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Phil Wilson - Interview Part 2

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 21 / 1 / 2011

Phil Wilson - Interview Part 2


In the second part of our two part interview with former June Brides' front man Phil Wilson, he talks to Anthony Strutt about 'God Bless Jim Kennedy', his debut solo CD and first album in twenty five years

PB: 'God Bless Jim Kennedy' is easy to bop along to. PW: Yeah, I like to create music you can dance too. 99 percent of the world wouldn't think we are a dance band. but I think it's music for dancing. I always liked the idea of music that is joyous and which invites people in, that gives people something to smile to and dance too, but at the same time you load it up with lyrics that have some meaning, which ask questions and have some doubts too. PB: 'Up to London' is fast and furious. It sounds like the band is playing it live in front of you in a bar. PW: It was one of the first ones we did for the album. It was based on a true story. I was on a bus and I saw a young girl of about sixteen or seventeen and she was sitting there crying, and she got to the train station and asked the guy at the station if there was a train to London. It was just like bang, bang, bang. All these ideas went off in my head. PB: That number reminded me of Peter Astor from the Loft. PW: Well, Pete is a great songwriter, so I can live with that. It is quite up tempo number. We don't find just one thing and plug away at it. We always have a lot of variety and textures. PB: 'Always in Trouble' sounds to me like something by Orange Juice. PW: I can see that. There is a little bit in that of putting things in a nut shell. I always loved Orange Juice. It is fantastic to see Edwyn's road to recovery. He is an inspirational figure and one of my heroes. PB: 'The Sum Of'... PW: That's our psychedelic freak out number. I can remember a 'NME' writer writing about the June Brides and saying this band must hate black music, which really pissed me off at the time. He would have known if he listened to 'In the Rain' that the drum beat in the middle came from James Brown and I wanted something on the album to similarly reflect my love of psychedelia. I don't just listen to the Byrds and the Velvet Underground and Orange Juice. I love NEU! and Can and Faust and I wanted something on the album to reflect that. PB: 'Pop Song #32' has a real summer vibe. PW: I wanted something really joyous. People say some of my stuff is a bit negative. I try and be joyous, but many of songs have a slab of misery with a dash of hope at the end of it. This one I wanted one to be a completely happy number. In the same way when I wrote 'We Belong', the June Brides song, it is a song that says life is great. Grab it while you can! Don't give it to the man! Grab onto it! Hold onto love! Enjoy the things that are free and simple! It also lead to my first guitar solo. I have never done a solo on a record before. That is my first at the age of 48. I finally thought I'll give it a go and it didn't turn out too bad. PB: 'Giving Consolation' sounded to me like an old style Creation Records, but with a much more cinemascopic edge. PW: It's actually a really, really old song. There are two like that on the album. The main bit was written in 1992, so that is old, but I remembered it and updated it and added a new chorus. I again tried something as i did with 'The Sum of...' that was more powerful than we normally do. PB: 'Small Town' is another fast, furious, foot tapping indie pop number. It is definitely worth splashing your pint over for. PW: That's the other old song on the album. That was written for the June Brides. That was going to be our fifth single after 'This Town', but we split up. It was recorded once on a Janice Long session by my band. I wasn't sure about the original recording as it was just done in a day, so I thought we would try it again and it sounded great, so rocking. It is like a big bang at the end of the album. PB:. And it ends with 'I Own It'. PW: That will be out as a single first on Slumberland in America and Yesboyicecream in Europe. It is designed for dancing and jigging about in your front room. PB: Is there anyone from the past that you are still mates with or have people just moved on? PW: No, I still talk to a lot of people. PB: Do you still talk to Alan McGee? PW: No, Alan is too rich. I'm still mates with That Petrol Emotion and Dan Treacy from the Television Personalities. I talk to Norman Blake from the Teenage Fanclub. He is a friend now. Jim Shephard from the Jasmine Minks is a good friend. Peter Astor did a nice piece on C86 a few years ago. At the time we were all in competition with each other. We were all blinkered and stupid and, instead of hating Duran Duran, because they were selling ten million records, you hated the Jasmine Minks because they had sold 150 copies and you had only sold 120, but we are over that now. PB: Were you ever mates with the Smiths or still are? PW: No, Morrissey was keen on the June Brides. He did name check us as his favourite band in 1985 in the poll winner 'NME' thing and they did invite us to play with them, but we weresn't friends, I did learn after they split up from Geoff Travis of Rough Trade that Morrissey was looking at a few people to form a new band with and that I was number two on his list, but nuner one agreed. How different my life would be now? PB: Is there anything else you would like to add? PW: Yeah, buy the album. It's great. It rocks. It's pop. Please make an old man happy. PB: Thanks

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Phil Wilson - Interview Part 2

Phil Wilson - Interview Part 2

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Interview Part 1 (2010)
Phil Wilson - Interview Part 1
The front man with influential indie pop band the June Brides, Phil Wilson recently released his debut solo album, 'God Bless Jim Kennedy'. In the first part of a two part interview, he speaks to Anthony Strutt about the 80's group and returning to song writing after an absence of over twenty years


God Bless Jim Kennedy (2010)
Infectious and completely compelling indie pop on fiery debut album from former June Brides front man, Phil Wilson
Ten Miles (2010)

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