By Carl Begai
I recently caught up with Danko Jones to discuss his new album, Below The Belt, and because he and I both call Toronto home conversation invariably turned to Canadian metal – past and present – and growing up on the local scene back in the day. One topic of discussion was vocalist Sebastian Bach, easily the loudest personality of that era. Baz was also the man that put Skid Row on the map back in 1989 and took the band’s voice, face and fame with him when he got the boot in 1996. Danko, an admitted Bach fan, toured with him on the January 2010 Canadian leg of the current Guns N’ Roses tour, an experience he would be only too happy to repeat. He looks back on sharing the road with his fellow former Willowdale native… ironically, the same part of town where I grew up. It’s a small world.
Danko: “Growing up in Toronto and going to shows, my biggest goal was to play the Concert Hall because that where all the shows I went to were. That level of band to me was ‘You made it!’ If you could get on a tour and be the first of three bands on a night, you were in. I remember seeing Testament, Savatage and Nuclear Assault there; Nuclear Assault were first up and for me it was like ‘Aw man, they made it!’. So sometimes when we get on those tours where we’re first of three I have to remind myself that that’s what I wanted (laughs).”
“Being from Toronto was a good starting point for the Guns N’ Roses tour. I loved Sebastian Bach’s voice and his records long before I met him, and being from Toronto it was so awesome to see a guy who made it in rock, and in a big fucking way too. It’s not like he’s a guy where people say, ‘Oh, the dude from Kix is from Toronto..?’ (laughs). No way, this is Sebastian from Skid Row! He actually lived in the same area of Toronto I grew up in as a kid so that was our common ground. The first day of the tour I was really, really nervous because we were first up on something like an old guard rock guy show. I knew the gig could be amazing or it could be hellish. I walked by Sebastian’s dressing room and he yelled out my name, high-fived me, and it was like a dream, man! It was a great way to start the tour.”
“Sebastian is the kind of guy that’s always kind of worn everything on his sleeve, and it’s awesome. I think people can really identify with that part of his personality. I’d always wanted to meet him, and I told him that on the second last night of the tour. We watched Guns N’ Roses together every night. He was really nice, and it’s great when it works out where people you admire turn out to be as cool as you imagined.”
Watch for my complete interview with Danko, due to be published prior to the May 14th release of Below The Belt. In the meantime, go pre-order / buy some music by clicking the images below. Support high quality Canadian-made noise; it does a body good 😉