||Who? Where? Why?
Who? Where? Why?
I'm sure you've all seen the video - but here's the trivia.
Original JJ "alias" for this song (most songs up to "Perverse" had alternate titles) was "Last Ditch". We think this was because it was a "last ditch" attempt to write a huge hit single using as much sampling ...as possible. A challenge to ourselves, if you like.
Perhaps the most-asked question we get for WWW is "what does the african chant sample say?" Well, nothing really. It's actually part of a chant which has been looped and extended, so whatever meaning it originally had is now lost. Sorry about that :)
Also, the "Jesus Jones" sample doesn't actually say that. Listen carefully, it;s actually "Jesus Joe!" (couldn't find any dialogue which referred explicitly to us!)
We never fully loved the version on "Doubt" (the bass drum was never quite right) and the single version wasn't the best remix ever, but it became a firm live favourite, and frequent set-closer.
As for the video, it was directed by Marcus Thompson, who actually went on to have a hugely successful career directing proper hollywood films....but AFAIK, this was his first video. Most videos start with a director sending you a storyboard, but Marcus sent a piece of artwork instead. This showed most of the video in a picture - the cut-out heads of the band, the strange figures, the flowers. Iain actually rescued this piece of art from the EMI offices and it now hangs on his wall. The figures behind the band have been mixed up - the heads don't match the bodies. There's The Mona Lisa's face on marilyn monroe's body, WG Grace atop Winston Churchill - that sort of thing. They were printed up lifesize, and attached to hardboard. At the end of the shoot, all of the band rescued at least one of the figures each, and they adorn our respective houses. Some of the members of Food Records blagged a couple as well. One day, we'll try and get photos of all that remain.
We were filmed on a huge set, which was filled with fake flowers, each of which had been fixed to the floor. Bundles of these were also stolen as souvenirs.
Overall, it was a great day, a great video to film, and still fun to watch (though we still can't believe we looked like that back then)
Ah, the video that started it all! Still great fun to watch this after all these years. Filmed at a studio on Farm Lane in Fulham (it's still there, next to a Saab garage) for about 5k. The shoot lasted all day, and when we finally finished, at about 10pm, we toasted our success with two 4-packs of Carlsberg lager, and... three Pizzas from the local delivery place. No idea what toppings we had. Directed by Andy Lee. Most of the clothing pilfered from Slam City Skates (where Iain was working at the time). Happy days.
Reproduced from the Jesus Jones Facebook Page.
||The Devil You Know
"The Devil You Know"
We had completed "Perverse" in 1992, and had thrown ourselves into Rave culture (Mike & Iain were regulars at legendary London Techno club "Knowledge" every week). We'd outgrown the "Doubt" era, and it was time for a change. So, when "Devil" was lined up as the fi...rst single from the new album, Food decided it was time to go big. We would have a SERIOUSLY impressive video. "Devil" was the first time we'd filmed a video over a period of two days - one day to film the band, one day for all the extras.
We pulled up to a derelict brewery on the Whitechapel Road, East London, deep in the Winter of 1992. The brewery was just over the road from Alan's old Flat, and directly behind the famous Blind Beggar pub (more about that later)
Being an old Brewery, the building was divided up into huge industrial floor spaces, and tight, winding staircases, with cramped rooms leading off the stairs. One of these was our dressing room, and it's a shot of this room which opens the video - we were filmed coming from the main shoot, into the dressing room to cool down. That's why Gen is puffing his cheeks out, we were exhausted and hot from performing under the lights.
As you can see, we were all covered in paint. Each of us had our forearms painted a different colour of incredibly itchy paint (you can see Iain picking at this itchy paint in another shot). Zanna, the director, was fiercely into creating a real spirit of togetherness on the shoot - and to demonstrate this, she painted her cat in the same way. You can see him briefly walk across the screen, waving his blue tail. His name was Major - as a Tom Cat, he got named after major Tom (Zanna was a Bowie freak).
Inter-band rivalries bubble to the surface all the time, and they did in this video. In the sequence where Mike's head is surrounded by all of our hands, Zanna exhorted all of the band to "really pound Mike's face, attack him with your fingers"
"Just you try it" hissed Mike at the rest of the band.
Ah, happy days.
Mind you, that's not to say the atmosphere was totally heavy - it wasn't. One of the funniest sequences is Jerry smirking whilst doing a strange, hip swiveling dance. This came about as Zanna wanted us to abandon "traditional" performance. Instead of standing there pretending to play our instruments, we were instead supposed to "express ourselves" in other ways. Result - we ended up wandering about making fools of ourselves. In Jerry's moment of hip-wiggling fame, whilst Mike was miming the words, Zanna was bellowing at Jerry "dance! move around! be Perverse!" Jerry, thoroughly sick of being picked on, reacted by wiggling his hips and sneering at the camera crew. Of course, it looked so utterly brilliant, that it made the final cut.
