GARAGE rock ‘n’ roll outfit The Jim Jones Revue hit the Midlands tonight (Friday, October 19) — touting a new album which brings ‘a new clarity’ and vintage warmth to their raw, elemental sound.
The band recorded backing tracks for the new release, The Savage Heart, in an old chapel in Lincolnshire before decamping to Edwyn Collins’ studio in London, where they benefitted from the 80s indie popper’s stash of retro equipment.
The band’s eponymous frontman tells the Mail: “The main mixing desk was an old Moog which had been hand-built for (legendary Beatles producer) George Martin and under the desk you’d see a pile about six feet hight of vintage guitar effects dating back to the 1960s.
“Because that stuff is so rare now, it means we’re able to attain those sounds no-one else has got access to. There’s nothing worse than doing a record and coming out with the same sounds everyone else has got.
“You can tell as soon as you listen back through the monitors that it’s got a really warm tone you get with vintage equipment, and you also get that smell of wood being heated up by old valves which takes you back to childhood and your granddad’s old radio.”
The process was completed when the tracks were mixed by producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, DJ Shadow), who managed to preserve the band’s trademark sound while making the tracks more club and radiofriendly.
“He’s a great guy and for me his real forte is mixing stuff so that it’s, not more commercial, but more accessible,” says Jones.
“With our first album, if you try and play it in a club, it becomes a mush of white noise, which is okay as a statement of art but it’s not much good if you’re trying to dance to it.
“Jim doesn’t give you something that’s all slick, cleaned-up and glossy, he gets you the clarity while managing to hang on to the grit and the rawness of the sounds, which is something we’ve struggled to get in the past.”
The band’s new album is their first since the arrival of pianist Henri Herbert, whose predecessor, Elliot Mortimer, reluctantly quit, struggling to cope with the demands of life on the road.
“It’s hard work but by the same token it’s a labour of love and I think in life if you hit on something you care about and you know how to do it, doesn’t feel so much like work.
“Luckily everyone in the band shares the same ethos on how we work and agrees we all get our heads down and keep digging, then just every now and again get a couple of days off where you can stick your head out and have a look around, like a rock ‘n’ roll meerkat.
“You have to just try and keep body and soul together, give it everything you’ve got, try and get some sleep and do it again the next day. It’s hard work, like labouring digging a hole, but when you do it day-in, day-out, you get used to it.
“The thought of being on the road for the best part of 18 months can be daunting, but when you walk on stage it feels pretty amazing, like you’ve lifted people to a higher level of consciousness by the time you walk out of the venue.
“Our strength is that if you put a crowd of people in front of us, by the time they go away, 99 per cent of them will have loved it because it’s so immediate — it’s that kind of thing where it’s straight from my heart to yours.”
The Savage Heart by The Jim Jones Revue is out now on Play It Again Sam/ Punk Rock Blues Records. The band play at Birmingham O2 Academy tonight (Friday, October 19). Tickets, priced £11.50, are available online at www.ticketweb.co.uk