DANKO JONES featuring JOHN GARCIA with the ILLUMINATI and ROCKETFACE at the Mod Club (722 College), Tuesday (December 5), 8 pm. $16.50. 416-588-4663. Rating: NNNNN
For the members of Danko Jones, it was a dream come true. No, not getting involved in a war of words with k-os, but, rather, throwing down onstage with former Kyuss frontman John Garcia during their recent European tour.
The mutual admiration that resulted in Garcia singing on the Sleep Is The Enemy (Aquarius) album track Invisible was supposed to be a one-off recording collabo, but everything came together so smoothly, they decided to follow it up with a few concert dates together in Norway last month.
And based on the enthusiastic crowd response at those four shows, Danko Jones decided they had to reprise the event once more for the hometown fans at the Mod Club.
"This whole thing with John Garcia happened really naturally," says Danko from Madrid. "When he agreed to do some shows with us in Norway, it didn't seem right for him to be flying all that way just to sing Invisible, so we kicked around a few ideas for other songs we could perform together - something by [his groups] Kyuss, Unida and Hermano along with a few other things.
"They were tunes we both knew, so it wasn't any trouble at all to get them down in a day and a half, but hearing that familiar voice singing them over my left shoulder was kind of surreal. At the Oslo concert I could see people in the front wearing Kyuss shirts, so when I started my introduction, the chant started - 'Ky-uss, Ky-uss' - and when he appeared the place went nuts!"
Along with the covers, which Danko asked not be named to avoid spoiling the surprise, the "other things" he mentioned included a new composition, 5000 Miles. It's a song Danko wrote with Garcia in mind as a way of saying thanks for singing Invisible, and it's slated to be recorded for Garcia's forthcoming solo project, currently in the works and due out in 2008.
"5000 Miles was inspired by something I read in an interview with John where he was talking about his reluctance to tour because he misses being with his family. I e-mailed him the lyrics along with a note that said if he hated it, no problem - I'd write 50 more until I came up with one he thought was good enough. He called me up the next day to say, 'Stop writing, this one's great!'
"Because I'd written the song for three acoustic guitars, I wasn't sure if we could play it, but with Dan (drummer Dan Cornelius) in the band, it was no problem. We're tighter now than we've ever been. Learning five or six new songs in a couple of days wasn't difficult for us at all, whereas with the previous lineup learning just one new tune would've been a challenge."
As for Garcia, he couldn't be happier with the way his ongoing collaboration with Danko Jones has developed.
"We connected even before we met eye to eye," says Garcia. "My manager in Holland is a fan of Danko Jones, and he's the one who initially suggested that I check out the band. So I got their CDs and sat out on the deck one night and listened to their entire catalogue, and I liked what I heard - I liked their sound and their attitude. Danko's not just a good songwriter, he's a great songwriter."
Tuesday evening's Mod Club show will be Danko Jones's first appearance in Toronto since the k-os kerfuffle. Danko Jones became implicated when the Mango Kid used the letters page of NOW to question k-os's blog attack on NOW writer Jason Richards for what was essentially a positve review of his Atlantis: Hymns For Disco album. That letter prompted k-os to announce the formation of a rock band of his own called Stanko Jones. Ouch.
"That sounds like something an eight-year-old would say," sighs Danko. "That's when I realized I was dealing with a halfwit and should just stop.
"But I'd invite him to form a rock band. Maybe it'll turn out even better than when Saukrates tried to rock out. Do you remember that video with Saukrates wearing a purple jumpsuit and holding a guitar? Now, that was amazing!"