Danko Jones is a Canadian rock band from Toronto, Ontario. The band consists of Danko Jones (vocals/guitar), John 'JC' Calabrese (bass guitar) and Atom Willard (drums).
Formed in 1996, they played consistently for two years in and around the north-eastern United States and Canada, opening for The New Bomb Turks, Nashville Pussy, Blonde Redhead, The Make-Up, The Dirtbombs, The Chrome Cranks and The Demolition Doll Rods. Originally they did not even want to release an album opting to have the band's live reputation spread via word of mouth.
Eventually, the trio relented and put out a self-titled six song e.p. on Sonic Unyon records in 1998. In 1999 they released the self-produced My Love Is Bold E.P. and achieved national exposure with the single "Bounce". They were nominated for a Juno Award in 2000 for Best Alternative Album.
In 2001 Bad Taste Records released a compilation of the band's early recordings, demos, and b-sides entitled, I'm Alive and On Fire. A 5 week European tour followed to promote the release including shows at the Roskilde festival in Denmark and Hultsfred festival in Sweden. By the end of the year they had returned 2 more times, most notably as main support for the Backyard Babies.
2002: Born A Lion
In 2002 they released their first full-length album, Born A Lion, produced by Bill Bell, on Bad Taste Records in Europe and on Universal in Canada. The band did several European tours and two Canadian tours to promote the record including an unprecedented repeat performance at Roskilde and the now legendary return to Hultsfred as well as notable stops to Pukkelpop in Belgium and The Lowlands festival in the Netherlands. They also managed to grab the opening slot with The Rolling Stones on their "40 Licks" World tour kick-off show at the Palais Royale in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 16, 2002.
2003: We Sweat Blood
2003 saw the release of We Sweat Blood, produced by Matt DeMatteo, and the group taking a heavier approach to their hard-rock sound. More touring followed that included Europe and Japan. They were also nominated for two Junos: Best Rock Album (Born a Lion) and Best video (Lovercall).
While success was happening abroad, home relations with Universal Canada had soured and the band was dropped mid-album run. Explanations from the label were vague, but speculations point to Jones' February 2004 appearance on CBC Sunday where Jones appeared as a pro-downloader opposite then CRIA president, Brian Robertson. Getting dropped from Universal Canada did little to stop the group as they continued to tour heavily for the rest of the year well into 2004 with bands like Turbonegro, Sepultura and The Bronx. While touring they managed to pick up another Juno nomination for Best Rock Album (We Sweat Blood) and tour Australia as well as more European dates including Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park in Germany and Download, Leeds and Reading in England.
2005-2006: Sleep Is The Enemy
Early 2005 was taken up by recording the follow-up to We Sweat Blood, but not without a series of tours amidst recording that brought the band to the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa. In April, American label, Razor & Tie released We Sweat Blood and the band set out to America in support as well. Working two releases simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic proved quite hard and the worldwide release for the upcoming album, Sleep Is The Enemy, produced by Matt DeMatteo, was pushed back to 2006.
During the summer and fall of 2005 the band toured America heavily with two of We Sweat Blood's singles being second most added to active rock radio in America ("Lovercall" and "Forget My Name"). Stateside tours with Flogging Molly, Our Lady Peace, The Supersuckers, and The (International) Noise Conspiracy followed. Prior to the release of Sleep Is The Enemy drummer Damon Richardson left the band, citing fatigue as a reason for leaving. He was replaced by Dan Cornelius.
In January and February 2006, under new Canadian label, Aquarius Records, the band set out to do their first Canadian tour in almost 4 years opening up for Nickelback, With the release of Sleep Is The Enemy came more touring including America and a headlining European club tour with support from Brant Bjork & The Bros.
The summer saw them perform at Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, With Full Force and Wacken Open Air in Germany; Hellfest and Furiafest in France, Metaltown in Sweden, Pinkpop and Lowlands in The Netherlands, Tuska Festival, Ruisrock and Ankkarock in Finland, Gampel in Switzerland and Wireless in the UK among at least a dozen more. In October 2006, a 2 week tour of Norway saw the band play with ex-Kyuss front-man, John Garcia who appeared on the song "Invisible" off Sleep Is The Enemy.
