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Benny Profane - Interview with Dave Jackson Part 2

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 30 / 9 / 2006

Benny Profane - Interview with Dave Jackson Part 2


In the second part of a three part interview, Dave Jackson talks to Anthony Strutt about the recording of his early 80's band the Room's final album 'In Evil Hour' which was co-produced by Tom Verlaine, and after that group's break-up the formation of his next band Benny Profane

PB : The Room's first album was 'Indoor Fireworks'. You then did the mini album 'Clear!' which had a completely different sound, and then you went and did 'In Evil Hour' which to me sounds so much more improved. Do you think you came a long way between 'Indoor Fireworks' and 'In Evil Hour' ? DJ : Yeah. PB : 'In Evil Hour' is so much slicker. DJ : I think it was in a way. Paul Cavanagh (who replaced Robyn Odlum on guitar after 'Indoor Fireworks'-AS) was obsessed with pop music. He was over doing the pretty pop music thing. and I think with 'In Evil Hour' we started to move back to rock. We kind of found our stable there. We started to write a lot of stuff, and it was effortless to write those songs. There's another albums worth of songs from that time. PB : How did Tom Verlaine get involved then? (He co produced 'In Evil Hour' with John Porter-AS) DJ : We were on an indie label called Red Flame at the time of 'Clear !' and then probably because what we had done on 'Clear !' Virgin got interested. They had this new offshoot label Ten, and they signed us and also took over Red Flame, and part of the deal was we had to get a manager, which we never had had and we got this guy called John Reid, whom managed producers at the time. He managed Steve Lilywhite and he managed the Townhouse(Legendary recording studio-AS) for Virgin and he asked us what producers we wanted and we originally said John Porter because of the Smiths, I thought his production on the Smiths' debut album was quite simple and little did I know it was all drum machines (Laughs). Tom Verlaine was just a dream ideal name which got passed around and John Reid asked him. He ended up being his manager as well for a while. Tom wanted to get into production anyway. Tom came to the project late and John Porter did most of the album. Tom had a completely different working style. They were both good producers, but he suited us more for what we were doing. It was a good experience. He was kind of quiet. We got on well with him. He didn't take shit off anyone which suited our attitude. PB : After 'In Evil Hour' the Room sort of faded away. Why did you break up ? DJ : We got messed about by the label. Ten dropped Red Flame, and they wanted the rights to one of Red Flame's artists. I think it was Anne Clarke. Dave Kitson didn't want to give up the rights, and Ten were like "You can't have the rights to the Room's stuff then" so basically the album got deleted after a few months of it being out. It got good reviews but then it wasn't available. There was a lot of other stuff going on too. Paul had other ambitions as well. He wanted to be a singer too as well as a guitarist. He ended up in the band Top if you remember them. Then Alan Wills (who had replaced Clive Thomas on drums)left . Paul hung around until the money ran out (Laughs,) but Becky and I evenetually invited him too leave. PB : Next along came Benny Profane for you both. How did that come about then? How did you get Robin Surtrees (guitar) and Joe McKechnie (Guitar, drums) involved ? DJ : Joe was hard to convince. Joe and I were already mates but he didn't want to play drums anymore (Joe was the drummer in the Passage-AS). He wanted to play guitar, and he was just learning that. He's got an original style, and he is a great drummer. At the same time Dick Wick wanted Becky to join the Passage We did a few rehearsals with another guitarist, but it didn't go so well, and then we got Robin in and we hit it off and then we put out the 'Where is Pig ? EP in 1986 which was our first release. PB : Will Sergeant from Echo and the Bunnymen was also involved in the band at that stage too, wasn't he ? DJ : Will was also before Robin. We had a bunch of songs that we had figured out which were just bass and drums, so we invited Will along, and we did like a 4 track demo. It went okay. We sent it off to Dave Kitson, but after everything which had happened he had become pretty disillusioned. The third and final part of this interview will follow next month

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Benny Profane - Interview with Dave Jackson Part 2

Benny Profane - Interview with Dave Jackson Part 2

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Interview Part 3 (2006)
Benny Profane - Interview Part 3
In the third and final part of his interview with Room and Benny Profane frontman Dave Jackson, Anthony Strutt talks to him about late 80's group Benny Profane's recent reformation for a one-off gig and his most recent band the Dead Cowboys

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