I'm interviewing you as you draw towards the end of a U.K tour. How has it been so far?
Great! We played Glasgow and all those other motherfuckers, Aberdeen and that shit. Came down, did the North and London and all that. Then went to Europe for like a second and then came back and finished it all off. I think we go back to Europe and to places I've never been before, like Prague. Then we hop on for a couple of dates with our friends in My Chemical Romance and I think we come back here or something.
What have been the highlights or the experience?
I don't know, I just like coming over here. It's fun. It's a whole different feeling and the kids have a sort of different 'nuttiness' going on over here than in the states.
Any noticeable differences between the fans here and elsewhere?
I think here they sing louder. I got to say though man, Bristol went ape shit. I could not believe that, those motherfuckers are hardcore. Mainly the thing I noticed was that the kids sang every single word. Verses, choruses, every single word. In Bristol the kids were literally jumping over barricades getting on the stage. Complete chaos. I've never seen anything like it. Bristol was just as bad as Detroit. By bad I mean bad meaning good not...you know.
As you mentioned you're supporting My Chemical Romance for their European tour. I imagine that must be a pretty huge thing for this band?
Well, yeah. I mean, on a friendly level we've known those guys for a while. We get lots of very large bands liking us at large times in their career and inviting us out. It's not like 'Oh My God', it's not like we've never done anything like this before. On a personal tip though, those guys are really nice and we've known them from back in the day. You know, Jersey boys.
What do you think the fans reaction will be towards you guys, as in the My Chemical Romance Fans?
I think it'd be good. I mean we did Projekt Revolution with Linkin Park and we were the headliners on the second stage. We got a lot of My Chem crossover anyways. It wasn't like people who are into Taking Back Sunday were like 'Oh I love your band' it's usually a lot of the little kids that are dressed up like the black parade. They like the theatrics of us. I think it goes back and forth sometimes. There's a lot crossover pollination going on.
Describe your sound to those not in the know.
Not in the know? Oh man, how could you describe it? It's a little bit of everything and it really IS a little bit of everything as to opposed to when people say 'It sounds like this and this and that'. Mix it up. Speed it up a little bit faster than you normally would and make it kind of short, and kind of sweet.
I get the sense this band is a very independent band. Would you say this is one of the band's greatest strengths?
It's good to be independent as much as it's a struggle and there's always the hustle. You still have a little more control and you don't really get as fucked. Unless you are the one percent of people who are on sort of a major or backed by something very huge with a ton of money. You actually cross around and you have an career.. and you're Justin Timberlake. That's only one percent of one percent. Anybody else you're either a flash in the pan or you're totally fucked from the beginning. The hustle is a pain in the ass and it takes a lot out of you, but at the end of the day you've got to have a career out of it.
Do you guys feel you are unique, are there any other bands like you out there?
I've definitely never met anyone that's like us. At all really. There's too many assets of what we come up with. Whether it's how we look, or how we sound, or what we do or what we say. The thing is that you can't really write us off. The music allows us to not be in a grey area. It's black and white. Either people are like I fucking love this band and they're really loyal all the way, or it's I fucking hate this band and they don't want anything to do with us. Which is fine, I'd rather do that and have people really pissed off with us or really in love with us than have people like 'who was that?'
Are the plans for a new album underway at the moment?
Yeah well you guys are going to get 'You'll Rebel To Anything' over here which has been out in the states for a while but it's coming out here this November. It will probably have some extra tracks on it so that's the new record for you guys. Right now we're finishing mixing and writing a brand new record that will probably come out in the states before it comes out over here as usually that's how that shit happens.
How's that been going so far?
Good! I like it. I'd say the major difference is writing it on the go. Mixing it on the road. I was editing vocals in airplanes, vocals in closets and all that shit. Running off to Vancouver to put down the band and mixing it while we're on the road. It's very futuristic. I really dig that. I can't wait till it's all on your phone. It'd be like 'Oh hold on I'm getting a mix'.
Moving on to your live shows. Is it kind of an anything and everything goes scenario?
It 's also nice because I think that really helps sells it. A lot of people really get converted when they come to a live show. It's very like, for lack of a better comparison, a Rocky Horror Picture Show thing. People who are in the know, know, and they come either dressed up or ready for this or ready for that. Those that aren't usually get initiated and know for next time. It's fun like that.
Do you pre-plan any of the on-stage antics or is it mostly of the moment?
It's pretty much of the moment. Sometimes you can have a good show sometimes you can't. Sometimes we're really good, sometimes the audience is really good. It really depends. Like last night the audience was exceptional, I would think a little better than I was. Then two nights before I thought I was much better than the audience. We just want to have a good time. We get bored up there. Unless you're like Justin Timberlake and you have a million dollars and you know there's gonna be fire there so you HAVE to be at that point. If you're just another band and you don't have that kind of money you're just gonna be sitting there playing and I'm not really into that. I'm more into entertaining. For me it's about entertainment. I don't even like going to see bands even if I can get in for free. What are you going to see? Unless it something insane. Where the show was cool, like a Daft Punk thing, or it was all like a 'whole' show. Or maybe the Gallows where the guy's going to give himself a tattoo during a show. I want to see something. I don't need to see James Blunt sing.
You've recently released your live dvd 'Our Pain Your Gain'. Are you proud with the end result and do you think it gets across what your live shows are about?
