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Jesus Jones: The Band That Refused to Conform

Jesus Jones is a British alternative rock band that emerged in the late 1980s and gained popularity in the early 1990s. Formed in Bradford-on-Avon, England, in 1988, the band was known for their energetic and eclectic sound, blending rock, dance, and techno elements.

Jesus Jones achieved significant success with their second album, "Doubt," released in 1991. The album spawned several hit singles, including "Right Here, Right Now," which became their biggest hit and reached the top of the charts in multiple countries. The song's catchy melody and socially conscious lyrics resonated with audiences, making it an anthem of the time.

A mix of distorted guitars, electronic beats, and the distinctive vocals of frontman Mike Edwards characterized the band's sound. Their music often had an optimistic tone, reflecting the spirit of the early 1990s.

Following the success of "Doubt," Jesus Jones released their third album, "Perverse," in 1993. While it didn't achieve the same commercial success as its predecessor, it contained notable tracks such as "The Devil You Know" and "Zeroes and Ones." The album showcased the band's experimentation with different styles, incorporating grunge and industrial music elements.

After "Perverse," Jesus Jones underwent various lineup changes and faced challenges maintaining their earlier success. They continued to release albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, including "Already" (1997) and "London" (2001), but they didn't achieve the same level of mainstream recognition.

Despite their commercial decline, Jesus Jones remained active as a live band, touring regularly and releasing new material independently. Their music continued to evolve, incorporating elements of electronica and indie rock.

Jesus Jones' influence can be heard in subsequent alternative and electronic rock bands, as their fusion of rock and dance elements was ahead of its time. The band's energetic live performances and catchy, socially conscious anthems left a lasting impact on the alternative music scene of the early 1990s.

In summary, Jesus Jones was a British alternative rock band known for their eclectic sound and energetic performances. They achieved significant success in the early 1990s with their hit single "Right Here, Right Now" and their album "Doubt." While they faced challenges in maintaining their mainstream popularity, they continued to release music and tour, leaving a lasting impact on the alternative music landscape.


Episode Transcript.

Robbie [00:00:00]:

So if we can go back a bit, growing up, was your house a musical house, or were your parents into music?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:00:08]:

At a crucial point, yes. In the early years, no. Although my dad had been a choir boy and had maintained a love of singing and opera and stuff like that, it wasn't a significant feature of the household. My mum was very into contemporary music. She bought all of the Beatles albums as they came out stones, Janice Joplin, Hendrix, and all that stuff. I got into music at about nine, as most kids do or did or whatever. Still, it was around that time that my dad got an acoustic guitar, a classical guitar because he wanted to teach himself to play classical guitar. It worked, and he faded out over a couple of years. As he faded, I started picking up and messing around with it. My parents got furious with me for doing this. He had a lovely guitar, and there's me just smashing away, and they said, Listen, if you want a guitar, go and buy your own. Get a job, do some work and buy your own. So I did, and that really negated me playing music. I often used to listen to my parent's record collection and think, oh, I'd like to do that bit, and I'd like to do that bit, and I like to do that bit. It could be anything from the drums to the singing, the guitar, whichever was most prominent on the record. But it was my dad getting that guitar and then insisting I've got my own. That got the ball rolling because within a year or so of getting that guitar, I got together with Jen, the drum in the band, and we decided to form a band. And bear in mind that it was the summer of 1977, right? No. 78, instead. It all happened early. Jen is still with a band now.

Robbie [00:01:56]:

Fantastic. And which album or song turned your head into wanting to play the guitar, write music, or become a musician?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:02:05]:

I don't know if there's any particular one, but the first single I ever bought was Hellraiser by The Suite, which I absolutely loved. I loved it. It was fantastic. I was absolutely enthralled by it. And then after that, it was more a case of I'd like to do that bit off Paperback, right? Or I'd like to do that bit off Painted Black, or I'd like to sing like Jimmy and Hoops does that, or Janice Joplin does here. So it was that thing more than any particular foundational track; that's fantastic.

Robbie [00:02:39]:

I mean, the sweet, what a great band.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:02:41]:

They were, yeah. Oh, you don't need me to agree with you. But, no, I'm going to say that anyway.

Robbie [00:02:47]:

I mean, Mick Tucker, the drummer. Wow, what a powerhouse he was. Underrated drummer. Underrated.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:02:52]:

I've never thought of that. I should go back and listen because I still listen to Hellraiser, ballroom blitz, and stuff like that with my pre-adolescent ears. I don't pick much out of it in that analytical way, but it sounds interesting. I should go back and check it out.

