago and Jello [Biafra] was in town it was like, “We get to have lunch with Jello Biafra.” That’s just great. And we went to the show and [Danko’s] singing with him. Man, who would have thought? All these years later, look what we’re doing. DJ: I really think that that’s the way to do it. I think if we had a plan, it would have crumbled. [button href=”” title=”Next: Watch Danko Jones’ ‘Just a Beautiful Day’ Video” align=”center”]