Key to the Highway: Jon Langford

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series

Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Jon Langford.

How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

Just back from a Mekons tour of Europe and the world of lavish but often rushed complimentary breakfast buffets – I had no time for coffee but instead dived into the multi-vitamin safts and heavy bowel scouring juices made from pithy yet unfamiliar Euro-berries

What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)

There was a hotel in New York City with padlocks on. The doors and a rhino head on the wall of our room where we were too scared to sleep – it’s name and location have been blocked

If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is?  And why?

Let It Be by Laibach would be an interesting choice – a polarizing album that would separate the sheep from the goats in our band

What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

A sketch pad and loads of those skinny nibbed black technical pens – there’s nothing quite like drawing in a moving vehicle

 What is your relationship with food?   How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?

My relationship with food is often is greedy and medieval – really enjoyed that the wild bear-leeks were  In season while we were in Austria last month – Crazy soups that burst of your pores with garlicky goodness – food is good in Swabia too – maultaschen…. little pockets of pleasure where you can hide the tasty organ meat from God

If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?

That’s a constant fantasy – to be somewhere for more than one night – Hamburg was looking pretty good this time round – down by the docks watching the ships come and go feasting on long stiff smoked eels and Astra beer – I would stay up really late and learn to play the accordion to entertain visiting sailors

What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

Tony Maimone from Pere Ubu once told the Mekons to “Get the money and don’t leave anything behind.”

Find all things Jon Langford here:

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: (click here for: Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe) Sign up for our weekly newsletter here for your Friday reminder for this series and more: