Described as being the Dennis Potter of indie rock ans self described as being angry, ill and as ugly as sin, Johnny Daukes (JD), along with his debut LP Promise (which has gained nothing but fantastic reviews), are certainly set to attract the attention of anyone with ears and a love for lo-fi recordings, only not quite as we know them. Answering all of the 69 randomly offered questions, be they relevant or otherwise, JD opens a wafer thin doorway into his tongue in cheek soul as he candidly answers each and every last one.
AS: When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at?
JD: My foot usually.
AS: Where do you go when it all gets too much?
JD: Somewhere cheaper.
AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
JD: Half nine with fully red eyes. Acute conjunctivitis is a bitch.
AS: What do you do in your recreational time?
JD: Recreate things. Some people choose Civil War battles, I prefer Great Traffic Accidents of the late 20th Century. I work alone so the authenticity is not all it could be.
AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
JD: For the traffic accidents; someone with absolutely no sense of fear (and a car). Musically; either God Speed You Black Emperor or T’Pau.
AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
JD: My late Mother (4.01.07) performed Wagner’s Ring Cycle solo on a cornet on January 3rd 2007.
AS: What’s the best music video?
JD: Currently this one here.
AS: If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
JD: An Alpen horn.
AS: Do you believe in love at first sight?
JD: Yes, but I also believe in Jesus, Father Christmas, Oompa Loompas and Life after Love.
AS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
JD: The endless well of human experience and when that runs dry, I make stuff up.
AS: Any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
JD: On my death I fully expect to be beatified as the Patron Saint of Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory.
AS: Were/are you aware of your escalating popularity?
JD: Not when I last checked my bank balance.
AS: Will your past come back to haunt you?
JD: Pedantic I know but wouldn’t your past come forward to haunt you? I think that the moment you have a child your past becomes largely irrelevant.
AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
JD: On a stage. I’ve tried under beds and up chimneys but it’s just not the same.
AS: Why? What's your biggest why question and has mystified you the longest?
JD: Why America didn’t ask itself ‘why’ following 911. Why knife amnesties? You can go and buy another one. Why do we need talent academies?
AS: Who is most influential on your sound?
JD: According to other people it’s Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Sparklehorse, Eels, Bowie and Sigur Ros.
According to me it’s G Love and Special Sauce, Parliament, Funkadelic and Chaka Demus and Pliers.
AS: Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?
JD: On top of the world looking down on creation and the only explanation I can find, is that the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around…your love’s put me on the top of the world.
AS: Why the name All Our Good Friends?
JD: Them that’s died and gone before and those that make it worth staying around.
AS: Whose the most likely to go solo or crazy?
JD: I reckon Posh, but Scary has arguably beaten her to it.
AS: Any choice epitaphs, famous last words or something you’d like to be remembered for?
JD: ‘Shit, blood and booze, that’s all there is. After that it’s all just personal relationships, self esteem, creative satisfaction, love, consideration, effort etc’… Johnny Daukes.
AS: What makes you better than everyone else?
JD: Talent generally, but there are those that would argue there’s no such thing as ‘better’. They’ve never tried to chase Lance Armstrong up a mountain on a bicycle though.
AS: When do you plan to take over the world?
JD: Just as soon as I can get this Xenon Death Ray put together.
AS: What changes can we expect to notice with this outing?
JD: On this outing I’m going to make sure that all the Octogenarians wear name badges.
AS: Are you all agreed/in control of the formats for your releases?
JD: Being a solo act on my own label, that’s rarely a sticking point, although I did take issue with myself over my plans to release a 67 inch vinyl version of ‘To Catch the Stars’.
AS: Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
JD: If I didn’t do anything else with my time my wife and child would starve.
AS: Did you have any heroes when you were a teenager?
JD: Only my parents. Discovering my Mum was a Nazi sympathizer (active) and my Dad was in possession of several human heads only made them ‘flawed geniuses’ in my eyes.
AS: What do you think of the paparazzi?
JD: Anyone who takes a picture of the Pope is scum in my opinion.
AS: What are you listening to right now?
JD: Martha Reeves and the Vandelas doing an a cappella version of ‘Freebird’.
AS: Any message to any underachieving or odds facing musician out there?
JD: Give up. It’s not worth it. I should know. Or, try to fuck Mark Ronson.
AS: Any career highs or lows you care to share?
JD: High – Being asked to play on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Low – Electing there, to perform my solo woodwind suite ‘Falconry Blues in G’.
AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
JD: I do enjoy playing live but as I am quite literally ‘at home’ in my studio I can’t think how to answer. I’d love to say ‘phone a friend’ except I don’t have any.
AS: Your career defining dream moment would be what?
JD: I actually have a regular career defining dream moment that I’m riding a bicycle naked around the stage while Radiohead attempt to play ‘Street Spirit’ but I’ve got all their instruments in a little leather satchel on the back of my trike. At one point I skid on a patch of Thom’s sweat and it causes me to crash into all of Jonny’s foot pedals and one of them is powered by a radioactive isotope that escapes and me, Radiohead and all of the audience contract a rare but incurable form of skin cancer. It’s more a nightmare really, but up until I do the skid the crowd seems to love all of my bicycling.
