|Janne Jarvis - Hate Gallery - Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 03 June 2012 04:45|
Hailed as the first great record of 2012 by this very website, Hate Gallery's 'Viva La Resistance' is a hulking brute of an album. Its eleven song tracklisting providing an unrelenting and unapologetic soundtrack to our lives, and giving anyone brave enough to listen a musical thick lip in the process. Yet what of the man behind this album the ever opinionated and always outspoken Janne Jarvis? He's been oddly quiet since the album's release, and this actually got me wondering if all was okay within the Hate Gallery camp? I needed answers and quickly as Hate Gallery are a band we love here at Uber Rock - not because they are a band we are told to like, but because they live and bleed for their rock art, and there are not many who do that in 2012.
I finally managed to track down Janne in his new country of residence and in the process grabbed him for long enough to not only get the answer to that all important question about what is up with Hate Gallery, but also ask him a few other challenging questions about the state of our world and what he'd do to change it. As ever, just like his music Janne was unrelenting and unapologetic, yet this time around he found time to reveal to me another side of his character - one you can experience the benefit of right at the very end of this intoxicating conversation with one of rock n roll's true characters.
We are the dead.....
Hey Janne firstly many thanks for taking the time to once again talk with us at Uber Rock it's really appreciated.
It's my pleasure.
We last caught up for a chat way back in the early days of Uber Rock (September 2009 to be exact) what's been going on in the world of Hate Gallery since that interview?
We recorded the 'Dead Celebrities' E.P and second album 'Viva La Resistance'. By the end of this cycle we had a few casualties and now it's 2012 and I'm injured but still standing.
And it's been a few months now since you released 'Viva La Resistance' what's the reaction been like so far - outside of our rave review of course (laughing)?
The reaction has been fascinating. I didn't realise until this point that the lyrics and the message really polarised opinion. Most of the negative reviews were based on opposing political views, not the music. Naively I expected the album to be judged on its musical merit but I really touched a nerve, especially with those who feel comfortable towing the party line. In many ways this felt like a triumph in itself because it was getting a reaction and it was at least causing some people to think. Those that have understood the message, that have 'got it' so to speak, have fucking loved it. In other words the synergy of music and message has been potent.
As you say, it's a very direct album and lyrically you once again you stick to the controversial by being as opinionated as ever. So which of the lyrics on 'Viva' are you most pleased with and why?
There are a few metaphors, but it is mostly fairly direct. My favourite lyricists have always said a lot with very little and that has always appealed to me.
I love 'Security Forces'. Letting go of all that vitriol that I've had stored up for the police was exhilarating. It's about Ian Tomlinson who was murdered by the Metropolitan police in 2009, which is still a national disgrace and tragedy of massive proportions. The Metropolitan police are a private security force working for the highest bidder and they disgust me. The title track is a great dissident anthem that I think appeals to all of us with any fight left. 'Love Shine On' is significant because it is a little more personal. What I really hope for is that some of the words have resonated with the listener. I'm not trying to preach, more to cajole and try and help to perpetuate the spirit of rebellion in rock' roll. If that's been possible in even the smallest way, then I'm satisfied.
Actually that's not true, I'm never satisfied. (laughing)
Sound wise it's hard to compare 'Viva' to anyone other than Hate Gallery really, this always proves difficult when trying to explain you guys to peers and possible new listeners. So how would you like to see Hate Gallery being described (musically that is) in the future?
To be honest, I have no idea what shape or form Hate Gallery is going to take on in the future. I really think that album number 3 will take a very different route and I believe that will define all future output. I plan to release an E.P of 'Viva' left overs in order to tie up loose ends and after that all bets are off. In spirit I'd like Hate Gallery to be compared to Killing Joke, but it's nice to be hard to define. Some of the lazy attempts to pigeonhole the band by some 'journalists' have been depressingly desperate. Can you really compare 'Viva La Resistance' to Danko Jones? Or Hardcore Superstar? Wankers.
I note that on the sleeve notes for 'Viva', that Hate Gallery (as in the recording band) is basically now you and your co producer Chris Rose, whilst Rickard, Petja and Frederik are listed as the 'LIVE' band. What's that all about?
It's about the fact that during the recording certain members went missing and therefore couldn't perform on the album. I'm not going to give credit where credit isn't due and it would have been utterly disingenuous to pretend otherwise. We went into the recording as a band but I soon realised that the commitment needed to make this record wasn't forthcoming. After scrapping initial recordings because certain members couldn't play/hadn't learned the songs, I took some time to reconsider my options. After that I realised that I would have to take the bull by the horns and record everything myself in order to take the project to its conclusion.
A big part of making a record is about putting your life on hold and giving yourself completely to the art. It is about putting your faith and belief and your future into the fabric of the recording. It is about ultimately wanting to achieve greatness and make the best record possible. Unfortunately this kind of commitment is beyond many people. I understand and have sympathy for the fact that it is difficult and this is mainly due to the uncertainty and the risks and economics involved. However, a lot of players I know are not about the art. They are about being "Weekend Warriors", playing the rock star for a week and getting a holiday from their usual lives. This really becomes apparent when things get a bit tough and people disappear. However I fail to see the point in being in a band if you don't have the resolve or commitment to take it all the way.
It is bitterly disappointing when the realisation dawns that the people you expected to stand beside you and fight have not been entirely honest about their intentions. This record was a fight and a struggle and it almost killed me. This is not "woe is me", I am just giving you the absolute honest version of events. It was hand to mouth on a daily basis. Begging, borrowing, stealing and scraping, doing whatever was necessary to complete the recording. I was lucky to have some great support from my nearest and dearest and those who worked with me on the record. I have been working with Chris Rose since Radiator and he understands what it requires to make a record so it was a perfect partnership. He also played drums and co-mixed the last Warrior Soul album and the last Hate Gallery E.P. At the very end when I was in desperate need of studio time, those lovely chaps from Ghost offered me their place, the charming ghouls. Help came from many unexpected sources.
