Bad-boy rock star Arlo is ripped, talented, and hotter than Hades. It’s time to get up close and personal with this candid interview!
This isn’t my first rodeo with Arlo Jones. I met him for the first time a number of years ago at an awards ceremony, and although the air of sex simmering just under the surface and his smoldering good looks are the same, a lot seems different. Albeit the ceremony was a nighttime affair and everyone involved was very “merry,” Jones’s vibe was completely different—darker, and not in a good way. He had the haunted look behind the eyes of a man who had yet to find his place in the world and was battling demons while trying.
I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but I get the distinct feeling that Jones has some major news to share, and that maybe he’s found his place. Though I have a list of prepared questions I’d like to cover as part of the interview, something tells me that Jones will be leading this conversation; though it’s not the way I tend to work as a journalist, today it seems like the right way to go.He stalks toward me with intent before throwing himself onto the charcoal couch. Patting the space next to me, he invites me to do the same. I sit, and we start the interview.
Looking around the gallery, I can see now why you wanted do this interview. Looks like a lot has changed in your life recently?
Yeah, I guess you could say that, and although I normally hate speaking to the press, I decided that this time around, I want to control the story for once, or at least input into it. I want to set the story straight and put the truth out there in my own words.
And what is that truth?
For a long time, I thought I could prevent myself from ever loving anyone. Like I was literally no longer physically capable of it. I figured I’d somehow managed to turn that function off. Romantic love, I mean—I loved my family, but obviously that’s platonic. I vowed never to allow myself to fall in love. Ever. As far as I was concerned, that part of me was broken and couldn’t be fixed.
My dad died of cancer when I was fifteen. Losing a parent at that age fucks you up beyond belief. At least it did me. I was heartbroken, shattered, in pieces. I decided then that I was never going to willingly open myself up to feeling like that again. I just shut that part of myself down—closed it off to the rest of the world, and to me. My reputation is heartless by name, heartless by nature, and it was true. I went out of my way to ensure it. Despite being with countless women, love was never on my radar, and as far as I was concerned, that was the way it was going to stay.
You’re speaking in the past tense. Am I right in assuming that this is no longer the case?
Basically, yeah. I thought my plan was working, and that I was in control of every aspect of my life. But it turns out that wasn’t true. Now I look back and think… I don’t know… like the past, all of that time, I was just in a holding pattern, like a TV on standby—never fully switched off, just waiting for someone to press the button and bring me to life again.
Has someone pressed your button?
Pressed the button? She’s activated the whole home cinema system, complete with 3-D imaging and surround sound. Shit, this thing even has smellavision.
You’re in love?
I guess that’s how most people would describe it.
How would you describe it?
Saved from what?
From myself. I feel like I’ve lived the past fifteen years under a thick black blanket of volcanic dust. It was gritty and suffocating. It smothered everything, dulling my thoughts and feelings, snuffing out life and hope. More and more dust piled on over the years, making it impossible to see the light above my head, or all around. Making it impossible to think, feel, or even breathe without it getting at me, getting into me, choking me. It was pervasive and destructive, but it was all I knew. Then London came along and just fucking blew the dust away, literally in one puff.
I used to say that music saved me. And it did. If it hadn’t been for the band, and music in general after my dad died, who knows where I’d be right now. Probably dead myself. What I didn’t realize was that although I wasn’t dead, I wasn’t really living. London saved me again, and showed me what I had been missing.
You’re talking about London Llwellyn, the photographer responsible for your new photography exhibition and coffee-table book, Arlo Jones//Cold, Hard, & Heartless?
One and the same.
Interesting. How did the two of you meet and get together
It’s kind of a long story, some of the details of which we’d like to keep private, but what I can say is that London came into my life when I was least expecting it, but needed it the most. She was… no, she is like no woman I’ve ever met. She challenges me in ways I never thought possible, but I can’t get enough of.
She sounds perfect for you.
She is, but don’t get me wrong—she kicks my ass every day. Sometimes literally.
No, but she did famously slap my face once. I can’t tell you any more about it though, or she may do it again.
He laughs for an extended time, before looking into the distance, an uncharacteristically goofy smile gracing his cheeks. He really has got it bad.
Okay, so tell me about the photographs.
London came on tour with us to shoot for the book and the exhibition. It had been a tough time—Stevie was receiving treatment, we had canceled dates, pissed-off fans, promoters, venues, and whoever else baying for blood, and I had this contract to fulfill with a publisher, which, to be honest, was the last thing I wanted to do. I don’t believe in fate or the planets, or anything I can’t see with my own eyes, and touch with my own hands, but for whatever reason, London appeared on the scene at just the right time to make this happen. As much as I hated the idea of being shadowed by somebody 24/7, I’m glad it happened, and I’m glad it was her.
I think the images speak for themselves to a large extent, and for that reason, I’m a little nervous. They’re very personal and… intimate….They turned out so differently from my expectation. What was supposed to be a simple “behind the scenes on the road with the rocker” has ended up as much more of a photo essay detailing my path to redemption.It’s our love story, and we’re about to share it with the world. It goes against the grain of everything I normally allow in my dealings with the press—it’s no secret that I’m not a fan. No offense.
None taken. You sound happy—what’s next for you?
Maybe for the first time ever, I’m full of inspiration. More than I can handle, even. I’m harnessing it as best I can and turning it into music. Our next studio album, Fight[or]Flight, is currently in the making, and I’m already prouder of it than anything I’ve ever made, or in any way put my name to. Beyond that, I honestly don’t know, but as long as it involves London, I really don’t fucking care.
You heard it here first, ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary humans: against all the odds, Arlo Jones is officially blissed-out and off the market. Despite his own misgivings and best/worst intentions, rock’s coldest heart has thawed, and fallen in love. Hard.