THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Against Me singer and trans woman Laura Jane Grace collaborated with Joan Jett for a song on Jett’s latest CD, “Unvarnished”, which came out this week.
The song, “Soulmates to Strangers,” according to Jett in an interview in Rolling Stone, was an idea pitched by Grace to her following a conversation they had after doing a concert together last year. Jett’s band did gigs in the past with Against Me and she had always wanted to write with Grace.
Jett on Laura Jane Grace’s transition: I think it’s an extremely brave thing to do. It’s not easy to put yourself out there like that, but I’m sure she feels that she has no choice, the way she wants to live her life and the way she feels. I’m a friend no matter what.
USAToday.com is streaming Unvarnished on their website from now until September 29th!
Here’s an excerpt from the site:
Aside from collaborating with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and her longtime writing partner/producer Kenny Laguna, Jett also wrote with bandmates Dougie Needles and Thommy Price, a first that she’s especially excited about.
Once they finished writing in summer 2012, Jett and the band recorded the album’s 10 songs (and four bonus tracks) through the fall and spring. In crafting Unvarnished, the goal was to make the record “sound representative of what you’re going to hear at a live show,” Jett says. In order to achieve that, the band incorporated new tracks into its live sets before even stepping inside a recording studio. This allowed them to not only get a feel for the new material in a concert setting, but also gauge audience response.
Although one track, Everybody Needs a Hero, is a notable shift stylistically — incorporating strings, oboe and English horn — Unvarnished still boasts the signature sound fans have come to know and love from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
“That (track) may surprise some people, but in general, (the album is) probably what people would expect from us,” Jett says. “Most of the songs are just straight up rock ‘n’ roll.”
Limited tickets are on sale Thursday for an intimate performance at Santos Party House on Wednesday, 10/2/13. Get the new CD, Unvarnished, and a limited edition poster with ticket purchase.
Be sure to follow Joan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to participate in upcoming contests.
The album, to be called “Unvarnished,” will be released in OCTOBER. The first single, (“Any Weather” written with Dave Grohl), will be released in August!
Songs from the new album have slowly made it into the band’s live sets over the last couple of years (see here and here), but “Any Weather” has been under tight wraps since we first got wind of the song in March.
Here are snippets from a phone interview that Joan did about the new album with The Modesto Bee last month:
Even rockers have to grow up some time. That’s what Joan Jett has come to grips with as she’s hit her mid-50s and experienced the loss of both her parents and others close to her.
The “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” singer has taken a more serious tone in her upcoming album, “Unvarnished,” due for release in October.
“I’m in a different part of my life,” she said in a recent phone interview. “The songs aren’t all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. There comes a time when you have to go through stuff. For me — this isn’t very uplifting — but I call it the decade of death, losing people, companion animals very close to me, my parents, really heavy things.”
She’s looking forward to the release of her latest album and sharing its songs with her fans. The first single will be “Any Weather,” a song she co-wrote with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. “It’s about a relationship — it doesn’t have to be romantic. It’s about how you can get through anything if there’s love.”
The other songs are mostly serious — including “Fragile” and “Hard to Grow Up.”
“Some things shock you into recognizing and realizing you’ve got to grow up,” she said. “Responsibilities fall to you. You’ve got to either step up or not. I want to be someone who steps up. You can’t think of just what you’re doing for the day — you have to think about survival for self and the rest of your family. You start thinking about your own mortality, what you’ve done in life.”
Looking back, she has a few regrets — she wishes she would have spent more time with her parents when they were alive. But she tries not to spend too much time with should haves, could haves and would haves.
“I like to think I’m a good person, I have a good heart, I’m not a mean person so I defend myself in the situations that call for it,” she said. “I think I’m an OK person when it comes to that stuff.”
Here’s Joan talking about the new album and singing “Make it Back” in San Diego last month. This could become my new theme song!
And here’s a video from earlier this month talking about the first single coming out next month — Joan also said that it would come out in August at the Mountainfest show in Morgantown, WV last Saturday. I was there, but I have no video of that announcement. You’ll just have to trust me! 🙂
For the first time since 1983, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ ALBUM will be released on vinyl on Jett’s own Blackheart Records. This exclusive Record Store Day re-issue will be a one-time pressing with numbered jackets available on 180 gram translucent yellow vinyl. The Limited Edition LP package includes an enhanced CD of Album with bonus tracks and live footage and a digital download of a Blackheart Records sampler.
Read more about Record Store Day (April 20, 2013) and search for local participating retailers HERE.
See a quick Vine video of the pressing here — this video makes them look solid yellow, but the description above states “translucent yellow”:
My heart is breaking for you, Jettheads! The Darkness have canceled their tour with Joan Jett in Australia and New Zealand. Their drummer, Ed Graham, is having health issues.
Here’s the band’s statement, from The New Zealand Herald:
“It is with great regret that we are having to cancel The Darkness’ planned April dates in Australia/New Zealand. As some of you may be aware, Ed has had some prior history with hip problems, which resulted in extensive surgery a few years ago, and caused him to miss some US dates in 2012.”
Over the past few weeks, Graham’s condition had worsened and had been advised to rest and undergo tests before “potentially taking a backwards step and making matters worse”, the statement said.
“I wish Ed a speedy and successful recovery from his injury. I am very disappointed that we will have to cancel the tour and I look forward to rescheduling as soon as possible.” -Joan Jett
According to iTunes, the Australian reissue of The Blackhearts’ Greatest Hits album, including the new tracks “TMI” and “Reality Mentality,” is still on track to be released this Friday, March 15th. PREORDER HERE! I’ll keep checking until then and will let you know if it changes. Meanwhile, our friend Jasmine found the album cover and sent me the image (thanks Jaz!):
[Post updated with track listing screen shot. See below.] The Blackhearts are re-releasing their Greatest Hits package in Australia on March 15th, and it will include BOTH “TMI” and “Reality Mentality.”
Now the bottom of the Australia tour poster with The Darkness makes sense, although “Any Weather” is not included in this release like the poster promised. (“Any Weather” is the love song that Joan wrote with Dave Grohl.) There is a chance that the track listing will change before March 15th, as iTunes warns: “Please note: The pre-order contents listed here are subject to change without notice and the final product received may differ.” I’ll check back on the 15th and see if anything else was added. Here’s a screenshot of what’s on there now (thanks Jaz!)
The rest of the world can’t be far behind, Jettheads! I’ve been Joanzing for new tunes for a while now, although waiting 7 years for a new album is comparatively easy when you remember that we waited 12 years for Sinner. That. Was. Not. Fun. (No jinxes!)