Reverend and the Makers’ Jon McClure talks a new album, UK drug policy and finally being critically acclaimed

After over a decade touring the UK’s indie circuit, Reverend and the Makers are experiencing more critical acclaim than ever before.

Their last offering, Mirrors, was likened to one of the ‘great concept albums of the 60s’ by Noel Gallagher and the Libertines’ Carl Barat described it as the band’s ‘magnum opus’.

The band is now looking ahead to their new record, and say that they have enough material to make a double album.

“I feel like we’ve hit a bit of a purple patch 10 or 11 years into our career,” lead singer Jon McClure told MM.

“When were Reverend and the Makers ever played on 6 Music, do you know what I mean.

“I’m blessed, I’m in a band with my missus and my best mate from the age of 11.

“If you can earn a living from hanging around with your mates, you’re winning.”

The Sheffield singer, who is set to play almost 30 festivals this summer, also revealed that his band’s next album will be recorded in Southeast Asia.

“We’ve got to a place where we can do what we want, we made the last one in Jamaica and we’re going to do this one in Thailand,” he said.

“We’ve been touring with the Libertines and they said, ‘you want to get over there – it’s mint,’ so we’ve phoned the bloke up and he’s sorted it out, they’re good friends of ours so I trust what they say.

“If you can be 10 years in and fucking about in Thailand and playing a load of gigs you’re laughing.”

Along with praising the Libertines for their studio tips, McClure said that the seasoned indie band made good companions on the road.

“They’re lovely people and they watched us play every night,” he said.

 “There are a lot of fakers but they’re proper, they’re rogues but they’re good people and they look after you.

“There’s no ‘us and them’, you tour with some people and it’s like you’re touring with the Queen or something.

“You can tell they haven’t set out to get rich or become millionaires, their music is about something and it’s for a reason.

“It’s good to see them back, they’ve got the right spirit for how music should be made.”

McClure, who gained a first class honours degree in history and politics at the University of Sheffield, was also open about his belief that the UK Governemnt should stop criminalising drug users.

“When North Korea’s got a more liberal drugs policy than us with regards to ganja, it’s time to start worrying,” he said.

“Government drug policy should reflect the findings of Professor David Nutt.

“If you employ a guy to be the expert on drugs, to then sack him when he doesn’t tell you what you want to hear is absolute fuckery.”

The Heavyweight Champion of the World singer also added that he is not a fan of the so-called legal highs that were banned under the new Psychoactive Substance Act yesterday.

“If you’re taking fake drugs, you’re going to make shit music – let’s be honest,” he said.

“Do you think fucking John Lennon and Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley were sat there smoking Spice or legal high mix.

“Every generation has rebelled, the 50s rock and roll generation all wanted to piss their parents off, and so it progressed.

“Now we’ve got to a point where people got that wild that the only way you can rebel is to be straight as fuck.

“I know loads of kids who are proper straight-edge, which is fine, but ultimately it’s not going to make for good culture is it.”

McClure still lives in his hometown of Sheffield, moving to London only briefly after the release of the band’s first album in 2007.

After the capital left him feeling ‘head mashed’, the Yorkshire man returned home and is still passionate about the north.

“I think that we’re, culturally, so far removed from the south that it’s almost a different country at times,” he told MM.

“Take national radio, nobody in the north listens to it because we want different things up north, we’re into different things and we consider different things to be cool.

“You can communicate with Mumbai and fucking Beijing from Sheffield now, you don’t need to go to London to do it anymore.

“Equally with radio, you can broadcast from anywhere, there’s no reason for the music industry to be London-centric.”

McClure added that he believes northern bands can build a career on a die-hard regional fan base.

“We’ve proved time and time again up north that we don’t really need anyone,” he said.

“A lot our biggest bands, the press hated them or still do.

“Look at the Courteeners, whatever you might think of them, they couldn’t get on the radio and the next thing they’re selling thirty-odd thousand tickets at Heaton Park in Manchester.

“You can’t ignore that – it’s self-generated from the north.”

Although renowned for his vocal viewpoints, McClure said that he will not be entering the political world anytime soon.

“We’re going to have a mayor in Sheffield and my manager has been saying to me ‘why don’t you run for it?’,” he said.

“You’re joking aren’t you, that’s the last thing I need, I can’t organise myself getting to the studio on time – never mind run a city.”

Reverend and the Makers are set to headline the Style Rocks festival with the Lightning Seeds and Manchester DJ Clint Boon in Warrington on May 29.

For more information, click here.

Image courtesy of Reverend and the Makers, via YouTube, with thanks.

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