Robbie [00:03:08]:

Honestly, he's excellent. He's wholly underrated for a 70s drummer because, yeah, John Bonham and such. So I think he gets overlooked. But the man has such skills. He was brilliant.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:03:16]:

I think that was the thing with the Sweet. I think they were overlooked because they were kind of perceived at the time as very kind of bubble gum pop. Although it's fascinating when you listen to something like Hellraiser, they think, really, that was pop music in those days because it's a nasty piece of guitar playing going on there. And I think they were a band that was very capable and very good, very had a strong style of their own, but just got overlooked because of their hit singles, really in a similar way to Slade, I think, who are another band that is absolutely magnificent. I mean, Noddy Holder's voice, it's got to be probably the greatest voice in rock music. Just astonishing. There's a track off the first live album they cover, Darling Be Home Soon by John Sebastian, and it's one of many songs that's got a chord sequence in it that is exactly the same as Right Here, Right Now. So I don't know how influential that was. But at the end of that, Noddy Holder just goes up an octave, and he hits the chorus an octave higher than he has them before. Oh, my God, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Anyway, another underrated band.

Robbie [00:04:20]:

Sorry. Yeah, I mean, Noddy seems to have no end range. He seems to sing higher and higher and higher.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:04:25]:

Yeah, that is very true.

Robbie [00:04:27]:

He's wonderful. So you got your first band together. Were you starting to songwriter at a really young age, or were you sort of just doing covers and finding your way through?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:04:36]:

Yeah, covers initially, like everyone else, and then you start writing your own stuff, which, of course, was absolutely appalling. I know there are some people, and I think Jerry in the band has talked to Miles Hunt because Jerry played in The Wonder Stuff for a short while to help them out. And I think there's one of the songs of the Wonder Stuff's first album that was, I think, maybe the first song Miles ever wrote. It was written when he was something like 16, and it's obviously on their first album. It's a really good song. I'm just full of admiration because I didn't write anything even halfway decent for the first 100 songs. I'd say it was all absolutely dire before then, so that's impressive.

Robbie [00:05:21]:

You get like George Michael wrote Careless Whisper at 16 or something.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:05:24]:

Yeah, anything but a prodigy; I think I was always one of these people that had to work very hard to be able to achieve the things I achieved. It didn't come easy.

Robbie [00:05:36]:

Can we talk about just getting the Jesus Jones together and how it formed originally?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:05:44]:

Well, it was a process of accumulation, really, rather than a kind of Jones big moment. People came in; people came out. The constants, really, were Jen, the drummer, who, as I've said, he and I decided we were going to be in our first band in 1978; about five years, four years after that, we'd already had a few permutations, and Alan, the bass play, joined from that point, about 83, 84, something like that. That was the core of the band. And then people came in; people came out. Jerry joined the band when we moved up to London; this was 19, 86, 87, or something like that. And then, 87, 88, I met up with this guy in a pub in North London who I could tell from his shoes he was a skateboarder, so he got talking about skateboarding and then we decided to go out skating together. And then I said, oh, yeah, I'm in this band, and we've just got a bit of interest in the record company. It looks like we're going to get a record deal. And we needed someone to play all the samples, so I asked my skater friend Ian if he fancied just poking around on the keyboard and playing the samples, and that's really how it crystallized. It was not really, as I say, one big moment. It just kind of gradually came together and dinged. That was it.

Robbie [00:07:00]:

Fantastic. Where did the idea for the samples come into the music for you? Did you write with samples in mind, or were you writing songs and adding the samples after?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:07:10]:

I think initially, because I had more of a traditional songwriting background, initially, I'd put the samples in as kind of ear candy, but very soon into the process, there are definitely songs on that first album on Liquidizer that are written that started with samples, so they were an integral part of the songs. I can remember clearly the nights that I'd bought my first sampler, which was obviously very primitive by today's standards, but I was just amazed. It was absolutely fascinating, and it really opened the doors for me. I've been listening to stuff at the time, I suppose it would be Age Of Chance and, really importantly, the Shaman, and this always baffles me, but the pop elite itself was never an influence on us, but they were certainly doing that kind of thing. I don't know why they weren't an influence on us. That's never really it's a mystery to me. So, yeah, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, stuff like that, where samples are an integral part of it. When I found that I could do that and I could do it really easily, it was one of those hyperspace moments when suddenly all the stars went like that. It was brilliant. Yeah, just an absolute eye and ear opener.

