Jesus won’t have me for a sunbeam… Hookers for Jesus interview

As part of the build up to next Thursday’s Something Going On/Manic Pop Thrills co-promotion, here’s the first interview with the bands performing. Another one tomorrow.

MPT – Who are Hookers For Jesus?

HFJ – Extraordinary poets of the ordinary, ordinary poets of the extraordinary. Half-blind visionaries. Front-room technicians on a shoestring and a prayer. Sometime prophets fallen on hard times. Hence the new line of work. Crueller (or kinder folk) may say all fur coats and no knickers.

MPT – If they don’t know you already what can Dundee audiences expect from you live?

Accidental moments of dissonance and beauty interspersed with moments of sheer blind panic. Like a Takeshi Kitano  film without the beach. Or any possibility of a happy ending! Or tapdancers! Though we never rule anything out. Fun may be had by all involved.

MPT – What are you up to at the moment?

HFJ – At this point in time we are completing this interview as a form of displacement activity in order to avoid rehearsing/writing songs for our forthcoming show. Drinking cheap lager and listening to Edinburgh School for the Deaf’s debut album while vaguely contemplating why the hell have they asked us to tarnish their image by asking us to play with them.

MPT – What Hookers For Jesus recordings are there at the moment?

HFJ – There are heaps of unfinished things lurking around on recordable CDR’s, cassettes and hard drives. We are great procrastinators, ruthlessly ambitious and utterly lazy. A fatal combination. There is one song on a free E.P. dished out at our second gig, ambitiously written and recorded two nights before the show in a burst of creativity and deadline breaching anxiety. The song, ‘Drifting Into Unthank’ is utterly lovely. Our treatment of it, harsh and cruel.

We do talk a good record though. Endlessly.

MPT – You’ve not played many gigs before now – what’s been the most memorable?

HFJWe like to think that all our gigs are memorable though we also imagine that syphilis is pretty memorable and not necessarily for good reasons other than as a life lesson learned in difficult situations. We certainly enjoy them despite our moments of extreme anxiety/sheer panic/terror of falling flat on our faces.

Our first gig was pretty amazing though being a bit of an accident. We were promoted from doing a brief spoken word with noise think (I think we were asked to do a poetry reading but the brief wasn’t signed in blood) as an interlude between bands at a one day festival organised by the Wildhouse to doing a set at quite short notice. In our usual polite, eager to help way, we said, hell yeah, no problem then quietly shit ourselves. We rationalised it by envisioning coming on early to an empty room and thus escaping with our dignity intact. Came onto a fairly packed room, rattled through our set on pure adrenalin and finished, scarily enough to a full room. Damn, we thought, we’ve failed, there are still people here. And, perversely they appear to have enjoyed themselves. Either that or Mark Wildhouse had locked the doors and spiked their drinks. He’s a dark Svengali is that lad.

MPT – What does it take to be a Hooker For Jesus? And how do you get the proceeds to him?

HFJWe would like to say that it takes effort, skill, love and perseverance but really we had no say in the matter. We were chosen. We’ve tried to escape on several occasions but have now accepted, nay, embraced our fates.

As for the money. Mike Manic Pop Thrills collects our money (tithing I believe he calls it) and wires it off to an off-shore tax haven where he says it will be used to fight the good fight. If we’re good he sometimes buys us a beer and crisps though not often.

MPT – What sorts o things are you listening to at the moment?

HFJThe rain falling down heavily outside – one of us has to walk home later (see above answer for the reasons). Edinburgh School for the Deaf, the new album is fantastic. We like a lot of stuff but most of the bands have taken out super-injunctions against us to prevent their good names being damaged.

Do you want a serious answer? Today, we’ve listened to the aforementioned noise-pop monsters ESFTD, Red Krayola, trashy South Korean pop, Aidan Moffatt and Bill Wells new album and the sound of pre-set samples on a Playstation music programme.

MPT – What’s the best gig you’ve been to recently?

HFJWhere to start? The return of Spare Snare was pretty great. Animal Conquering Sound and Zoey Van Goey were great – it’s not often you get to yell ‘Tyrannosaurus’ out loud in public, at least not without breaching our Asbos again. Vladmir are a cool local band. Mitchell Museum and Scottish Enlightenment. Loads really. Our first sighting of Edinburgh School when we played with them in Edinburgh back in February.

Overall though, Vic Godard and Subway Sect was probably one of the most amazing gigs ever, just a brilliant writer, performer and person and a great band as well. They could have played all night, think they tried to but they carried the audience with them.

MPT  – What’s the question you’d most like to ask yourself?

HFJ – We came up with a list of replies to that, some of them quite worrying. So many questions, so much self-reproach.

Hookers for Jesus are performing on Thursday 30th June with Edinburgh School for the Deaf, Man Without Machines and the Shithawks at Dexter’s in Dundee. You can get tickets for the show in advance here or in Groucho’s and in the process save yourselves a few pennies cos they’ll cost a fiver on the night. Doors at 7:30 pm.


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