Singer Jon Stevens has just returned from a couple of months of very successful touring overseas, supporting such iconic bands as Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard and KISS, with his band The Dead Daisies. “We were away for two months touring over in America with a big rock show,” he tells me. “So it’s nice to be home and doing my own show.” Jon says that he loves playing these acoustic shows. “It makes a nice change from the rock shows I’ve been doing,” he laughs. “The first tour we did was with Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd which was pretty amazing. You could play to 20,000 people a night and all of August was with KISS and Def Leppard which was the same thing, playing to 20,000 people a night. It was just great to be able to play with the Dead Daisies in front of a crowd that didn’t know anything about us. At the end of our set, we were winning fans over.” Jon admits that The Dead Daisies have been very fortunate to have some great opportunities in America, acknowledging the irony after being around in the business for so long both as a solo artist and with his other band, Noiseworks. “It’s quite funny really,” he laughs.
As a long- time fan of Bad Company and Paul Rodgers in particular, I was keen to find out what it was like for Jon to tour with them. “Unbelievable!” he tells me. “I’m a massive Paul Rodgers fan and every night he gets on stage and he sings better than he ever has. In fact, all the bands were amazing. They all played the classic hits that you grew up with. The performance and the interaction with the audience was so amazing. And KISS… even little kids were wearing makeup! And everyone was singing all those songs. It’s really beautiful. All those bands are so loved and having the chance to play with all those legendary musicians is incredible; just to see how they roll and the kind of people they are.”
“For the Dead Daisies,” says Jon, “It was a very successful tour. Everyone dug it; listening to this new band playing new songs. You could feel this energy. The Dead Daisies’ music is just straight out rock ‘n’ roll. Go hard or go home!” he laughs.
So now, for a bit of a change of pace, Stevens is performing acoustically in solo shows in much more intimate venues than the arenas The Dead Daisies saw in the U.S. It’s a bit different, to say the least but, as Jon tells me, “I love playing acoustically. You get up there and you’re playing guitar and you can’t hide. Unfortunately, with a lot of music today, there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. Even I don’t know what’s real any more half the time when I’m listening to the radio. There’s so much technology involved in making music now. You don’t actually have to be able to play.”
On the ‘Take Me Back’ tour, Jon will be playing a mixture of material, including old and new songs from his rather impressive catalogue of hits plus a few surprises as well. “It’s just an eclectic mix that I’m doing in these shows,” he explains. “I do a wide variety of tunes and I put it out to the audience to see what they want me to play. The show is really interactive, just playing music and hopefully they’ll like what I’m doing.”
The singer has barely had time to catch his breath after two months overseas with The Dead Daisies and his ‘Take Me Back’ tour will go through until the end of October. Then, there will be another Dead Daisies tour in November; this time on Australian soil. “The boys are coming down in November and we’re going to do some shows in Australia.” The band has recently released an EP ‘Face I Love’ and they have been working on a new album which Jon says is ‘Pretty exciting!’
Speaking of albums, the last time we spoke, Jon was working on a new Noiseworks album with the band. What is happening with that project?
“Good question,” he laughs. “We pretty much almost finished it before I left to go away. Obviously there won’t be anything happening this year because I’m kind of busy doing other things but next year we’ll put something out.”
Busy is an understatement. It seems that Jon is always on the go and there is always something happening. “I’m so used to working,” he admits. “I can’t sit at home twiddling my thumbs. I get home for a week and I start climbing the walls. I’m always making music, playing music. I live and breathe it. It’s just second nature.”
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2014. All rights reserved
For a full list of Jon Stevens’ ‘Take Me Back’ tour dates and how to book your tickets, click here.