A man who should need no introduction if we lived in a world where people got their just deserts because if that were the case everyone would know who the fuck Jim Jones is but we don’t so here is a chat I had with the frontman and voice and driving force of Jim Jones and the righteous mind. They are about to release a stunning second album and head out on tour to support it. You should check it out and take in a show it’ll be a revelation if your a newcomer and a celebration if you’re familiar. So without further waffle ladies and gents, I give you Mr. Jim Jones…
We’ll, we’ll start off if that’s okay, With the new album. You decided to go down the crowdfunding route. Was it last June? When it was launched. What was the idea behind going down that sort of less traditional route?
Well, it’s less traditional, but I think it’s becoming the way to go with The music industry just changing on so many levels, so fast I mean; you probably can see that you know like venues are disappearing more and more. you know, unless you’re doing something particularly financially rewarding in terms of pop or something like that you know lucrative, if you’re doing music there’s more based in art or something that’s kind of a bit more from the gut There are very few people in the industry that are going to hold the door open for you. you know? You know with the ongoing political backdrop of this austerity nonsense that just keeps rolling on and on your going to see more venues disappear and all that kind of thing and for me it all ties in with that you know. like if you can’t figure out a new business model you’re going to die with the dinosaurs.
We talked about a lot and in the past, you know, we saw some people do, crowdfunding albums in a way just thought like just seems bit you know possibly a bit desperate or something like that but I think we just kind of had an awakening and realized it’s the way forward it’s the you know I mean it ties into me with the name of the album ‘collectiv’ is just really supposed to be reflective of everyone of people getting involved because that’s what I see as an antidote to you know the sort of ongoing crushing punishment that we get from the establishment day after day and their typical kind of call to arms is dividing conquer and you know the only source implanted I can sort of think of to combat that is get together, get together, get involved, and that’s become the sort of the rally cry for me because it is so messy business is a complicated business and the politics of everything and it’s like, it’s very hard, I think, is purposely so. You know, little bit like the law, you know, it’s made to be very kind of, you know, sort of confusing and gray because that just keeps your average working person who doesn’t have time, and everything, it just everyone gets the points I just don’t care I don’t get it and I don’t care you know, and they kind of do care because you know, and they go well, I’d rather put up with the shit than trying to wrap my brain around what’s going on here too confusing and so I think you have to go for life simple solutions and that’s my simple solution is get together get involved.
I think its taking the power back as well, isn’t it? you know, being captain of your own destiny sort of…
Yeah, you’re not waiting for a record label to tell you what you can or can’t do. Absolutely, you know, you just press on. And it’s a no brainer really where it goes to the people that get it already, you certainly don’t have to convince anyone, these are people to kind of, do they see what you’re doing. I like what you’re doing and you’re doing it for them as well as yourself. Anyway, so it kind of it’s like, really like cutting out the bureaucracy. Yeah, and the red tape just as between the artist and the observer, you know, the listener or, I’d like to sort of try and break that wall down even more. I’ve done a lot of live shows, and I have a point of view about it. And my point of view is again, about that thing of being involved is kind of a ceremony of sorts and I think you can really be uplifted if you can give yourself over to it, you know.
And I really feel like in any, any concert even in a huge concert, you know, sort of thousands of people, there is just one person leaves, it will be a different night if they had stayed. And I think everyone has that energy that they bring into the room when they come into the room. And so I guess like the whole record is sort of reflective of that theme , you know, kind of riffing on that whole thing of like, what we can do together and, and with the political climate as it is, at the moment, you know, the backdrop that we’re working against, it just makes sense to, to sort of without trying to ram it down anyone’s throat you know, because no one ever learned anything by being told like you’re a stupid cunt people don’t learn by that. you’ve got to find people that aren’t basing all their ideas on fear and hate Yeah, and that kind of stuff.
