Jim Jones - The Jim Jones Revue - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Saturday, 06 November 2010 05:10




Possibly the hardest working band on the planet take the time to shoot the breeze with us Übers about all things Jim Jones Revue. With hardly any time to spit let alone answer questions for us, it's touring, touring, it's never boring, then some TV then some touring then some recording then some more live shows. It's the real deal and 100% rock 'n' roll so, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen I give you Jim Jones....



Firstly, how did you piece together the line up of The Jim Jones Revue?


Looking back now, it seems like it was a case of lucky timing! I was looking for a new project, Black Moses (my previous band ) had run its course and it was time to move on. I had been working a lot with Rupert Orton ... well known as the kingpin of punk rock blues on the London music scene. Me and Rupert often spoke about our mutual interest in 50s rock 'n' roll ... mainly the piano driven sound of artists such as Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.


When Black Moses finally bit the dust, it seemed obvious that this should be the first thing to try. After a short time of trying to find musicians Rupert suggested Nick Jones for drums and, after meeting at some jazz soirée, we went ahead and booked a rehearsal room. Ray Hanson of Thee Hypnotics had introduced me to Elliot Mortimer about a month or two before that and we had chatted a lot about the RnR groove, so when the question of piano came up, he was the first choice. Gavin Jay, we head hunted from another band....

How different is it with this band than Black Moses or Thee Hypnotics? The music world is ever changing how do you fit in in 2010 with the style of music you play?


I think it's more accessible. Black Moses and Thee Hypnotics were a little more of a niche thing ... with JJR you don't need any special esoteric references to understand what's going on. jim2I don't think you're gonna hear it piped around any shopping malls, but for the most part, pretty much anyone can enjoy it!


The album has been well received in the press - was it an easy process this time around? How did you pick the tracks to go on 'Burning Your House Down', with the title track and 'Elemental' both coming out on previous singles. Was there much written that didn't get recorded?


We always have a lot of material that's in flux ... 'Elemental' and 'Burning Your House Down' were supposed be a taster of new stuff before the LP came out and we re-recorded them for the LP as we considered them important tracks for newcomers to hear!  Lots of albums now are a mish mash of very disparate elements - download versions, album versions, remixes etc. We still believe in albums as something that should be a journey that flows and stands as a piece of work.

How did Jim Sclavunos get involved with the production? What was his involvement in the process of getting the music down, was he hands on?


Jim was great. Very hands on. We're admirers of all the band he's been in especially The Cramps, Panther Burns, Sonic Youth, Teenage Jesus and, of course, Grindermand and The Bad Seeds.  He had been to a few of our shows and whenever we spoke to him, he alwaysjim4 had good advice about how to get what we were after. Jim definitely helped give the sonic definition to the record we were looking for. 

Having already seen the band several times this year, and with another UK tour coming up, how much do you enjoy touring? Is it more important these days getting out there and playing to promote the band rather than rely on CD sales or downloads? Or do you just like playing live?


Both really, the live situation is what we're all about. Everything else is just to support that!

You've just been touring the States, how has that been? Are the Americans 'getting it'? 


America's been great. We're there to kick the doors open and so far it's been going good. The response to us from a new crowd is pretty much the same anywhere we go, after a few moments of puzzlement or shock, everyone seems to let go and get into it. The other night in Portland, we hung out with Lemmy Kilmister and Slim Jim (from the Stray Cats) after the show  ... & survived!!!

Is it difficult getting over a JJR gig on a big tour considering how much you put into the 50 minutes you're up on stage? Are you looking forward to playing arenas in front of thousands of fans using all sorts of props like a spinning piano platform for Elliott like Tommy Lee's spinning drum thing or flying round the stage and audience ala Bon Jovi?


Bring it On!jim300


Tell us something  about the members of the band? Touring so much tends to test friendships to the max - any hissy fits because the rider wasn't quite what you asked for? Any into flower pressing or origami on their days off?


The chemistry in the band as a unit works well and we all stay focused on the bigger goals ... there are no passengers in the JJR.

What are you currently listening to? Any bands we need to know about?


I'm always trying to find stuff to fill in the gaps of my musical education; at the moment I'm jim3enjoying Smiley Lewis & the Rouse Brothers. In terms of new groups I like Kings Go Forth from Milwaukee, Scott Biram from Texas and The Computers from Devon.

What is next on the horizon for JJR? What have you planned for the next 6 - 12 months?


Play play play! Taking the music to the people ...We've just finished our tour in the US and our last show was the closing party for Ponderosa Stomp festival in New Orleans. Now we're back on tour in the UK and just played on the Later With Jools Holland TV show. The rest of the year we're playing all over Europe, short break in December, then it's off to Australia for The Big Day Out which takes us into February. Beyond that there's more of the same, stay tuned for details!


Finally is there anyone you'd like to write with given the choice or have get up and play live with you for an encore?


Andre 3000, Tom Waits, Jack White.


To see what all the fuss is about and to get yourself in on the act check 'em out! Many thanks to Martin from SonicPR for his time and effort in making this happen.




Photo kudos to Nicki Newton