INTERVIEW: Jesse Malin | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Most people start their musical careers early, but Jesse Malin began his journey earlier than most, joining New York cult hardcore band Heart Attack when he was only 12. Since then he’s been the frontman of glam punk rockers D Generation and forged his own path as a solo artist. His album New York Before The War is a record that encourages everyone to stand up for what they believe in, while also capturing Malin’s signature sound.

Ahead of his gig at The Cluny on Monday 18th May, I talked to Jesse about his new UK tour, the latest record and being back together with D Generation.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Jesse. How’s everything been with you? Are you ready to hit the road next month for your UK tour?

Things have been great. It feels like a huge relief to have this record out in the shops and on the air waves finally. The Turn Up The Mains Tour begins in Manchester which is perfect.

Having had a five year break since your last album release, how have you found the promotion schedule and the endless string of interviews?

Sometimes I have to make up false answers just to keep me and the journalists amused. New York Before The War is really about that hotel in Vegas, New York New York, with the roller coaster and wacky Sid Vicious slot machine.

You’re a New Yorker through and through, with all your solo work recorded in the city; what made you leave the city for the country to record this one?

Don DiLego’s production and direction, friendship and advice – “let’s take the boy out of the city.” Goats can run and shit at the same time so we should be able to track and count sheep without regret.

I read recently you had to negotiate with cattle on your countryside adventure; could you fill our readers in on this one?

I like to go for a jog and these particular animals were not happy with me. We locked horns. We all lived. I guess I should copyright that PMA breakfast cereal I invented.

The Clash and The Ramones are undoubted influences in your music, but what would you say continues to drive you and give you that creative spark with your most recent material?

The need to do this, the audience that has supported my music and comes to shows (at least some of them) and listening to my favourite records when they’re most needed.

Along with the release of New York Before The War, you’ve just released your first material in 15 years with D Generation. How did that come about?

I can’t get away from those guys. It’s like family. A couple requests from some festivals found us glaring at each other across stages in Spain. It actually is a lot of fun. New record shall come soon too.

What was it like being back in the studio with the guys?

Old habits die hard but I think we created some good music. Stuff that seems relevant in this new, bearded millennium.

Having been solo for so long, how did you find the democracy of the band unit? Was it a welcome return or difficult to adapt to?

Fist fights, high powered water guns and tantric meditation influenced by Sting of The Police kept our Newcastle from turning brown.

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“Sometimes I have to make up false answers just to keep me and the journalists amused”

You’ve got three live dates lined up in October with D Generation, when can we expect the new album to be hitting the shelves?

If so, they haven’t told me yet. I better dust off the brother creepers. Hopefully in the early fall – I am working on new Jesse Malin release as well. Kind of a cool surprise.

Your name is constantly being bandied around with the likes of Ryan Adams, Springsteen, Joey Ramone and Billy Joe Armstrong. How often do you find yourself asked about these, and do you ever feel the need to get creative to spin a line to journalists?

I can’t control the press but I can say sometimes I have to record solo albums even when I’m schizophrenic. The next one is going to be called Me, Myself & Irene.

Over the last few years British punk has seen a new wave of folk punk musicians come through like Frank Turner, Jim Lockey and Beans On Toast. These artists have done some great work for a new generation of punk fans. How do you see the importance of the regeneration of one of the greatest genres of expression?

I think it’s fabulous. I love Frank Turner, I love his songs, his message. It’s one of the fewer newer things that has any substance and meaning. Hail Turner!

Jesse Malin plays at The Cluny, Newcastle on Monday 18th May.

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