We’re kind of encourage people you know, get them to join. Jo Cox, that politician who got stabbed. I found out the guy that did it, he was like, a little bit slower had mental health problems or something like that but he’d been kind of brought into that culture of, you know, kind of like neo-nazi beliefs and you just realize that that’s where we’re going wrong. He should have been brought into a circle of people that showed him, hope and encouragement and made and made him feel part of it rather than fear and hate people or what he is. It kind of might be like an easy sort of solution as to what to do with your time and your boredom but to have that sort of collective power everyone looking out for their neighbour; you don’t need to know who they are but just be aware they’re there.
Great rock and roll thrives when you have such a horrible government’s the same the punk was able to grow out of such adversity.
It’s a very similar climate. Yeah. You got something to kick against
The time you know, the time when you have to go okay, you know, I really don’t want you to put your foot on my neck any longer. It’s time to do something and Rock ‘n’ Roll is what we do.
I think most people most could be capable when things run tlike they do this past few years they think “I want somebody to do it”, like there’s a point where it’s like this is just taking the piss you know, you’ve been granted this power by everybody and you completely abusing it. It’s like an abusive relationship you know and i think people get to the point where they get into a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome yeah where they’re so used to being in a cage that I feel uncomfortable when the door gets opened you know and as I don’t know what to do – like the canary in the cage thing you sort of open the door then what next? It doesn’t fly away it doesn’t really know what to do.
It’s been so familiar with being caged up for so long, anyway, this is a bit long winded but the crowd funding thing seemed to fit with that Yeah, you know, once we start thinking along those lines and like okay what are we doing what are we writing about what are we trying to achieve and because with the industry as it is you know I mean there are several generations now who don’t even know what Rock and Roll is so a lot of people now instead of going to a gig will put on 3d goggles and it’s just it’s not the same you know so it’s kind of like everyone to a certain degree is fighting for survival and yet to come down to that thing of like what you care about and what you want and what what should we be doing at the moment and then you figure out a way to reflect that through your art and creativity yeah and yeah it’s sort of like it feels like a cohesive kind of balances with each other, the idea of collective where people get together again, get involved and the crowdfunding thing so sorry that’s quite a long answer ha ha
No no, we want to hear what’s behind the idea and what makes the band tick. Do find that doing it that way then it if you have a plan of where you’re going to record how long it’s gonna take that, the better the crowdfunding does, the plans change and, you know, sort of enables you to take longer to record?
you know, I think when we first started, we thought what was the minimum we can do this work having never done a crowdfunding thing before. I had no idea how it would work or it would be horrible disaster. And in the end, we got twice as much as we sort of asked that was like, Yeah, great. You know you have this sort of right brief moment of celebration when you know the sort of the deadline finally closes and you go wow, Well, we’ve got this much money and and then you suddenly go like Hang on a minute for every penny you’ve got there there’s somebody expecting a product. Okay time to buckle down and do some work and we had I had most of the ideas for the songs but there was an amount of time that needs to be spent, you know, kind of honing them down and then go – little bit of pressure on you know. Whereas with a label, they’ll go like, Oh, you need a bit more time. Let’s set that release date back a little bit further but this way we kind of we promised people; you promised some or something and you sort of you feel, you know, responsible for that it’s kind of it’s like signing up for something you need to deliver for sure. You know.
With my history I’ve never cancelled a shows.Unless its something pretty serious there was one where the drummer’s mum was rushed to hospital with cancer thats a different thing there but like other than that if you if you book it you do it you kind of you turn up there are people waiting to see you and it’s a responsibility but it’s a pleasure and an honour.
A unique privilege and responsibilities and you have to rise to that.
How much of the album the 10 songs were written? or would you just select the bare bones or ideas and flesh them out then?
