Home > News & Reviews > Mark Shaw

Stereoboard Speak To Then Jerico's Mark Shaw About Their Reunion Tour & Future Plans (Interview)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 Written by Katie Territt
Stereoboard Speak To The Jerico's Mark Shaw About Their 'Reunion Tour & Future Plans (Interview)

It appears to be all the rage at the moment for 80’s revivals, reunions, and comebacks. Some are justified, some maybe not so much. It’s easy to remember the cheesy pop of the 80’s, but give a thought to those hard working credible bands who entertained back in the day with their great songs, lyrics and musicianship. 2012 sees the 25th Anniversary of ‘First’, the debut album from 80’s rock band Then Jerico. To celebrate, the band’s original line up are back together for a reunion tour around the O2 Academy venues and a trip into the digital “noughties”.

Stereoboard caught up with lead singer Mark Shaw to talk about the work that’s going into the reunion tour. “I'm pretty knackered, I've been working ridiculous hours trying to pull this all together. I'm actually managing the band as well as everything else. I'm not cut out for management I don't think *laughs*. I am busy, but good busy, there's so much to do. The band are all spread out in various parts of the world so it means liaising with people at different times of the day and night. Our drummer's in New Zealand and our guitarist is in Spain - and they don't get up until about 3 in the afternoon anyway - so it's a lot of effort. There's a lot to organise for what was initially a small tour but has grown to something bigger.”

Forgoing arenas and large venues, Then Jerico are taking the tour back to the old days, with smaller, more intimate venues. “We wanted to play the Academy's as we've always thought they're really credible venues. The people that go to the Academy gigs are people that really like music as opposed to, not knocking anybody else, but other venues cater for people who want entertainment whereas the Academy's are pure rock and roll. To be honest with you, we couldn't really afford to take a big show out on the road anyway so what we wanted to do was just go out and play. We knew it had to be somewhere that people expect full on music and we really didn't want seated venues either.”

It sounds like the band are working hard to put together a great tour, but how did the reunion tour come about? “The band split up years ago, I left, and we hadn't really spoken for a long time and it was a little big antagonistic between us. I left and it caused a rift between us and it was like, we're never gonna' work together again, that Spinal Tap stuff. Anyway, Scott Taylor, our rhythm guitarist and co-writer, is working in London and I kept bumping into him so we started talking and we got on pretty well and went out for a few drinks. We started talking about the old days and about how people still like our music and we still get airplay and Scott said he wondered what would happen if we done a couple of gigs one day. So we were working on some stuff and I pointed out to Scott that 2012 would be the 25th Anniversary of the first album and how that and the second album had been deleted and you can't get hold of them.”

Image“We discussed the whole 80's revival and that it would be great to do something to celebrate the Anniversary so I approached the record company and said if we did a tour, would you re-release the first album, and they said yeah. I thought maybe I could go out with my session band and do something and maybe get Scott along and then Scott said we should try and get everyone together as he still talked to them all. Scott said it would have to come from me; I had to swallow my pride. It made a real difference to come from me, so I emailed everybody and to my surprise, everybody was up for it.”

A reunion tour after so long is hard enough to organise, but Then Jerico have been lucky to have great backing and support from everyone involved. “I approached the Director of the Academy's and they said they'd love to do it - it just took one phone call. I was so surprised and still am with everyone's support. It's taken almost a year to organise and get everyone together. It's literally asking everyone to take like a month or more off to come and rehearse and do this tour which we don't even know if anyone will come to. We were gonna' do it in January but we wanted to re-release the albums digitally so we settled on September.”

On the subject of the band’s music, Mark is very excited to talk about the work he’s doing around Then Jerico’s Best Of albums. “We agreed with Rhino Music/Warner Music to compile two new versions of the Best Of – one compilation will be for commercial release and will feature the singles, different album tracks from the original, as well as some mixes and b-sides. That one will be as a download and hopefully as a physical CD. The second version will be for the hardcore fans and will have extended mixes, rare unreleased material, music that was previously only available on 10” singles and other exclusives. That version will be for download only.”

