The Stranglers March tour – exclusive in depth interview with JJ Burnel

TCC-280pxLast few tickets for the tour available from here

 

This March the Stranglers embark on their annual lap of honour – a UK tour which sells more tickets than they did in the punk wars and reaches up to bigger venues every year. The indefatigable survivors hit the road with their inventive and impossible to categorise music that still sounds like the classic band despite only two originals remaining in the live line up.  These days 78 year old drummer Jet Black has to sit the tours out, physically defeated by the grinding toughness of the road but mentality still very much a shareholder in this most fascinating and wilful of bands.

Last year the band played the classic Black and White album in full as part of their set whilst this year there may be no album played in such a manner they promise some surprises from their vast and brilliant back catalogue, including unplayed songs from their early days. There is also hints at new material but we doubt whether this will be ready in time for the live shows but it sounds like an album is coming with lots of talk of new songs in this interview.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now 40 years since the punk explosion ripped apart the culture fabric and the Stranglers somehow got through in all the wreckage. Their place in the scheme of things has never been rationalised which suits the band perfectly. They were idiosyncratic then and they remain idiosyncratic now – the outsiders outsiders but with a huge and faithful following that has grown by the year.

The last decade has seen the group coalesce back the perfect 4 piece/2 frontmen line up which always suited them and consolidate their creativity in series of great releases since the Norfolk Coast album that sees them in a fairly unique position of being a classic band that still has something to say musically as well. Maybe that’s why they also sell out bigger and bigger venues to the point where they have moved up the Manchester’s cavernous Apollo and the Brixton Academy in London.

Of course there is always nostalgia mixed in with this but if that was purely the reason they were selling all these tickets they would soon get stuck. The Stranglers remain a vital force and their live show is as great as it ever way, with half the band in their sixties they have done that rarest of things in rock n roll and made older age work for them. That silver fox things suits them and if it means that 78 year old drummer has Jet Black has had to step outside from the rigours of touring that sees the youthful Jim McCauley take on his mighty mantle then so be it. Fortunately Jim, like the band’s current lynchpin guitarist and vocalist Baz Warne has added to the power to the band and the late period Stranglers are a powerful live unit.

The 2017 Stranglers are about to hit the road for their March tour – an annual event that the army in black look forward to with anticipation still selling out big venues without the added factor of a theme like last years playing of the black and white album. This year there will be surprises but they are giving little away

JJ Burnel

‘I don’t know. I don’t know what we are going to do yet! We kind of more or less got an idea of what we are going to do but not finalised yet. We will dig into a lot of old stuff as well. We try and keep the balance of material and there is an awful lot to sift through. There is quite a few we have not played for a while. It’s rediscovering stuff and also trying to rediscover the person you were when you were writing and playing these things in the first place and that is quite fun. We always rehearse more songs than we can play so we can change on a nightly basis and that keeps it interesting for us. We are working on a few new pieces but we can’t complete anything at the moment.’

LTW : It’s Been a busy year.

JJ Burnel

‘We have been touring all year. It started with a big TV show in Poland, then we started the UK tour and it was then straight off to Australia and New Zealand.’

LTW : I guess it’s easier to play a world tour and the band is more mobile now without having to worry about Jet’s health…

JJ Burnel

‘We still worry about Jet all the time of course. He’s not part of the touring package. He’s as well as he can be. I spoke to him last week. He’s just tired but he is enjoying his life now and not travelling too much. He’s managing his health. He’s got a lot of health problems but he’s still got his opinion on the stuff and that’s fine with us.’

LTW : Of course any older band slows down its output as real life gets in the way and time moves on but is there any news on any new Stranglers songs? will there be an 18th album?

JJ Burnel

‘A bit of both really. I need to have a bit of a period by myself to write, which I haven’t had the opportunity to have for some time. There are all these ideas that I can’t finish. I’m not in the right place to do them. We will be doing that later this year. I got 150 ideas and Baz got a few as well. At some point we will say, stop lets get these things finished.  It’s been great playing all over the word – the reception has been getting better and better. Also people think every tour we do will be the last time we ever see them and come to see us just in case we might drop off the side of the world next week.’

LTW : People can’t get enough of the band, your last tour was the best selling sojourn since 1978…

JJ Burnel

‘Thats what I have been told as well. We have outsold ourselves! The demographic has changed. A lot of people have grown up with us, some have grown older with us and there is also an awful lot of youngsters if you want to call them that – much younger than me anyway! Maybe it’s a reaction against X Factor and all those phoney things. It warms the heart!’

