Joyful Jesus and Mary Chain reunited and heading for Sheffield

Jim Reid, left, and brother William, of The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Jim Reid, left, and brother William, of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The second coming of The Jesus and Mary Chain is far more about joy than the damage which led to the band’s break-up the first time around.

The Scottish alt-rockers are built on the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid and enjoyed a string of success in the late 1980s and early ’90s with songs sich as April Skies and Reverence.

However, in 1999, following the release of their sixth studio album Munki, things came to a head and, after a falling out on tour, it was all over.

As Jim, now aged 55, said in 2006: “After each tour we wanted to kill each other, and after the final tour we tried.”

Fast forward eight years and they were back playing live, but it has taken until this year for a new album – Damage and Joy.

Explaining the 19-year gap, frontman Jim said of William, 58, the band’s guitarist: “We started to, can you believe, listen to each other a bit more.

“In the last couple of years, we’ve buried the hatchet to some degree, and thankfully not into each other.

“I think it was to do with the fact, dare I say it, that wisdom comes with age. Let’s live and let live, and let’s take each other’s opinions into account.”

However, Jim admits, while it has “always been the intention” to record a new album, ever since the band reformed in 2007 – including “telling everybody we were going to do it” – getting around to do it was not as easy.

“The previous record, Munki, had been such a difficult record to make,” he says, “that record and tour was the break-up of the band, so the idea of me and William going into a studio again for a long period was just something I wasn’t looking forward to – I was looking for reasons not to go into the studio.

“But it got to the point where I thought we’re going to have to record it, or come clean to everybody.”

And Jim is delighted with the resulting Damage and Joy.

“It is a bit strange to have a record out there again, but that’s what bands should be doing,” he says. “I think it charted at number 16, which is something we never expected.

“The interesting thing about this record is what comes out of the speakers. To make a good record is an achievement if you’re 22, but to do it in your fifties, the way we are, I think is a minor miracle.

“In your 20s, the idea of doing it in your fifties would be absurd – when you’re young, you can’t imagine being older. I don’t feel any different to when I was 20 though.”

And it is that young-at-heart spirit which means the future is bright for the reformed rock veterans, a future which includes a show at Sheffield’s The Foundry on Monday, September 25 – see foundrysu.com