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Alan Interview

Bassist Magazine Sept '97

"The records stopped appearing and the name fell away from the lips and playlists.What happened to Jesus Jones? On the eve of a new nationwide tour heralding the launch of one of the most commercial British outfits in recent years, bass player Alan Doughty attempted to explain the reasoning behind the bands' recent submarine act.
'We drafted two copies of an album that the record co. really didn't like. WhenPerverse didn't do as well as expected, Mike decided that the '94 album would be what he wanted to write, involving a lot more techno, but again they turned it down, saying there weren't enough singles. so Mike wrote another 16 songs but that didn't work out either, it lacked attitude and just sounded bland. They turned that down too! By now, Mike was pretty disillusioned, but we eventually amalgamated the best songs from each, used a different producer, and now we have an excellent album thank god, that just took that long to do."

So is JJ actually Mikes band? The answer isn't definite, but there ain't no doubt that the front man holds the ultimate ace, as Doughty explains.

'I don't feel it is exclusively, but that is the way it tends to work, because he's the main write and very good at arguing his points. Failing that, he'll just downright refuse to do something anyway!'

Techno Techno Techno

JJ's techno element is mainly sequencer bass rooted, so does Alan sometimes feel that that interferes significantly with his domain?

(laughs)'Yes, though not as much as it used to. At first there was so much sequencing going on it was hard to rise above that. Sometimes I was supporting the sequencing,and thats not a great feeling. At the time it didn't matter so much because we were successful, playing big gigs and it was a kick, but slowly it bothered me more. On this album, theres hardly any sequencing there. There is however a lot of strong bass lines that I did in the studio with producer Martyn Phillips. Because he's such a perfectionist, a harsh guy to record with, very tiring. I was bit pissed off with the production of Wishing It Away on the new album, because they took out a lot of the bass, and I was 12 hours on that, but I guess I was playing too much all the way through, and they wanted it very mellow. Now it just comes right at the end, but its my favourite song, giving a lot more depth to the album.Its very rich-sounding and thats something we haven't mastered yet.' he reflects with commendable honesty.

Bass Start

'The first band was getting together and the bass was left so I picked that and of course we never formed the band. But it stuck and I love it. It wouldn't feel right playing anything else. Paul McCartney was my inspiration, all the way. You really can't beat him. Now Flea, obviously. Originally I listened to Roger Glove,and Geezer Butler, then it was Mick Karn. I went totally fretless in the 80sand copied a lot of his stuff. Fantastic. I actually got quite good at it,and it was very weird coming back to my original fretless Ibanez bass for this album, after 10 years or so. The way I used to play was completely different,very flowery kind of stuff, whereas this is direct and straightforward.'

'I bought a second hand Music Man Stingray years back which I've still got and that was it, I'd found the bass I loved. Music Man set me up with a great deal and I got a five string and another Stingray as a backup but somebody stole that, so now I'm using a Sabre - the one they discontinued- and this apparently was the last one out of the factory. Theres something great about it, its got a slightly narrower neck two pick-ups, but its still go the bollocks of a Stingray, plus I like the sound a bit better. I put that through a couple of Gallien-Krueger 800-RB heads, and a Trace Stack, a 4x10" and a 15" cab.'

Change of Drummer

'Actually Wiff, the new drummer, likes to get more involved and discuss the parts a lot more. Gen would never really talk about what I was playing or how it fitted with the drums. Wiff is a lot more critical and makes me more conscious of time-keeping, and its helped tighten us up. He's still learning the parts, although he did fill in on part of the '91 tour of America. He's always been with us, he was the drum tech, and to be a drummer in this band, you also have to know the technology and programming. Its not a straightforward drumming gig, its a pain in the arse.'


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