Hell yeah. Not only does it get across what we're about but I think it gets across what the fans are about very well. It's a good moment in time between the early stuff when we got away with a lot of shit that you can't get away with anymore. We're lucky we didn't go to jail or die. Also it's before we get too far-long, too big and have to change into a Justin Timberlake!
Do you see Mindless Self Indulgence, as a band, growing in terms of exposure and popularity?
If there's money involved...yeah. Right now it pays the rent and that's good when it doesn't pay the rent..it's not. It's a horrible fucking business, it really is. Unless you are someday like Justin Timberlake..not to big Justin up or anything...he might think I have a crush on him. But unless you are making mad fucking money it's either a hustle or it's not worth it. I don't understand why people even still do it. It's not worth the money. Get into film man. Or become a lawyer.
Are you proud or where this band has reached?
Oh yeah. The fact that we're still chugging along, still all together and in one piece. Because of having a loyal fan base, and the songs getting to places. Getting to go to different places. That for me is worth it. Free fucking trip to Britain? Hell yeah!
What sort of people do you think listen to Mindless Self Indulgence?
Probably weird people. People who are too smart for their own good. We've opened for so many different kinds of acts and usually we pull from all those kind of acts so that we have a piece of each. Like we'll play to a metal audience and they like the harder element, the wackiness of it. We'll play for a techno audience and they like the electronics aspect of it. Somebody's into hip hop and so on and so forth. So we pull from all these different things, it's not going to be a strict metal audience, we end up making our own 'unique' audience. Though I think one of the strings is that they are...retardedly smart. They're very smart and they're very creative. They're not nerds. More like geeks. They could probably build their own computer and quote everything from Star Wars.
Do you listen to your older material?
Once in a while. I'll be like 'Wish I had done that.' Or made a change in my life here and there. There's a couple of songs that fell by the wayside that I'll listen to once in a while where I'll listen and think 'Oh my God, that was actually a good song, nobody picked up on that one!' For the most part you always worry about what's the next thing. So you're always writing new, writing new and don't get much of a chance to listen to the older songs unless you actually play them.
Say you music was the soundtrack to a movie. What would the movie be?
It'd be like Star Wars meets Fight Club meets a whole bunch of anime. It'd probably be a very short movie.
Where do you take inspiration from in life?
For me personally, it's movies. I don't know about the other members of the band. In music..I fucking hate music. When I hear someone's new record I'm like 'that's a great riff' and then I'm thinking about maybe I'll rip that riff off...or there's that guy wearing a really cool hat in a video, or something. But it's always work related so I don't get excited about it. It's mainly movies because I'm not IN the movie business so like I came here and went nuts. I bought all of the Shameless D.V.D's and some other shit from here, we got the whole Royal Family, Bo Selecta. I'll pick up cabaret one minute and then a Jackie Chan film the next. Let's see if we can make that into a song..make that Jackie Chan film into into a song!
Throw out a few thoughts on the music industry in this day and age.
Well I think it's going to turn into something else. Every half a century, something comes along and fucks everything up. This is going to sound really weird but believe me I think about this shit. So back in 1910 people used to have piano's in the house and use sheet music. Then some motherfucker comes along and invents the record player. Puts that sheet music shit out of business. So on and so forth. Tapes, cassettes, c.d.'s. Now it's mp3's and that just isn't the future, that's just the way it is. It's not like that has changed everything. I mean CD sales suck. I'm down with mp3's. It's fine to browse with mp3s' but I think the best thing to do is buy either the real record, or come to the shows, or introduce your friends to the band. That way we can come to your town. Because if you don't buy the record then we don't come to your town and you start bitching at me..it's because you didn't buy the fucking record! I think people who had huge back catalogues like Queen and Areosmith and people who nobody would ever have signed in a million years kind of come up to that media level. You can be a one-hit wonder, say on a youtube clip. It helps to weed out all the bullshit. I think it helps bands to be slightly more creative, put a little more effort into it and also they've got a put a little more effort into what they're packaging. They've got to give you a little bit of DVD, a little bit of good artwork. Some extra tracks you can't get anywhere else. There's got to be a reason for you to buy it. That's kind of how it is.
What makes you happiest in life?
When we do a whole tour and the day I get back. Usually I'm drunk when I'm on the plane. I love drinking on the plane, they just keep on bringing it to you. So coming off the plane, getting my luggage and collapsing in my own bed.
What can we expect from the future from Mindless Self Indulgence?
The immediate future, we're going to finish up here in Europe. We're going to go back and finish mixing the new record, get that done. It should come out early next year. Then February I think we go to Australia and Japan then we do some more U.K. We should probably be over here around April/May. Then they'll be a big U.S tour to support when the record comes out and then? Who knows?
Refreshingly honest in his openly opinionated responses, Jimmy represents a band with a striking desire to do things their own way. Clearly not afraid of causing a stir be it via their unconventional music or constantly chaotic live shows, Mindless Self Indulgence is a band growing in popularity and impressive respect across the globe as they trap fans inside a warped hybrid of innovative sound. Drawing praise from music lovers of all styles, genre's and backgrounds the journey this band are caught up in seems only set to reach greater and more worldwide planes. The pressure of taking things to new levels of the insane will come but so long as they get to keep their individualism and most importantly, their soul along the way, you can be sure that they will deliver.
Interview by Jim Hall