LTW : You are in danger of becoming respectable!

JJ Burnel 

’As far as I’m concerned I’ve always been respectable. It’s just the people’s interpretation of what I do and that left some kind of dichotomy there…’

LTW: Is Jet involved with the new songs? do you send them to him? what is his role is now? is he like a board member of a strange company?

JJ Burnel 

‘I suppose you could say that. Of course he will have an opinion about stuff, nothing has changed in that case. He’s always welcome. All members have an opinion about material, sometimes it’s been overwhelmingly negative so the idea is dropped.’

LTW: Do you send him tracks to listen to?

JJ Burnel

‘Of course we do – out of respect. He’s just not on stage anymore. He’s not contributing physically. I still hope he has an opinion. He obviously does have an opinion as he still has the Stranglers close to heart , ‘

LTW : Do you meet him these days?

JJ Burnel

‘Not recently. He travels less and less these days.’

LTW : He lives in the middle of Wales now?

JJ Burnel

‘I haven’t been to his new place. I think Baz has been to his place and he’s as isolated as he could be ‘

LTW : Where are you up to with the new songs? have you finished any of them? have you got any lyrics yet? or riffs and melodic ideas?

JJ Burnel

LTW :  ‘There are bits of all those things. We have got one piece – an instrumental which is called Anger which is development from a few years back and another one called Water which is about the Arab spring, but the lyrics are a bit too optimistic actually considering what has happened there. There are  a few subjects and a few songs but nothing is complete yet.’

LTW :  What is Anger about?

JJ Burnel

‘I like the analogy of a skeleton without any meat on it and of loads of skeletons in the closest (laughs)’

LTW : ‘Skeletons In The Closet would make a great Stranglers album title (laughs). Is Anger about you dealing with the younger version of yourself – the one you meet when you play old songs?

JJ Burnel

‘Occasionally, yeah. It’s the problem being if I haven’t played a piece for a long time I find that I can’t always understand how my younger self played those pieces or how I came to work out some of the time differences and stuff. That’s a bit of a personal challenge for me (laughs) you are in inhabiting the fingers and mind of someone who is no longer you…’

LTW :  What do you think of that person?

JJ Burnel

‘It’s not a completely different person after all I’ve accompanied that person along most of the way though life. When a piece hasn’t been touched upon for a long time I’m in awe of that younger geezer, how the fuck did he come up with those things!  My mind set is different bound to be different now at least I hope it is different.’

LTW :  Is a song like Anger about that?

JJ Burnel

‘I was a very frustrated and very angry young bloke. To quote a cliche I ‘worked out a lot of demons..’ We all have to some extent and mine manifested themselves through music and violence and I still manifest myself through music but not so much violence now really.’

LTW :  What do you think younger JJ would make of the older version?

JJ Burnel

‘I’d like to think he’d see it as an inspiration (laughs)

LTW :  A longer term version…

JJ Burnel 

‘But non of us have a long term idea of what we were doing. As rock n roll got older the perpetuators, the actors on the stage have got older as well.’

LTW :  It’s funny to think that the Stranglers and the Stones are now, looking back,  are almost the same generation of people!

JJ Burnel

‘Yeah, at a push, at a stretch the same generation. Although, you know, when you are 12 and someone who is a musician is 19 there is big difference but I think technically you could say same generation

LTW :  In a sense when you look back punk is the last gasp of that generation, the rock n roll generation.

JJ Burnel

‘What has there been since, everything has been a bit of a pastiche since then.’

LTW : There are only so many ways of doing things in music…

JJ Burnel 

‘I think it’s more of a rhythmic idea. Each generation brings a certain rhythm with it. Our generation was sort of about the rock rhythm, rock n roll. Hip hop took it somewhere else. I think what happens is that each generation has its rhythm but the melody remains the same. Melody overcomes rhythm. You can put the same melody on a different rhythm and you will recognise that melody. The songs override the rhythm as each generation brings it own rhythmic sense to the musical fore.’

LTW :  Do you find that as a songwriter the rhythms change or do you work within the same rhythms?

JJ Burnel

‘The Stranglers have experimented with different rhythms within  the rock format all this time. Although if you want to define rock really narrowly it’s a 4/4 which we kind of occasionally have bypassed. We’ve always been interested in rhythm, it’s the backbone of the melody that carries the idea.’

LTW :  The rhythm is the first thing that pulls you in…

JJ Burnel

‘It is is yeah…then you enchant with the melody (smiles)’

LTW :  Does working with Jim change the way you play?

