The Jesus and & Mary Chain are perhaps one of the most ‘cult’ bands in modern memory. Their staunch fans, riveting riffs and slick shoegaze sound has cultivated them into indie icons and they’re back with a brand new full length album ‘Damage and Joy’. It’s been over seventeen years since their last project ‘Munki’ was released and with one reformation and a headline slot at Coachella later to boot, there is much still left to be desired by fans who have awaited a follow up to their 1999 album with baited breath.
Speaking with Scotland’s national newspaper, lead singer Jim Reid voices his concerns regarding the music industry and the demand for a continuous stream of material, he states – “The music business the way it was back then, it was very hard to stop for a minute or two and just take stock and decide whether you were going in the right direction, because everybody was always telling you you’ve got to keep the ball rolling, you’ve got to keep the balls juggled”.
He goes on to suggest that the shortcomings of the band, their lack of activity and the subsequent break up falls on his shoulders, simply due to the fact that Reid quite readily shoulders the blame for the group’s inability to deliver. He states: “It just about killed me. It was a very, very painful record to make and that was my last memory of making an album and I wasn’t really in any rush to get back into that situation. I had no reason to suppose it wouldn’t be that way again. We were prepared for World War 3. We went into the studio wearing flak jackets”.
So, what can we expect from the new album? It’s been produced by none other than founding member of Killing Joke, Martin Glover (or ‘Youth’ as he is otherwise known) and features a number of songs that Reid is happy to have handpicked from the many the band has recorded over the years. He hopes that the message of the album, which among other things is a commentary on the bands own relationship with the music industry will be enough to whet the appetites of fans who have waited almost 20 years for new material.
The Jesus & Mary Chain commence their British tour on the 23rd of March in Newcastle, with the new album ‘Damage and Joy’ being released the next day.