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Live Preview: The Jesus And Mary Chain

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.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.