The last time we saw The Jimmy Cake, they were walking off stage at Vicar Street in Dublin after a triumphant show in support of their fine Spectre and Crown record, a gig that saw them backed on stage by a brass and string section. That, as they say, was then. The now sees them return with a new stripped back sound and a handful of live shows – including a State Presents… gig at the Purty Loft in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 15th. Dip of the band joined State to fill us in on the latest comings and goings in the Jimmy Cake camp.
What can we expect from you this time around?
Our new sound isn’t that new at all, it’s more akin to the noise we made about 6-7 years ago, when we were mere sprightly youths with enthusiasm to burn. We find that if you stand still in this business you go backwards, so we’ve gone far back as we can with the intention of coming full circle and being avant-garde once again. It’s a plan that’s guaranteed to blow up in our faces, but we’re going to make as much noise as we can in the meantime. So, as to what to expect, expect no banjos, no strings, no extra brass, nien accordion. Expect vintage keys and drum modules and effects and, of course, the loud. Expect the loud. Vincent has 4 distortion pedals these days. That’s dedication to the loud.
Did last year’s Vicar Street show bring the last chapter to a close? Was that always the plan?
Possibly. We knew in advance that, due to various reasons, all far too mundane to go into now, that Jurgen was going to leave, so that was always going to be the end of a significant chapter in our lives. We did Vicar Street as an extravaganza, strings, brass, bells and whistles. The whole bit. That, we felt, was the only way to do the record (Spectre and Crown) the justice it deserved. But that was untenable situation to be, we couldn’t maintain that kind of attention to detail. It was felt that in order to continue doing what we wanted to do, which was play live, we needed strip back. It’s as if we were working for the music, like the tunes were the boss of us. We’re too bolshy for that. So, although it wasn’t implicit at the time, I think we probably realised that would be the last time we tried to do a show like that’¦for a long time.
The last album was a tough one to make, is the band moving forward more smoothly this time?
Funnily enough, the songwriting process for Spectre and Crown went easily enough, that is to say, we had ideas, loads of them. There’s an album’s worth of material that didn’t make the final record. It was more the humdrumity of life that made the last album the odyssey that it became. That and the elongated recording, mixing, mastering process, and the longer it took, the more pristine it had to sound. This time around ideas are coming back to us, and we have an urgency, a desire to play the stuff once it’s out of our heads and onto our instruments that’ll make the recording process a lot more immediate. It’s never smooth, though. If it were smooth, we’d probably get bored.
Is it nerve wracking to come back after a change of direction?
For the next while we’ll be honing the new stuff on stage, hoping to tweak it, sharpen it, gig it, get it ready for recording. A lot of Spectre and Crown was written in the rehearsal room and finished in the studio and never got to see the stage. So it is, in many ways, like starting over, not least because we’re now a six-piece, a different creature to before. It’s more exciting than nerve wracking, but we’ll see how our fragile egos handle the inevitable obstacles we’ll face. I mean, what if there’s no ice cold Evian backstage? Disaster.
Why did you chose Jogging to support? Tell us about them?
Jogging feature ex members of the Coldspoon Conspiracy who we played with a few times back in the day. They’ve been at this as long as we have so it’s good to have them back.
Are there plans for a new record?
Too fucking right!
The Jimmy Cake play the Purty Loft on Saturday 15th August with Jogging and Vox Populi. We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway. Just email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm on Friday 14th.