In a time when the labelled boy band conjures up images of pop tunes, slick dance routines and perfectly manicured teenage lads. McFly are an unusual phenomenon. They play their own instruments, write their own songs, and don’t have a dance routine in sight. As they prepare to return to Ipswich for another sell out gig, Helen Johns spoke to Danny Jones about the buzz of performing live.
At the age of just twenty, Danny Jones has achieved more than most guys his age could dream of. He’s enjoyed a string of hits with McFly, travelled the world and his regularly mobbed my thousands of adoring screaming fans. And with the McFly success juggernaut showing no sign of slowing down since the journey began 3 and half years ago, Danny say’s he and the band are having a fantastic time. He said “I love it! It’s awesome. Going on tour is great and writing songs is great!”. “We write all the time and we’ve got loads of songs in the pipeline, the tour is going to be hearing all the singles and some new songs. Its going to be a great night out and a great event.” “I love seeing the crowd going nuts to the songs, jumping around and being silly.”
Despite his youth, Danny cites Bruce Springsteen and The Who as his biggest musical influences and says that when it comes to performing he wants to emulate bands like the red hot chilli peppers. “I watched Bruce Springsteen as a kid and I thought ‘I want to do that one day’ and now I am, it’s just amazing” he said. “What I love watching is bands like the chilli’s because they are not like all other acts who have loads of lights and nice stuff around them.” “With the chilli’s they just come on, go nuts for the whole performance. That’s a real highlight with them.”
In their time together McFly have played venues as big as Wembley or as small as theatres like the regent. “I like the big and the small gigs” Says Danny. “With the small gigs you get more nervous because the people are right there in front of you. But the big ones are just epic.” “It’s the best feeling, performing is amazing and the best rush you can get.”
But while the red hot chilli peppers are revered in rock circles the world over, being in a band that is most popular with teenage girl’s means it can be difficult to gain a serious musical reputation. Danny said, “It is a struggle to be taken seriously but if you listen to the tunes and the songs we write, it’s amazing.” “A lot of the bands at the moment are all about being cool and indie. I don’t love that music but I prefer it to the rubbish dance songs that used to be everywhere.”
“The typical top of the pops thing used to be to get up there and be a solo artist.”
“Now I see more bands coming through again, but we’re not cool because we’re a pop band. But the whole thing will come around again.”
He knows he can expect a regent theatre full of screaming girls when the band arrives here in April – and while they have yet to attract the serious rock bands he remains happy to entertain the sell out crowd. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with lots of teenage girls jumping around to your music.” “If the people who look down on us came to our gigs they wouldn’t walk away disappointed, they would walk away genuinely surprised at how good we are at playing.” “I would say just come along and listen rather than have an image about us straight away.”
And when it comes to other music being made at the moment, Danny also knows exactly what he thinks – and in particular the kind of songs and people who are made famous on television talent shows such as The X factor.
After asking whatever happened to Steve Brookstein – and x factor winner in 2004, Danny said he thinks the latest winner Leona Lewis wont be given a fair enough chance to hold onto her fame. He wasn’t a fan of her debut single which became the Christmas number one. He said, “Those people get the attention for a week – its there for a week and then its over. I feel sorry for them because there is hype when the people win but they just don’t stick around. If I was Leona’s manager I would want to see her as the next Whitney Houston or Toni Braxton.” “The reason she won was because of the type of songs she sung. I want to write her a really big song something like I Will Always Love You.”
With McFly’s time in the spotlight not looking likely to fade anytime song Danny says he wants to keep on making music for as long as he can. He said, “I thought the excitement about McFly had gone for a bit and it’s really nice to have it still and know there is excitement about us.” “As a band we do everything together, we live on the same street and even if we’re not always in the band we will always be friends. But I think the band will last forever.”