I always have you know sort of several ideas kind of bubbling along you know general things that I’m kind of working on and you know you just when it’s time to record you just start going through them one at a time and if one of them doesn’t really work very well. Okay, you just put that to one side, you know, I put it up on on blocks or use it for spare parts or you just leave it to, you know, serve as a project later down the line and then you go into the next idea and when something starts to click, you know, you just kind of feel it, and put all your attention into it. Sort of hone it into something worthwhile. But yeah, I mean, I think everything was pretty new apart from this one song called ‘Out Align’, which was a riff that I was trying to do something with back in the Jim Jones revue on the very last writing session, which is just before the band kind of broke up. Yeah, I had sort of a few ideas that I was working on some of those became stuff that went on the first couple of EP that did we do righteous mind and, and other stuff is still lying around, you know, in the spare Parts room and at one that that main kind of riff from ‘Out Align’ was one that I’ve been working on with that they never really kind of jelled with the band with the Revue. I always kind of liked it thought there was some mileage in it somewhere so let’s go back to it every now and then something happened it finnaly stuck.
How would you say you you write best? Do you come up with the songs yourself or come up with the bare bones like the same with the riff and then you pass around in rehearsal room…
yeah yeah a little bit, a little bit of all things really. some sometimes like a riff that turns into an idea in your head sometimes just knock it about on the guitar and you stumble on something that you like the sound of. Occasionally you know I’ll wake up in the morning with a fully finished tune in my head, I don’t always have all the lyrics like some happen a good chunk of them enough…
Do you write quickly then?
You know sometimes things comes together after being very creative. Sometimes it’s like a real pain and you get a time but yeah sometimes its a real pain. These days I’ve learnt that if you keep trying and it’s not going anywhere I can you put it into the spare parts pile and just let it maybe it’s not brewed enough – leave it for a bit longer and come back to it.
I thought the flow of the new album is exceptionally good. More so than your previous work, you know.
Thank you very much. Well, it’s definitely got a continuity and that it was all recorded in the same period, you know, whereas the first record was done in sort of piecemeal you know, a couple of days here in a couple of days there. You know, sometimes they’ll be months apart.
Occasionally different people playing on stuff. Whereas, this one was like a chunk of stuff I think we recorded 14 songs, and whatever, we did it over this, I don’t know if you remember how hot it was, and because of the soundproofing of where we’re working, we had to have all the doors and windows shut properly to play live and yeah, we would manage to three takes before somebody may have to like sort of open the doors to run outside and breathe for five minutes It was really so hot the range on your forehead was up, you know, and you can you try to belt out a vocal. Yeah, It was very much like Memphis ha ha! I don’t know if there’s a Mississippi feel to the record, but I would say those were the conditions it was like super humid, super hot and yeah, we sort of turned it around fairly quickly. We had to to survive. So pretty much like I think we had a delay of about a month Because the guy who runs the studio, who’s the main engineer that we work with, he had an issue with his mom who lives in Munich was having some treatment for cancer. And it was one of those things where it’s like, you can’t really go without him you know, he’s got to go and, and it’s like you wouldn’t say no about that.
man. You know, we got deadlines that we’ve given our crowdfunding guys that you know, it is what it is. Yeah, I think we just had to put out a newsletter to those folks and let them know to listen, you know, missed a little – a bit of a delay. It looks like it’s it’s not going to be when we originally planned. We were trying to aim for October last year and have everything out. But you know, these things happened along the way and everyone was quite understanding. And we sent out a couple of downloads for people to listening to stuff while they were waiting. Everyone’s been good natured about it.
It’s very hard to sort of sum it up with one track man uh…
I think in the same way that it was cool, ‘collectiv’ is something where we had the idea of picking songs that were quite diverse you know? i think you’ll see that there’s some that are similar in terms of that some are a bit more upbeat and some a bit more kind of, you know, dreamy but even the ones that are dreamy have got like a different flavour to them. I think it was that thing of like representing a bit of a metaphore it’s like everything just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong it’s just you know there’s something else and they can live together.
The ebb and flow of the album works with songs like ‘Meth Church’ then ‘killer brainz’ totally different songs yet they flow into one another and it works perfectly
Yeah, its like an afterglow or something after the intensity so yeah. When I sent out the first mixes to the guys in the band The guy who plays pedal steel and guitar Malcolm’s just messaged back. Saying, Wow, It’s a Sonic feast. So Yeah, I think that describes it really well. Theres certainly a lot going on. But, but at the same time, you know, there is a lot going on. But it’s not studio trickery. There’s a lot of you know musicianship happening , I suppose. Yeah.