With the Stranglers the sound is unique with the bass being the lead instrument. It’s not a traditional style of bass playing – has that been affected in some way by playing with Jim

JJ Burnel

‘Of course, yeah, especially when you play, we don’t jam really but necessarily you get into a rhythmic groove and of course it’s different now. Everyone is different fortunately. I don’t want Jim to be a clone of Jet. Jet has made his mark over time with his style. He has a distinct style – a jazzy style that made a lot of heavier songs lighter. He sort of loosened it up. Jim is different. He is much more physical. He’s a younger drummer and brings a different feel to the stuff. I think he’s pretty faithful to the old stuff but with the new stuff there is much more to go off and at a slight tangent which is what I want and what the Stranglers need. We always need fresh blood and fresh ideas. I would hate for us to be going around in ever decreasing circles chasing our tail. That would not be of of any interest to me or to our audience to be honest, they are a pretty broad minded bunch, they don’t always want previous victories!’

LTW :  Does Jim bring a new energy to the band like Baz did?

JJ Burnel 

‘There is a new way of working, we rework the Stranglers plus he has brought a lot of energy in with him. Every group of people, whether music people or in a office setting or whatever you get stale after a while. You get into a comfort zone and that is a complete antithesis of creativity. It’s great that the Stranglers over the years never split up. We had a seamless evolution – sometimes more successful than others, obviously I think Baz coming into the band sad been a godsend.’

LTW :  Did you feel the jolt of energy when he came in.

JJ Burnel

‘Without a doubt it refreshed all of us…’

LTW :  Do you think his coming in as a fan helped as he remembered what was great about the band and the certain hallmarks that were important and came back with Norfolk Coast.

JJ Burnel

‘For a start being a fan of the band, he showed a lot of respect for older material and not jazz it up. Some of the older stuff has guitar solos that are classic and he didn’t want to fuck with them. The fact that he came in with occasional precepts and the original philosophy and kind of reminded what part of the legacy that we should try and perpetuate – it’s easily forgotten and he put us back in line a bit and allowed us a bit of self assessment which was useful and I’m really proud of.’

LTW :  Did he turn up and say, c’mon guys turn everything up a bit!

JJ Burnel

‘It was more organic and everyone seemed to know what the right thing to do was. You get a period of experimentation with stuff and suddenly something clicks and then everyone has that eureka moment. All bands have that. You are working on a song or a piece that doesn’t quite gel and you rethink it and something happens and a magic comes into it.’

LTW :  Do you find that songwriting comes instantly or are you one of those people that takes a long tome to finish a song off?

JJ Burnel

‘I’ve had both. I’ve written a song in about 5 minutes – one of the most successful was in three minutes – Waltzinblack where I was messing about on a classical guitar and come up with the song. On  another piece I could work on it for 6 months and it doesn’t quite happen, the magic of it doesn’t come and thank god there is that element of magic to it otherwise you could learn by rote and just write something by numbers. People do their formulaic songs and song writers have formula but that’s not how we work. I rely on instinct. I have 150 new piece at the moment and not one of them is complete. When I get down to it I will get rid of most of them and if I get 4/5 finished I will be pleased with them.’

LTW :  I read in an interview with your old school friend, Brian Cook who said you were a perfectionist and you would go over things to get them perfect and that  wasn’t the image you had at the time in the early Stranglers.

JJ Burnel

‘(laughs)…what’s the contrast with the image? well you know in the early days I was aware that I had a certain image that doesn’t quantify with the other really. In people’s minds we were a bunch of thugs with maybe with one intellectual – Hugh and it wasn’t quite that way!’

LTW :  I guess you seemed more dangerous like if someone threw something you would sort them out straight away. I like this idea that at the same time you were still responsible for so much of the clever details in the bands music.

JJ Burnel

‘The details are what keep the interest. What always is to be discovered is that you have an overall thing with a song and when you listen back you hear things I purposely put in to keep the interest (laughs)’

LTW :  Are you still interested in the ballet in black? the ballet you were talking about based on the Meninblack album you were talking about a couple of years ago.

