"AC/DC is a cookie-cutter band. That’s what every band should strive to be": Danko Jones loves AC/DC's Fly On The Wall and he's puzzled why other people don't

Danko Jones and the cover of AC/DC's Fly On The Wall
(Image credit: Danko Jones: Dustin Rabin)

Fly On The Wall sticks with me because that was the album they were promoting when MuchMusic, the video station – which is like the MTV of Canada – became free on cable for everyone. Literally overnight everybody had MuchMusic, so everyone at school was watching these videos; it just wasn’t, you know, the one lucky kid whose parents gave him everything. 

"Before, we would watch it, and you could hear the music, but the screen was scrambled. Suddenly now you can see everything. It was like getting the keys to Valhalla. And AC/DC, if memory serves me correctly, were promoting Fly On The Wall, so I saw the videos for Shake Your Foundations and Sink The Pink

“I think Shake Your Foundations and Sink The Pink are two of the best songs they’ve ever written. They’re the best songs on that album. And, truth be told, not on this latest [Danko Jones] album, but maybe six or seven of our eleven studio albums, 

"I listened to Shake Your Foundations and Sink The Pink every single time before I started to write riffs. I’m chasing those two songs. I want to write a song like Shake Your Foundations – the ‘I, aye, aye,' that part is like… oh my god! It’s so simple, but for some reason it hits me pretty hard."

“I am puzzled by why people shit on that album. I don’t get it. It’s a pretty strong record. All I kept reading was: ‘Oh, it’s cookie cutter’ – that was the term people used to describe this album. And it’s like, AC/DC is a cookie-cutter band. That’s what every band should strive to be. You want to have a signature sound. You want to be identified in five seconds or less. Motörhead, Slayer, AC/DC, Ramones, those four bands, in terms of hard rock and hard music, that’s what we are trying to be. 

“Angus once name-dropped Danko Jones in an interview, and I was not surprised, because I knew the back story. In 2002 there’s this kid who came up to us at the merch booth, and he said: ‘Angus Young is my uncle’. We saw him at two shows, and he said: ‘I asked my uncle to teach me how to play Sound Of Love off [Danko Jones album] Born A Lion.’ It was just so specific you had to believe it. 

"And sure enough, when that interview came out, he [Angus] named-dropped us. I was so happy that he did, because I had this story that I was telling people for over ten years, like: ‘We met Angus Young’s nephew, and according to him Angus taught him how to play Sound Of Love!’ Sound Of Love was based on two songs off Back In Black, so I was like, well, if anyone could play it, it’s Angus Young. 

“We collided with them at a Junos – which is like the Grammys of Canada – after-party. And Phil Rudd, Malcolm Young and Angus Young were all there just hanging out. There was no award they were being given, I think they just happened to be there. And they ushered them in, and we took photos with them… and I can’t find the fucking photo! I don’t even like thinking about it, because I had it!”

Danko Jones was speaking with Polly Glass. His new album Electric Sounds is out now.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.