July 1, 2011
“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years……..”
-LL Cool J.
Everyone’s at it, these days, aren’t they? Reform, reunite, return. Well, with Jesus Jones there’s one crucial difference: they never actually split up. “There was no “musical differences”, no acrimonious breakup” says keyboard player Iain Baker “No burnt bridges to repair, nothing like that at all – we’ve always been together”.
Fair point, so where have they been then? Getting on with their lives, it would seem, whilst the pioneering dance-rock beast slumbered along in the background. Singer and band leader Mike Edwards became a successful personal fitness trainer, bassist Alan played alongside ex-Mekon Jon Langford in Punk/Country crossover act The Waco Brothers in his new hometown of Chicago, keyboard player Iain forged a new career as a Radio DJ on Xfm and NME Radio, and guitarist Jerry busied himself as a professional artist. Apart from the loss of original drummer Simon “Gen” Matthews back in 1997, and his replacement by Tony Arthy (ex Miles Hunt band) they’re still essentially the same bunch who burst out of the London pub circuit back in 1988, amidst an explosion of samples and beats, buoyed along by huge press interest and a mouthful of cocksure quotes from Edwards.
It’s been a long journey since that first Jesus Jones single, the 1989 cult classic “Info Freako” and since then pretty much everything that could be said of the band, good and bad, has been said. Even so, the bands impact has been great enough that they’re still written about in broadsheets today, almost 20 years since their last Top40 hit, and a new generation of bands such as Shiny Toy Guns have lined up to pour praise on Jesus Jones’s techno/rock blueprint. From the sonic boundary breaking of the debut album Liquidiser(1989), the 2 million selling, pop star era Doubt (1991), the artistic high point of Perverse (1993), the doomed but wonderful Already (1997) and the reborn, independent London (2001), it’s a journey that’s seen peaks and troughs but has brought the band to a place free of the whims of the press and the restraints of fashion . “Most of our career” says Edwards, “We were concerned with critical acceptance, commercial success and how we were perceived by our audience; it might sound blindingly obvious, but we’re now at a point where we can do this just for the love of it all – it’s liberating, but also creatively fulfilling as well”
So why return now? “Well, it’s all about momentum” muses Edwards “a band like Jesus Jones always needed the oxygen of exposure, and without it, we just…drifted off people’s radar” Well, they’re getting plenty of oxygen again, with gigs planned for Japan and Australia, as well as plans for everywhere else in between, plus the bonus for long-time fans of a new compilation which promises to dig up demos, rarities and unheard gems from the entirety of their career. Any plans for new material? “Who knows? Mike chuckles, “at the moment, it’s great to be playing live again, we’ll just have to wait and see”
Jesus Jones are:
* Mike Edwards – Guitar & Vocals
* Jerry DeBorg – Guitar
* Alan Doughty – Bass
* Iain Baker – Keyboards & Samples
* Tony Arthy – Drums