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TR+ Extended interview: Welcome Back – The Jesus And Mary Chain

Deafening feedback, riots and being “a pop band". The Scots alternative pioneers do some candid talking.

Exploding out of East Kilbride in 1984 with Upside Down, a feedback-drenched maelstrom of punk euthanasing noise-pop, the Jesus And Mary Chain saw their notoriety spread swiftly as early gigs erupted into riotous scenes unseen since the Sex Pistols. Upon re-signing with original manager Alan McGee, the JAMC took their 30-year-old debut album Psychocandy out on tour in 2014 to rapturous acclaim. Velvets-favouring lead vocalist Jim Reid considers the entire band simply extremely lucky to be alive.

How does it feel to return to Psychocandy?

A bit odd at first, but we’ve been playing most of the songs on and off through the decades, so it’s not that weird really.

Did you ever imagine that album would endure as a historical document, or was it recorded – as probably all great pop music is – as a temporary mirror of its time, a mere stepping stone to the future?

At the time we were recording Psychocandy we were listening to a lot of records that had been made twenty or thirty years before. When you make a record, you hope to hell that it isn’t just disposable, that it’ll be around for a while. So we were making music because of bands that existed in Texas in the mid-sixties, and thinking: “Wouldn’t it be great if in twenty or thirty years’ time there were bands from Texas making records because of what we’re doing now.” So we had our eye on the fact that it might not just be for the year that it was recorded in.

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