THIRTY TWO years on from their debut album Psychocandy, pioneering Scottish noise-rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain are gearing up to release a new record.

Entitled Damage and Joy, it sees Jim and William Reid come together in the studio for the first time since 1998. The brothers have endured an infamously fractious working relationship at times, but in a statement singer Jim said that they had “buried the hatchet to some degree. We started to – can you believe? – listen to each other a bit more. I think it was to do with the fact that, dare I say it, wisdom comes with age.”

Ahead of a gig in Bexhill, EDWIN GILSON spoke to the frontman.

You said the new album is “more mature” than your older output. Could you elaborate on that at all?

Did I say that? I can’t remember that. I guess we are more mature – we’re getting on in years. There was a lot of confusion around the making of this record. We hadn’t made a record in quite a long time, so what do you do? Do you try and reinvent the band? Do you try and find what the kids are into? All of those things would have been disastrous, really. Ultimately we went into the studio with the intention of making a classic Jesus and Mary Chain album, or as close as we could get to that.

The first we’ve heard of the album is the single Amputation. What does your lyric “rock and roll amputation” suggest about your relationship with the rock music scene?

It was written in a period when we felt despondent, not too chirpy about the future. At one point we looked around us and it didn’t seem like there was any future for us. It was written when there was no Mary Chain, in between our break-up [in 1999] and our reformation [in 2007]. It seemed like nobody gave a damn about the Mary Chain, like people were more interested in Mary Chain sound-a-like bands. It felt like we were living in exile, like we had been amputated from the tree.

But you must have been aware of the band’s enduring legacy, too?

Well, for instance, I tried to do a solo career and nobody cared. There was a time, after the Mary Chain first broke up, when Ben Lurie, my old bandmate, stayed with me as my lodger. We were deciding what to do next, and we seriously considered forming a Mary Chain tribute band. We thought we’d have more success that way, as it seemed like nobody cared about the actual band.

Do you remember first achieving your trademark overdriven guitar tone? Was it a moment of inspiration or did it take a while to fine-tune the sound?

At first it was very easy, because we had these cheap Japanese fuzz pedals. All you had to do was jump on them and they gave out this crackling sound that almost deafened the neighbourhood. Making the first album was more complex – it’s not just noise, it requires a lot more orchestration.

At the time you said you were shocked that your first singles didn’t become top ten hits. Surely you must have known yours wasn’t the most mainstream sound in the world?

I can’t believe how incredibly naive we were. We imagined playing Wembley Stadium. I don’t know what we were thinking. It didn’t go that way, but the way it did go was good enough for me.

In 1986 you said you knew Psychocandy would be a big seller in record stores in 20 years time. What an uncanny prophecy...

Well, I remember a lot of people thought we were flash in the pan. We used to do interviews where journalists would ask us where we saw ourselves in five years time and they’d be laughing. I think they thought we would be in it for ten minutes but by that point we were on our third album.

You revisited Psychocandy in a sell-out tour two years ago. Was it satisfying to prove to those naysayers that the album had stood the test of time?

There was a certain satisfaction, sure. It was like “we won”. To everybody who didn’t think it would happen, well, here we are.

What did it take for you and William to get on the same wavelength when it came to making this album?

I’ve thought about that and I don’t really know. I think we just got tired of fighting with each other. I think we both knew that if we didn’t make another record now it was unlikely to ever happen. We had a meeting and agreed to make a record. We both realised the opportunity – if we messed this up, that would be it. We just got on with it. We got on fine.

There was an always a burning desire to come back, then?

When we reformed in 2007, he wanted to do an album right away. I wasn’t so sure. I knew we would do another album at some point, but I wasn’t looking forward to getting in the studio. Our last album Munki was a nightmare, and I didn’t know if my nerves could take that again. I kept putting it off – I had excuses all over the place. People kept asking when the album was out until it got embarrassing. We had to make a record or say we weren’t going to make one.

Has the strain between you and William been conducive to creativity at times in your career?

The sparks that fly between us are what drives the band forward. Unfortunately that’s good for the band and band for our personal relationship. The Mary Chain wouldn’t have lasted that long if it wasn’t for that.

Without wishing to downplay the violence that often occurred at your shows, does any part of you miss the chaos and carnage of that time?

I don’t really miss that. It was never fun to see people kicking lumps out of each other. You end up thinking “what about the music”?

Do you see a lot of young fans at your gigs now?

Yeah. It is weird when you look out and see kids who couldn’t have been born when we split up. That’s great, it makes it less about pure nostalgia.

Do any of them rock the old Mary Chain haircuts?

I wish I still could!

The Jesus and Mary Chain De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Thursday, April 6, 7pm, £27.50, call 01424 229111 or visit: