Volume 2 Issue 2
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
Back on the road with Joan Jett
Hi! Here we are again, out on the road. Our new album Notorious is out, so we are on the road.
I'd like to say "Thanks" to all of you for your support during these tough times. I'm looking forward to making this a long, thorough tour.
The Blackhearts are: Drums - Thommy Price, Guitar - Tommy Byrnes, Bass - Kenny Aaronson.
We've been off the road all year so we've got pent up stuff to get out. Hope to see you.
My Love - Joan Jett
How's the tour coming along?
JJ: It's been going great! The gigs have been real crowded and everyone's having a really good time.
This time out, you chose to play large clubs instead of arenas, was there any particular reason behind this decision?
JJ: There's a couple of reasons in all honesty. You have to be realistic about what's going on in the country. You can't just go into any arena because your ego dictates it. You can't play a 20,000 seat place when you're not capable of doing that. If you can't fill all 20,000 seats, then you shouldn't be playing there. We've decided to go into the smaller places and do our shows on a more intimate level and have a really good time with it.
Ricky Byrd left the band prior to the tour. Why did he leave?
JJ: Ricky left to pursue a solo career. As far as I know he's doing his own thing with his band. I didn't want to stand in his way, so he moved on. It was a totally friendly split and everything is cool.
Who is currently in the Blackheart line-up?
JJ: Thommy Price in on drums, Kenny Aaronson is playing bass and on guitar we have Tommy Byrnes.
Do you expect this line-up to stay together after the tour?
JJ: I hope we stay with these guys. I don't have a crystal ball, but everything is working out great and we're having a good time. I'm not going to make any predictions, we'll just wait and see what happens. I try not to make any predictions, because too many things change.
Will the tour continue into the spring and summer?
JJ: We hope to continue touring as long as we can. We would like to continue to play through the summer.
As the tour continues, will you remain a headliner in large clubs or go out on an arena tour supporting a bigger act?
JJ: It would have to be a band that I'm a really big fan of. There's nothing happening as for as an arena tour that I foresee right now.
What do you like most about being on tour?
JJ: Just the shows! The shows are a lot of fun for me. It's a real special time. That hour and a half on stage is the best because you get to hang out with the fans. The fans are the people who put you up on that stage and make it possible so you can continue to get up there. The shows are the most fun because I know that what I'm singing about is something other people can relate to. The mental part of relating to the audience is great, but I also enjoy the physical part of the show. The physical workout I get is a major thing to me. The harder it is the better it is for me.
What has been you best experience on tour this year?
JJ: It hasn't been that long of a tour yet so it's hard to say. We've had some great shows, but no one event that really stands out. We started out in Thailand and that was a little different. We did a few shows in Bangkok and that was a little different.
Will you be traveling overseas to play?
JJ: Yeah! We don't have any definite plans yet, but ultimately we plan to tour the States and then play Europe, England, Japan and Australia, but not necessarily in that order. We would love to play wherever they will have us.
In previous years, you've recorded new material while touring, have you been recording during this tour?
JJ: Not yet. Eventually I would like to start work on new material, but right now this album is still so brand new that we just want to work on that right now. Once new songs start coming to us, then we'll begin work on that. But right now, I'm just getting little ideas and coming up with little parts, but it's not songwriting time yet for me. I have to be ready to do that.
When can we expect another single release from Notorious?
JJ: We just did some filming in Philadelphia. We did two shows there. We filmed the audience and then we filmed the band live for "The Only Good Thing You Ever Said Was Good-Bye." So that song will be the next release.
In previous interviews you've seemed pretty fed up with the music business, is it that the business itself has gotten worse or have you gotten wiser to it?
JJ: The business has always been kind of lousy. I'm sure it's gotten a little worse, but it's hard for me to have a barometer on that. I think a lot of it has to do with being aware of what's going on and what's at stake. Knowing what really happens in the music business is really disgusting when you see who gets the money and the support. It's really frustrating because there's only so much you can do as an artist. You can tour, go make your videos and do interviews, but you can't force a song to be a hit record or force radio to play it. It all comes down to the audience. It's up to the fans. I remember when we released "I Love Rock N' Roll," the fans forced radio to play it. They bombarded radio with calls. The radio stations weren't playing it, they were telling me that we'd never get "I Love Rock N' Roll" on the radio and that it would never be played on Top 40 stations. A couple of months later after the fans kept calling, it turned into a major hit.
What sort of music have you been listening to lately? Do you have any favorite new releases?
JJ:Nirvana, Jane's Addiction and I'm really into this band out of Washington DC called Fugazi. They're a great band who are back to the ethics I respect. To me it's rock and roll. They remind me a lot of the late 70's punk stuff, at least in that same attitude and vein. I'm just waiting for the new Social Distortion to come out. I'm actually quite selective about what I listen to. I spend a lot of time listening to old stuff.
What goals have you set for 1992?
JJ: Just to make it through basically. We don't have a big game plan, we just do it. We don't plan out what we're going to be doing every month or that in June or July that we'll be doing anything different. Everything just sort of happens.
Message to the fans?
JJ: First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! My message is like all my other messages, just to say thank you for all you continued support. It's been really heart warming especially this year to see everyone coming out and saying 'Hi.' Times are tough, but it's really good that we can all still get together and have a good time in each individual city. I really appreciate everybody and I want the fans to know that. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody this year on tour. I'm very lucky to have such a special audience.
Q & A
Q: Now that you have been in the music business for 15 years, looking back at it all, how do you feel professionally - do you feel you have accomplished what you set out to do?
A: Yeah definitely! I wanted to prove girls could rock, HARD, and it doesn't make you a monster. And I wanna continue putting out good, solid rock n' roll records.
Q: You seem like a very strong, aggressive person, is there anything that you feel you can't do?
A: Run for President. Too many skeletons. I would, if I could, attempt anything! If you believe in yourself, even if you fall, you gave it your best shot, and that's all you can ask of yourself.
Q: How did the song, "Don't Surrender" come about? And who is Jill Ireland?
A: Jill was Charles Bronson's wife, also a wonderful actress. We met over the possibility of me co-starring with Charles B. in a movie. We became great friends, she turned me on to crystals, etc. and taught me a lot during our friendship. When she died, I was very upset, but channeled that (what I saw in Jill: strength, honor, dignity) and wrote "Don't Surrender" with Desmond, inspired by Jill.
Q: I originally heard that Notorious was tentatively titled, Out Of Bounds. What happened to that title?
A: I changed it. Notorious is me.
Q: What made you decide to re-record "Wait For Me?" And do you plan on doing any more Runaways songs?
A: I've always loved "Wait For Me." I'm very proud of that song. It's real, about my life. Plus it's a way to keep The Runaways music out there. And, I don't know about doing more. Maybe. . .
Q: Who were you talking about when you did "Machismo"?
A: A lot of people. I meet'em every day. It wasn't about one person. A collage of jerks basically. Or it could be Bush!
Q: Do you have any idea of which songs will be singles and videos from Notorious?
A: Vaguely. If we get one hit, we've got at least 5. "Don't Surrender" is out now. Could be "The Only Good Thing," "Ashes," "Lie To Me," "Treadin' Water" and "Goodbye."
Q: Have you considered releasing a Greatest Hits album since most of your earlier material is not available on compact disc?
A: No greatest hits - all of those out of print records will be re-issued on CD and cassette. Bad Reputation, I Love Rock N' Roll, Album, Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth. We're working out details now. Don't know when though.
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