Jayce Lewis interviewed at the Camden Underworld

Jayce Lewis is presently supporting Wes Borland’s Black Light Burns on their jaunt round the UK. Els caught up with him ahead of the Camden Underworld show…

EK: Hello, nice to meet you, how are you?
JL: Hi, I’m good thanks, shattered.
EK: It’s the last show tonight isn’t it; does that mean it’s party time later?
JL: Oh yeah…!

EK: Brilliant! So what have you been up to recently then?
JL: Admiring all the different sceneries of the countries we’ve been visiting in the last weeks, it’s been fun. It’s been cool waking up in so many different places, one morning you wake up and there’s snow around you and the next day it’s sunny.

EK: That’s cool. Do you get much time to explore where you are then?
JL: No, it’s very much bus – stage. I mean we do try to put in as much time as we can to visit places, but it’s not easy.

EK: Ah ok, so do you get to know the other bands you’re touring with well?
JL: Oh yeah, I mean Black Light Burns and myself are sharing the same bus while we’re on the road, so we’ve been very intimate. Errr, not ‘intimate’ [laughs] but yeah it’s like one big family.

EK: So I understand you’re releasing a new album, can you tell us about that?
JL: Yeah I am. The album is coming out around September/October this year. Hopefully on universal, as my first album was on EMI. We’re just getting ready to release it. We’ve got a bigger fanbase now than we did with the first album, which is almost three years old.

EK: That’s great.
You do all the vocals, drums, guitars, bass and programming yourself, how did you get into it all? I mean most people just pick one or maybe two things to specialise in.
JL: Just being in bands for a number of years as a drummer, and having bands blow up. The band I was in previously to becoming a solo artist – some of the members just couldn’t be bothered to come to the studio to do the album, so I’d stand in and do the guitar, the keyboards etc and when that blew up, everybody was saying to me “Well you’re doing everything anyway almost.” The only thing I didn’t do was singing, so as I got the courage and confidence to be a singer I just went in and recorded my first track which hit in Asia, which for my first track I was really pleased with.

EK: So how did you find the integration from being a musician to becoming a frontman?
JL: Oh, it was quite frightening. I was so preoccupied with getting the music right – I mean singing was fine I could do that when nobodies around, but then being on the stage and being a frontman was really, really very intimidating. It still is now, it’s still scary.

EK: I can imagine. Have you ever had to deal with any hecklers or anything like that?
JL: No. I don’t know why – although actually we were talking about this the other day, Wes (Black Light Burns) was asking if I’d ever been heckled, and he couldn’t understand why. Then the guitarist piped up and said “Well haven’t you seen what you’re like on stage?” I’m quite in your face, not like a hardcore/death metal type thing but it’s still quite an intimidation. I think I put that on because I’m actually in fear of myself, so it might be because of that and plus the music is very loud – as loud as it can be, which probably helps.

EK: I read a review from one of your gigs, I think it was Nottingham Rock City, and the reviewer said that they’d got chatting to a fan that had flown out from China to see you. How do you feel when you hear that kind of thing?
JL: That is quite bad, I know that there are fans flying from Paris and Prague to be here tonight and see us play. I mean China yeah… I was told about that, that night and I was very, very surprised. What can I say; I’m just very lucky to have people that are willing to put out as much as they do. Flying like that costs a bloody fortune. But China… yeah, that’s a new one!

EK: That’s some real dedication eh.
So what are your plans for the rest of 2013?
JL: Ooh. Get the album out, get new singles, videos out and tour. There’s tours coming up, I’m going to have a bit of a break after this one but then we’re back out again. There are a number of things we’re looking forward to doing; basically it’s going to be a busy year.

EK: Do you enjoy the process of recording then?
JL: Oh I love it. Yeah because I do all the instruments, I know exactly what I want. I don’t like too many cooks in the kitchen; I need to work with someone who is more like a referee than someone who tells me what to do. It’s not so much I’m a controlling person, because I’m not at all – it’s that I know what I want to hear, I know what I want before I go in the studio because I’ve got such a clear vision of what I want.

EK: Mmm, that makes sense.
Is there anyone you particularly want to tour with that you haven’t already – I mean you’ve got some impressive names under your belt already.
JL: Yeah, Rammstein is one I’d like to do…
[EK interrupts] Rammstein?! Cool!
[JL continues] I think that will happen because I’m friends with the Rammstein guys, so that will probably happen soon. I don’t know, I think it would be a good pairing for us. Me and Fear Factory have been discussing a tour together, but I’m happy to tour with anybody as long as it’s right, as long as it fits – I’m happy. I’ve already gone out with Numan, Combichrist and they were great tours.
EK: Yeah I saw you with Combichrist down here at the electric ballroom; you put on a great show.
JL: Yeah, I loved that show it was great fun. I don’t mind touring with anyone as long as we can do what we do live – I’m not bothered.

EK: Brilliant. I look forward to those then!
I better wrap this up now, but are you up for answering a silly question just to finish off?
JL: Sure, go for it.
EK: Ok, seeing as it’s Valentine’s day, can you finish this sentence: Roses are red, Violets are blue…?
JK: Oh, Roses are red, Violets are blue, turn the music up, I’m going to fuck you!
[Both laugh]
EK: Very nice, poetry in motion!
JL: Yeah that is going to be the show tonight! [laughs]

EK: I can’t wait. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these, I’ll let you get ready now. It was great meeting you, and good luck for tonight!
JL: Thanks, it’s been a pleasure.