Have you been playing much of it in the set live?
Yeah. Well, its sort of hard so far to do the dreamy stuff because it’s more about just being on fire and the energy of the other thing, I think when perhaps further down the line when the circumstances are right. We might even look at doing you know, two sets where we’ll do both. Do all the dreamy stuff and then and then come back on and do the fiery stuff and Four or five of the tunes off the album in the set.
We just did a little run of dates in Spain and yeah they went across really well.
I saw I saw the band when you played Ebbw Vale and saw the Revue plenty of times not knowing what to expect really, you know, is it gonna be more of the same but you know, but with the lap steel and more variety I thought he was better now than the old band. you know?
Thank you. A few people have said that to me. The Revue definitely had its place like smashing you over the head ha ha with that, yeah, there’s just it’s a bit more three dimensional stuff going on now. And I think in terms of like, music that you can listen to, you know, there’s a bit more depth to it, that you can sort of, revisit it, it’s not just driving music, and I mean, even though it works on that level.
Can I ask about the song titles of the new album? for the tracks on the album then the the song title of the sort of don’t give much away. ‘Sex Robot’, ‘Meth Church’ ‘Dark Secrets’ they don’t give much away?
yeah I know yeah I can’t like some of the titles on the records were just informed with how the song sounded. Some like Meth Church’ for instance you know something, funny enough, it’s not what you think it is. Yeah well funny enough like I was I was walking down… that song is unusual and I was on my way to do a benefit, actually doing some cover sngs with Mick Jones you know, from the clash, Yeah, he did a thing down by the West way. And it was a benefit for the Greenfell tower survivors and it was it was quite soon after it happened. So it was kind of in the shadow of this burnt out building that was there but on my way walking down there I remember I went over there on the train and walking down one of the lanes I think I took a wrong turning so finding my way back down there I walked past this building and heard someone just tuning up the guitar on the inside and we just checking you know, they’re just tuning in and and it was started a thing in my mind. That’s what I thought they were going to play, which they didn’t because they were tuning up but it was the beginning it for me it was like oh, that could have been you know that’s just how I hear something and you think it’s going to be this and it isn’t but the thing you thought it was going to be is your idea yeah. Anyway, I sort of made a quick note of what I thought the singing voice and the parts for the thing on just on the on the dictaphone app on my phone and I wanted to give it a title to remember what it was and I looked up and I was next to the Methodist Church so for some sort of short hand I wrote ‘Meth Church’ and then as I was writing the words, you know, the term meth you know, so that actually started to kind of, to leak into the lyrics and the thinking you know. leak into the imagery of the stuff I was talking about. so, yeah, that’s that’s how that one came in to play.
pastors so that’s the Methodist church that was my was my shorthand for well I happen to be standing when an idea came to me
and which like most people think of as I was about a drug den but it’s actually not. you know its about you know these poor people who burned to death and and musical idea happening so while I’m standing in this street in Ladbrooke Grove.