JJ Burnel

I’ve written the synopsis. There was always a story behind the Meninblack thing that wasn’t really developed that well. I have written a synopsis and I just need to find a choreographer to take it on and create this ballet story. It’s a straight forward simple story another explanation for humanity. How did we get here? are we really the result of millions of years of evolution or have we been kickstarted at some point. I always found it a fascinating concept especially, since mathematically, we  can’t be the only life form in the universe from that I used lots of old ideas of aliens landing and creating us in there own image and going away, fucking off and leaving us to our own mess and sort of introducing religion and rules like the ten commandments that are for a really good example of how to kind of organise a nascent society. It makes sense to not knick you neighbours wife became he might get pissed off and it may cause emotional upheaval (laughs). A lot of things are in there – I wanted it to be a love story between a guy in a Frankenstein situation – you create this thing and fall in love with it – a cross between Madame Butterfly, Frankenstein and Bladerunner. I wrote the synopsis that these aliens created these things and then they disappear.’

LTW :  Musically would you use old songs or be writing different music to fit with the ballet.

JJ Burnel

‘There would need to be new songs because the Meninblack wouldn’t fulfil the whole task although, of course, I would use some of those tracks.’

LTW :  A lot of the stuff you write in the band – some of it is rock n roll and yet some of it is very beyond – very neo classical like Down In The Sewer sounded like they were bursting to get out of the 4/4 . if you did the ballet in black would the  soundtrack have  more classical pieces?

JJ Burnel

‘Why should rock should not extend itself? it comes from a music way back, why can’t you lend classical ideas and pieces to what is basically rhythm and blues based stuff. All of us should be grateful to that. It gave us the basis for rock n roll and then it moved beyond that. I get the feeling that its reached the glass ceiling now and it’s hitting the ceiling and going back on itself now. Maybe it needs to sure there is ways of taking it elsewhere.’

LTW :  

I’m interested in the idea of you working beyond rock n roll, the

swooping atmospheres that you tend to write in Stranglers classics – can you unleash beyond rock n roll and write a piece that is even more classical, maybe soundtrack.

JJ Burnel

‘I would be but I don’t know how far my skill would go, how skilled I would be to develop an idea add to that fact, I haven’t put myself to the test. I still enjoy playing rock n roll live.

LTW :  Do you feel more comfortable in a small unit of people where you can work with and react to eachother’s ideas, the reductive unit is the beauty of something like the Stranglers.

JJ Burnel

‘Well it would quite a challenge to have more musical input. I do like the space that we create in the Stranglers. We can create a lot of noise and rhythm and melody and not just in a three minute formulae with what we have got. Fortunately we are part of the keyboard revolution and we have an awful lot of different sounds on hand most exceptionally played by the keyboardist some of the time (laughs)! he’s more sober these days than he has been for years (smiles) and he has been playing like a god.

LTW :  He’s a great player.

JJ Burnel

’On a good night and he is having lots of good nights at the moment which we are  pleased to say

LTW :  You did the solo albums – the first one is great, still a  real favourite of mine – how come you generally work in a band situation.

I often wonder why you didn’t do the solo thing or do you prefer the gang of the band unit, the structure of a band suits you better?

JJ Burnel

‘I think it does yeah, I need to bounce off other people. I flourish in that situation. When someone has ideas that contradict with mine or envelop mine completely and take it somewhere else – I like that. I like the camaraderie. Solo may suit other people but not me so much. When I did solo stuff it was to learn how to do different things. I had a lot of material lying about that was not suitable for one reason or another for the Stranglers to use. And I had a situation to learn stuff and go outside the comfort zone and bring it back to the heart of the Stranglers. What always mattered for me was the Stranglers. Others might have thought that they needed to go solo and good luck to them. I think it was not always successful for some people but I have got to admire their desire to do stuff themselves if that’s what they wanted.’

LTW :  You always worked within the gang mentality – bike gang, martial arts dojo, rock n roll band…

JJ Burnel

‘I’m a game player, I admit.’

LTW : You operate like a loner inside a gang, The Stranglers look like a tight unit and yet are such different almost unconnected people – it’s the most unlikely line up you could get in a band.You just couldn’t design a band like that. A really bizarre hotch potch of people!

JJ Burnel

It seemed to have worked, sort of (smiles) – a dysfunctional family. I didn’t fuck with that.

LTW :  Some of the best Stranglers music sounds like everyone playing different things at same time – in a way reflecting the diverse line up and its diverse talents.

JJ Burnel

‘We got a few songs like that. Genetix from the Raven album where everyone is playing a different solo at the same time! and it works and it shouldn’t work in a way and it’s very telling of what the group is like.’

LTW :  Everyone is playing lead – even the drums!

Was it designed like that? everyone is playing different things at once and everyone goes wow!

JJ Burnel

‘I think it came out of everyone respecting what the other person was doing. No-one wanted to interfere providing they had vision to be part of the song and on Genetix it just works…’

LTW :  Maybe it’s the end of that line up when people lose interest in other people’s song parts?

