Jon Spencer (The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion): „So long as I am breathing there is hope“

Jon Spencer
Jon Spencer / foto: Nemanja Đorđević

BR: Your career has lasted for almost a quarter of a century now. What would you say was the biggest success in JSBX’s first 25 years of existence?

Jon: I think our biggest success is that we have stuck to our guns. We have made our own singular path and never compromised in our art.

BR: What changed since the 90s until now, speaking of JSBX?

Jon: Hair color, now more grey!

BR: During your long career you’ve collaborated with many famous musicians (Steve Albini, Jim Dickinson, R.L. Burnside, Beck). What are your experiences with them? Who were the easiest and the toughest ones to work with and why?

Jon: Albini: good! Dickinson: good! R.L.: great, a truly magical time. Beck: not so good

BR: How did the collaboration with Beastie Boys and Beck on the renowned remix for Flavor happen?

Jon: I Asked them.

The Jon Spencer Blues ExplosionBR: When you take a look at everything you’ve done so far, would you be able to say which record’s your favorite? Which album, in your opinion, represents the essence of The Blues Explosion the best?

Jon: Freedom Tower is my current fave.

BR: How do you see the future developments of rock ‘n’ roll and music in general?

Jon: So long as I am breathing there is hope.

BR: Considering that you used to be a movie maker, how much attention do you pay to the quality of your music videos?

Jon: A lot. I am closely involved in all BX videos.

BR: You’re well-known for extremely energetic and uncompromising stage performances. Who influenced you the most? Who’s your biggest inspiration?

Jon: James Brown and Henry Rollins.

BR: You’ve been playing throughout the whole Europe, Australia, Japan. Would you be able to tell us which audience (a specific city or a concert) reacts the best to your performance?

Jon: We’ve had good audiences all over! There really isn’t much difference no matter where you go, people wanna get down.

The Jon Spencer Blues ExplosionBR: Your tour schedule is quite full. What do you do in that little bit of free time not spent on stage?

Jon: Answer emails.

BR: Your newest album, „Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015“, is kind of a tribute to New York. What feelings does New York bring out in you? Has your attitude towards the city changed throughout these past couple of decades?

Jon: After 30 years living here, New York City still confuses and confounds me. I guess I love it a little less as time goes by.

BR: You played with the band Heavy Trash on the Jelen Live Festival in Belgrade in 2009. What’s going on with that side project at the moment? As far as I’ve heard, that was the year the band’s last album was released…

Jon: Heavy Trash recently played a short tour in Northern Europe and released a „hidden“ soundtrack album titled Noir.

BR: This time you’re going to play in our region in September. In addition to Belgrade there are concerts planned for Ljubljana, Zagreb and Skoplje. What can our Balkan audience expect from your performance? What is it that attracts and brings a fan of rock ‘n’ roll to your concerts?

Jon: 7590 minutes of intense Super Dynamite Soul. We try to make every show our best.

BR: Could you recommend any LPs, books or movies that you’ve enjoyed recently to our readers?

Jon: LP – Back From The Grave vols 9 & 10, Book – There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson, Movie – La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur (Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart).