Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Is Anybody Ever Really Happy?

Run screaming from a real band with real guitars, you pop star freaks:

And yet, here we are, almost exactly a decade after their first comeback gig, discussing the new Jesus and Mary Chain album, Damage and Joy: Jim nursing a cup of coffee in a nondescript west-London hotel bar and William over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. They are, according to Jim, “getting on better, to the point where it’s almost like it was before we were in the band, when we were the opposite of what everyone thinks we are now; we were really good mates”.

Indeed, even separated by 5,000 miles, it’s hard not to be struck by how alike the pair seem. They’re both polite and friendly – a far cry from the Jesus and Mary Chain you can see in old clips on YouTube, answering questions with contemptuous monosyllables – if they can be bothered to answer them at all – and clearly incredibly shy. William apologises in advance for his shortcomings as an interviewee (“I’m not very articulate over the phone”) and his answers frequently tail off, his attempts to find the right words replaced by frustrated muttering involving much exasperated deployment of the word “fuck”.

As their manager, Alan McGee, has pointed out more than once, they share an ability to make rather heavy weather of life in a band, and indeed life generally. I ask them both if, given the fraternal fighting, the constant battles with a record company that kept trying to get them to work with producers who had made hits for Tears for Fears or U2, and their fabled antipathy to touring, they ever actually enjoyed being in the Jesus and Mary Chain. “Was I ever happy, full stop?” frowns Jim. “In the Mary Chain, I guess, as in life, happiness is just fleeting.”

His brother goes further: “Is anybody ever really happy? I mean, isn’t the whole world just stressed out? We’re all going to die and nobody knows where we’re going. How can you be happy knowing that you’re going to fall off the end of a cliff someday?”

Everyone is fixated on the pull away quotes--pop music really is, basically, shit made on someone's laptop, so why bother with it at all? The Jesus and Mary Chain are back, and that's all you need to know.

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