Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
4 albums in, what do you do next? You look for something new and fresh, dig deep into your heart and see what comes out, to see what other sides there are to you. This is what Laurence Jones has done with his new album “The Truth”. Laurence continues to make a name for himself on the blues-rock circuit in the UK and Europe and his new album with its commercial feel but rocky edge will no doubt win him new fans further afield. Laurence took a few moments out from rehearsals and over a drink at an after-show party to chat as we were seeking honest answers…
“The Truth” is a few steps down a different path than your previous albums in its sound and arrangements…
Well, and between us, I want to be the next Justin Bieber, he’s my hero! Hahaha! But seriously, it is a crossover album for me in terms of the writing and production for sure. You know, all of my real heroes like John Mayer and Eric Clapton have stepped into different territory before and not just relied upon the guitar playing so I guess it’s my turn to do that. I don’t want to churn out the same album time after time as nobody wants to hear that and I’d get bored. I like challenges and I like to challenge myself which is what I’ve done with “The Truth”. Before we go any further, assure your readers that this album was all made with real instruments and real players!
You had me worried for a moment there thinking this isn’t the Laurence Jones I know…
There’s different sides to all of us and I wanted to show a different side of me with this album. I really focused on the songwriting, lyrics and melodic content. I’ve really been building up to making a record like this is taking the guitar side of things and mixing it with something that’s modern but true to itself. We talked about guitar playing when we were at the Black Country Communion after show party at Hammersmith (man what a gig eh!) and I’ve really pushed myself in the guitar solos to make them memorable, like a song in a song. Take the solo in “Hotel California”, that’s crazy long but you can sing it and it tells a story in itself. I hope that mine on this album do that for anyone who listens to it.
We’re talking about putting yourself out there and opening up here…
Absolutely. I can only write about things I know, not what’s up in the sky that I don’t know about. The songs really do the talking on this album and they’ve been finely picked from a whole bunch of demos. It was a dream to have a few weeks of pre-production in Curacao which is a Dutch island in the Caribbean, before heading to Miami to record at the old Sony Studios. Such a cool place man. The legendary Gregory Elias has produced this album and he brought so much to the table but still allowed me the freedom to go my own way. You know, Gregory is the man who brought The Rolling Stones to Cuba and put on a free gig for everyone, how cool is that! That just shows what a nice guy he is and inspirational. If you take songs such as “Hold Me Close”, “The Truth” and “Take Me” my heart’s on my sleeve right there, for better or for worse and I want the listener to feel that. Sure, there’s some rockier moments in “Give Me Your Time” and “Gone Away” but the emotional content is there in all of the songs. It was all about writing catchy songs with guitar solos and I keep up to date with all music out there, it’d be great to hear more guitar in the charts and these songs are more of a commercial feel than my rockier stuff so you never know!
What can we expect from your live shows this time around with this fresh take on your writing?
20-minute guitar solos! Hahaha!, not really. There will be some moments where we’ll be jamming out on a few songs, extending the solo’s a bit, in fact, I’m at rehearsals now and we’ve been working the set-out. I’ve got a really cool new band in Bennet Holland on keys, Phil Wilson on drums and Greg Smith on bass. We were playing in Holland before and everything just went super well. The crowds were great, singing along and getting right into it. It’s sounding really slick, the new songs are transferring well to a live setup and we’re psyched to be taking them out on the road. I love playing live and it’s great to connect with the audience and bring something to their day – you never know what’s going on with people and them coming out to your gig may be something they really need in that moment so we’ll be giving everything, every night of the tour. We’ve got a show January 23 at The Borderline in London, love that venue, and the UK tour really begins on May 3 in Manchester at Band On The Wall.
What do you think of the current scene in the UK and any advice for those younger than yourself as you had some great success at an early age?
When I first started all this, there was really only myself, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Simon McBride out doing what we do. That was cool, but it’s a lot cooler that there’s more and more bands and artists on the blues-rock scene in the UK now. I never view it as competition and it’s great to see people out playing, the new festivals that have come about as that shows there’s a demand for the music we play and love. As for those starting out, just don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t copy, take influences and mix them up and try and put your own stamp on things.
If you could pick any album to have written and made yourself, what would it be?
Oh, that’s tricky. C’mon man, can I have two? Yes? Ah great…it’d have to be “Riding With The Kings” of Eric Clapton and BB King, such a great record and has that crossover feel to it like my new album and Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced”, just because I’d love to know what was going on in his mind when he was writing it!
Just a Click away
Line-up touring The Truth Tour 2018:-
Laurence Jones (Vocals, Guitar)
Bennett Holland (Keyboards, Backing Vocals)
Phil Wilson (Drums, Percussion)
Greg Smith (Bass Guitar)
Planet Rock presents
LAURENCE JONES – “THE TRUTH 2018 UK TOUR”
All Tickets: £15.00
London, Borderline – Tuesday 23 January
Manchester, Band on the Wall – Thursday 3 May
Leamington Spa, Zephyr Lounge – Friday 4 May
Southampton Talking Heads – Saturday 5 May
Book Online: Gig Cartel – Venue Tel: 02380 361 970
Birmingham, Hare & Hounds – Thursday 10 May
Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 0121 444 2081
Nottingham, The Bodega – Friday 11 May
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Box Office: 0115 896 4456
York, Fulford Arms – Saturday 12 May
Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 01904 620 410
Newcastle, The Cluny – Sunday 13 May
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Tel: 0191 230 4474
Laurence Jones has built his reputation in the studio and playing live check out his discography
Albums in BOLD checkout Bluesdoodles review.