107. Jon Levin - Dokken / Doro
Known for his impressive work with bands like Dokken, Warlock and Doro, Jon Levin takes us on a journey through his musical career, sharing insights, stories, and his passion for creating authentic music.
From a young age, Jon showed his musical talent by playing various instruments but it was the guitar that captivated him and ignited his passion for rock music. Inspired by guitar gods like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, Jon honed his skills and pushed himself to excel. Later on, he discovered the guitar mastery of Eddie Van Halen, with "Unchained" becoming his favorite Van Halen track.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Jon. As he opens up about his challenges with reading comprehension, we gain a deeper understanding of the determination and resilience that define a true rock performer. Jon also shares his experiences collaborating with renowned artists such as Doro Pesch and her band, revealing his pride in Warlock's album and the impact they had on the metal scene.
In a surprising turn of events, Jon reveals that he pursued a career in law during the grunge movement. However, music never truly left his soul. Even while in law school, he would occasionally strum his guitar, but it wasn't until he received a life-changing call from Jeff Pilson that his music career reignited.
Discussing his time with Dokken, Jon shares the exhilarating story of how he joined the band. Reluctant at first, it was ultimately his father who convinced him to take the leap. Jon's talent shone through as he played two blazing guitar solos for Dokken without even hearing the tracks beforehand, proving that he had the chops to fill the shoes left by other guitarists.
Throughout the episode, Jon shows immense admiration for Ed Van Halen, praising his brilliance and recounting a brief encounter with the guitar virtuoso when their bands shared a stage. He also takes us back to his early years, recalling the moment he made the pivotal decision to drop out of college against his parents' wishes and fully commit to a career in music.
As we dive into the band's latest album, "Heaven Comes Down," Jon talks about the circumstances they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unable to collaborate in person, the band relied on correspondence to create the record. Jon discusses his struggle with programming drums but overcame the challenge with the help of a friend, Tommy Henriksen. With the downtime, Jon began recording demos and found that writing in the early hours of the morning worked best.
Jon explains how the album came together, with him sending Don demos and the lead singer improvising lyrics and melodies on the spot. Some songs were collaborations, while others had already been written, allowing the band to adapt and create despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
Throughout the episode, Jon's passion for genuine music shines through, as he shares his thoughts on creating without ripping off or forcing ideas. He explains that on "Heaven Comes Down," they managed to accomplish this organically, creating a record filled with raw emotion and strong musicality.
Don delves deeper into the creative process and discusses the band's approach to balancing new music with their iconic hits. They explore how the band's sound resonates with a modern audience and discuss the challenges and successes they encountered during the recording process.
Looking ahead, Jon Levin reveals exciting plans for the future, with more music videos in the works and a tour scheduled for 2024, potentially including stops in Europe and Japan.
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