Alan from Dirty Strangers on his first album had Ronnie and Keith play originally but then they couldn’t release it because the stones legal team saying now you can use that the man because they released their own stuff so it couldn’t clash with Their own stuff. Then several years back Keith gave him this acoustic guitar and it’s the one that he recorded with and wrote so many songs on back in back in the day it’s the guitar that’s on the beginning of ‘street Fighting Man’ and probably on like most of ‘Exile On Main Street’. you can hear it at the beginning of the songs I think it’s the one that’s on ‘Angie’ you know, like loads of history in a lot of history and it probably wrote stuff even earlier before that as well 1964 the guitar is anyway, I knew I wanted some acoustic guitar on the record and I was thinking about I wonder if Alan will lend me the package and I phoned him up and he was he was saying like yeah look I’m rehearsing with my band on Thursday in Shepherds Bush if you want to come over you can grab it and let me know when your done and I’ll get it back. so I’m gonna do that I’ll definitely get a cab home I wont try and go on the bus home with that, and Alan says oh yeah, if anything happens to it you have to give me the deeds to your house and you know like you’re laughing but anyway Can you imagine how much this guitar is worth? So I’m thinking I don’t know if I even wanted to take that much responsibility and I was thinking you know what if one of the cats knocks it over where am I gonna put it? anyway he called me back the next day he said listen I’ve been thinking about it and I spoke to Piere whos Keiths main guitar tech and some other people in the stones organization and they they kind of said to me Look at this is something that this can’t be replaced and yet you know you can’t really calculate that number so lending it out because something always happens. So he said he said he still wanted to be able to let me use it so you can either come down to Redlands where I’m staying at Keiths place and do a little bit of recording there and then take the tapes back you know put them on your album or I can come and visit you at your studio if you just let me know what day and I’ll bring the guitar with me. and then at least if anything happens its my responsibility and not yours and thats so super kind of him and I really would have loved to come down to Redlands yeah it just didn’t make sense because all the backing tracks and stuff the machines were in the studio in East London where we were working so it didn’t make sense to try and bring it down so anyway he came he came into the studio and spend the day and you know I played it on every song ha ha ha it didn’t need it on every one but I’m not missing that opportunity. Ha ha you know you can’t always hear it but trust me it’s there ha ha It was such a beautiful guitar you could strum one chord and it sounded like a hit song it was so nice to play.
it made me wish that I’d had the guitar for a while. Maybe when we were doing the backing tracks you know certain instruments make you play it in a certain kind of way. Every instrument is different. so for next album maybe I ask For the…
It gave the whole thing a sense of occasion.
When does it hit the streets?
The Kickstarter folks will get it a little bit ahead of time and then I’ll release is the eighth of March
We’ve crossed the burning hot coals and now were ready for the thousand yard run up to the tour dates and then the release. We’ve got a Mark Riley session then we’re looking forward to getting out on the road and touring.
what about Doing anything else? You did thee hypnotic boxset and tour?
yeah that was you know I had a bit of time before getting ready to do this album and Beggars got in touch about this project and it just seemed like “Oh, we’re looking at putting out this retrospective thing and it seemed like if we were ever going to get together then we need to stay in touch because like we rarely see each other because you just so busy only seems to be funerals or whatever when we bumped into each other and this was just like the excuse to get together and hang out again. So we did some shows. We got to go out on the road it was a great way to sort of put the icing on the cake yeah let’s go out and you know do some gigs with Mudhoney and to wrap it all up going out with the guys we originally went out with back in the day seeing the guys it was like a school reunion. Yeah,
yeah the start of the film yeah
okay and yeah I remember being on that boat like he really liked me and Ray and took us under his wing I think he had our first single and really liked it and he was living in Paris when we met him and yeah that was really nice to know that. We only hung with him on and off for a couple of years before he died so it was it wasn’t for years and years but it was really sad because he was he was like the first proper will kind of rock and roll you know bonafide lunatic ha ha A legit Rocker. There was a mutual kind of respect and us being so young I couldn’t help admiring him and he was really helpful and really cool with us and he was like showing us footage of Alice Cooper, great clips of early Alice Cooper and this and that you know he was really into and sharing stories about DeeDee and Johnny. We were sort of all ears and yeah, then he died and after the funeral his wife had the request that everyone had to snort some of his ashes. Not everyone did but we did ha ha it wasn’t good ha ha.
On that note, I guess we can thank you for your time Jim its been a pleasure and I look forward to the tour and hopefully the album gets a fantastic resposnse it deserves.
Geplaatst door Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind op Zaterdag 6 januari 2018
15 – Jac’s, Aberdare (tickets)
16 – MacArts, Galshiels
21 – 100 Club, London (tickets)
22 – Hope & Ruin, Brighton (tickets)
29 – Railway Inn, Winchester (tickets)
30 – White Hart, Corby (tickets)
31 – Music Hall, Ramsgate (tickets)