AS: Any upcoming music / bands worth keeping an eye on that are destined for greatness?
JD: I’m hearing great things about Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse.
AS: How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music?
JD: Personally they are bread and wine. Many a time I’ve gone into a restaurant and said, ‘no thanks… just bring me some visuals with some music on the side’. This approach got me into a huge amount of trouble when I made a video for the Libertines and a dog ate most of it and some tramps drank the rest.
AS: What was the highlight of your summer?
JD: Learning to swim without armbands.
AS: I’m sure you’ve done a few but, do you know which has been your best ever gig?
JD: ‘Hand Relief’, Hyde Park 2006
AS: What will this year bring?
JD: Parole, hopefully.
AS: Is there more pressure playing live with a band than there is playing solo?
JD: Pressure is for losers and I tend to keep the solos to a minimum.
AS: Are you unlucky in love?
JD: Love’s a numbers game and you make your own luck at the end of the day.
AS: Best song, movie or LP ever?
JD: Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot – Denise LaSalle. Period.
AS: Where did you sleep last night?
JD: In the pines, in the pines Where the sun don’t ever shine. And I shivered the whole night through…
AS: What’s your secret vice, what are you a sucker for?
JD: Snorting spelt flour of a geriatric’s arse.
AS: What makes the world go round?
JD: Sex, with money a close second and the magnetic attraction of other celestial bodies following ‘up the rear’.
AS: Where’s the place to be?
JD: Over there.
AS: What’s your weak point?
JD: My Achilles brain.
AS: What’s your favourite instrument?
JD: Bagpipes. They make a good song great.
AS: What inspired the LP title Promise?
JD: On the track ‘Radio’ there’s the line: ‘Your punctured body-bag, those dry and empty sacks…the promise that you disowned’. Although Simple Mind’s ‘Promised You a Miracle’ may have affected me subliminally.
AS: Are you a good dancer?
JD: I’m an enthusiastic dancer as far as the calipers will allow.
AS: What kinds of music do you dislike the most?
JD: Current bands that sound exactly like a band from the past, (but not half as much as some of the bands from the past must).
AS: Where will you retire to when you're tired of comeback concerts?
JD: Welwyn Garden City. I’ve a job for life at Nabisco.
AS: When will the world end?
AS: Who is the main driving force or do you work as a team?
JD: We work as a team but I insist on doing the driving.
AS: How important are the charts?
JD: I’ve met sailors who swear by them.
AS: What revival would you most like to witness?
JD: Adele Adkins.
AS: What era would you have been born in ideally?
JD: Palaeolithic, or pretty much any era where I could wear tights without having to be a ballerina.
AS: Are exercise and diet important?
JD: As Britain’s least successful vegetarian tri-athlete I would say no, not really.
AS: If you could save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
JD: Private Ryan…for his Mum.
AS: Who’s the most gifted person alive today?
JD: Pete Doherty. Ever since the ex-lead singer of Menswear turned his back on the Music Industry and said ‘Hello’ to garage forecourt co-modification.
AS: Have you got any famous relatives?
JD: The man who owns the zoo where the tigers keep eating people is my Uncle.
AS: Does complaining accomplish anything?
JD: Kept women who lunch in Notting Hill swear by it. Opposition party members in Zimbabwe aren’t so sure. I told the bloke at the Hull Adelphi once that his PA was a bit toppy’ and he sorted it right out. Result!
AS: Have you goy anybody’s autograph?
JD: The bloke who just bought my car. His name is Miguel Penedes and he’s from Totteridge.
AS: Which fictional character would you most like to be?
AS: Which rules, the digital age or the vinyl/cassette age?
JD: Having been born in the vinyl/cassette age and yet plying my wares in the digital age I would have to say that the jury’s out on that one. Although whether it should be a jury based system or a magistrate scenario is another debate worth considering. In many ways the adversarial nature of our judiciary serves us as poorly as a servant to two masters. One thing’s for certain.
AS: If a musical style was to become extinct, which would go first i.e. jazz, folk…?
JD: ‘Jazz folk’ certainly deserves to be extinct for sure.
AS: Do you have any unused band names you’d love to use?
JD: ‘The Jazz Proctologist’ could be a Jazz folk outfit?
AS: Was growing up and becoming who you are today easy?
JD: Given that it’s all happened over a very natural timescale I’d have to say yes. If I were forced into doing it again in a much shorter space of time (say, 3 weeks) I’d have to cut down on my sleep and really put my back into it.
AS: What’s the biggest myth about stardom?
JD: That it is difficult.
AS: Have you ever been conned into or out of something?
JD: Never. All my internet based investments in Nigerian banks have been tremendously successful.
AS: Do politics have a place in music?
JD: Absolutely not. When I was at the BRIT academy they told us straight. ‘Keep it light and frothy, that’s the way to make it’.
AS: JD, thanks for your time, brutal honesty and the mesmeric imagery that your answers will surely conjure for all who read this. All the best for the future JD. HEY YOU, YEAH YOU, find out more here link