Of all of the images that people most associate with this video, the "Paint Bath" sequences at the end particularly stand out. There were other paint shots (Mike, in somewhat messianic mode, having paint dropped onto his outstretched palms) but at the end of the first day's filming, we were told that, if we were up for it, we could be covered in paint. Naked. And here's where the Blind Beggar comes in.
Any video shoot takes time. There's loads of hanging around. And there was on this shoot. So, at about 8pm, we were told that we wouldn't be needed for a couple of hours. There's a pub right next door. You do the maths. The Blind Beggar was, famously the Pub where Ronnie Kray, of the Kray Twins, shot and Killed George Cornell. The place was a proper East End Boozer. And into this slice of history wandered a rock band, wearing Rubber Shirts, Leather Trousers, covered in Paint. We all proceeded to take over the Pool table and get steaming drunk.
When we got back, it was paint time. Three of us decided to do it, helped by a little dutch courage, obviously. It has to be said, Alan was first to say he wanted to do it, and once he'd agreed to do it, you couldn't stop him from getting naked as fast as possible. Gen went next, then Jerry.
But before this was done (and realising we'd be to messy to film anything else) we shot the sequence you see from about 3'40". The band, up against a wall, embracing, messing around, looking moody and cool. To be honest, we weren't even sure what we were doing. There's a great shot of Iain, leaning on the wall, eyes closed, striking a rockstar pose. The truth is more prosaic - he was so drunk that he was literally propped up against the wall, and slumped to the floor once the camera passed him by. It was that sort of a night.
Most of us were so hungover the next day that we missed most of the filming of all the extras. The most notable of these was the "yellow lady" (whose name is lost in the mists of time) All we knew is that she was going out with the singer Seal at the time, and that Zanna convinced her to do the shoot totally naked, covered in paint. The set was closed to all but the most essential crew whilst this took place. There are two versions of the "Devil" video, and the shorter, edited version omits this nudity.
A week or so later, some of us went over to an edit suite in King's Cross to watch the rushes of the video, and knew then it was going to look great.
It's still a pleasure to watch, even if the meaning is still a little obscure (no, we've no idea why everyone is covered in paint)
"Devil" is the sound of us growing up, stretching ourselves, testing ourselves. The Perverse era is all about us trying new things: not afraid to make mistakes, make fool of ourselves, but try and make interesting and memorable sounds and visuals along the way.
We still think it's a great video.
Reproduced from the Jesus Jones Facebook Page.
||The Right Decision
"The Right Decision"
We filmed this early in 1993. It was filmed at Beckton Gas Works in East London, just next to City Airport. This location's biggest claim to fame was as a set for the Kubrick film "Full Metal Jacket". It's an abso...lute industrial wasteland, very atmospheric, very visual, but very very cold. You can almost see us shivering here. The video was directed by Zanna (who did "'The Devil You Know") and we used most of the same styling team. At this point, we were slightly adrift - stylists, directors, lots of yes men. We were at that time in our career when big things were happening, and we weren't sure if we deserved it. Jerry and Alan had decided to go on a huge bender the previous night, and you can totally tell: at certain points in the video, they lean on each other - not for moral support, but to actually keep themselves upright. The whole shoot felt a little odd, a little bit surreal. Partly this was due to the location, and the time of year (in the depths of winter, it was absolutely freezing) but also we felt unsure as to how this album would be received.
The first cut of this video is totally different to the finished version. Originally, it was supposed to be very, very "arty". All in black and white, just us wandering around. The video was due to be interspersed with footage of "interesting" extras (much like the video for "Devil") However, this changed dramatically once the video had been filmed.
Once the record company had seen the initial rushes, they were terrified, and were convinced the video was far too "arty" to be shown on mainstream TV. For an act like us, this was perceived to be a real disaster. The first version of the video was junked, and Dave Balfe (original owner of Food Records) was drafted in. He put the graphics over the top (the "Yes/No - Decision" stuff) and this new version was released to the media. The video got played on " The Chart Show", which back in the day, was seen as a victory.
We'd still love to see the original footage of the video (almost nothing of the extras remains)
As a slight footnote - Oasis shot the video for " Do You Know What I Mean?" a couple of years later, in exactly the same location. The song's original title was supposed to be.........
"Right Here, Right Now" (listen to the song, it's the central part of the chorus)
Apparently Noel Gallagher wanted to call the single "RHRN" until someone informed him that the title had already been taken.
So, there you go - Jesus Jones, with a bit-part in the Britpop saga. Who'd have thought it, huh?
Reproduced from the Jesus Jones Facebook Page.