The Jim Jones Revue
Psychotic garage/blues/punk monsters The Jim Jones Revue release their third album 'The Savage Heart' on October 5th and it will be preceded by single 'It's Gotta Be About Me' which you can stream below. We spoke to Jim about unusual influences, interaction with fans and just how his throat copes with all that screaming.
SXP: Has playing in bands that have achieved various levels of success made JJR an easier group to work in or do you ever clash over good old fashioned 'artistic differences?
Jim: There have been a lot of valuable lessons from past experiences & I'm still learning stuff now. I think that being open to change is the best way to move forward ... The trick is: to understand that the more willing you are to let stuff go; sometimes, the more you can hang on to.
SXP: Your sound is a clear evolution from Little Richard through MC5 and The Cramps etc... are there any surprise influences in there? Any bands you love that might we might not have guessed?
Jim: There's is an abundance of subtle & not so subtle stuff informing the music; disparate elements from far flung origins, but quite often I'm looking for new & unlikely places that they converge & seem to be saying the same thing. … As for stuff you might not have guessed? I dunno... Andre 3000? Duke Ellington? Ralph Stanley?
SXP: Your style is fairly traditional (someone once described you to me as “Little Richard on speed”) but can you see yourselves changing tack a little and experimenting with different styles?
Jim: Yeh, actually the new LP might have a surprise or two for anyone who thinks of us as straight ahead bash boom bam. It's gonna be interesting to see if everyone can get into it.
SXP: Sound is clearly as important as songs when it comes to the brute force of the band. Who would be your dream producer or collaborator?
Jim: We've often talked about the idea of working with Josh Homme or Jack White which would be cool .. you know there are bound to be pitfalls as well as advantages.
I have to say, we had a bit of a dream team for our new LP. with the wisdom & care of Jim Sclavunos producing & Jim Abbiss doing his thing & bringing maximum power to the mixing, I don't think we could have done any better!
SXP: Jim – with all that feral screaming you must have a throat made of cast iron. How many packets of Strepsils do you get through in a show and have you ever had to take a break to let your voice recover?
Jim: I did loose my voice a few times early on when I was partying a bit too much & we would often play shows where the house PA system wasn't strong enough for the volume of the band, but, you know, you get conditioned.
These days I'm more likely to loose my voice from talking in a noisy place than from screaming on stage.
SXP: One of our readers did the lights for you in Belfast a few years ago. Do you still let fans help out with aspects of the show? And if so has it ever gone disastrously wrong?
Jim: Sometimes the lighting guys don't have the energy to keep up with the show … that's when I like to bring in one of the fans … they instinctively know what to do.
SXP: How important is interaction with fans? Some bands prefer to remain aloof whereas other actively engage via social media or chatting after gigs. Where do you stand?
Jim: Everyone's welcome!
SXP:How certain is the future of the band? Do you expect to still be giving it hell like Motorhead or The Rolling Stones in 20 years time or are you planning to age a little more gracefully?
Jim: We'll do this until it's done!
SXP: Finally that tricky one: Fantasy festival time. The Jim Jones Revue are headlining and you get to pick 5 other acts, current or past to add to the bill. Who do you go for?
Jim: That's too hard …
It's impossible to narrow it down to 5 things you wish you could see, but here are some of the spectacles I would have wished to have beheld.
The Cramps (circa Bryan or Kid) James Brown (mid to late 60s) Jimi Hendrix (circa 67) MC5 (69-70) Elvis (circa1956)