Robbie [00:08:33]:

And was it easy to do samples live back in the day then? Was it easy to get that stuff to work?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:08:39]:

Yes, it was, but in a primitive way, you had the Akai samplers, which were the kind of they were foundation of Stones, really. They're the ones that everybody uses. They got the job done well for the time, but they were very primitive. I mean, the memory was absolutely tiny, and you had to have really hard drives to back that memory up. And the hard drives themselves are really small, and it's fascinating. Now what we take around the world is basically what you can do with an iPad was a 30-kilogram giant flight case that we had to fly around the world. I mean, now we're going to tour in America in the summer, and it's on a small twelve-inch screen laptop, I think.

Robbie [00:09:29]:

Fantastic. I didn't know if it was like The Who. That had a big tape-to-tape machine.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:09:35]:

Yeah, we did actually start with that. I had a four-track Porter studio, and I think we're very early on; when we started down that route, we used that. Then we got our record deal; we got some money. That's when we bought the Akai samples. But yeah, actually, so it was taped originally. Cassettes, in fact.

Robbie [00:09:53]:

I love cassettes.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:09:55]:

I hate them. What a dreadful medium. So many of these media were awful. I mean, I don't get the vinyl thing in the slides. I'm aware that we sell them, and I understand all the other arguments, but as something to listen to, it's appalling. It was something crying out for something like CD to come along, and now you don't even need that. I think it's brilliant.

Robbie [00:10:18]:

I love vinyl. So Liquidizer was the first album. Was it an easy album to make? Were the songs already there, or did you have to sort of write in the studio at the same time?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:10:27]:

No, right in the studio. It was really hard to make, actually, because in the run-up to Liquidizer, we've been releasing singles fairly quickly, and in those days, to try and boost the sales of singles, you would bring out multiple versions with multiple different mixes and other songs on there. So basically, in that period, as fast as I could write the songs that were released, I couldn't keep up with the demand of the record company for songs. I mean, they would over three singles. You'd pretty much have to write an album's worth of songs to keep up with that demand. So I then had the album to do as well. So yeah, a lot of it was getting up early in the morning, writing the song, going to the studio in the afternoon, recording it, getting home at midnight, getting up early in the morning, and writing the next song. It was very much like that. It was really as they were needed. It was tough.

Robbie [00:11:23]:

Yeah, it sounds like you're treadmilling as well. It was kind of just, yeah.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:11:28]:

The only time I really started getting ahead of myself was when we started touring. Because you have so much time when you tour just to think about things, which is really important, I think, for creativity. But also then later on, when we got bits of technology, you could actually start creating stuff on the road. And it didn't matter if you weren't creating entire songs as long as you had that initial point to start you from then, you knew when you had a clear week at home, you could really get stuck into two, three, four songs and get them well progressed. So it was kind of repeated touring that helped with the songwriting process, which is ironic. I know so many people complain that they have no time to write songs because it was touring. But it was completely the other way around for me.

Robbie [00:12:11]:

Fantastic. Info Freako was the first single, is that right?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:12:15]:

Yes, it was. Yeah. It was the first song on the demo that we recorded. We had a kind of make-or-break demo, really. There's Jen, the drummer, Jerry, the guitarist, and I went on this holiday in Spain in 1988, and it was pretty much, all right, we've been doing this for a while, and it's not really going anywhere. What are we going to do? And I said, Look, I've got an idea. This is how we're going to do it. I've got this sampler. We should present it with very much me at the forefront and just leave it all to me. I'll take care of it, and we'll make a demo. And we got these three songs that I think should be on there. So we went ahead, and we did that. And it wasn't quite finished when Jen took it into food records, who he knew as DBM management. They were a management company. They managed people like Zodiac, Minewarp and Voice of the Beehive. We were looking for a manager, and it just turned out they happened to be a record company as well. And we signed a deal with them. But, yeah, the first thing they heard was Info Freco. And that's the first thing that most people heard from us was Info Freako.

