The Jesus And Mary Chain
Like The Velvet Underground, their most obvious influence, the chart success of The Jesus And Mary Chain was virtually nonexistent, but their artistic impact was incalculable; quite simply, the British group made the world safe for white noise, orchestrating a sound dense in squalling feedback which served as an inspiration to everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Though the supporting players drifted in and out of focus, the heart of the Mary Chain remained vocalists and guitarists William and Jim Reid, Scottish-born brothers heavily influenced not only by underground legends like The Velvets and The Stooges, but also by the sonic grandeur and pop savvy of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. In The Jesus And Mary Chain, which the Reids formed outside of Glasgow in 1984 with bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Murray Dalglish (quickly replaced by Bobby Gillespie), these two polarized aesthetics converged; equal parts bubblegum and formless guitar distortion, their sound both celebrated pop conventions and thoroughly subverted them.
With individual solo-projects eventually giving way to the groups reformation in 2007 (for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival), a Best Of compilation was later issued in 2010 although due to Williams reluctance of being seen purely as a nostalgia act only concerned with churning-out songs from their past, JAMC havent toured in years. Keeping their name in the public-eye however, this past summer, superdeluxeedition.com reported: Having completed their superb Suede reissue campaign, Edsel Records now focus their attention on Scottish alt-rock band The Jesus And Mary Chain. All six studio albums Psychocandy, Darklands, Automatic, Honeys Dead, Stoned & Dethroned and Munki will be reissued in late September and early October. Released in pairs over three weeks, each album will be expanded to 2CD+DVD with all the non-album b-sides as well as previously unreleased demos and rare outtakes. The DVD element for each issue will contain promo videos and previously unreleased archival TV appearances.
Having managed to overcome their sibling-rivalry and alcohol / substance abuse, when questioned about The Jesus And Mary Chains future, Jim commented: Its kinda always been Williams songs and my songs; very rarely have we actually sat down and written together, but traditionally, hes always been the main songwriter in the Mary Chain. He always was and always will be, and if we do another album then itll probably be largely Williams songs with about four or five of mine. Pondering in other interviews: Every record you make you kind of understand more. It is closer to you. The further from making a record you get, the further you forget why you made them. And: I think its hard to be in a band with anyone, but if youre not brothers then you can just go your separate ways. You can try it out, scream at each other, say things that cannot be taken back and do things that mean that the situation can no longer exist, and then youll no longer see each other again. But when its your brother, you still say all of those things, you still do all of those things, but because youre brothers you come back. The Mary Chain would have probably broken up in 1985 if we hadnt been brothers. It was that that kept us going.
After starting-out being on the dole for 5 years and with William altering the groups original name from The Daisy Chain to The Mary Chain, before finally settling on The Jesus And Mary Chain. By wanting to make the music theyd always wanted to hear and which didnt exist at that time (Einstürzende Neubauten playing Shangri-Las songs), they in turn also sounded like The Velvet Underground, Hank Williams, Bo Diddley, The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and Phil Spector, whilst looking like Bob Dylan, The Beatles in Hamburg and Johnny Cash! With Jim summing-up JAMCs career as like a bunch of halfwits stumbling through a minefield. There were triumphs, there were disasters, and there were loads of missed opportunities. That's what the Mary Chain were all about. We really were not very well equipped to be in the music business, with the exception of being able to make quite good music. He now answers a Q&A exclusively for R*E*P*E*A*T
12.The reasons why you signed to Blanco y Negro have been well-documented,
but are you pleased with how the band and your relationship with Creation
Records / Alan McGee is depicted in the documentary, Upside Down?
A very special thanks to Jim, and to Sarah @ Fifth Avenue PR, for all of their time and help.