TORONTO – When The Jesus and Mary Chain reunited nine years ago, it was both as a way to celebrate the past and the future. Immediately after getting back together in 2007, Jim and William Reid announced they would record a new album. And while that album still hasn’t surfaced (it’s recorded but not mixed), the pair have found ways of keeping their fans happy.
For the past year, the Scottish noise-pop act has been touring its seminal debut album, “Psychocandy,” to rave reviews. Even the famously miserable Reid brothers have had their fun.
“We have enjoyed it quite a lot, actually,” admits Jim Reid. “We were a bit nervous about doing it in the first place. It’d been a long time since we played some of those songs. Quite a lot of those songs we had never played live before. So it was a bit daunting at the beginning because we didn’t know if it was going to work. Eventually it did, and it’s been fun.”
While the point of touring the album was to celebrate its recent 30th anniversary, the experience has convinced Reid that the band might be three decades older, but also much better at performing the songs.
“Obviously we’re older, and there was this youthful bravado that took place on stage back then,” he says. “But now I think there is a lot more confidence. We felt that we had everything to prove back then, but I guess now we feel like we proved it. Thirty years later we’re still here. That gives us a certain amount of confidence. It’s more about the music now. Back then it was more about grabbing people by the throat and shoving the music down their neck.”
As beneficial as touring Psychocandy has been for the JAMC, Reid doesn’t see a point in continuing the trend with any of their other five albums. “A lot of people have suggested (1987’s) ‘Darklands,’ and I’m not sure if we would do it,” he explains. “We’re also doing a new record right now, so we’re focusing more on the future than the past.”
The foreseeable future consists of finishing the tour and getting back to the studio. But Reid is anticipating a return to Japan, after their two shows were postponed in November.
“William had some health issues, so we had to reschedule these shows,” he says. “The Japanese fans are very much into it, and follow you around. It’s very nice. The first time we ever played there we got a very polite response. I think it was 1987 when we first came over, and it was a bit of a shock that people just politely applauded between songs. We didn’t really know what to make of it. It was a bit of a mystery to us. Usually it was either people wanted to kill us or f—- us.”
The Jesus and Mary Chain plays Umeda Akaso in Kita-ku, Osaka, on Feb. 25 (06-7897-2450); and Toyosu Pit in Koto-ku, Tokyo, on Feb. 26 (03-3531-7888). Shows start at 7 p.m. and tickets cost ¥8,800 in advance. For more information, visit www.thejesusandmarychain.uk.com.