Robbie [00:13:20]:

What surprised me was I was reading online that Bruno Brooks really championed that song,

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:13:27]:

It surprised me at the time as well. And even then, everyone was going, what the hell is this about? Why is this guy doing drive time? Radio One. Why is he getting behind something that otherwise you'd expect to hear at nine or ten at night, if you were lucky, on Radio One? I didn't question it, but it struck me that maybe he was fair play to him. I suppose maybe he had his ear to the ground. We were starting to get some press. It did look like people were talking us up a lot, and maybe he just wanted to get ahead of things. And I thought, yeah, that's the kind of thing I want to ally myself to. It could be that he just really liked the song and wanted it on his shows, but it was a surprise. Yeah, that was one that we're very happy with.

Robbie [00:14:15]:

It makes you wonder. I was thinking about it the other day, that people in America won't know this, but Ken Bruce obviously has left BBC Radio, too, because he wanted to do his sort of own playlist and the BBC insisted that he play certain records. I wonder if it was the same back then, and this was Bruno's sort of, actually. I really like this song, and I want to play it. If he sort of broke the format and got in trouble a little bit, I wonder.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:14:36]:

Yeah, I wonder because it was very even then; DJs didn't have a say. I think it could be that we were right towards the end of his show, and he kind of played all the songs in his playlist, and maybe he's kind of talked for two and a half minutes less than he normally did, so he could squeeze our song, and I don't really know. Or it could be that whoever was in charge of the playlist, the program director or something, suggested he do it. I really don't know. But I don't think it was very different then. I do think that DJs played the playlist without really any kind of deviation from it.

Robbie [00:15:16]:

So at this point, we're up to Doubt, the second album. Was that an easier album to write because you've been writing on the road and writing songs, or did that take a long time? Again, was there more pressure to write hits on this one? Did they sort of say, look, you got to get a bit more commercial, you got to get more radio-friendly, was it?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:15:34]:

Yeah. The confounding factor is that it's not like kind of we did one, then stopped and did the other; it was just constantly going. I was constantly writing songs, and there were some things from the past that we'd bring back up and redo. We'd Already Doubt came out at the start of 91, and quite a few of the songs for that were written at the end of, say, 1989, so some of them were already over a year old as far as we were concerned. But, yes, certainly something like International Bright Young Thing, its working title was Hit, because that's what I wanted it to be. It was very important to us at that point. We'd had three songs that were just outside the Top 40, only just. And it was really frustrating, really irritating that we were almost there, almost had our foot in the door, but didn't quite have it. So the record company didn't need to put any pressure on me. It was me thinking, I'm fed up with almost being there. I want to write something that does get there. Obviously, the record company, we're all in favour of that, but there was no kind of, you need to sit and write down a hit now. It was entirely my initiative, is my impetus. But, yeah, basically, Doubt was being written as Liquidizer was being released and toured. I don't remember Doubt being anything as difficult as Liquidizer. Yeah, that did seem a lot easier to do, but I don't think it's as good an album as the ones on either side of it. To me, it doesn't sound as good. The remix versions of the hits are what made them hits, and I think they are better versions than I would have been able to do myself. But at the time, I was going to think it was not really the version that I wanted. It's a funny album, and for me, at least some of it. There's very little of it I really like, actually have to say right here, right now. I've always loved it. I always thought it was a great track. Some of it's good, but there are tracks like Bliss, I think, on there. Trust me, we often have fun playing live, but there are quite a few tracks I just stripped. Yes, Stripped was written as a result of going to Romania, and I listened back to it ten years ago, something like that, and thought, there's actually something worthwhile in there, but just not in the version that we released on Doubt. So we remade it in 2014, and we've been playing that version every so often ever since.

Robbie [00:18:15]:

I really like I'm Burning; I like the backward samples on it.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:18:19]:

That was one of the tracks. That track at that point would have been about six years old, maybe a little less, but not much. So we played it to the record company when they were desperate for songs, and I was thinking, well, maybe have this one. And they said, yeah, great, let's put that on there. Welcome back to back, Victoria as well. I mean, the very fact that this is 91, so John Major was Prime Minister then. Welcome Back Victoria is actually written about Margaret Thatcher and was written in the Thatcher era. So, I mean, I'm guessing I wrote that in something like 84, 85, and yet six, seven years later, I guess that shows that we were kind of fairly not desperate for material, but we were looking further than we had done on Liquidizer.

