Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Exclusive interview with Jeff Klein from My Jerusalem!
Hailing from New Orleans and featuring members of The Polyphonic Spree, The Twilight Singers, Bishop Allen and Great Northern, My Jerusalem are something of a cool indie supergroup. A relatively new name they made their live debut in 2009 and now, in support of their cracking debut album ‘Gone For Good’, they’re over here in the UK. Being a jolly nice chap the band's lead singer Jeff Klein spared me a few minutes of his time to exclusively chew the fat about everything from Trent Reznor’s bowel movements through to butter based fan tributes. You don’t get that in NME do ya eh?
Just for people who haven’t heard the band before how would you describe your sound?
Edgy Southern Gospel Orchestral Rock for lonely people to make out with their hand to.
Why not eh...It’s what hands are for. Er..anyway...pinning you down here, what’s the definitive (up to this point at least) My Jerusalem song...and why?
Sweet Chariot I would say is our most beloved song it seems. It really has a great energy to it. Its probably our favorite one to play live as well. There is a rawness to it and it feel victorious. Our Eye of the Tiger.
A cracking video too. A lot of you are obviously involved in other groups, is My Jerusalem a side project or do you see it becoming more of a full time thing?
My Jerusalem is our main focus. It’s a large group of people so if some of us are busy there are usually others that can take the wheel. It’s an artist collective of sorts, I suppose.
What’s your view of the music industry these days? With the rise and rise of the internet is it getting harder or easier to build a decent fanbase and make a living as musicians?
The internet takes all the mystique out of being a rock band actually. It’s sorta sad. I dont want to read about Trent Reznors bowel movements via Twitter. That being said it has its ways of making a whole world accessible, but it seems to happen all too fast. Bands that rise overnight, disappear just as fast it seems. Seems like so much white noise. I don’t know. Bands used to have to tour and become great before anyone knew them. Now bands play to tons of people on their first tour if they’re hyped right. And then they suck live.
Wise words. Who are you listening to right now?
A lot of Harry Nilsson, Deerhunter, Arthur Russell, The Antlers, Julian Cope... Other than that we listen to a lot of our friends records it seems since someone is always working on something.
Is there anyone around that you’d particularly like to collaborate with?
There’s a million folks we'd love to have involved. Anyone from Brian Eno to Thurston Moore to Tina Turner. We love music and expanding our boundaries.
If you had to cover just one song in a set what would it be?
Everyone would say something different. I’d probably say something like Whole Wide World by Wreckless Erik or Something like The Grass Roots doing Live For Today. Maybe Juliet by Neil Diamond...or 2 Live Crew
What’s the strangest thing a fan’s ever given you?
A Mt Rushmore style sculpture of the band made out of Butter (it looked nothing like us, but tasted spot on.)
Wow. Your very own butter based tribute....impressive...bonkers but impressive. What’s your favourite post gig drink?
Any drink with Bourbon and Bitters is alright with me.
Finally, what’s next for the band this year?
Tour, tour, tour, tour, tour, record, tour, write, tour, shower, eat, tour , tour, sleep...
And eat your way through all that butter too I guess. Cheers Jeff!
Catch the band touring the UK from this Friday at the following fine establishments:
Fri 14 Bristol, Start The Bus
Sat 15 Birmingham, The Flapper
Sun 16 Glasgow, Captain’s Rest
Mon 17 Manchester, Night & Day
Tues 18 London, Borderline
PS: You can keep up to date with Trent Reznor's bowel movements at www.trentsdoneajobbie.com