Gene Loves Jezebel are in the midst of recording a brand new studio album.
Admittedly, it’s been a long time coming but since their last studio album of 1999, GLJ have continued to play live, touring with Spear Of Destiny, gigs at Whitby Goth Weekend and regularly in Portugal, and also in supporting The Mission and Fields of the Nephilim. Apart from the main band, Jay Aston and Pete Rizzo have released an album as Ugly Buggs; Pete has released his own solo efforts where he is now taking on song-writing; Jay has performed a series of solo acoustic performances in the UK and USA, with a voice more strident than ever; James Stevenson has toured and made music with The International Swingers, The Alarm, Holy Holy and Chelsea, and even released his own album Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over.
Now at the height of their creative power, the time is right for Jay Aston, Pete Rizzo and James Stevenson to be back in the studio to record a new Gene Loves Jezebel album. And back on drums is Chris Bell, a GLJ stalwart having worked with the band from the time of Immigrant and Discover with his solid assured style.
This new recording has been crowd-funded by an enthusiastic and loyal fanbase, where the band offered memorabilia and even guitars for the cause.
As yet, there is no title for the album, but ten songs have been chosen for it. They are mostly brand new songs, and their working titles are currently Cry For You One Day, World’s Gone Crazy, Summertime, How Do You Say Goodbye (To Someone You Love)?, Is It Me?, Flying, Chase The Sun, Charmed Life, Ain’t It Enough? and Dance Underwater. Four of these have been previously recorded by Ugly Buggs – Summertime, How Do You Say Goodbye (as Twist The Knife), Flying, Dance Underwater – but here they have been improved still further. It’s a real band collaboration, with Pete Rizzo now inputting guitar and backing vocals as well as his expertise on bass. James too is providing more backing vocals in support of Jay’s lead.
It’s all being focused and embellished by the experienced hand of producer, Peter Walsh. He is doing a fantastic job bringing this all together. Peter first worked with GLJ back in 1986, when he produced ‘Desire (Come and Get It)’, and has become the band’s favoured producer, working on The House of Dolls, Heavenly Bodies, The Thornfield Sessions and some mixing on VII. He has also recently produced James Stevenson’s solo album. Others will know him for his production on Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream and more.
The band have recently aired their new songs to a select few of their ‘pledgers’ (The header photo shows James, Pete and Jay with producer, Peter Walsh, listening to songs during the playback session). Albeit in a well established state, songs are still incomplete and have yet to undergo their final mix. They were naturally nervous about playing their new recordings – as too, perhaps, were the privileged listeners. Afterall, and after all this time, what would the songs be like? – James solo album has a late-night lilt and he’s still enjoying playing with his old punk cohorts Chelsea and there has been some punk-influenced material with The Alarm in recent years; Jay’s experimentations have resulted in his one-off songs I Feel No Shame and Come And See What I Got, alongside the gothic Vampyre and I Hate You, as well as his acoustic album, Unpopular Songs; and Pete Rizzo has released a selection of ukulele-based alternative songs! But no-one needed to worry. The songs emerged from the speakers with a confidence and flair one after the other, the beats and melodies having toes tapping and smiles beaming.
The band themselves are upbeat and energised by the new material and their progress on it, and this shines through. At times the album will be reflective, at others it will soar, but it will always uplift and carry you forward with it’s sincerity and conviction. GLJ has always developed, and you will find them now still developing and looking forward yet maintaining their recognisable stylistic core – you will know it can only be this band when you hear them! There is a warmth and a positivity flowing through the band and the recording process, and the songs resonate and sparkle with this renewed magical creativity.
Furthermore, the songs will lend themselves to live performance. There are some guaranteed ecstatic crowd-pleasers here. Lyrically and musically poetic with infectious hooks, they will become essential in any set-list, sitting comfortably alongside the likes of Desire, Why Can’t I? and Break The Chain.
Studio time has been extended so that these songs get the treatment they deserve, for further embellishments to be added, such as backing vocals and even a string arrangement by Tony Visconti. There is a pride in this album and an energy to make it the best yet.
A record deal has been struck and so as soon as mixing has been completed, the long-awaited album will be released.
Jay, James, Pete and Chris appreciate and thank all those who have pledged for supporting this album and allowing the band the opportunity to record and release a brand new collection of songs. No-one will be disappointed. It should please existing fans, but it has the potential to appeal to a whole new and wider audience. The forthcoming album, we can assure you, has been worth waiting for!
The album and other interesting items can still be pledged for at the Pledge music page.