Hear Jesse James Dupree and Brian Johnson’s New Song
You can watch a lyric video for the track below.
Breathing Fire is set for release on Nov. 10 and includes several songs co-written with Johnson, who does not sing on the album.
The duo first collaborated in 1997 on the Jackyl song “Locked and Loaded,” an electrified AC/DC-like rocker on which Dupree and Johnson traded vocals in the verses. They quickly became friends and collaborated again on “Kill the Sunshine” from the band’s 2002 album, Relentless.
As Dupree tells UCR, the new album came together almost spontaneously. After spending a day listening to AC/DC’s High Voltage and Back in Black, he woke up the next morning with a song in his head. That led to more songs.
Before he knew it, he was in the studio with his son Nigel and Jackyl guitarist Roman Glick, recording an album’s worth of material. “I’m listening to this stuff and I’m going, ‘Wow, some of it sounds so much like AC/DC, I don’t even know if I can get away with it,’” he recalls. “Because obviously, I was very inspired. I had some ideas, but I didn’t have lyrics. I just had some ideas and scat melodies, but that was about it.”
He thought of Johnson, but the singer was tied up promoting his memoir. But some time later, the AC/DC singer called Dupree. “Dude, I wasn’t gonna call you, but since you called me, I got some songs you gotta help me write,” Dupree told Johnson. “He said, ‘Send them down here!’ He’s like a teenager. He was emailing and calling, and there’s ideas going back and forth. I just couldn’t believe it. It all just happened.”
Johnson gave his stamp of approval when he heard the results. “Brilliant, Jesse,” he wrote in an email. “It sounds mean and angry. The perfect recipe for rock 'n' roll.”
Jesse James Dupree's 'Never Gets Old' Salutes Old-School Rock Fans
Dupree calls "Never Gets Old" a “salute to all of those who used to camp out for front row concert tickets.” During their phone call, Johnson shared memories of old Marine Corps cadences with Dupree. “The drums kick in [and] the audience sings along, ‘Well, I don’t know / But I’ve been told / It never gets old singin’ rock 'n' roll!’ I’m about to fall through the phone and hug him because it’s just so goddamn rock 'n' roll," Dupree notes.
Breathing Fire also includes other songwriting collaborations by Johnson, including “Rappa De Pappa,” a “song about the Pope” and a new version of Jackyl's 2002 song “Kill the Sunshine." More details on the record will be unveiled soon.