The Jim Jones Revue Interview

FnS are looking forward to seeing the red hot rock n roll show that is The Jim Jones Revue at The Tunnels on Sunday April the 18th. Godzilla Blues had some questions for guitarist Rupert Orton.

The Jim Jones Revue

Can you tell us a bit about the Jim Jones Revue for those who are unfamiliar with the band?

The Jim Jones Revue play piano led  raw,  supercharged rock’n’roll inspired by Litle Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bunker Hill, MC5, The Stooges & The Birthday Party among many others. We’re based in London and have released two albums, our debut self titled album in Sept 2008 & a collection of all The JJR singles to date on Here To Your Soul released Oct 2009.

We’re currently recording our new album with Jim Slavunos producing from The Bad Seeds/Grinderman.

What are the band’s goals and ambitions?

To play exciting rock’n’roll.

You look to have a pretty intensive touring schedule coming up in 2010, what are you most looking forward to?

SXSW in Austin, Texas is going to be a lot of fun, it will be our American debut. Then soon as we get home we’ll be touring the UK which will include dates in Aberdeen, Glasgow & Edinburgh.

Which do you prefer, the live environment or recording?

The Jim Jones Revue are a live rock’n’roll band so when we record we approach it in the same way a live show so there’s not a lot of difference!

In a world that seems to be dominated by TV talent contests and the subsequent successes and failures of the winners and losers, especially in the UK, what is your opinion on these shows, do they offer an opportunity to those who would perhaps otherwise never have them or is it merely preying on peoples hopes and dreams?

We don’t watch much TV because we’re always on the road but the little I’ve seen of X Factor etc it mostly looks like a travelling freak show with a few Syco placed breakthrough artists who eventually win. It’s an advanced and very successful marketing exercise but doesn’t have much to do with music.

You are playing in Aberdeen in April – many bands neglect to travel further North in Scotland than Glasgow or Edinburgh, do you make a conscious effort to get to more out of the way places than the traditional touring routes normally take in?

Yep, if people wanna see us then we’ll play.We’re really looking forward to playing Scotland.  Last year we played pretty much every European country.

Do you feel that being based in London offers greater opportunities for bands than if you were based in somewhere such as Aberdeen?

Unfortunately yes as the UK music industry is based in London. But that’s not to say a great band from Aberdeen won’t get recognised as the internet with myspace, facebook etc has created opportunities for bands.

You have supported the Dead Weather, did you meet Jack White at all? If so, is he as eccentric as his public persona would suggest?

Jack was great and we got treated really well. It was an honour to play on the same bill as him.

The Jim Jones Revue

There have been several bands over the years who have tread a similar path to yourself, channelling the spirit of the 50’s rock and roll – The Cramps, The Meteors and the rest of the so-called psychobilly bands, Reverend Horton Heat, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Jon Spencer’s work with Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash etc – are you a fan of any of these artists?

Yes, we’re big fans of Jon Spencer and our first couple of shows ever were with Heavy Trash. The Cramps also made a big impact.

Do you have any bands that you would like to tour/play with?

Motörhead, & Eagles of Death Metal are a couple of bands that immediately come to mind.

A hypothetical question – if you could sacrifice anyone to resurrect someone who is dead, who would you sacrifice/resurrect?

I certainly don’t want to kill anyone for any reason! But I would be fascinated to see how Robert Johnson would have developed as an electric player if he hadn’t died in the late thirties.

Can you name 3 key influences, be it musical, cinema, literature, whatever?

Bunker Hill, Little Richard, MC5

Your music harks back to the rock and roll of the 50’s, especially with the pounding piano sound that recalls Jerry Lee Lewis….is there a thriving scene in London for this style of music?

Not really. There’s a retro scene in London but we’re not part of it.

I was pleased to see you have a cover of ‘Big Hunk o’ Love’ on your My Space site as it’s one of my favourite Elvis songs….the career of Elvis is much debated, what is your opinion, was he in terminal decline from the early 60’s onwards or was he relevant until the death?

I think every aspect of Elvis’s career is absolutely fascinating. Elvis is pop culture colossus!

Lux Interior of The Cramps, passed away last year – I can imagine that he was a kindred spirit for what you do but was he actually an influence to you at all and how did you feel about his passing?

Lux’s death was extremely sad. From Gravest Hits, Songs The Lord Taught Us & Psychedelic Jungle are all incredible records. Another hugely influential artist who died recently was Rowland Howard who’s playing in The Birthday Party was astonishing. Lux and Rowland will be sorely missed.

What is your favourite film?

Rude Boy

Name your 5 desert island tracks.

Girl Can’t Dance by Bunker Hill/Link Wray

Dead Joe by The Birthday Party

High School Confidential by Jerry Lee Lewis

Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey by Little Richard

Bad Girl by The New York Dolls

And finally, what are your favourite flavour of crisps?

I don’t eat crisps!

Thanks for your time Rupert and we’ll see you on the 18th!     Godzilla Blues

The Jim Jones Revue MySpace

The Jim Jones Revue

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