Canadian Musician - November/December 2021 - Page 36

DANKO JONES

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JONES PERFORMING AT PUSTERVIK IN GOTHENBURG , SWEDEN ; 2017 in my life when we were writing the album was I was stuck at home , locked down .
“ If I was to write songs about going out on a date during lockdown , then you would know that it ’ s completely bullshit , because I couldn ’ t go out on a date during lockdown ; I just made that shit up . So , I don ’ t make shit up . I have to sing it every night , so I ’ ve got to believe it . A song like ‘ Get to You ’, where the chorus is kind of galvanizing the listener to get up and go , well , that ’ s me talking to me .”
Another example is “ Let ’ s Rock Together .” About that , Jones – who is very politically engaged and outspoken on Twitter – says , “ Another thing I would see is the divisiveness online , BLM protests , the Trump era thing dividing people , the overt racism , the bold racism , and that ’ s where that ’ s from . You know , let ’ s rock together . If you go through every album , I could tell you where all this is coming from , and if it ’ s made up , it ’ s made up in my head based on something that ’ s real to me , or something that I believe in .”
In terms of the process and timeline , writing Power Trio began before the pandemic , but once the lockdowns began , the writing continued in isolation . Jones would send recorded riffs to Calabrese , who would put together an arrangement to share with Knox , who would lay down his drums . In this way , the songs were built via shared files .
“ We ’ d have the arrangements , guitar and bass , then I ’ d send it to Rich and Rich would lay the drums on top , then we go from there ,” Calabrese explains . “ Like , ‘ Dangerous Kiss ’ was probably two minutes longer than it is now . We ended up chopping it and trimming the fat , so to speak , so that it ended up being what it was .”
Of the album ’ s complement of 11 tracks , the strutting “ Blue Jean Denim Jumpsuit ” was the first to be written from beginning to end , and proved to the trio that writing a record in this fashion could actually work .
“ I came up with the main riff , the verse riffs , and the chorus riffs ,” Jones says . “ I sent it to JC and he did a loose arrangement . At this point we ’ re kind of groping in the dark , because we ’ d not even jammed , so we didn ’ t know if this even works ; or at least I didn ’ t . I just thought it worked in my head enough to send it to him , or else I would ’ ve trashed it long before he heard it .” It wasn ’ t until the track came back with a drum part from Knox that things clicked , according to Jones .
“ I heard the arrangement and I was like , ‘ Okay , I can ’ t really make heads or tails of it . But when Rich sent his drums over , everything kind of jigsawed together and I just said , ‘ Wow , this is amazing .’ Like , ‘ This is exactly , if not better , than what I was thinking it would or could sound like if done properly .” To boot , Knox tacked on a succinct , syncopated drum intro that sets the
36 CANADIAN MUSICIAN