- Tue, 2012-05-01 15:15
After a two year hiatus, Reverend and The Makers have returned, armed with their third album @Reverend_Makers
Kicking off 2012 with a string of support slots for Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, the Sheffield five-piece have since dropped new track Bassline, a huge party anthem led by the signature vocals of the Reverend himself, frontman Jon McClure.
Since the release of their debut single Heavyweight Champion of The World, Reverend and The Makers have built up a hefty following. We caught up with the band for a pint in Camden and a chat about their new record, supporting the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Knebworth this summer, music they're into and why Jon's taken a break on politics to focus on the bangers...
“I Like Music because... it caters for every occasion: shagging music, food music, ganja music, loneliness music, death music, dancing music...” Jon McClure
ILM: Reverend and The Makers. How are you?
Ryan: It’s beneficial to have been away for a couple of years. We’re re-energised. Musical detox.
Jon: You never know if people will still be arsed about your band, but the tour is sold out, they’re playing Bassline on the radio and everyone seems to be right up for it, so... It’s like when you find an old coat in your wardrobe and you’re like “fucking hell, this is boss this!” It feels good!
ILM: You’ve got two new members this time around, Joe and Ryan. How did you guys hook up with the band?
Jon: They were both in Sheffield bands. Joe were the lead singer of Milburn, who come out at the same time as us and Arctic Monkeys and Ryan were in a band called This Girl that I was obsessed with.
ILM: How’s the music scene in Sheffield at the moment?
Laura: I think there were a lot of kids who came to university in Sheffield just because of Milburn, Arctic Monkeys and Jon. So many people bump into Jon on the street and are like “oh my god, oh my god! I’ve come to Sheffield 'cos of you, I can’t believe I’ve bumped into you on the street!”
ILM: What advice would you give to younger musicians hoping to make it in the industry?
Jon: Stop worrying about getting a record deal or getting signed, or getting newspapers to like your band. Just go in your practice room until you’re brilliant, and everything else will take care of itself. You get them bands that record half a demo and then want to get a record deal. You can take as many tapes to as many people as you want, but if it’s rubbish...
ILM: What can fans expect from you third album @Reverend_Makers?
Jon: Best album we’ve made man, I think. On some albums you get a bit of filler. It’s all killer this. I loved our second album, but it was dead mardy and dead political and shit.
ILM: So you've abandoned your political edge?
Jon: We got fed up of politics. Once you’ve made a political record – I made that Mongrel record as well – it all starts to get a bit like, uni lecturer. You’re like “fucking hell mate, chill out!” I’m a musician first, you know what I mean? It ent like I don’t think about them things anymore, but keep saying them and you get a bit bored yourself.
ILM: When I was researching for this interview, I did realise a lot of coverage you've had has been about things Jon has said...
Jon: I've been a bit of a rebel ent I? I’ve got a bit of a big gob! Hahaha! I’m thirty. I’m young and excitable!
Laura: The thing is, Jon’s not afraid. I think so many people are coached in how to answer questions and Jon never listened to any of that. If we’d come out in the ‘90s, around the time of Noel Gallagher and all that feistiness it would have been fine. But everyone has to be nice to everyone all the time now. Life’s not like that! It is feisty sometimes...
Ed: It’s the whole media thing, they shout you down for having a say and giving a fuck about shit.
ILM: Bassline is a big party track...
Jon: Yeah. I were a bit worried at first that our fans wouldn’t like it, but reaction to Bassline has just been off hook. We haven’t had reaction to a tune that good since Heavyweight on the first album. People haven’t been that into something we’ve done for a long time...
ILM: The album is going to be called @Reverend_Makers; how did you settle on that name?
