JOE ELLIOTT On DOWN 'N' OUTZ David Bowie Tribute/THIS IS HOW WE ROLL Songs
Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott was recently interviewed for a podcast and mentioned the Down 'n' Outz new album.
Joe spoke to Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon for his Far Out! Podcast to promote the new Down 'n' Outzalbum.
This was episode 8 of his new podcast series which began in late 2019. The interview took place in December just before Christmas.
Joe talked about The Stadium Tour 2020, ticket sales, Down 'n' Outz band history, This Is How We Roll album/song, Vocals/American Influences/Last Man Standing, Goodnight Mr. Jones, Song Lyrics, Frank Playing With Def Leppard, High 'n' Dry Album, Rocks Off Played Live Again?/, On Through The Night Album and His Two Radio Shows.
This Is How We Roll Album
Joe talked about the making of the This Is How We Roll album and the style of its songs.
He also discussed the title track and his own rhythm guitar playing on the album.
David Bowie Tribute
Joe once again discussed how he wrote the David Bowie tribute song 'Goodnight Mr. Jones'. Today, 8th January, marks what would have been David Jones' 73rd birthday.
Listen to the full 43 minute interview below.
Joe's part starts at 7:24 mins in and lasts until the end.
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Far Out! Podcast/Frank Hannon - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes - (Transcribed by dltourhistory)
Down 'n' Outz This Is How We Roll
"And then cut to the third album. We got together, we did a tour. We did a tour with Paul Rodgers. We did a tour of clubs on our own. And then we all went our separate ways to go back to our day jobs. As we talked over the years about a third album. We knew we'd kind of done the Mott thing to death. That well was dry now so we briefly discussed the idea of doing other people's songs maybe Humble Pie, Wings, ELO, 10CC. God knows what."
"But about ten minutes after that conversation I just said what about we try writing an album instead. And they all just went OK if we get the chance you know. Well I just kept attacking it and waited for them to make some kind of contribution to it. Which never happened you know."
"But with me there wasn't because when I sat down to write for this project. I sat down at the piano. Which as you can imagine is not something that happens very frequently in a Def Leppard writing session. So I knew that whatever I came up with wasn't gonna be a conflict of interest with Def Leppard at all you know. So I wrote seven or eight songs on the piano. I did write two on a guitar. But again I wrote them in such a way that they were a different style altogether."
"They were more leaning towards Humble Pie on MC5 or something like that than they were Def Leppard I think. For the most point."
This Is How We Roll Song
"Well This Is How We Roll is a classic example of the one that I wrote on the piano but that opening riff is very very kind of Steve Marriott, Pete Frampton, Humble Pie-ish. Little bit of Brain Capers Mott The Hoople. It's very '70s and that is me on the intro. The Intro guitar is me."
"And it's just like Ronan our sound guy gets a great sound and then gives me the guitar. Now I don't have the finesse of people like yourself or Phil or Vivian. But I've got that crunchiness that you get out of Johnny Thunders or Chrissie Hynde or you know any of these guys that are just rhythm players you know."
"So and because I wrote it, it sounds good when I play it because that how it sounds in my head. That's why it got written that way so it worked fine. And then the other guys Paul and Griff come in and they do all the really cool stuff. So you get this great balance of slop and precision all put into one bucket and spun round you know. "
"So that's how it happened. I started writing the demos 2014/2015 and over the years we had to get together for two or three days at a time and then just mothball the project. But because the songs were very '70s they were never gonna age badly because they're already from a different head space. This album wouldn't have sounded much different if it came out three years ago. Or if it came out in three years time."
"The production may have changed but song wise not much would have changed arrangement wise. melody wise it would have been the same. So I didn't have a worry about how long it took. I was just concerned that I'd never get it finished. But when we finally did. We did the final mix of the song Boys Don't Cry which was the last mix we did. That was the last song to be written. The week after we got inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. So right up till then I was mixing this record."
"We took a break to go and work on that for a week and then I came back here and went back into Down 'n' Outz mode and finished the album off. So it's very exciting doing that but it's a little nervy because you know you're jumping from one head space to another and you've gotta kind of not forget where you were when you go off to do something else. So when you get back you don't go now where were we?. You know I had to keep it alive in my mind. So as I'm doing the speech at the Hall Of Fame in the back of my mind I'm thinking gotta get back to the Down 'n' Outz album."
"It was kind of a wild week. It really was, but I'm so glad we got it finished. And you know like I said the songs come from a different place. They come from, you know, I didn't have to worry about the guys in Leppard thought. I was writing from a more introspective spot. From a lyrical point of view and musically I didn't have to worry whether they thought it was not musical enough. And in fairness Paul Guerin the guitar played that plays most of the solos on the album. Really bough into how I wanted it to sound and the stuff that he played on songs like Creatures. And the solos that he plays on Goodnight Mr. Jones and on Last Man Standing are just to die for."
"I said I want you to be my Mick Ronson and he said you don't even have to ask. And you know it was that kind of relationship. It was so easy. We just slotted together like we'd known each other all our lives. It was very cool."
Vocals/American Influences/Last Man Standing
"Oh yeah for sure. Interesting you say The Doobies. That must come from the harmonies or something. Musically when I first started writing that song. It's one of those songs where I was moving the root note. I was moving the left hand up a tone but leaving the left hand on the original key, you know, chord. So you got this like weird twist. It's not Jazz but it's just very Todd Rundgren-ish. But it actually sounded like Joe Jackson when I first started putting it together. And I thought I'm OK with that."
"I mean I'm a huge fan of '70s Joe Jackson stuff. So yeah I mean I can see where that would leak in. I can hear what you're saying about Skynyrd. For me it was more Leon Russell. Of that kind of sound on a song called Let It Shine and on the song Walking To Babylon. Is very much of that kind of Skynyrd, just the size of it. The piano being, not getting in the way of the guitars but making it sound different to a band that's only guitars."
Goodnight Mr. Jones
"Well Goodnight Mr. Jones is my Bowie tribute. David Bowie was born David Jones and changed his name because at the time that he was trying to break through in the UK. Davy Jones from The Monkees was the biggest pop star in the world. So couldn't have two David Jones. So he changed his name to David Bowie. But everybody knew he was born Jones."
"So I wrote that piece of music and to me it had a kind of same kind of feel as a song like Life On Mars by Bowie. And I was always gonna do some kind of tribute to him 'cause he's been such an inspiration to me as a fan of Bowie's music since I was 11 years old. And I mean just an enormous fan of his work all my life pretty much."
"So I was devastated when he died and once I'd written that song I thought wow this is starting to sound like Spiders From Mars stuff. I really thought well I might as well go the whole way and I'll write it about Bowie you know. And I was playing with words and all of a sudden when I got to the chorus but it just came out. It was like catching lightning. My mouth just went blurgh...and out came the words Goodnight Mr. Jones. And I though ooh. That's nice and tasty that's a good title."
"And then all of a sudden I had the stars have your spirit and the earth has your flesh and your bones. And I went wow!. OK. I didn't even feel like I'd written it. I felt like I'd stolen it you know what I mean. It's like this is just one of those magic moments where you go 'whooh that's nice'. And I just had to make sure that the rest of the song never dipped below that you know."
"And as I said musically it is very much in that '70s mode but the guitar solo in the middle that Paul Guerin did. Still if I'm listening to it the hairs on my arms start to stand on up because he absolutely just nailed that period of time all in one minute of guitar playing. You know it's a long solo for a song that's so short but it really works."
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