Danko Jones
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Danko Jones

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It is vivid testimony to the famed work ethic of Danko Jones that their idea of ‘taking a break’ is
to temporarily halt their relentless touring in favour of an extra period of writing and pre-production
for their next record. This time was well spent, as their fourth full-length album, Never Too
Loud, is a work already being hailed as the best Danko disc yet.
After five years of gigging their guts out on five continents and 30 countries, the Toronto hard
rock trio called a time out at the end of 2006. Securing the highly coveted services of ace
Grammy-winning rock producer Nick Raskulinecz, (Rush, Foo Fighters, Coheed & Cambria,
Stone Sour, Velvet Revolver) spurred the band into a feverish and fruitful writing period, prior to
setting up shop with Nick in Los Angeles.
“We talked with Nick about the record and where we wanted it to go back from last February,”
explains singer/guitarist/mainman Danko. “Those discussions really pointed to the direction
of the writing, so when we went into the studio for a week of pre-production, there were only
minor changes”.
Raskulinecz’s sonic input proved invaluable. “We really wanted to step it up sonically on this
album, and Nick was the perfect guy for that,” says Danko. “I’m a fan of a lot of the bands he
has produced, so I knew we had shared views musically. It was just a matter of making sure we
could get along as people. Turns out he is a real nice guy, cool and laid back, and that made
the [two month long] session real easy.”
It didnt hurt that Danko Jones recorded the new disc at Studio 606 in Los Angeles. Some
fiendishly good rock has been spawned in the room; Never Too Loud can now be added to that
impressive resume.
Danko Jones have never sounded better on disc than here. The fire and energy that has made them live favourites around the globe is captured
intact here, while subtle production touches reveal themselves when you crank this up high. From the kick in the guts opening rock salvo of “Code
Of The Road” (the first single) to the super-charged anthemic title track closer, Never Too Loud takes you on a joyride you just don’t want to
stop. The tight take no prisoners rhythm section of drummer Dan Cornelius and bassist JC (John Calabrese) provides the perfect foundation for
Danko’s signature sizzling guitar work and howling at the moon jugular-grabbing vocals. This is a power trio in the classic sense of the word.
Danko Jones have also upped the ante in their songwriting. They stick to the plot stylistically, but it’s one with enough musical twists and turns to
keep your interest level high. “We know who we are, and there is something to be said for bands that stick to the story,” stresses Danko. “They’re
the ones who have survived - Motorhead, AC/DC, Slayer, The Ramones. Our story is hard rock, and we did encompass a little more of different
styles of hard rock on this album. You won’t find a song here where you go, ‘ooh, this is a nice symphonic piano ballad.’”
There’s a real melodic sweetness to “Take Me Home,” but it still rocks, while stun guns are set on high for “Forest For The Trees.” This Sabbath
style 6 minute epic features vocal contributions from punk legend Pete Stahl (Wool, Scream, Goatsnake) and John Garcia of Kyuss (a good friend
who has previously recorded and toured with Danko).
Lyrically, the eternal themes of lust, love and sex are again explored, as on “Let’s Get Undressed” and the self-deprecating “Still In High School.”
“It wouldn’t be a Danko Jones record without a few of those,” says Danko. “I still have two eyes and a libido, and you want to talk or sing about a
hot girl you just saw. Those songs will never go away.” That’s good news, as no-one does lascivious quite like Danko. Their hormonally-charged
looks at lust are always laced with tongue in (her) cheek humour.
Other songs look at another key component of the Danko Jones existence. “A big part of our lives for the past 12 years has been about being out
on the road with each album,” stresses Danko. “‘Code Of The Road’ “City Streets” and ‘Take Me Home’ are all about different aspects of being
on the road.”
The weary road warrior of “Take Me Home” just wants to be “home where my records are…. I’m turning on the stereo first thing when I get home.”
Such a confession points to another Danko truth. After all these years, he remains, first and foremost a fervent music fan. He currently writes
columns about his passion in three European magazines, while his long-running radio show, The Magical World Of Rock, is syndicated to stations
in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Canada.
Danko Jones’ career now spans four full-length albums (2002’s Born A Lion, 2003’s We Sweat Blood, and 2005’s Sleep Is The Enemy, 2008’s
Never Too Loud), numerous EPs, collections, and compilation cuts (1996-1999), and multiple Juno Award nominations (Canada’s version of the
Grammy).
Danko Jones have attained genuine rock hero status in Europe over the past five years. T