JJ Burnel 

‘I suspect people lose interest in the final vision one their own idea which is fair enough which is what happened high got bored within the Stranglers format and it probably quite right to leave at that time

LTW :  The whole band sounded bored at the end of that period.

JJ Burnel

‘At that time it had been an intense 16 years – really intense and living in eachother’s coat pockets. I think it was right for Hugh to sacrifice himself for the bigger cause (smiles).’

LTW :  Has there no attempts since rekindle the friendship recently?

JJ Burnel

‘There is no point now. We have moved on as people, the band is unique. The Stranglers have no need for change at the moment. We have had a few changes and we are on a trajectory. On a human level, of course, that would be nice to speak again but that is not going to happen I don’t think. Certainly people have suggested a tie up with him and the band and I can’t think why would you do that? what would it achieve?’

I don’t see what it would achieve. Musically it would achieve nothing. It would be going backwards. On a human level it would be different but I don’t want to be playing Manchester Apollo just to rekindle a friendship.’

LTW :  Everybody has friends from years ago that drift to different places

JJ Burnel

‘It’s like relationships that are integral but you can’t always move in parallel. People move away. Your constantly change as you develop as a person. You don’t necessarily see the same things in the same way any more as the people you took off with. It’s a part of life – a shame but…’

LTW :  You had a phase a couple of years ago revisiting older albums – any more plans for this? The Raven?

JJ Burnel

‘We haven’t thought about that. It just felt right at the time. Black and White was a bit of a challenge. It was something we could get our teeth into in the rehearsal period. I don’t think we are going to do that again for a while. I know it seems to be a trend for people to revisit their most successful album or their most iconic album. A lot of bands have done that recently. We did the same last year with Black and White and ten years ago we played the exact set at the Roundhouse that we had 30 years ago but at the moment there is nothing like that on the agenda. We  just want to play and I also want to start developing some new ideas –  I’ m really chomping at the bit now to do that.’

LTW :  It’s important for a band to not just become a museum

JJ Burnel 

‘I don’t want to be that. I don’t have problem paying old stuff, new stuff, middle period stuff in general. What motivates me is new stuff if it’s good new stuff. Since we have no commercial pressure now to release less than good stuff it takes a bit longer now but there’s got to be a lot of quality control at this stage.’

LTW : With no commercial pressure it means you can get on with being the Stranglers!

JJ Burnel

‘It’s completely the Stranglers whatever that means!’

LTW :  The band has always been very diverse. What kind of stuff do you write these days? the last album had long pieces, short songs and instrumentals? A lot of diversity.

JJ Burnel

‘I’m afraid so! its a scatter machine gun. The first piece we have completed so far is more metal than anything we have ever done. I don’t know what direction we are going in. It’s as the muse takes us. I don’t want to have a direction necessarily. In the past we have explored whatever particular direction at the moment – it’s just a scatter gun.’

LTW :  You have to round them all up like sheep and then collect these things then understand where you are going!

JJ Burnel

That’s right.

LTW :  In the past has there been points in the old catalogue where a decision has been made to record with what be the rough parameters to the sound and idea? Black and White thematically and musically fitted together perfectly, La Folie as well – in those cases did the idea set the space?

JJ Burnel

‘Maybe but not on this one. I will be grateful if we can produce something!

LTW :  Do you play bass at home?

JJ Burnel

‘I don’t play bass every day and the reason I don’t is because I like the idea of rediscovering it. I play it differently each time. If I haven’t played for a few weeks then when I attack the bass again, it’s kind of a new instrument again. I find new things and when I try to replicate older stuff and it’s not fluent and that’s quite a challenge for me. I enjoy the situation when I rediscover the instrument. Some people play every day, they practise every day – I don’t. I do the opposite.’

LTW : Are you a very different player now than when you started in sound and technique?

JJ Burnel

‘I think so, yes. Some of the stuff I wrote years back I can’t get my head around now. It’s a finger challenge which is kind of fun but as  long as I keep the proficiency in my hands I try to approach it differently each time.’

LTW :  What do you like when playing the bass now…you invented a style of bass playing – are there different nuances now – for example are you more rhythmic or more melodic?

JJ Burnel

‘It depends on the piece of music I’m playing to be honest. I don’t really do a bass solos for the sake of a bass solo to remind people that I’m the best bass player in the world (laughs)’

LTW :  Influential, of course

JJ Burnel

‘I do have an image of an old style bass player in the past playing – bum- bum- bum… probably appropriate for their style of music that background style but not for mine!

