The Shining - Interview

08 August 2002

The Shining Interview:
The Shining

Contactmusic spoke to Simon Jones (Ex Verve) about his new band The Shining

For those of people out there who haven't heard The Shining as yet how would you best describe the sound?

… Rock & Roll really to put a broad genre on it, its just music played with guitars by people! I really believe that picking up an instrument and singing a song to someone and conveying something personal is like one of the greatest art forms that there is really, so we a rock and roll band full of emotion and hopefully we can enhance peoples that's what I want to do because I know music does that for me, you know sometime you can be listening to the radio and it puts you right back to remember past memories and that's just the power of music and I think to be in a band that plays real music that is what we are about. Some of the songs tend to be pretty emotional we can be really heavy and dirty when we play but at the same time there can be a beauty to it as well.

When you play live do you tend to rock out more?

Yea I think we do, but this being our first album we didn't have the benefit of going out and doing many gigs before, even now Duncan has only done 20 or so gigs and as we play more and more live gigs the songs are getting better and better and as we gel as a band, so hopefully by the time we get to the next album because hopefully we have had the benefit of touring the world or touring a lot of Europe and America and that's just gonna make it get better and better. When your on stage its just so different because you capture a moment and I think that's to me is the purest form of communication you will get from a band. Yeah records are great and they last forever but actually seeing a band play live and doing the business and pulling it off is one of the most exciting things. When I band connects with an audience that's a really special thing. For me I saw the Stone Roses when I was 16 and that was the most inspirational thing I have ever experienced because I saw these guys on stage and it made everything real it made the fact that I could do it. I was born in Liverpool and The Beatles obviously are one of the biggest things for people from Liverpool, but they all seemed so mythical because they split up years before I was born and the whole music scene didn't seem like reality, it was only when I went to see the Stone Roses that I realized that I could do it. If I can do that, go and inspire someone to pick up a guitar and write a song that is fantastic. It makes it all worthwhile and that's why I do it

The Shining Interview: @
The Shining Interview: @
The Shining Interview: @
The Shining Interview: @

So how did The Shining come about?

Well after The Verve Split up I a period of I suppose you call it inspection, I was just thinking what do I want to do , do I want to be in another band, I knew I loved music but I still wasn't too sure. So I bought my self a load of digital equipment and samplers etc and I was doing that just keeping my self busy I also couldn't stop making music, so I bought some recording equipment. I had a lot of offers to do things but nothing that made me want to stick with it. Then I had a phone call from John Squire and I told him how much I was inspired by the Stone Roses and I couldn't give up the chance to play with John, So I went down but the band already had quite a few songs and I felt I was going into something I didn't have much of a part in and it wasn't very satisfying for me so I left. After that I didn't have any plans to make a new band, I was just going to continue making my own music. It was Duncan our singer who was telling me I couldn't stop and told me I had to do it. So it ended up Duncan Mark our drummer and me getting together and have a bit of a play. It was really good because Duncan was exactly like me when we first started out because he hadn't been in a band before so it was all exciting for him and that made it exciting for me.

True Skies is your debut album what are your favorite track on it?

Well I love Young Again its one of my favorites but Youth who produced the record really encouraged us to play live in the studio and on tracks like Show you the Way, Quick Silver and until the end they are all us playing in the studio with little over dubs and its all pretty raw especially Show you the way that turned out to be one take. I remember showing up and Youth just saying right your gonna go in and just jam today and an hour or so later we had a song and we all thought it was brilliant.

Have you anymore gigs lined up in the UK after the festivals?

Not as of yet but we will definitely be touring the album, its just a matter of sorting out the dates, we are going over to Germany on Friday to do a couple of festivals a gig in Berlin then back into England for the Carling Weekend and gig on the Green.

True Skies must have a meaning behind the title?

Well there was a song called True Skies that didn't actually make it onto the record but the sentiment of it really is just about new horizons and having a fresh outlook on things, its about purity and being true.

Who was the last band you watched live?

It was actually The Doves I was actually really impressed, I checked a few bands out a Glastonbury and The Doves were actually one of the best bands I have seen in a while, they have been talked about for quite awhile and they do deserve the hype.

What are you ambitions as a band with The Shining

Well just the fact that we are playing music, I feel really content because I'm doing what I want and it's not like any of the band is talking about over night success because we need some space to grow and develop.

Seeing as you have been there and done that with The Verve were the record company expecting any major results from you early on?

Well that's why we chose this record Label, they have been really good and are treating us like any new band, Richard was always seen as the "main" writer for The Verve and they understood that and weren't expecting urban Hymns as our first album. We had a couple of offers and they were all saying well you have to sell such and such on your first record, and really that's all bo**ocks.

So what other bands are you listening to at the moment?

Well I listen to such a broad selection, I listen to hip hop and rock music but I have been tending to veer more toward mellower stuff like Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips I do go out and check out new music like I just bought the new White Stripes album it actually took me by surprise because I had read so much hype about it and I thought it would be sh*t but I was impressed by how raw it was with just guitar and drums. I listen to lots of old stuff and soul music like sly & the family Stone, that is just like my bread and butter, I usually go back to the soulful stuff

We have an area dedicated to Unsigned artists what advise would you give them??

Stay true to your own vision and don't be influenced by current trends in music stay to what you believe in and see it through, I don't read too much press about the band really I didn't with The Verve just because I didn't want to know what our perception was beyond we thought and it made the whole band stick to what we believed in.


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