By Carl Begai
Toronto rockers Danko Jones have been a buzz band for years. Europe caught on long before Canada and the United States, turning them into an annual staple on the metal festival of your choice sandwiched with some of metal’s finest. A support tour with Motörhead and Saxon in 2008 gave them a foothold in the UK, not to mention serious credibility amongst the old metal guard. Up until now Canada and the US have devoted half an eye to the band beyond the diehard fans that have been following them for a decade, but 2010 may well be the year things change for the better. It began with a coveted opening slot on the Canadian leg of Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy tour alongside countryman Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row) followed by a support tour with Clutch and select headline shows in the US. Add to this a brisk-selling Canadian headline tour announced prior to the official May release of new album Below The Belt and the rock trio seem to finally be on their way to getting the credit they deserve at home. Continue Reading
Just a brief update on what’s been floating my Canadian-made boat as of late, to be applauded or dismissed by anyone taking the time to read this. But, since I don’t generally write about crap unless conned into doing so or I feel the need to make fun of somebody (myself included; see Retro Fit) chances are pretty good my opinions are actually of worth (says the diva… 😉 ).
First off, the new self-titled Annihilator record is a killer. Guitarist / founder Jeff Waters shreds up a storm and nobody can take away Dave Padden’s rightful position as the band’s singer. It’s a grower though, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time through that I actually began hearing this album for the shredfest it is. Very ugly and mean just like the cover art, but that’s a good thing. As much as I like the previous record, Metal, I have to admit there’s an energy level and a lack of polish on the new one that makes it sit better between my ears. Been playing the hell out of it much the same way I did when Carnival Diablo came out all those year ago.
I recently spoke to Waters about the album; the interview will be online soon. Check out the album details here. Release date is May 17th… Continue Reading
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).”
Once again, a big thanks to those of you stopping by to check out my playground. And to those of you posting comments, thanks for keeping it clean and being pretty damn articulate and intelligent when you set off on an overview, commentary or critique. I enjoy the feedback, positive and not, and it’s definitely of worth. Keep ’em coming.
Currently up and running elsewhere (because it’s no fun staying in only one spot), I recently posted the larger portion of my recent interview with THE ALMIGHTY frontman Ricky Warwick on the BW&BK site here. He was a cool interview as always, discussing the here-and-not status of The Almighty, the death of his other band CIRCUS DIABLO, and being a folk artist. The folk-oriented portion of the interview is still available via Suite101.
I also supplied Suite101 with a review of DANKO JONES’ kick-ass B-Sides compilation, released earlier this year. You can find it here.