LTW :  Were you playing as a bass or lead guitar or hybrid?

JJ Burnel

‘I didn’t know really. I just wanted to compete against Hugh, Dave and Jet and be not be in their shadows, they were are playing solo instruments and I wanted the bass to be an equal.’

LTW :  Was the first rehearsal more traditional sounding?

JJ Burnel

‘It was probably much more traditional at first until I got the hang of it.’

LTW :  The upcoming revisiting of old songs from that catalogue – is it a song that makes you go – wow! not heard that for years…

JJ Burnel

‘Yes, that’s how I want to feel when rediscovering old pieces…’

LTW :  Do the whole band go through the album picking old songs

JJ Burnel

‘Nein!!! its meine band. I pick ze songs!”

LTW :  Somehow I can’t imagine Dave doing it…

JJ Burnel

‘You imagine… probably right!’

LTW :  Does jim go through the records

JJ Burnel

‘Jim does a lot of homework. Obviously he has to learn parts he has never recorded or played on so it’s a bit of an education for him. He’s having to get into Jet’s head space.  He works on it and spends an awful lot of time doing his homework which is what I expect everybody to do really.’

LTW :  What’s the criteria for old songs to be dig out?

JJ Burnel

‘It could be a really good song. There is one song that we have not played for 40 years that we have introduced back into the set and  completely rearranged it because we have to maintain interest for ourselves. I don’t want us to go through the motions like a fucking cabaret or karaoke thing. It’s got to be life affirming.

LTW : Mmmmm 40 years? is it a 1976 song?

JJ Burnel

‘That’s approximated it. You are now trying to define it to a certain song but no telling!’

LTW : The intrigue!

JJ Burnel

‘It’s a weird one to pick…’

LTW :  Is there an interest to finish songs. Are there songs that never came out right like on the Ten album – there are good ideas on there but never recorded with the right sound.

JJ Burnel

’It doesn’t sound like the Stranglers. It’s a bit bitty. there are great songs on that but we really did them a disservice. Revisit? I suppose to we would have to be bereft of ideas to do that. I’d rather move on from that what happened there. It fucked up. It wasn’t as good as it could have been and I’d rather just move on.

I mean if we rerecorded the whole of 10, which would worthy cause, it would also be like a dog that has a shit and then goes back and eats it…(laughs)’

LTW :  There are some tracks that didn’t make onto 10 which are great like Motorbike…

JJ Burnel 

‘I loved that. I always thought that song was great…Instead Of This should have been on that album as well…which we have done acoustically…some of the better songs didn’t get onto the record …it’s a luxury if you got more tracks that don’t make it onto an album.’

LTW :  How long can the Stranglers go on for now?  now that Jet has semi retired, everyone else is relatively young with Dave being the senior member at 67?

JJ Burnel

‘Fuck, I know, 67! scary… I don’t know. We have to live each day as it comes which is quite challenging and exciting. I think if Dave or I cut loose or peg it then it probably would I suspect question the credibility of the band. I think as long as we’re still making plans for playing and accepting shows and writing and recording songs what more could you ask for…

LTW :  If the band stopped would you carry making music as yourself

JJ Burnel

‘How would it manifest itself would be put in question. I really love playing with The Stranglers. It’s one of the most enjoyable features of my life. I’ve enjoyed that aspect of it. I’ve really enjoyed the writing and rehearsing. I really like that and I can’t do that by myself. I like writing by myself but I ultimately prefer to offer  a piece to the people I like to develop it and basically the band situation and the band format and dynamic is perfect for me.’

LTW :  And if there was no more Stranglers?

JJ Burnel

‘I’ll be down the local cafe with my geetar (laughs)

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10 comments on “The Stranglers March tour – exclusive in depth interview with JJ Burnel”

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  1. fanx for a gr8 interview with such a fabo muso and all. B&W such a classic. Ta JR

  2. That was a strange read, very reminiscent of Norman Collier doing his broken microphone act, but bizarrely with too much, as well as too little letters and words .

  3. Another great interview John well done

  4. Cheers John, cracking interview, really fired up for the Lincoln opener now ☺

  5. Managed to get onstage at the Manc Apollo and sing The Raven alongside JJ in 1980. A memory I will treasure forever. The Raven itself is overdue for re-evaluation. For me, it’s the best Stranglers album. Closely followed by B&W.

  6. Great Interview Black and White Great album and Tour and now we have more to come LONG LIVE THE STRANGLERS

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