DANKO JONES with THE CHICKENS and BIONIC at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West), Monday (December 31). $15. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
Don't be surprised if you hear precious little from suave rockers Danko Jones in the coming months.
It's not that the sharply dressed power trio have packed it in. They're just focusing their attention on people who care.
For almost four of the last six months, Danko Jones have been touring Europe, playing massive summer festivals, appearing on MTV Europe and opening sold-out shows for Sweden's Backyard Babies before headlining their own string of similarly rammed gigs.
With some seriously committed fans on their side in Europe, the threesome are working hard to make the phrase "big in Oslo" more than the punchline to a bad joke. At the very least, swanning around scenic Sweden and Norway in a double-decker tour bus sure beats a gruelling drive in a van from Thunder Bay to Saskatoon.
"This tour we just finished was fucking amazing," Jones gushes. The trio play a rare local show New Year's Eve at Lee's Palace. "It was sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. It was like Circus Magazine come to life.
"We played this small town in Norway, and to get there you have to fly two hours north from Oslo. We were above the Arctic Circle. There were about 100 people in the club, and everybody was falling over each other and screaming the lyrics back at me. I was like, 'Fuck man, I wrote these lyrics five years ago at my parents' house in Scarborough.' It was so bizarre.
"The whole situation's gotten out of hand. We were in Kerrang! I used to buy that when I was 15 years old to find out what Metal Church were doing. Everything's just happening a lot quicker there than here. And, everybody is bangin' hotter in Sweden. It's brutal."
With the ball rolling along nicely, it only makes sense that Danko Jones keep up the momentum.
A week after getting off the road, the band are heading back into the studio to bang out another record. With no big-label Canadian deal on the books, though, it looks like the as-yet- untitled record, like 2001's I'm Alive And On Fire, could be a Europe-only release. Mr. Jones is not concerned.
"I don't even know or really care if the record is going to come out here," he laughs. "I mean, I care, but we have all this other shit going on right now.
"We're recording this month and in February, and we should have it out by the end of March. There are two different labels in Europe that want to put it out. We're also going to be on a Ramones tribute with the Dwarves, Hellacopters and the singer from Roxette. We're doing Return Of Jackie & Judy.
"We just feel much more at home there. What took us five years to achieve here took only six months there."Y