# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Miscellaneous - Interview

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 16 / 10 / 2002

Miscellaneous - Interview


The sister of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim and William, Linda Reid has recently finished recording her debut album, 'Little Pop Rock' under the moniker, Sister Vanilla. She chats to Olga Sladeckova about its making and her famous brothers

I'm not sure if it is a family pub, but there I was again, on a Sunday evening in Camden in London, and at the Spread Eagle. Who else could I possibly be interviewing than a member of the acclaimed Reid family? After talking there to Jim Reid and bassist Ben Lurie about Freeheat, their present group, and then in a second interview to Jim on his own about the fifteen year history of the Jesus and Mary Chain which he first formed in 1984 with his brother William , I had returned again to meet up with Linda, Jim and William's younger sister. Linda Reid grew up with her brothers in East Kilbride near Glasgow. She spent her childhood constantly listening to the music that her brothers loved. No wonder then that it had such an effect on her that she decided to adopt the family's DIY attitude, and to form her own band, Sister Vanilla, in 1994. Sister Vanilla recently released a song, 'Pastel Blue', on 'You Don't Need Darkness to Know What You Think Is Right', a compilation on ex-Pastel Stephen Pastel's Geographic label. Linda is also currently putting the finishing touches to Sister Vanilla's forthcoming debut album, 'Little Pop Rock', and has played some shows in the London area, using Freeheat as her backing band. Accompanied by her friend, Niina who runs an unofficial Jesus and Mary Chain site (www.amniisia.com/aprilskies) and who is also her manager, Linda came to the Spread Eagle to reveal more to Pennyblackmusic about her band. We sat outside the pub in the chilly Autumn evening, holding onto our drinks which being cold beer and lemonade, made us feel even more cold. I turned on the tape recorder. PB: What did you listen to when you were very young? Did William and Jim influence you a lot? Linda: If it wasn't for William and Jim, I don't think I would have heard so much good music, because I was a lot younger then them. My friends were never into cool music. Never ever! They barely knew who the Beatles were. William and Jim were just a really good education for me. PB: So, they got you into music really? Linda: Yeah, without knowing that they were doing it. There was always good music on in the house. Then they started their band and later moved to London. They also used to send me records. PB: You didn't have a choice! Linda: No, I didn't. They kept saying "You have to listen to this. You'll love it!" and it was always brilliant. I credit it to them for having such a good taste in music. PB: When they started playing in a band and later formed the Mary Chain, did you ever think of joining them? Linda: Oh no, never! I never thought of doing that. I saw they were having fun with the band but at the same time... they argued a lot because of it. More than they would if they were just ordinary brothers. PB: How did you first get involved in making music and singing? Linda: It all started when Jim asked me if I wanted to do B-sides for the Mary Chain and I said 'Yes! That'd be great!' He hadn't even heard my voice properly. He didn't know if I could sing. Then the B-sides turned into 'Mo Tucker', a song on 'Munki' (the final Jesus and Mary Chain album-Ed) PB: Have you ever been on a stage with the Mary Chain and what was it was like? Linda: I played a few gigs with them in Spain in front of a few thousand people and I wasn't nervous at all. They used to laugh at me because they used to have to get really drunk to go on the stage. I'd be there with a Diet Coke saying 'Right! Let's go out now.' (Laughs) PB: When did you first think of recording an album? Linda: It was William who asked to me if I wanted to do a record. And I was like 'Yeah! Brilliant!' And then he said: 'It will take about 2 weeks to make. We won't be precious about it. We'll just get it out in 2 weeks and that will be it.' That was 8 years ago! PB: What made you think of the name, Sister Vanilla? Linda: It was William who came up with the name. He says I have the palest coloured skin he has ever seen - the colour of vanilla and I'm his sister, so I became Sister Vanilla from that. PB: How did you meet Niina? Linda: Niina was a friend of William and Jim before she met me. PB to Niina: Did you get in touch with William, Jim and Ben through designing your web site? Niina: Yeah, I started the web site about 7 and a half years ago and then I met them in about 1998. PB: How did you get into the Mary Chain? Niina: I used to watch music videos on TV late at night and I saw some Mary Chain songs. I thought they were amazing. Linda: Did you fancy any of them? Niina: No, not at all! They are all ugly (Laughs). PB to Linda: Did you fancy any of them? Linda (Laughs): Not really (laughs! ) Well, I had a big big crush on Bobby (Gillespie. The Primal Scream singer played drums with the JAMC in the early 80's-Ed). I remember the first time I met Bobby. It was in Edinburgh and this is how I was introduced to him. 'Linda, this is Bobby.' 'Bobby, this is Linda.' 