1 From The Vault: JK Of Jamiroquai

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Malaysia is not just buzzing with F1 fever, but also the much anticipated Jamiroquai performance this weekend. To those wringing their hands, impatiently counting down the days and minutes, JUICE went searching deep in our vaults and found what we were looking for – an interview with JK over 2 years ago to give you your JK fix just days before Jamiroquai’s after-race performance. Read on!

After 159 weeks on the UK singles chart, 232 weeks on the albums chart, more than 20 million album sales, 5 mammoth world tour, 5 MTV awards, a Grammy, the Ivor Novello Award and a well documented rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, it’s fair to say that Jamiroquai know what they are doing. Their iconic frontman, Jay Kay, has been the tip of the spear, redefining acid jazz and making fashion statements aplenty with his assortment of big hats and a line for Hugo Boss. He talks to JUICE while shifting the furniture….

You’ve finally released a collection of singles, High Times – Singles 1992-2006, like all great artists do. What’s the next step from there?
I’m going to take some time out. Obviously, I’ve just finished, you know, 15 years. So I’m going to take a year…. Yeah, I’m going to take as long as I need to just do some of the things that I need to do.

What’s the plan?
I’ve got a house in the highlands of Scotland and I’m going to go up there for 2 or 3 months because that’s truly peace and quiet. I will reorganise like anyone else. I’m the general, that’s the army, and I need to retreat the whole thing, regroup and work out what I’m going to do next; strategise the whole thing and think about what I’m going to do. And also, in between all that, of course, hook up with some other musicians. Get some good stuff going.

Eh? What’s all that noise?
Oh sorry about that, we’re moving the furniture. I’ve got to move the desk forward in the studio because it’s just too far. We’ve got no space; we need to put the whole thing forward. I don’t know why when we built it, we didn’t think hard enough.

Okay then.
Sorry I have to do this interview when this is happening. We just need to put that desk forward. And then we’ve got more space, so it’s going to be cool. And it’s also a fresh change. Maybe we can change the colour, you know, just rejig it. If things become stale you’ve got to rejig them and think, “How am I going to redo this again?”

Right-o. Besides intruding into your furniture shifting schedule, what else do journalists like us do wrong?
I think what’s wrong is when you’re trying to get your car door just to go back home to get some well deserved rest and you’ve got 35 people all flashing the camera at you. And seeing as last time I got bopped on the nose, it isn’t going to happen again.

So you run?
Yeah. I make a fast one. And what you don’t hear when you see all that sh*t is them going. “You’re a wanker, aren’t you, Jay?” and they are winding me up and winding me up, and it’s like you’re a tiger in the middle of a cage. If you keep pulling its tail and the other side goes ‘woo hoo’, then someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get a black eye.

There must be something good about us journos, no?
There are more important things going on in the world to report on. You know, there’s little kids, children, people starving, dying, poverty, war, Iraq, all the rest of it. Go focus on that.

So we presume you don’t read the papers or watch TV much.
I don’t read the papers. Do you know what, I haven’t read about or looked at a photo of myself or watched a television performance of myself for over 10 years. I just don’t do it. There’s no point. Why read loads of papers and go, “Oh! That’s what I am.” So what they say I am is what I am? Why waste my time?

Okay. Let’s get back to the music again. It’s been 15 years in the business. What have you learnt?
Well, I am more experienced now but you’re always fresher when you start out. You get older you know? I’m no spring chicken – I turned 37 in December (2006). You want to try walking around the stage for 2 hours; it’s going to kill you. That’s a different ball game leaping up and down. But then again, if I sat on a stool, people ain’t going to really dig it, are they? They’re going to go like, “What happened to energetic Jay?” So sometimes I’m running on empty. I’m running on vapours, baby.

You’re still keeping the music gears moving. That’s good. What else gets your energy going?
My car collection. I haven’t got everything, but it’s quite a bit.

Name them.
Okay, just to mention a few off the top of my head…. I’ve got an Audi R4, Audi Quattro Porte Grand Sport, a Porsche 2.7 RS (1973), a Fiat Seicento Abarth, a Bentley S1 Continental (Park Ward Drophead, 1958), a Super America convertible 575 and a Mercedes Benz 600 from 1968 – that used to belong to Coco Chanel.

We’ve been really good kids this whole year. Wanna give us a Merc as a reward? We’ll keep it clean.
(Laughs) Okay, I will have to go back and think about this. Really hard.

For more on Jamiroquai, log onto www.jamiroquai.co.uk. Jamiroquai performs on 5 April at the Sepang International Circuit Helipad 1, at 7.30pm.

Text Wayne Lee