Robbie [00:19:13]:

So right here, right now, Was that written about the Cold War ending? Is that right? Did I read that right somewhere?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:19:17]:

Basically, yeah, that's it. It was about the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember just that event was one of those things that, having grown up in, you just thought, that's always going to be there. It's one of those permanent things, one of those permanent features of life. There will always be this divide between East and West Europe. And when it came down, it was mind-boggling that you could have changed on that kind of scale. Such a collapse of one system and also a time of amazing optimism, thinking, well, if we can change that, then what else can be changed? If something that big can disappear? And this is the end of it. Growing up in the 80s, there was always that threat of you're going to be nuked. If you look back, there are so many films from that era that are about that subject, about what happens if in the event of a nuclear war. So for that to go away was a bit of a relief, but also just an astonishing scenario to live through. And that's really what inspired the song, lyrically, at least. But musically. Simple Minds had done a cover of Sign of the Times, which I really didn't like. I just thought that I hadn't added anything to it and kind of missed out on all the good bits of it. And I had the lyrics right here, right now going on, I think, all kind of in the background. And I just actually took a loop of Sign of the Times, and everyone was into the Velvet Underground at that time. So I got this Velvet Underground-type guitar riff and put it over the top of the loop to Sign the Times and had the words for Right Here, Right Now. And so the original version was basically just Sign of the Times for three minutes. One, two-bar loop of it.

Robbie [00:21:09]:

I love that. And then the International Bright Young Thing thing, was that about you travelling around and meeting new people and the excitement of travelling?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:21:15]:

Yeah, it was written on a plane flying above Siberia, coming back from Japan at the end of some mad era of touring. I mean, that might have been at the end of the tour of 90. No, it wouldn't have been, actually. But I know that in 1991, we toured for nine months of the year. So doing a lot of touring. And we're going to new places, and we're always meeting new people, interesting people. We're having a brilliant time. I absolutely love touring to this day, and we always did. We were never one of those bands that moaned about it because it was just the most exciting thing. And you meet great people and have great experiences. And it was nice coming out of Britain and kind of seeing people who felt the same or just understanding how they felt different. We'd seen a lot of things from Romania immediately after their revolution to Japan, which was culturally a real shock, but in a fascinating and exciting and interesting way. So, yeah, it was just writing down how it felt to be part of this kind of this wider world that I was experiencing firsthand. It's all very well to kind of say, yeah, it's a wider world, and we all have things in common. But when you actually meet these people and talk to them from such different cultures, really exciting. Especially when you're kind of out of your mind on a lack of sleep 8 hours into a twelve-hour flight, or it is. Yeah. And knowing that you've got to write a song by the time you get off the plane. Some aspects of that I wouldn't write now, but what the hell?

Robbie [00:22:46]:

It's fantastic. I know. It's obviously going to talk to you today, so I dug out my 45 original copy.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:22:52]:


Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:22:57]:

It's a real article from the past, isn't it? That's it.

Robbie [00:23:00]:

I went and bought this so because me and my mum grew up, we were always skinned. Woolworths used to put their singles out, and then after about three weeks, they would put it in a bin for 50 p. So it's got my 50 p. Not to devalue the song, but I had to wait three weeks to get it.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:23:17]:

That's really good. Yeah.

Robbie [00:23:20]:

I always had to wait out to get the records I wanted, but I got them in the end. But what I love about the album, looking at it in that version, is like it was like a song time capsule because you were writing about everything around you at the time. I think it's a lovely aspect of those records.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:23:36]:

Yeah. And that was the intention. I did want to capture a kind of a point in time, which is going back to talking about writing international, bright young thing. There was always an element of kind of, yeah, I'm not especially happy with that line, but I'm writing it now, and tomorrow is another day. And so we were very much of that mindset. We knew that we were writing pop music, even though that was a little bit of a dirty phrase. Going back to our thing about Slade and the suite and how you can be denigrated if you write pop music, we knew that's what we were doing, and I thought that was just part of it. Let it be part of that time. A lot of it does sound very dated, and I don't mind that at all. I had no plans, but I didn't expect much of it to last, I think. And the fact that we're playing some of those songs now is a kind of double-edged sword. It's kind of nice, but there are sometimes it's funny; we often talk about it. I mean, Never Enough is the one song, but in rehearsals, everyone goes, oh, really? Do we have to do it live? It's brilliant. Great rocking song. And you can see why the record company said, yeah, you got to put out as a single. You can see why people want to hear it but in a rehearsal studio.

