JJ72

Date : 09 November 2001
Location : Virgin Megastore, Hollywood, CA

Mark: Guitar, vocals
Hilary: Bass
Fergal: Drums

It was all by luck that we had a chance to speak with JJ72.
We made our way down to the Virgin Megastore in
Hollywood for their in store performance, hoping for
at least a few moments of conversation. We ended up
speaking to the band in the catacombs of the store prior
to their performance. Luck would have it that they were
genuinely nice and thoughtful in their answers, especially
when you consider the interview was conducted without
the usual ďresearchĒ that usually is conductedÖ..

Charles: Would you introduce yourselves please.

Mark: Iím Mark from JJ72 and I play guitar and I singÖ.or scream.

Fergal: Iím Fergal and Iím the drummer.

Hilary: Iím Hilary and play bass.

Charles: You guys have finally made it here to the U.S. For us,
being fans for the last year and half, itís amazing to even have
you here considering the current state of music. What are your
expectation here in the U.S.?

Mark: A lot of bands from England, Ireland and Europe, especially
those that are big in Britain, come over here thinking all they have
to do is a four week tour. They expect people to just buy the record.
We want to play to anyone in the world who hasnít heard the record
before. You can try your best and hope that they respond, but you
shouldnít expect it. Thatís the same philosophy for when we come
over here. We know weíre gonna have a great time because itís our
first time in the U.S. If people want to buy the record than fine, but
we just wanna put on good shows, because thatís what we do. So itís
really important for us to be here playing live as opposed to just
doing loads of promos.

Charles: Is it hard to support other bands now, since youíre touring
in support of Pete Yorn and Remy Zero?

Hilary: Itís nice. We havenít supported anyone in a long time besides
U2 in huge gigs. Itís nice to support on a small scale, itís intimate and
the reaction from the fans has been fantastic.

Charles:  Is it hard to come over and play to new crowds in small venues?

Mark: Yeah, but you get a better buz from playing in small venues than
bigger ones. Itís welcome and good for us. You know when we walk on
stage there will only be a handful of people that know who we are
compared to home.

Charles: Can that be frustrating too?

Mark: Not really. This record was released over a year ago in Britain 
 
whereas itís just released here so itís a bit strange. But playing the music
to people who have never heard it rejuvenates the songs, reinvigorates
them to a certain extent

Charles: Since the album has been out such a long time, when can we
expect something new?

Mark: In January we start recording the new album in Dublin. Hopefully
we meet up back here sometime in-between making the album. Weíre
gonna start in January and have demoed stuff already. Weíll be working
with Flood who has produced the Pumpkins and Depeche Mood and it
will be exciting to work with someone of his caliber.

Charles: Heís done much more electronic music, do you think that will
reflect in the music?

Mark: I donít know, not necessarily, but itís difficult to tell at the moment.
I think the next album will be a little more interesting. Not in a boring
prog-rock sort of way, but in that the songs will be more interesting,
there will be more to them than the verse-chorus kind of thing.

Charles: These songs have much to them, a lot of depth, especially with
the vocals. I can hear and feel what youíre saying with the vocals.

Mark: Thanks. That was kind of the aim. Itís important that we made
the first album with that aim. Itís kind of simplistic in its approach. We
have much more confidence in playing our instruments and just generally
being in the studio since weíve been there so many times so that will be
reflected in the record, but hopefully it wont be boring.

Charles: Whatís the one thing you would like to say to those who
havnít heard you before?

Mark: Essentially that we think our first record is really good music but
itís kinda irrelevant where it fits it. Thatís one thing. People speak of music
from different places and wonder if it really fits into any one scene at this
moment in time. Well, forget about that for a moment and give our album
a listen and Iíll be surprised if someone canít find something in it that they
canít associate with. Thatís the main thing. Itís not Limp Biskit, but hey.

Charles: Thatís a good thing.

Mark: Thatís a very good thing.

Charles: Iíve heard comments about the music comparisons to bands
like Joy Division which Iím sure youíve heard before and someone said
it sounded like Heart.

Mark: ahhhh, right. Ummmm, whatever. (A flabbergasted response, but
the suggestiosn that the vocals do bring Heart to mind has merit with a
few listensÖ)

Charles:  Is that from your influences coming through?

Mark: Joy Division is from me going on about them in interviews.
I think itís purely for the aesthetic they had.

Charles: The music has a dark somber feeling to it at times.

Mark: Yeah, and as for the otherÖ.Heart, I donít know.

Charles: Is there a global plan for the band? How are you doing globally,
 outside of the U.K.

Hilary: Japanís our second biggest market. 

Charles: Does it feel strange to be such a big band?

Mark: Yeah. In places such as Britain, Germany, France and Japan.
Japanese is the strangest because the first time we went over there was
last March. It was going to the other side of the world and everyone
knew who you were but we didnít know anything about the place we
were going to. It was a case of walking around shopping centers in
Japan and getting recognized more than in Europe. It was very very
strange. We think about all the fans all over the world and itís good,
itís exciting.

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