'Don't talk to Bobby! He is weird.' And then I had to just walk away. (Everyone laughs) Niina: How old were you then? Linda: About 14. I thought he was lovely. All (Together appreciatively): Hhmmm....Yeah! PB: How did you start recording the album? Linda: I was just going to sing Jim's and William's songs originally and I was quite happy with that. They then suggested to me that I may want to write some lyrics and come up with some melodies. I wasn't confident enough then, so I decided not to. I then started working with William in his house when he lived here in London. I tried writing some lyrics and wrote 'Pastel Blue' - that was the first one. I did it in about half an hour and it turned out really, really good. But when we finished recording it that night, William said 'Oh, I don't know if I like it or not.' And then next day he woke me up saying 'It's brilliant! It just sounds amazing!' From then on I wrote other lyrics. PB: How many songs are on the forthcoming album and have you got a title for the release yet? Linda: There are 10 songs and I wrote 6 of them. The LP will be called 'Little Pop Rock'. PB: When you wrote the songs what inspired you the most? Linda: I took inspiration from the Pastels, but I didn't realize that until I finished writing the song. It just felt right. PB: Are the Pastels your favourite band? Linda: Yeah, I love the Pastels. I think the Pastels are just amazing. At the moment I also listen to Earl Brutus, Beck,Blur and all kinds of other music. I love a lot of chart music and am not afraid to say so. I love Kylie Minogue, but I would say the Pastels are my most favourite band ever. PB: Have you got a favourite song on the album? Linda: I love 'K To Be Lost' and 'Pastel Blue', simply because I wrote the words to them. I just think they're really nice - I manage to pay tribute to my amazing big brothers and the Pastels in turn, so that's fine with me. I wish someone would write a nice song about me though. Jim keeps saying he will, but never does. When I was in Los Angeles in March I recorded a song with William called 'Can't Stop the Rock' and that is my favourite right now. William already had a brilliant melody, so we drove about LA and just tried to come up with words that sounded good. We just found inspiration from nowhere really and it's turned out really well. I hope everyone else likes it. PB: You sang with Stephen Pastel at 93 Feat East in May this year at a Geographic bands' evening, didn't you? Linda: Yeah, we sang 'The Two Of Us'. PB: Where was the album recorded? Linda: We started it at the Drug Store (the Mary Chain's own recording studio), then some of it was recorded in William's house in London; some of it was recorded in William's new house in LA in America, and some of it was recorded in Jim's living room. PB: What it's like to work with Jim and William? Is it hard? Linda: No, I really like it. It's been such a good fun. It doesn't seem like work. It's just a good laugh. Ben Lurie has been brilliant and helped out as well. He's done it basically for nothing. It was quite nerve-racking at first because basically I didn't think I could sing. When I first went into a studio and sang 'Mo Tucker' for 'Munki', I thought I couldn't sing at all. And Jim and William had to hold my hand. I was just really, really nervous. But they gave me a lot of confidence saying that I sounded really good and was good at it and then they just took it further and I'm not nervous any more. PB: Do you have any good stories from the recording? Linda: I remember recording a song called 'Jam Colas' in William's house in Los Angeles. It's a song in which William, Jim and me all sing on it together and we all have a verse each. When Jim was recording his part, he was sitting on a chair and William accidentally tripped over a wire and they both fell over and I couldn't stop laughing. We couldn't keep that take though, and Jim had to obviously start again, because all you could hear was me laughing, and William and Jim shouting. PB: You recently contributed 'Pastel Blue' to a Geographic compilation. How did that come about? Linda: Stephen told us that they was putting out a compilation and asked us if we wanted to be involved, and when he heard 'Pastel Blue', he absolutely loved it. Well, he was mentioned on it. (laughs) PB: When will the album be done? Linda: Next week. Apart from Stephen who has to come down to do some vocals, it is already finished. 8 years and 10 songs (Laughs). PB: You beat Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine, who only took 2 and a half years to record 'Loveless'. Linda: Yeah (Laughs), but I don't cost as much money as him. PB: Have you any other plans to play live? Linda: I think we will, but when the album is finished. We may do some London shows. PB: Will you continue to play with Freeheat , like you have done until now? Niina: At the moment Freeheat help her out when she does her live stuff, like when she did 93 Feat East, but she will be looking for a band. Linda: I'm kind of and kind of not, because Niina said that she would play bass (Laughs). Niina: We are trying to get a band together which Linda can get along with, so she can walk in there and boss everyone around (Laughs). Linda: To be honest, we haven't really thought about it that closely. If I want to play live I need to get a band together because I can't rely on Jim and Ben. I want it to be something separate anyway. PB: Have you started looking for a label to release the album on? Linda: No, we haven't done anything like that yet. We haven't even sent any songs out to anyone but we will do. Niina: I have a few ideas, but we want to get the album finished first. We want to have the finished product, and then to ask what people think. We don't want a label that will try to dictate what it should sound like. PB: Is there anything else you want to add? Linda: I love you! (Laughs) PB: I love you too. Linda to Niina: I love you. Niina to Linda: I don't love you. (All laugh and Niina goes off to get more drinks) I thought it was a good time to turn the tape recorder off. Linda is great company and, having been fortunate enough to hear her music, I can also say that she is a great musician and singer. According the latest news on her website, the album is now finished and Linda is looking for a suitable label that would be interested in releasing it. You can contact her on www.sistervanilla.com.

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Miscellaneous - Interview

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