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First Interview

London based five piece Jesus Jones, "became brilliant very quickly", and signed to Food Records before the year was out. Fronted by seething young oik, Jesus H Jones, and with their debut single "Info Freako" - an audacious 45 packed with a mix of maniacal guitars and twisted samples - Steve Lamacq finds a band with a rich future.

"I'm thinking of doing what James Brown did with his backing musicians and fining the rest of the band when they play bum notes. It'd be great. I'd make a killing."

Eyes sunk deep into his head, Jesus H Jones is a seething young oik with a rich future. With his ego wrapped in a Slam City Skates sweat top the singer/guitarist is a lean picture overflowing with confidence. And, given his band's brief history it's not hard to understand why.

Formed last August, London-based-five-piece Jesus Jones "became brilliant very quickly", and signed to Food Records before the year was out. In the past two weeks, low key gigs have drawn enthusing audiences, including Gaye bykers and Beehives, and the band have now shot foootage for their first video and Thames TV appearance.

Then there's the debut single "Info Freako", an audacious 45 packed with a mix of maniacal guitars, and twisted samples that puts them somewhere between Crazyhead and Tackhead. It's an example of how bands can take PWEI's techno-rock one step further.

"I had the idea for it after thinking about how various well known rap stars are always dissing younger acts because they're scared of being overtaken by them." Explains Jesus. (Real Name:No comment)

"And I thought how do people try to rise above others - originally it was through education, but now people read and use so much trash."

Jesus H Jones radiates a starring role. If he's in his element on stage then he's in the firnament for interviews. Without him this band would still be in the wilderness.

"I can't stand people who say 'it's terrible when you're famous because you can't go on a bus.' That would be great. Who wants to go on a bus anyway? I like stars, people who are larger than life."

There's a place already reserved for Jesus Jones in the hallowed ground of the Top 40. Whether it's for IF or for subsequent singles, they'll certainly be there this year rubbing shoulders with The Wonder Stuff.

What JJ bring to the label is experiment - they're technicians for a snotty new pop music that's distinctly clever.

"I feel quite a responsibility by owning a sampler, performing live and making records, because if you have one of these machines, and you use it in a "pump up the cliche" way, that's irresponsible.

"It's not doing anything new, when really you should be taking it one step further, because I think sampling to the 90's could be what the electric guitar was to the 60's. Sooner or later there'll be a Jimi Hendrix of sampling and I want it to be me."

But if Jesus Jones studio sound is a tuned in well planned construction, the bands live show is more like a freshly-laid brick wall with samples seeping through like over-excited cement. Out front cavorting like he's been stung by a bee is Jesus H.

"I've always tried to get people to look at me." he admits. "When I get on stage and pick up a guitar this enormous ego drops on me. Everyone has this ego, but I'm one of the few people who get to use it."

Along with Zodiac Mindwarp, and Brian Clough.

"Looking back on it, I could have got beaten up at Dingwalls the other week. There were two people standing in front and while I as in the middle of singing one line, one of them lit a cigarette and blew the smoke out in front of me. And I really hate that. So I stared at him and said (very sternly) 'Don't do that.' You should have seen the shock on his face...."

Thou shalt not smoke then?

"Well, thou shalt not blow it out in my face, certainly...."

"Nobody's taken offence at the name yet." says the singer. "But inevitably someone will. There's nothing actually wrong with using the name Jesus and I think if people realised that it would be really good. One of the problems with religion is that everyone's so precious about it - we're being slightly flippant, but if that helps take some of the preciousness away that'd be excellent."

Jesus H doesn't go to church. But you can imagine the church coming to him with complaints.

As far as I know, this is the first JJ interview. NME 11/2/8


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