Interview: The James Cleaver Quintet


When I first heard of The James Cleaver Quintet I was puzzled; they weren’t a Quintet, and none of them were called James Cleaver. Since then though they’ve added a fifth member and thus finally made themselves a quintet, but since he doesn’t bear the aforementioned name and we’ve yet to see him waving a meat cleaver the mystery behind the name remains. The JCQ call themselves Circus punk, and judging by some of their answers in our interview that just might be an accurate description. We met with bassist/vocalist Jimmy…

First of all I think I should ask, since I know it puzzles a lot of people, why are you actually called The James Cleaver Quintet?

Jimmy Well there’s lots of reasons why we’re called The James Cleaver Quintet. We all met in different parts of the world and came together as one to form this beautiful music. We’ll have to leave it at that; there is a little bit of mystery behind it.

I’ve been seeing your name pop up online lately, and someone I know said you were having a video played on TV, so it seems like things are happening for you. What else has been going on?

Jimmy Yeah our video Chicken Shit (for the soul). We made a video where we mess around in a barn, it got filmed, and now it’s being played on the internet and a few music channels. I’m currently in talks with various publishers about getting my recipe book to shops around the UK and Jack is starting his cattery so he’s got a few more cats that he’s going to be breeding. Other than that we’re finishing off our new album. We haven’t actually got a date for that yet but it’s nearly all done and should be out in a couple of months.

What can you tell us about your forthcoming album?

Jimmy It’s fucking incredible. It’s lots of different ideas and a lot things we didn’t really think we’d end up releasing but we really went balls out with a lot of ideas. It’s got a lot of different stuff on it from really fast stuff to jazz. It’s gonna blow some minds.

What are your songs about, and how would you describe your sound?

Jimmy I don’t know I don’t write the lyrics. Our sound is just five of the coolest kids with emotions coming out in the practise room. I have no idea how to describe our sound. It changes from person to person.

You just supported Senses Fail in Portsmouth which for any up and coming band is quite a big deal. Who else have you supported and played with?

Jimmy We had Senses Fail last night. We toured with Eighties Matchbox. We didn’t have many shows over Christmas and the last few shows were with them.

So keeping on the subject of gigging; what can people expect when they see you play? What makes you stand out from all the other bands around at the moment?

Jimmy We play fucking incredible music. We don’t know what’s going to happen at shows. It’s always a bunch of cool kids playing a bunch of cool songs. Shit man people just come along and have a laugh. Sometimes it’s a bit hostile. Sometimes there’s a lot of love.

Do you think it’s more important when touring to make sure songs are perfect, or to make sure they feel right?

Jimmy You can’t always be perfect if you’re hanging from a light rig or falling off stage. I think people can forgive if we miss a note because we’re being hung from our mic leads or whatever.

Giving things a bit of a Brighton connection then; what do you think of the music scene around here?

Jimmy Is there a music scene? I don’t even know what local bands are around to be honest. Everyone seems to be going mainstream. In Eastbourne there’s Let’s Talk Daggers they’re awesome. There’s a few good bands.

Finally; what do you think of Brighton in itself?

Jimmy It’s a lovely place to be free where you can walk around in spandex pink pants.

And with that image we said goodbye to Jimmy.

Originally published here:


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