Talking as we are over Easter bank holiday do you not risk this set up being your very own Nine Inch Nails both musically and metaphorically?
What risk? The fact that I am the only sole member is not by design but rather by necessity. This is not the way I envisaged it, but it has been another learning experience regardless of the disappointments. Ultimately I would have been happy for Gary Glitter to have played on 'Viva' as long as he turned up and got the job done. In all honesty, the core of the identity of Hate Gallery is myself. I write, produce and perform the music and I played everything except the drums on the last few releases. I love collaborating, but it is also immensely liberating to not have to rely on anybody else. Guilty as charged, m'lud!
I'm not sure if you are still in Sweden living right now Janne or in fact back in the UK, but what do you make of the world around us right now?
I actually moved to Berlin recently and it has been a real eye opener. It has really become a safe haven for those of us sick of economic fear mongering and the constant attack on our freedoms. However you can only run for so long. Britain in particular is close to collapse. The economic problems are a smokescreen for a much bigger agenda. If people are panicking about petrol, just imagine how they will react to food shortages. A perfect opportunity to be invited into a nice, cosy labour camp. All the political parties are scum, but when you vote for the Tories you really are inviting the devil into your house. Many of my views about the future are not only based on the facts, but also on an intuitive feeling that many people are having right now. Something is horribly wrong. The whole News International scandal reeks of cronyism and corruption on a massive scale. But instead of us doing something about it, they continue their business with impunity. Countries like Sweden are on the whole far more civilised than the U.K, however even the Scandinavian countries are crumbling under the weight of the relentless march of the corporations into oblivion.
It's almost like no one has read '1984' and gone (double takes) - "wait a minute, are they using this book as fucking blueprint", we can make a difference, and really don't have to accept this.
The problem lies in the fact that people just don't care. As long as they can talk about their boring fucking lives on Facebook and get their weekly fix of distorted, manufactured music and magazines, they're happy. They don't want to know the truth. I know plenty of good, intelligent people who just systematically lap up the official version of the truth. Everything from Dr David Kelly to the World Trade Centre happened exactly as our media reported. They have no room to even entertain the thought that there could be something else happening. It's reckless naivety and conditioning on a suicidal scale. Part of the denial comes from the weight of the truth, in the sense that many believe there is nothing they can do about it. Society has been constructed to enslave. If you are carrying massive debts and house payments then you are already made impotent by your own burdens. So sometimes it isn't just apathy, it's also the lives we are conditioned to lead that can leave us unwilling and perhaps too scared, to acknowledge the truth.
You know what I hate through all this though? It's the individuals who stand up and say "if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear". The first people in the queue for petrol and pasties and the ones glued to reality TV, as they have no lives of their own. What would you do to make these people wake up? Or do you think this is how it's always been in history?
It is the way history has always been. This kind of thinking will lead us into oblivion. I cannot believe how the population at large cannot grasp the definition of freedom. Everybody has something to hide and everybody has something to fear. The only way most people will wake up is after we have reached the point of no return.
Going back to your last EP and that much loved subject of reality TV and the track 'Dead Celebrities'. What was the reaction to your comments regarding "The Jade" - I see she gets an album credit on 'Viva'?
Apathy. The hypocrisy of the mass media seems lost on Great Britain as a whole. There seems to be just as many deplorable wastes of human lives filling the pages of our weekly rags as ever before. It is part of the reason I had to leave. It literally begs the question: "whatever happened to the heroes?"
I have to ask you this, as no one has really talked about it, but what happened regarding your departure from Warrior Soul?
I had a great time working with Kory and we made a very good record together and we're on good terms. But I needed to move on and concentrate on my own projects. Simple.
Okay, so will we see Hate Gallery out on the road promoting 'Viva' any time soon in 2012?
I can't answer that question at the moment. I'd rather swing upside down by my balls than get on stage with the wrong people again. However, I am currently recording an album with a new project and it will be very much a live entity. It is a very exciting prospect and I am giving it my full attention. I'll keep you posted.
I hope we do get to see Hate Gallery sometime soon because if you do believe the Mayan calendar, like Killing Joke do, this will be our last year in this form before ascension to a higher state of consciousness. Do you believe any of this stuff?
If it's good enough for Jaz Coleman then it's good enough for me. (laughing) Then again he did manage to persuade his band that they should all move to Iceland due to an upcoming apocalypse! (even more laughing) I don't know. Something is changing, moving. We live in strange times, but perhaps we always have. I think ascension to a higher state of consciousness should be in everyone's calendar this year, regardless.
So just to finish off then and on a little lighter note if we were about to ascend what would be the 3 things you couldn't do without on your journey through quantum change?
1.The Doner Kebabs that I am currently addicted to in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
2. The Black Sabbath discography, and
3. Cats, and that's the furry kind, not the musical (laughing)
And with that we'd like to thank you Janne for taking the time to speak with us at Uber Rock, we wish you every success with Hate Gallery in 2012.
Wow, so what are you waiting for people get your Emails in sharpish - This is your once in a lifetime chance to be a part of the resistance. However if you're just still just a little bit curious regarding what Hate Gallery actually sound like click on the link below and experience some samples of their music for free.
Just fucking do it okay!!!!! (You can thank us later)
Photo Kudos Mark Forrer (colour live shots) and Michael Johansson (Janne profile shot and thumbnail)