The Reid brothers are considered one of the top fraternal band duos, alongside the Gibbs, Gallaghers, and Greenwoods. Their band, the Jesus and Mary Chain, has been active for 40 years and is still known for their distinct sound of beautiful fuzz. In anticipation of their latest album, Glasgow Eyes, they will be taking the time to respond to your inquiries.
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Since 1984, they established an impressive reputation for their live performances, which were short but incredibly intense. Their shows caught the attention of the Sun, who expressed concern about their volume. The band had a revolving lineup, with Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream briefly serving as their drummer. They quickly rose from being signed to Alan McGee’s newly formed Creation Records to a subsidiary of major label WEA. In 1985, they released their debut album Psychocandy, which featured their iconic song, Just Like Honey. As their popularity grew, they even reached the Top 10 on the singles chart in 1987 with April Skies. However, they refused to compromise their irreverent and often controversial songwriting for a wider audience. This led to the BBC banning two of their singles due to their confrontational or drug-related lyrics.
During the 1990s, they embarked on iconic tours like the Rollercoaster, which featured four headliners including Blur, Dinosaur Jr, and My Bloody Valentine. They also participated in the popular US festival, Lollapalooza, which William described as having “thousands of Beavises and Buttheads” in the crowd. By the end of the decade, they had released a total of six albums. However, tensions were high within the band and they were on the brink of breaking up. As Jim later revealed, “after each tour we wanted to kill each other, and after the final tour we tried.” Eventually, the band officially split up in 1999.
In 2007, the band reconnected and Scarlett Johansson joined them as a guest performer for their Coachella reunion show. They then went on tour and slowly started writing new material, which eventually led to their 2017 album, “Damage and Joy”. Their latest release, “Glasgow Eyes”, draws inspiration from jazz, but according to Jim, it’s not a complete departure from their signature sound. They have also incorporated elements from bands like Suicide and Kraftwerk into their music.
In anticipation of its release on March 8th, a European tour in the following month, and a memoir by White Rabbit Books later this year, the brothers will reflect on their career by answering questions from Guardian readers. Please post your questions in the comments below, and their responses will be published on January 26th.