Final Strummer Album Near Completion. 

02-11-03 antiGUY
The album that Joe Stummer was working on with his band, The Mescaleros, in the months leading up to his death last Decemeber is almost ready for release. 

Members of The Mescaleros were interviewed for the groupís official website this week where they gave some details on the albumís progress. 

Here are excerpts from that interview. 

How's the new album going?
We're at the finishing stages really. Any overdubs that need doing, any backing vocals that need doing, any bits of anything in any of the tracks that need doing to kinda finish it off. That's the hardest bit really, because up until now we were just putting stuff down to see what works. Now we've got to decide what works and what doesn't.

How many tracks will there be on the new album?
Final total should be eleven. These will include two Joe did in America, one was for Johnny Cash with Rick Rubens and the other one is with Danny Saber, we haven't heard that one for a long time.

When will the album be out?
We don't know when it will be out, but we hope to finish it within the next six weeks - mid March. We've just been left to get to it, which is great for us. Luce has been great, the record company have been great. We've just been left to get on with it. We were quite chuffed when we realised after Christmas that we had enough material. We were a bit unsure really whether we hadn't done enough. There are 3 or 4 tracks that were really great numbers that Joe never got sang on.

What will happen with those tracks?
They will just get left.

Are they Slattery, Shields, Strummer compilations?
Yeah. Joe never sang on them. There is one tune that we played to you just before Christmas, 'Midnight Jam'. We kinda would like to be on the record.

As an instrumental?
Yeah...it's a really good example of what we went into Rockfield to do, which was to get together as a band. We always had an idea, we need to finish it off. The four of us just got in there, jammed, slowed the bass down and just dubbed around it, without changing anything. We'd really like it to go on. This is us not even having talked to anyone. A lot of what we might say now...is just our idea.

What tracks will be on the album?
Coma Girl and Get Down Moses, a lot have just got working titles. Even the album's name is still only a working title...though I would imagine 'Fantastic' will still be called 'Fantastic'.

What does the future hold?
The problem is, until this is finished it's very hard to think of what we're going to do. We don't have a plan. This is still at the forefront of what is going on at the moment. We're hoping to build a new studio. We want to be able to set instruments up, play live music. It's to try and get a working studio, have our own equipment, have it all set up. That's the only immediate plan we would say.
There's a lot of things involved when you worked with someone like Joe. We don't know whether we're just going to go on to find someone else to voice what we do. They'd have to be pretty hot after working with Joe. There's a lot of factors involved. One thing's for sure, we won't ever be going out playing any of those tunes ever again...and that's a fact. We couldn't have anyone else singing it. It wouldn't feel right. It's now history, its catalogued, its marked and we move on. We've all worked together before on different projects, so...

Any news on Mr Heaton?
He's finishing off his Beautiful South contractual obligations. He wants to do more stuff. He phoned over Christmas. He was really beautiful about Joe, cause that's how we got together.

more on Joe Strummer .



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