Exclusive E-mail Interview with Jo Dog (formerly of The Dogs D'Amour) conducted by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Received: 11th June, 2002

1. What made you relocate to the USA?

In 1990 the Dogs D'amour started looking for new management. We felt trapped in the UK with bad management and needed the change.

2. What are your favourite Dogs D'Amour songs and why?

"Satellite Kid" sticks out for me. It was recorded between tours. Its was the first take, I played it with a drop-D tunning and we'd never played it before. "Heartbreak" 'cause its fun and it just makes me happy. "Victims of Success", "Kiss My Heart Goodbye" came out really good too. "I Think its Love Again" its a really simple song I like the arrangement we came up with. A lot of Tyla's songs are very similar, he only knows a handful of chords so the challenge has always been to make them sound different and interesting by arranging them or adding weird tunings to them.


3.What were your favourite Dogs D'Amour tours?

They were all a gas even the really early ones before we got signed. The first Dynamite tour took us around to places we'd never been to before and we had the luxury of big tour bus so that one sticks out because of the camaraderie.


4. Who are your favourite artists and albums that influenced 'Sundown Yellow Moon'?

I'd say Dylan has always been a fave, as well as the Beatles, the Band, Leadbelly, and roots music like blues from Mississippi Sheiks and Mississippi John Hurt, country like Flats & Scruggs, Hank Williams and Jimmy Reed, Spaghetti Westerns like "The Good Bad & The Ugly", Surf music, Cuban.... I listen to any types type of music that comes from the heart.

5. What's the gig availability like in your area - do you have to travel far to get them?

Not too far, Its just a matter of getting in the car and driving.


6. When do you usually tour and what venues do you prefer to play?

I haven't toured since I did the Spanish tour last year with Tyla.
Any place with a half decent PA suits me fine.


7. What influenced you to play the guitar and any other instruments?

It started when I saw The Faces and the first chords I learnt was to Maggie May. I started digging into roots music through Taj Mahal and learnt mandolin, banjo and pedal steel.


8. How did you meet Paul Black?

I was hired to play and arrange some of his recordings. Out of those sessions came "Sipping Away" the 2nd song on our CD.

9. Why did you call the band 'Sonic Boom?

It just sounded good.


10. Was it hard to get a deal ? Were you pre-judged because you were in an 80's band like what happened to Share and Bam with 'Bubble'?

We released the CD ourselves through and it is distributed by Cargo Records in Europe. Whatever I do will be compared to the Dogs but that does not worry me.

11. Were any of the songs originally going to be on the last Dog D'Amour album or were they all strictly intended for 'Sundown Yellow Moon'?

They were all for 'Sundown Yellow Moon'.


12. Which songs would you consider to be your favourites on the 'Sundown Yellow Moon' album and why?

Here's some, "Sundown Yellow Moon" I love the mood it creates. "Sippin' Away" Paul's voice reminds me of George Harrison. "Out of the Blues" a good mix of country and rock. Bam's drums on "Borracho Bolero". The laziness of "Lazy Morning"...

13. What was it like working with the Bam and Tyla again in The Dogs D'Amour and with Bam for 'Sundown...'?

The party started when Tyla flew over from Spain to do the last Dogs album. We both stayed in a hotel in Glendale not far from the studio. We'd meet up with Bam & Share at noon over a Guinness and a few games of pool before heading for the studio. Had a blast.

Bam's been my best friend through the years and he also lives here in Los Angeles. We often work together so were pretty used to it.


14. How did you manage to get the following to appear on the album: Taime Down, Danny Motorchrist, Spike, Ginger - did they just happen to be in the area at the time?

They are all friends and if they don't live here, I see them when they are in town.


15. How come Ginger is credited twice in the 'Thank-you' section - is there two different Ginger's that helped make the album?

No, that is my mistake. I did all the artwork and didn't notice the error till it was too late. I guess I won't credit him on the next one!! There is also another f-up "But of the Blues" instead of "Out of the Blues" on the back sleeve!


16. How did you originally meet Gilby Clarke, Teddy Andreadas and Crash? What's like working alongside these guys?

I met Gilby around 1990 when he had a band called the Blackouts. We became good friends and started doing gigs together when the Dogs were idle for awhile. I also helped him on his first solo album. I met Teddy through him, he put down that beautiful accordion & piano on the title track of the "Sundown Yellow Moon" CD. They play around town quite often and whenever I go see them I always end going up onstage and jam.
Crash used to play in a rockabilly band "Rattlesnale Shake" with Ed Maxwell (bass player).

17. Where are the live shots taken from on the inside of the CD cover - was it an actual gig and when did it take place?

The shots were taken at Taime's Pretty Ugly Club here in Los Angeles around '99. We did quite a few shows around that time. The live line up was me & Paul, Smutty Smith (Havalinas) on stand up bass, Dave Sobel (Freewheelers) keyboards and Repo on drums.


18. Where did you get the idea behind the cover and the album title?

The title "Sundown Yellow Moon" is inspired by Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks".

The cover I wanted people to look at it and know more or less what the content of the CD would be like just by looking at it. That's why I had the dobro in it then I mixed in some of my artwork.

19. Are there plans for a follow up ? Are you busy with it yet? How much has been written already ? Favourites so far?

Me and Paul have recorded a few songs for a Sonic Boom follow up but first I have started on my first solo venture and I am halfway there. Its pretty eclectic so far with a country tone to it. There's a James Bond kind a song on it and both Tyla and Bam will be featured in some tracks. There may be more instrumentals on it too. I want to get it released in October 2002.


20. Will you be playing Europe at all?

I really hope so. I want to tour behind this next one.


21. Do you often guest on other artists album - if so with who and on what?

I have a couple of friends & producers with studios and they hire me for the sessions, some are just demos or recordings/showcases for unsigned bands or music for films. Paul Black also has a studio and we just completed up some background music for a light-porno series. Recently I guest on Bubble and Tyla's new ones.


Cheers Jo - Awesome Interview - be sure to check out the review of the 'Sundog Yellow Moon' album in the 'D' section of CD Reviews.