Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Jon Spencer [Interview] (PRESS, NEW ZEALAND)

6 December 2010

This is a transcription of a phone interview with Jon Spencer originally posted on on 6 December 2010.

So, this year you undertook to the reissue pretty much the whole back catalogue I understand what was the impetus for that decision?

Everything has gone out of print over the years. I think they’re great records so I wanted to make them available again. So that was the main reason. In doing all these reissues the opportunity for me was to try and tell the story of the band.

None of these are straight reissues, I tried to be as complete as possible and include as much bonus material as I could. Anything and everything that was recorded around the time of these albums, not just studio material, also I included some live material on some of these. It was a big project. The main reason was because they’d all gone out of print.

Were you aiming at a new generation of people or the older generation to complete their collections?

They’re really for anybody who wants to get them. I would hope that these were in the same way that I had my mind blown by, you know, records by The Stooges, the Velvet Underground or the New York Dolls when I was a younger person. I like to think that these are timeless records, they are great records, so, I like to think that they’d appeal to anybody. With all the extra material on there I think they will also, I hope, appeal to already seasoned and experienced Blues Explosion fan.

You guys were one of the more provocative bands of the 90s it would probably be fair to say. Was it something you set out purposely to be, like did you set out to be incendiary or was something that just happened?

We never had a plan. There’s never been a blueprint or plan that was openly acknowledged or discussed. I think The Blues Explosion will always define ourselves more through action but certainly confrontation has always been a healthy ingredient in what we do. I don’t think it’s the be all and end all of the Blues Explosion we not in this just so we can flip people off.

But You have said in the past that what you were doing was about fucking with peoples heads.

Yeah, I think so. Only in so much that our heads have been messed with. A little bit of that is OK.

It must be frustrating when people don’t get it though?

I think that the Blues Explosion is a bit of a confusing band for some people. The only thing that has been frustrating for me is that for some people the fact that the word “blues” is in the name of the band is confusing. And certainly the confrontational element, the jamming together of different styles and influences I think is confusing. I think the sense of play, of joy, or the real life that’s in the band is confusing to people. I think for some the stew is just too much.

What’s the most frustration thing about it?

The most frustrating thing? To be labelled a racist is the most frustrating thing I think that’s been a, y’know, that certainly gets my back up. Its also frustrating not be a millionaire, not to be able to buy my mother a Cadillac or whatever.

And this year you’ve started to play with the Blues Explosion regularly again after some break. what’s it been like getting back into that set up.

It’s been very easy, it feels very good, it’s a relief, whatever it is, it allows us to, enables us to play this kind of music, that force, that electricity, that psychic bond is still there and we can still play songs and write new songs. That’s really a good feeling, it’s very exciting to play with the Blues Explosion. I think we’re pretty respectful of each other. We’ve been in the band for a long time, we’ve been through some rough patches as well as good times. We sort of know how to get along.

You’ve been writing some new material.

Yes, we have.

Will there be new records?

We’ll see. just right now we’re focusing on the tour, we have a tour starting in a couple of days in Europe, then have some, then we have a New Zealand tour in January. we have some shows throughout next year. I think right now the main focus is playing live, now that the reissues are done and are out we have some concerts to play that’s where the main focus is. We will continue to write and we’ll see if that leads to a new album.

Cool, thanks very much for your time. it’s been a please to speak with you and an honour as well.

Thank you for calling.

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