Live Preview: The Jesus And Mary Chain

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Jim Reid, frontman with the reunited distortion fiends, talks about brotherly love, riots and, er... mellowing out.

The band are revisiting the Psychocandy album to mark its approaching thirtieth anniversary, but you don’t strike us as a nostalgia act?

We’re fairly comfortable with that. Were we not, then we wouldn’t be doing it. This tour isn’t about nostalgia. If you think you’re coming to see a chaotic, 1985-style Mary Chain show, that ain’t gonna happen. We’re in our fifties now.

Do you still stand by your heyday-era comment that “there’s never been a group good enough to play for longer than twenty-five minutes”?

I do totally, yeah. The Mary Chain’s regular set is now over an hour long, but I’m not joking when I say that any band I see bores me after fifteen or twenty minutes.

Did the regular violence at your band’s early gigs overshadow the music?

The riots did, sure. But although it was frustrating a lot of what happened was our own fault. We were quite difficult to deal with and we had a hedonistic lifestyle.

Did you mellow out in the late eighties, or just pretend to?

We’ve never mellowed out. The Mary Chain don’t do mellow.

So how comfortable do you feel appearing in a magazine called Classic Rock?

Rubbing shoulders with Zeppelin and Black Sabbath is great. At the start we were asked: “Do you think you’ll still be doing this in six months?” We honestly believed that people would be talking about Psychocandy ten, twenty or thirty years afterwards.

You’ve been discussing a new album for seven years now.

I hate to use a horrible Americanism, but he [brother, guitarist William] and I are now a bit more on the same page when it comes to the fine details of that.