“He’s brought it into his own thing. He does it with soul.” – Jeff Buckley
“The guy was born to be a rock star and he makes the music to back it up.” – Black Francis of The Pixies
“Baby, you’re a real motherfucker. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.” – Neil Diamond
Chicago-hailing dark pop artist, Jonny Polonsky, will release his latest album, Fresh Flesh, in November 2017. Today, he releases his lead single, “The Orbit Of Love,” to rave reviews from New Noise Magazine, who states, “He’s been an integral part of the dark pop and indie rock scenes since the 90s.”
Fresh Flesh was recorded quickly over a couple days in Rick Rubin’s Malibu studio. Almost every song on the 9-track LP is a first take, embracing a raw and simple sound. Fresh Flesh was born out of a new collaboration with Jennifer Batter (drums) and Katie Burden (bass). Both Batter and Burden were new to playing music, and Polonsky felt inspired by the fresh enthusiasm both of them had for playing. This unparalled energy is especially evident on tracks like “The Orbit Of Love” and “Not One and the Same.” Polonsky extended an invitation to legendary drummer Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), who contributed some aggressive tribal drums to the end of “I Can’t Get Your Face Out of My Mind”; and the song “Solar Child” features the inimitable singing and a soulful, world-weary spoken word intro by Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age, Screaming Trees). Polonsky writes of the record, “I’m really proud of this record. To me, it’s what rock and roll is supposed to be — music you love made joyously with people you love.”
Jonny Polonsky has quite the resume, and he’s been an integral part of the dark pop and indie rock scenes since the 90s. In 2005, Polonsky went on a five week tour opening for Audioslave, and he’s worked with Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), Maynard James Keenan (Tool), Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, System of a Down, Vincent Gallo, Donovan, Dixie Chicks, Perry Farrell, Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Lisa Loeb, Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive In), and many others. Polonsky found his start in 1995, when he worked under the mentorship of Frank Black (The Pixies) on a demo that made it’s way to Rick Rubin, who signed Polonsky to American Recordings. For Fresh Flesh, Rubin welcomed Polonsky back to his studio to record. Fresh Flesh was mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen (Ministry, filmmaking team The Wachowskis) and is due out in November 2017.
01. The Orbit of Love
02. Is It So Wrong for Me to Be So In Love with Myself and Everything I See?
03. I Wanna Be Healed
04. Not One and the Same
05. Fresh Flesh
06. I Can’t Get Your Face Out of My Mind
07. So Far Away
08. Solar Child
09. I Want You So Badly
Jonny Polonsky has been making music since he was a boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. As an ambitious and precocious teenager, he handed out his homemade cassettes to musicians he admired–everyone from Kurt Cobain to Tom Jones–eventually gaining the interest of Black Francis of the Pixies.
Through Black’s influence (and by way of a demo produced by Black), iconic record producer Rick Rubin signed Polonsky to American Recordings. On his major label debut, Hi My Name is Jonny, Polonsky performed, recorded and produced every note on the record, and mixing duties were handled by superstar producer and mixer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen) who had forfeited a chance to produce both Elvis Costello, and the Rolling Stones, in favor of working with Polonsky.
Hi My Name is Jonny was released in January 1996 and received widespread glowing reviews, from the New York Times to MTV to scores of music publications all across the globe. He and his live band supported Black on a twelve week North American tour, and were featured on the Second Stage with the 1996 Lollapalooza tour for three weeks that summer.
Since that time, Polonsky has continued to release solo records on his own, as well as through several different independent labels.
A 2005 opening slot for Audioslave’s five week North American tour led to his becoming part of a short lived band with Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave called Big Nose. Through Big Nose, Polonsky met Maynard James Keenan of Tool, and became an integral part of Keenan’s performance project, Puscifer, writing, recording and touring with them for several years.
In addition to Puscifer and Big Nose, Polonsky has recorded and/or performed as a side musician with Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, System of a Down, Vincent Gallo, Donovan, Dixie Chicks, Perry Farrell, Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Lisa Loeb, Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive In, and many others.
He considers it an honor and a privilege to be gifted with the ability to make music, and plans on making lots of it until he drops dead.
You can't stop the shockwave, but you can learn to surf it: