John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting has kindly fielded zany questions from "this guy" (I'm pointing to myself while simultaneously finishing this sentence) for a few months now as part A-Sides' 5 for Fighting with Five for Fighting, and it's been a joy. No "high sticking" from this talented musician, each Q&A is fun and as pleasant as a summer breeze. So as you read this while sitting in your bathtub filled with Calgon, take in all of the words this man says. Like his music, his answers are moving, and chart-topping. The latter analogy didn't work. Anyway, read on! It's 5 for Fighting: May Edition.
April Showers bring May Flowers, but does June bring a new Five for Fighting album?
Never release an album in June, unless your band name is Gloom.
Dave Grohl is everywhere... is there any chance of a "Foo for Fighting" album?
He is everywhere! We share the same favorite Mexican restaurant in Encino called Sol Y Luna. For some reason Dave (or Grohlly as I call him) always gets a table before me though I arrive first. Do they not know who I am? Do you know who I am?
Weren't you the guy in that show Family Matters? Anyway, April 22nd marks Earth Day, but more importantly and according to my desk calendar, Administrative Professionals Day. How do you plan to celebrate it this year?
The same as every year. Administrative Professional Spin the Bottle.
Sounds like fun... now for a mind teaser. Solve this problem: The Four Tops + The Temptations -- Five For Fighting = ?
If you apply the quadratic formula, run a Quantile regression, and integrate the reciprocal, the answer is 45... or '4T5' for those of you in legalized marijuana states.
Lastly, the summer is approaching -- at least that's what the desk calendar tells me -- do you have any hot rock star plans?
Do you sleep with your desk calendar? Do you call her Cali? Plans? Yes, I'm installing a tanning bed in my FFF Jet. Can you dig it! Multitasking is so April...Fools!
Nickelback take a lot of crap, but let's face it they're no punchline. They're as rock as rock gets, and have had legs in a fish business (you know because fish have no legs... neither did Lt. Dan), and they've sold more records (multi-platinum baby!) than any artist could dream of. I caught up with bassist Mike Kroger and chatted about the band, its 60-plus mega-headlining tour of North America, and the impressive array of opening acts they have on tap for the tour including Pop Evil and Lifehouse. Before we jump right into the interview, think about it this way: Nickelback are on their No Fixed Address tour for five-plus more months -- having kicked it all off on Valentine's Day. That's insane. I can't even commit to five minutes of my time. Secondly, to paint a proverbial picture -- "look at this photograph" if you will -- the band's eighth studio album crushed it -- spawning the hit "Edge Of A Revolution," and the mega-fantastic "What Are You Waiting For?" Sense a theme? Mega. This band is mega so suck it haters. Anyway, read on.
You're out on a 60+ date tour schedule. Is there anyway to physically and mentally prepare yourself for that?
To get prepared physically, I do CrossFit training. Also, in the beginning a lot of practice is important, about six weeks beforehand for two hours a day. Doing all that helps mentally to prepare as well.
You have a tradition of taking out an eclectic bunch of artists on the road with you -- how much thought do you put into the selection? What is the selection process?
The process is simple. You have to make a list and see who is available. Then it is simply picking out what we like and also how much money we have to pay people.
Rick Moranis is underrated. As a fellow Canadian -- please support this statement.
I find Canadians to be broadly underrated. We are reluctant to be shameless self-promoters. Even a guy like Jim Carey is soft spoken, mild mannered and not a shameless self-promoter.
Well put. I like Anne Murray. Getting back to the tour, you've had a few months to live with the songs on No Fixed Address. Describe the anticipation of getting on the road and playing the new stuff live.
Nickelback has always been a touring act. We have worked really hard on making our live shows good and making it a tight band and in addition to that, composing a really visually interesting show.
Lastly, what's the biggest bit of gossip that's going to come out in the inevitable tell-all book you're going to write in 2035 on the band?
I would be idiot if I torpedoed my-tell all book in an interview. So everyone is going to have to wait for it to come out.
About A-Sides With Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles, just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and overmanufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!