Jon: There weren’t an obvious title for this album. We were going to call it Out Of The Shadows, which is proper Alan Partridge! I’m so glad we wrote that off! Then I wanted to call it Pure Bangers, but that sounded like an Ayia Napa compilation. So, I quite like the idea of having something that’s dead now. People always go for some shit poetic title, but that doesn’t mean shit to anybody, it just sounds good. ‘Everything but the sun’...fuck that! I’m not into it. All the songs are about right now, and Twitter’s changed everything. Internet generally has just changed the whole fucking thing. I’m into that. I think it’s exciting.
ILM: So you're fans of social media?
Jon: Love it. If more people follow us on Twitter as a result of that album title, I’m not ashamed of it! That’s me, or us, talking directly to people without having to go through anyone else. That’s real power man, innit? That’s when you can make whatever record you want. And you can have a laugh man, chatting to people on Twitter. It’s liberating man.
Joe: It’s undiluted. It’s not just some wanker in a suit trying to sell you.
Jon: And I will chat to people, me. I’m not a prick. I’ve got 17,000 people but I still chat to them all. Why the fuck not?
ILM: What can people expect from Reverend and The Makers’ new live show?
Jon: Awesome. Party time! We got loads of good songs now from the back catalogue and the new stuff. When we played Noel Gallagher tour, the new stuff went down better than the old stuff, which were mental! Dancing, party, sing every word, that kind of shit. Not trying to sound too cocky...
ILM: How were the Noel Gallagher shows?
Jon: Noel’s wicked man. He’s been a supporter of us. We supported him on tour with Oasis, so to go on tour with him again is great. He watched us play a couple of times and started getting into our new stuff. He was like “that Bassline tune’s fucking amazing mate!” When I were little I idolised Oasis – and I still do, I think Noel’s a geezer – so that’s what makes me buzz: when people in bands, like Flea or Noel, say “here mate, what you’re doing is brilliant.” A good review from a journalist is nice, or it’s a shame if they don’t like it, but when another musician says it, that’s like “yeah!”
ILM: And you’re supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers at Knebworth...
Jon: Yeah, Flea asked us to do it, bless him. He direct messaged us on Twitter!
ILM: Flea sent you a direct message on Twitter asking you to support him at Knebworth!? Very cool.
Jon: Reason I know him is cos I do that thing with Damon Albarn where we go to Africa. I done that a couple of times. One time we went to Ethiopia, and we were sat on top of this truck driving along. I played Flea some of my stuff and he were like “that’s fucking brilliant!” It’s not like we sound anything like them, but it’s not a million miles away from what they do is it? So when he were like “do you want to come and do Knebworth?” I was like “does a bear shit in the woods?”
ILM: Who are the best bands that you’ve seen live?
Laura: Flaming Lips at Glastonbury.
Ed: LCD Soundsystem are amazing live. I’ve seen them a couple of times.
Ryan: Pulp were brilliant at Glastonbury last year. I’m not a massive Pulp fan, but Cocker is a great frontman.
Jon: When Mani first joined Primal Scream and they made that Vanishing Point record. I saw them live and that was fucking incredible.
Joe: Soulwax live.
Laura: I’ve got to say, Kasabian absolutely killed it.
Jon: I hate them bands that look like they can’t be fucked. Fuck off! I’m into bands that are like “I’m right happy to be here, I’m right happy that you’re here, let’s go!”
Laura: I forgot Supergrass! My favourite band of all time! They’re amazing. Me and a friend went to see them on their final tour in Manchester and I’ve never sweated or got involved as much as we did then!
ILM: What do you think of the charts at the moment?
Jon: Chart music is fucking awful at the moment! Dreadful. I won’t name any names, but it’s just so shit. You get these lulls. You had it in the ‘80s before acid house, grunge and Britpop came in. It’s just waiting for a few people to make some good records. Which I’m sure they will. Even in a lull, for every T’Pau there’s a Smiths.
ILM: What’s next for Reverend and The Makers, aside from the new album?
Jon: Keep going! There’s a tour in October, which is selling well. There’s a May one, but that’s sold out. And then festivals.