Gene Loves Jezebel was a group which I listened a whole lot to in the 80´s. Now have they come back with an album and it is Jay who talks to me about everything from punk to big hair….june-17

You have had a long break with the group now or do you have been playing as a band between the last record and the one before?
-We’ve never stopped working. We just haven't recorded together for a long time. I've been working on a project with Pete Rizzo called “Ugly Buggs.” A very theatrical, more electronically based music than GLJ. I’ve also worked on developing my acoustic performances & Pete on his “Rizzo” music (very cool stuff. He sings & amongst other things, plays a wicked Ukulele!). James Stevenson has done a lot with The Alarm, Holy Holy (Tony Visconti & Woody Woodmansey's excellent all star band, that plays Bowie music they were both heavily involved in). He’s toured as second guitar with The Cult & of course his punk band from his schooldays “Chelsea.” Not to mention tons of recordings with great artists like Scott Walker. Chris Bell has toured & recorded with Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers & done so many other things with new artists you'd have to ask him for a list!

Which members is it now? Please tell me a little about every member, , instrument, age, bands before and something really interesting about ever one…?
-Same band for over 32 years!
Well, read the above! Ages, now all in our 50’s! Chris is an original member of the Thompson Twins & Spear of Destiny. He has done sketches of birds for national newspapers, many times! Pete Rizzo was in Troy Tate’s (Teardrop Explodes) band. He recorded & toured a lot with them. Loves hiking & rough camping (I think that’s what it’s called!). I've only ever been in Gene Loves Jezebel. The band I named & formed. I think nothing of walking 20 miles for a stroll. James was in Kim Wilde’s band. Look for his cute face in “Kids in America” Video! An expert on vintage guitars (especially American). 

I know you never have been playing punk but are you raised with punk and what does punk mean to you?
-James Stevenson was in Chelsea. One of the original British punkbands. You should drop him a line!  Punk meant a lot to me. Set me free. A true revolution that allowed me to be me. So exciting. Great energy. Definitely had a massive impact on the four of us. Every member of this band could elaborate on what it meant & means to them personally, but for me I can say that it informs everything I do when I approach songwriting. Keep things lean! Ha ha. 

Please describe Genes music with three words?
-Big Hair Music! Ha ha. 

What´s the difference of doing songs nowadays if you compare with then you were younger?
-I still write in exactly the same way. 

Is it also some difference how you think about fame, hitlists and these things nowadays?
-I don't care for it. I wish I could just release music & nothing else. Here’s my album, hope you like it! Unfortunately we live in a media content hungry world The beast can never have enough! I miss the old “word of mouth” days. 

What do you think about downloading and that sort of stuff?
-There’s always an up & down side to everything. There’s no going back. It's great that we can share so easily, but it's impossible to make a living out of music nowadays. Music seems to have become totally & utterly disposable. This makes me sad. 

Can you feel that you have released a LP if you don´t release it physical and only on the net?
-Well, we’re releasing “Dance Underwater” in all formats. It feels like a big event for us. An important album. 

Why did it became Westworld Recordings, haven´t they mostly punkrelated stuff which they release?
-They have great taste & are very up about us. Proud to be part of it. 

Is it much concerts right now when you release the new record?
-We’ve just done gigs in The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal & London. We’re planning to tour after the summer. Let the “Dance Underwater” sink in first. Hopefully people like it & are as excited by it as we are. 

Which type of people comes to your concert, age? Is it only old fans or do you seem to attract younger and newer fans too?
-Lots of new fans. Our music is very song oriented. Songs always appeal to new ears as well as they do to our established fan base. Always new faces, new people to meet. 

How is it to play this sort of music right now in England?
-We’ve only played London, but I'm sure it'll go down as well everywhere in the UK. Fans travelled from far & wide to see us. 

Is there any good bands in England right now?
-Probably. 😎  

Have you ever been to Sweden and played and what do you know about Sweden?
-Many years ago. Absolutely loved playing there. We almost came to Stockholm recently with our friends The Mission. It was impractical I'm afraid, but we’d love, love to come. 

Have you heard any good Swedish band?
-First Aid Kit. Very good at what they do (though I don't think James & Chris would agree). I know there's a big Metal scene. You'll have to point me to some. The other lads in the band are much more clued in than me. I live in my own little bubble. 


The name Gene Loves Jezebel, how did it came up and you weren´t afraid that someone else would have taken the name before you? Are you satisfied with it?
-I wanted something that was a little more colourful than what was around at the time we formed. Everything was black. I always thought Gene Vincent represented that punk ethic we talked about. Keep things lean. No fat on the music. I was called “Jezebel” by a film student in Chelsea. Something to do with my appearance I think. So Gene loves Jezebel. 
I didn't think there'd be another GENE LOVES JEZEBEL. I think it's a very original name & it definitely got us noticed. So yes, I'm very satisfied with it. 

Five records you can´t be without?
-I'm not speaking for the band again (ha ha), but off the top of my head:
1.       Waterloo Sunset/The Kinks
2.       Be My Baby/The Ronettes
3.       Winter/The Rolling Stones
4.       Barangrill/Joni Mitchell
5.       On The Beach/Neil Young

Have GLJ ever done a political song? If you have which one is most political?
-Every song is political really. “Cry 4 U” on “Dance Underwater” is about Brexit. It was almost called “Cry 4 E.U.” 

Do you think that politic and music can go together? If you think so which is the best political group?
-Totally. The Clash or Crass. Bob Marley was pretty political, in a very tuneful & groovy way. Dylan, Neil Young. Lots of great bands. 

Which is the song most people want to hear is it The Motion of love or which is it? And which is your favorite to play?
-Depends where we are. “Break The Chain” is like a national anthem in some countries. “How do you say goodbye to someone you love” from “Dance Underwater” blows audiences away so far. We do it as our last song in our set, which is very unusual. Nobody plays a ballad & a brand new song to close a set! It’s that powerful. 
Desire, When we were One, Gorgeous & Stephen are ones that seem to resonate. We have a lot of songs!

Have you ever done any cover songs. 
-We did “Frozen” by Madonna. I preferred it before it was remixed. 

Have you ever heard any good cover on some of your songs? Which are the best you´ve heard?
-I'm flattered that we get covered. That's all I'd like to say. 

Which are the futureplans for the band ?
-We’re totally reinvigorated by “Dance Underwater.” Everything seems so exciting again. We’re doing so many different things live now. Anything is possible!

For yourself?
-I think GLJ will keep me very busy for a while, but my solo music is very important to me. I grow so much the more I play live. I find it both thrilling & petrifying, but always rewarding. All I have is my acoustic guitar (I only own one guitar) & my voice. Life on a knife edge. When it works, it is so powerful. I'll keep developing that & I’ll probably release something soon. I work in a very “punk” way. I literally express myself in one spontaneous take & that's it! I call it “pure” music. Nothing planned. Just do it!

-A wise word? Breathe. 

Something more to add?
-Everybody should learn to play music. We all have voices. Express your anger/joy! It's good for you & you’ll grow. Try it. Have no fear.