It sounds as if the fans are in for a real treat with these releases and what the band are planning. “The reaction's been great. I set up a Facebook page and Twitter, and we've had such good responses from people wanting us to come back, so we're doing the 8 date tour and if they sell well, we may even do some more. Ideally I'd like to play a few places we never play, like Edinburgh, Brighton, Ireland. But the Academy have been great to us so I don't want to do anything outside of them at the moment because it would be unfair on them. I'd love to play more though; once you get the taste for it you remember what it's like and why you did it in the first place.”

It’s been a long time since Then Jerico parted ways, but being back together hasn’t been hard work by a long stretch. “We all met up at Christmas and within five minutes we were all laughing and taking the mickey out of each other. We're so comfortable with each other; we all have the same viewpoints and have real chemistry. We're all better musicians, we're all hopefully nicer people and we've all grown up. We look at each other now and say "God we were all such assholes" *laughs* and we realise that we got at each other back then because we were so young. It goes to your head and you become egotistical but we realise now how grateful we are for what we had and we've moved on.”

It must be hard to have such a huge break from such an iconic period to then come back this many years later and make a name for yourselves and your music again, but it sounds like Then Jerico know exactly what they’re doing. “The best thing is that we're getting such great support from radio, from people like yourselves and the press. A couple of journalists have said that our music hasn't dated and that was what we tried very hard to do when we recorded our albums. We always wanted to create this big sound but make it really simple and we're really proud of that. We didn't want to make anything contemporary or futuristic because we didn't want the music to date. We wanted to write classics and songs that are still good in years to come. It's tempting to use the latest sound when you're recording but you know it will sound stupid a while down the line”.

The reunion tour sees Then Jerico playing their second, and biggest, album ‘The Big Area’ in its entirety, as well as tracks from the debut album, so it’s certainly meant revisiting some old classics. “There are songs we haven't played in a long time. The songs I like playing the best are like 'Helpless' and 'Reeling', the real rock songs where I can charge about and point and shout at people *laughs*. I like the songs that really excite me and where I can just belt them out. I'll be honest with you, there are songs from the first album I haven't played since the band split, like 'Laughter Party', 'Stable Boy', 'A Quiet Place'. So the idea is to play all the singles from the first album and probably a song called 'The Hitcher' which I'm really proud of as it has the most atmosphere. And we'll play the whole of the second album, although we're not sure if we'll play it in order as that will mean playing 'Big Area' first and everyone will leave after that *laughs*. We're also trying to keep ticket prices down as much as possible so the real fans can come out and see us; we understand it can be a stretch. We want to give real value for money and play as much as we can possibly do, in the time we're planning.”

So with great support, backing and reactions from the fans and media, has this prompted Then Jerico to think about a more permanent reunion and some new material? “We always wrote traditionally in the same way, we'd get in a room together and it was very much a band effort. A lot of it was jamming and we'd fashion a song out of that. Obviously with us all being so far apart now, we can't do that. We could send it out to each other via electronic media and work on it, which I'm thinking of doing, and then seeing what happens when we get together. But if we come up with something, we'd then have to get together to record it and then everyone come over to promote it, but I'd love to do it. We've got a couple of songs which are almost there, but it's getting the time to get together and write. It's getting to the financial position to be able to do it, we'd love to release a new album, but logistics make it hard. Hopefully the time on the tour will give us a chance to work on something.”

An Anniversary reunion tour, new releases of Best Of albums, and some great band chemistry sounds as if Then Jerico are about to make a huge, and well deserved comeback. They were a credible band back in the 80’s and should’ve been bigger than they were, so fingers crossed this tour and the fact their music is getting back out there, will ensure that the band pick up some new fans along the way, as well as providing a welcome return for the hardcore fans that already still support them and their music. If you feel like reminiscing, need an injection of nostalgia or just want to watch a great band play some fantastic music, then check Then Jerico out on their reunion tour, starting in September. Also keep an eye out for those Best Of releases which sound like they’ll be packed full of special and rare treats. A very big welcome back!

Click Here to Compare & Buy Then Jerico Tickets

For all the latest news about Then Jerico, please visit the band's official website www.thenjerico.com. You should also check out their official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace pages. Official Then Jerico merchandise can be found at www.thenjerico.com/merchandise.

We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >