Metropolis chatted with The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Jim Reid before the group’s Japan tour, which takes place in Tokyo’s Studio Coast and Osaka’s BIG CAT venues on May 19 and 20. The Jesus and Mary Chain, active since the early 80s, are recognized as one of the most influential rock bands to come out of the UK and spearheaded the Glasgow rock movement which included Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub and the BMX Bandits.
Metropolis: Do you enjoy playing in Japan? What have your previous visits been like?
Jim Reid: Yes, I always enjoy playing in Japan. I enjoy touring in general anyway but the Japanese audience just seem to really get it.
M: Did you enjoy touring with Nine Inch Nails last year? What it’s like touring with other major bands? And how does it compare with the Rollercoaster tour in the early 90s?
JR: I did enjoy touring with Nine Inch Nails — we were a bit nervous at first because we’d never really done a tour like this before. We weren’t really sure how a Mary Chain show would go across to a NIN audience but after the first couple of shows we realised it was going to work, which made us relax quite considerably and since it was a NIN tour and we were along for the ride really, there wasn’t that much pressure on us. I wouldn’t really compare it to the Rollercoaster tour — it was just a completely different thing.
M: On your last album you worked with other musicians such as Sky Ferreira and Isobel Campbell. Do you enjoy this process? Is it rewarding to collaborate with other musicians?
JR: Sometimes it’s fun to have people from other bands on the record with you — it breaks the monotony a bit and it broadens the horizons of what the band can be. It would be interesting to do more of this kind of stuff in the future.
M: There’s a film being made about Alan McGee and his time running Creation Records. What was it like working with him? Was he as full on and eccentric as he sounds?
JR: Yeah Alan was pretty full on all of the time. All pretty much well documented so I don’t need to elaborate on that.
M: Are you planning on a new record soon? Will you be working with any other musicians?
JR: We are planning a new record and hoping to release it sometime next year. I don’t really know who we’ll be working with. It may just be me and William — but who knows?
M: You’re from East Kilbride near Glasgow. Why does such a small city like Glasgow produce so much great music?
JR: I’ve never really bought into the idea that where you come from affects the music you make. I think it’s irrelevant really, and anyway I don’t think that Glasgow has a particularly good track record for producing bands although there certainly were some great bands, particularly around the 80’s indie scene, but I can’t think of a single punk band from Glasgow.
M: Are there any JAMC songs that you love playing live?
JR: Yes, but it kind of changes almost on a daily basis. People generally don’t believe me when I tell them that I enjoy doing all of our songs, even “Just Like Honey” and “April Skies” that have been regulars in the set for a very long time. I just never get bored singing these songs.
M: What will you get up to when you come to Japan? Is there anything you enjoy doing while you’re in Tokyo?
JR: I just enjoy being there — I like the feeling of being out in the streets and everything seems so different from what I’m used to — and I love the food. People are always very friendly.
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN 『JAPAN TOUR 2019』 @ 新木場スタジオコースト