2008: Never Too Loud
Their fourth album, Never Too Loud was released on February 27, 2008 and produced by Nick Raskulinecz. The album yielded three singles, "Code Of The Road" followed by "Take Me Home" and "King Of Magazines". A major city tour of Europe in April 2008 was followed by a Canadian tour in May and a three month stint in Europe playing almost 30 dates on the festival circuit that included Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park and With Full Force in Germany; Bospop and Lowlands in The Netherlands; Sziget Festival in Hungary; Rabarock in Estonia; Provinssi Rock in Finland; and Eurockeennes and Hellfest in France, where Jones got to sing on stage with one of his favorite bands, Death Angel for the song, "Bored". In the fall/winter of 2008 Danko Jones toured England, Germany, France and Benelux opening for Motörhead.
On February 3, 2009 B-Sides was released in Europe only - a collection of previously released b-sides from European singles and unreleased tracks that spanned 1996 to 2008. On February 24 they commenced a 7 week tour in support of the release that spanned The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France and the UK with support coming from The Backyard Babies, Winnebego Deal and The Black Spiders. The CD yielded the singles "Sugar High" and "My Problems (Are Your Problems Now)". A greatest hits compilation titled This Is Danko Jones was released on April 7 the same year in Canada only.
In the summer the band managed a few festival appearances, most notably, the Sziget Festival in Hungary on the main stage with Faith No More and The Offspring, as well as Huntenpop in The Netherlands, Wintherthur and Gampel Open Air in Switzerland, Parken Festival in Norway and Jurassic Rock in Finland. In January and February 2010 the band toured across Canada with Guns N' Roses and Sebastian Bach. In March the same year they toured the United States with Clutch.
2010: Below the Belt
Their fifth album Below the Belt was released on May 11, 2010 and produced by Matt DeMatteo. The album's first single, "Full of Regret", features Elijah Wood, Lemmy Kilmister, Selma Blair and Mike Watt in the accompanying video. It debuted at #36 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks in November. It is also featured on EA's NHL 11 soundtrack. The second single, "Had Enough", has Ralph Macchio appearing in the accompanying video.
On June 8, 2011 Danko Jones announced on the band's website that drummer Dan Cornelius was no longer with the band. In the same statement Danko Jones said Atom Willard had joined as a replacement. In a March 2012 question-and-answer session with fans on Twitter Danko Jones said: "Dan's time with the band had run its course but it was completely mutual from both sides. An amicable split."
2012: New Album
In early 2012 Danko Jones revealed the band was working on a new album, posting footage of the writing process on the band's YouTube channel. Jones said the album was likely to be out in the European fall (autumn). He added a book and DVD about the band's history would also be released in 2012.
Albums Born a Lion (2002) (Bad Taste Records / Universal Canada) We Sweat Blood (2003) (Bad Taste Records / Razor & Tie) Sleep Is the Enemy (2006) (Bad Taste Records | Aquarius Records) Never Too Loud (2008) (Bad Taste Records / Aquarius Records) Below the Belt (2010) (Bad Taste Records / Aquarius Records)
EPs and Others Sugar Chocolate 7" (1998) (Sonic Unyon) Danko Jones EP (1998) (Sonic Unyon) My Love Is Bold (1999) (Sound King / Outside Music) I'm Alive and on Fire (2001) (Bad Taste Records) Ritual of the Savage 10" (split with Gluecifer & Peter Pan Speedrock) (2003) (Drunken Maria / Suburban) B-Sides (2009) (Bad Taste Records) This Is Danko Jones (2009) (Canadian-only greatest hits release) (Emd Int'l Records) Having Fun on Stage with Danko Jones 7 (2009) (Yeah Right! Records) Mouth to Mouth (2011) (digital-only release) Bring On the Mountain (2012) (DVD)