Robbie [00:24:52]:

I just love how the album was completely different in parts, like Real Real. It's got a tribal start to it and a tribal feel as well. And then you've got the pop it's. It's a wonderful collage of the time. I think it's fantastic. No, honestly, it's a great album. I just thought I'd tell you what.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:25:05]:

I mean, I intended it to be a kind of a mishmash of things, so I'm really pleased that it became a very easy thing. The approach became very straightforward. It was quite nice, kind of thinking, well, here are some mysterious Bulgarian voices. Why not put that with AC DC? Whereas kind of three, four, five years early. I wouldn't have thought of it for a moment, but it just kind of opened up a new way of working, which was which I'm really pleased about, and I think it kind of coincided with a lot of people taking that approach. And now I think it's a standard approach, which is great.

Robbie [00:25:46]:

Yeah, we get to like Perverse about 96. There was a large gap between the albums. Was that due to touring or just writing, or just wanting a break?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:25:54]:

Perverse was actually 93. It Already was 96. Perverse. Yeah, we did it. I said in 91, and we did nine months of touring. In 92, things slowed down a bit, and I was recording and writing Perverse. And then you had the usual record company thing. I think we finished Perverse in something like June, July, or August, something like that. And the record company said, yeah, we're going to put out in January. So we had a six-month wait just for a more kind of beneficial release time, by which time I think it was probably too late. That's my favourite Jesus Jones album. I think they get better as they go on already. The album that came out after that, I really like that there's plenty of that I can listen to, and quite a bit of Perverse as well. Whereas Doubt I won't really listen to it at all. And Liquidizer, every so often, very rarely, every nine months, 18 months, I might listen to something of it, but only if I have to try and remember how the words go because we're doing a song we haven't played for ten years. But yeah, so Perverse is really proud of that album. We did take time over it, I think, as a reaction to the very sloppy nature of Doubt. Warren Livesey was the producer of Perverse, and I just think he did the most fantastic job because he took songs that I'd done. It was very much a kind of. George Martin to the Beatles. Not on comparing myself to The Beatles, but someone who could add in such creative input to kind of takes a song and say, yeah, it's great, but you need to add another section on end there. And I've never had that before. It was just, here's the song that we might chop out a bit before the first chorus. This is going away. Write something else, do something else, or add another guitar part. It was like that. And he would then do some stuff that just blew my mind. So we took time working on Perverse. We then with Already, which came out after that. There were two versions, I think. There was one recorded with a couple of guys who worked in a studio that I co-owned at the time. And the second version was the one that Martin Phillips, who produced right here, right now, that he made. He was very painstaking, and I think we took something like six months to record his version, having already done the entire album once before with some other people Jesus time, and then the delay for the record company. So there was a three-year gap between Perverse and Already. It was a year and a half, I suppose, two years between Doubt and Perverse.

Robbie [00:28:36]:

I mean, Perverse is a very polished-sounding album as well. It sounds completely different, doesn't it?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:28:42]:

Yeah, absolutely. It did coincide with me thinking that I should stretch things a little because the first two albums were often written in a hurry. They were very formulaic because I had no time, certainly Liquidized; I have no time for anything other than the formula, as long as it went verse, chorus, verse, core, as, middle, chorus, end, fine. I knew I could get it done in the morning and record it in the afternoon. It was the first time I'd had a chance to kind of explore things a little bit in all sorts of ways. And, yeah, Warren was very good at adding that kind of that sheen, that polished thing in some ways now that sound very dated, very of their time, the late 80s, early 90s, but in some ways that I still think are just fabulous in creating great pieces of music, I think.

Robbie [00:29:33]:

Yeah, it's great. It's polished, but it's sort of darker and rockier. And that's the bit that drew me in. It's like, oh, that's the bit that really sort of grabbed me like, this isn't the Jesus Jones that I know and love; this is a new band that scares me a bit, and I like it.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:29:47]:

Yeah, we felt that that was more of a reflection of the actual band, that we were there's, in a way, kind of more in common with Liquidizer and Perverse than Doubt and Perverse. Because of that, it was our kind of and some extent reacting against our pop notoriety, I guess. Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. It was a statement album in all ways we were trying to say, this is who we really are, and this is what we're really doing. And the reason it's called the verse is because we also felt that we were bucking the trend. We're very much swimming against the tide, having everything has been pushed forward in the era of kind of Liquidizer when that kind of technology and dance music was new and then Doubt onwards when it suddenly became much more accepted and acceptable. So things, in my view, were kind of progressing and moving forward into the future. Then when grunge happened and then starting the start of Brit-pop, we seemed to be taking huge steps backwards. And I couldn't understand why I'd be out in these techno clubs hearing sounds like that I'd never heard before, given the same feeling that I had when I was listening to Blockbuster by The Suite or Hellraiser by The Suite. That same kind of feeling, excitement like this, is amazing. I've never heard something like this before. I didn't understand why we were then going back and listening to our parent's record collections as they were, without really much change. And so, by doing an album, we made a big deal out of the fact that we were making a rock album the way a techno artist will make a techno album, which was a perverse thing to do. It wasn't the smart move to make an album that wasn't a very traditional guitar album, but we did it anyway because we felt that it was a reflection of who we were and what we were about.

