Interview: Reverend And The Makers
Mainman Jon talks about Heavyweight Champion of The World, his mates Arctic Monkeys and the groups futuristic sound
Jon McClure is The Reverend- an electro-funk-disco disciple who's written songs for his mates Arctic Monkeys and now has his own stonking material.
The band already have a massive web fanbase but their insanely catchy debut single Heavyweight Champion of The World is set to take them to the mainstream.
MTV chatted to the intelligent and funny former poet Jon and tried to keep up
Hi Jon, how would you describe Reverend And The Makers sound?
The Reverend: From Mars! Its a staple of Sly and The Family Stone with a peppering of electro. Musically I wanted to mash it up and make it sound proper futuristic. We worked with producer Jagz Kooner (Primal Scream, Kasabian) who hops from one genre to another.
The single Heavyweight Champion Of The World is everywhere at the moment- whats it about?
The Reverend: Its about unfulfilled ambition brother. People who resign themselves to the death of ambition. Go to school, get a job, get married get a mortgage and die. Theres gotta be more than that! You can do anything you want. The first woman in space went to our school! Id like to go to space.
Your dressed in some different outfits for the video, what was that like?
The Reverend: Im into a bit of acting so this geezer Scott Lyons he wanted a modern day Oliver musical. It were hard work but it comes out really well.
Who are your key influences?
The Reverend: Lyrically Bob Marley he tells it how it is. Im not gonna be UB40 and do reggae music though brother. A lot of funk, Oasis cos theyre from the North. The poet John Cooper Clarke.
What tracks are on your debut album?
The Reverend: The next single She Says He Loves Me sounds like Shampoos Trouble crossed with The Rapture. Another track on the album sounds like Champagne Supernova, theres Drum and Bass and Dub.
Its The Clash approach of we can do whatever we f***ing want. Weve got to proper make this a masterpiece.
Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys and Tim from Bromheads Jacket feature on the record, was it important to get your mates on the record?
The Reverend: Thats what I feel most proud of. I wanted to get loads of people on a record like The Gorillaz. Within indie guitar music this never happens.
Youve also wrote songs for Arctic Monkeys how did you meet them?
The Reverend: I met Alex on a bus when we were young. I said: you look cool do you wanna be in my band. Weve been mates ever since then man.
Are you proud to come from Sheffield?
The Reverend: You get well good bands doing various things. Squarepusher and Roots Manuva live here but in light of Arctic Monkeys its become a bit homogenised and corporate.
What do you think of other Steel city bands?
The Reverend: Lots of bands copy me and Alex but Im not gonna cry about it. Little Man Tate copied us. It dismays me and I know it does the Arctic Monkeys.
But I dont recall a time when a city has come together to get behind an artist (like me). Its a bombardment of sounds.
Who else is in the full band?
The Reverend: Its a bit of a family vibe. My ex-girlfriend is in there. Its a f**king minefield! Weve got a synthesiser nutter Joe who makes weird noises. My band is the best live band in the world, I dont think anybody can touch us.
Youre a poet too how does that help?
The Reverend: I want to be a rapper I think like Gil Scott Heron and Bob Dylan. Its important to have good lyrics but people dont know what to make when I burst into rap poems in between songs.
Whos your football Team?
The Reverend: Sheffield Wednesday but my Grandads brother played for Everton.
The Reverend: Bob Marley or Sly and The Family Stone
The Reverend: Angelina Jolie- What a woman or Carol Smillie
Best place to play live?
The Reverend: Stockton Ku Bar
The Reverend: Without a shadow of a doubt George Bush or on a smaller level of evil- Johnny Borrell.
The Reverend: Dtente (A relaxing or easing, as of tension between rivals)
Heavyweight Champion Of The World is out now