Robbie [00:31:46]:

What I did the other day for fun was I played Nine Inch Nails, his Downward Spiral album, and then perverse next to each other. It could be like a father-and-son kind of relationship.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:32:00]:

Yeah, I found that interesting. We went to America because the industrial scene had started to kick off. There obviously Nine Inch Nails and Ministry and people making comparisons with us and that, and I guess it's just because we were using the technology, in particular drum machines. Whereas I felt there's a big difference between what we did and the industrial stuff. The industrial stuff didn't really have a groove. It wasn't based on dance music. It's not to denigrate it in any way, but it sounded different, it came from a different place, but yeah, it's pretty nice when people make that comparison just because it shows me that there were similar things going on in different places at the same time.

Robbie [00:32:47]:

Yeah, like you say, like pop belief itself, it's almost the same but completely different, which is wonderful. Last year you brought out some new singles. Why do windburn, and where are all the dreams? Is there a hint of a new album on the way?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:33:00]:

Is that a way of releasing? I'm not sure about an album because these days it takes a long time to make an album because we do it in a DIY way, not because we're cheap escapes, but actually it's very easy to do that now. The technology has got so good that I can do it all in the room. I'm talking to you from now, and when I say I can do it all, I'm getting files emailed over from our bass player in Chicago. Jen, our drummer, now has this electronic drum kit, and he just plays into his computer and then sends me a tiny little file, and that's it. And I can then give him John Bonham's sound if that's what he wants, or someone else's sound if that's what he wants. So I can tie it all in here, I guess, is what I'm saying. But doing it that way and also writing, just finding the time. Find the time to write. No, it's not really that. It's actually finding inspiration. I've been writing songs now since my early teens and kind of late fifty s now, so it gets harder to write; I think it gets harder to listen to music in the same way that I did before. I still find a lot of music really inspiring, but not as much as I did. I don't feel kind of part of a scene; I don't feel involved in a scene in any way, so it's harder to write. It's lengthier to record, and as a result, I think we might accrue an album's worth of songs over the next five years is probably the best answer to your question.

Robbie [00:34:39]:

Are you still, in your mind, an environmental songwriter now as you write differently? Like we were saying, obviously, that was very about the surroundings. Do you feel the same you write the same way now? Or do you sort of write not to order but in a sort of non-personal way?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:34:57]:

I try and steer clear of the kind of socio-political commentary, which I have done a lot before. Partly because I did a lot of it before, but partly because it doesn't unless you can tie it into an emotion; I don't think it's all that engaging. I still struggle with writing lyrics. I never set out to be a lyric writer, or a singer for that matter. I find it very difficult. I don't think I do it very well very often. There are sometimes I can do a good job of it, but I think it's more by accident than by design. I write words by design. They're generally something I'm not all that pleased with, but I tend to write just if I've got something to write about or I want to write, then I do it. That's how it's done. Now, again, in complete contrast to Liquidizer, which is you will have a song by the end of today. That's all there was now. Yeah. So that's why, again, an album would take so long to do because I'd be waiting to find something to write about that I wanted to write about.

Robbie [00:36:05]:

Yeah, that's fair enough. If people want to find out about yourself and Jesus Jones, where's the best place to find information about the band and the tours and the albums?

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:36:14]:, I guess we're on Twitter. We're on all the socials, unusual places that people would want to find out. It's always pretty obvious. Ian, the keyboard player from the band, does a great job, and he's got a team of other people helping him spread the word left, right and centre. So we're very easy to get hold of if you want to find out.

Robbie [00:36:35]:

Fantastic. And I'll put links at the bottom. Thanks for checking, Mike. It's been an absolute pleasure, mate.

Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) [00:36:40]:

It's a pleasure to speak to you as well.


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