I’ve been aware of Girlschool since the 80s. How do you view being a part of heavy metal history?
JAX: It’s an honour to be a part of it. There have been so many great bands throughout the years and I’m happy that the scene is still alive and well and that we’re still a part if it
Girlschool is one of few surviving NWOBHM bands that are still active. What is your secret to still being at it in 2012?
JAX: We all still love playing and as long as we do, we’ll keep on going. We’ve been together now since 1978 and never split up, a few line-up changes but only 10 members in all that time. We’re fortunate too that we have great followers who have stuck by us the whole time and whilst there’s still an audience there for us then we will keep on writing and performing.
To many your album “Hit And Run” seem like the high point of your career. Is it hard to shake of people’s expectations that whatever you do should sound like that album?
JAX : Every time we record an album we don’t even think about making it sound like something else, we write, we play and whatever comes out, comes out, we are true to ourselves. There are many who feel the “Hit and Run album” was the bands best album but then many others who would say “Legacy” or “Play Dirty” etc were, it’s all down to personal preference. We can’t and don’t even try to live up to other people’s expectations we just do what comes natural, that way we always enjoy what we do.
I guess it must feel a bit strange to see something you as a band recorded 30 years ago still being in demand. What kind of feeling do you have for the old Girlschool stuff?
JAX : It’s a great feeling when people still want to hear your music and people who are coming to hear the band for the first time now in 2012 are wanting to buy all the back catalogue. We re-recorded “Hit and Run” as it was its 30th anniversary year and thought it would be a good idea to give record it with how we play and sound now but still remaining true to the old songs. We won’t be re-doing all the albums of course, it was just that it felt right to do it for this one.
I have never been in a band so I have no idea what it is like to be creative in that sense. How strange is it that the stuff you record on tape/record isn’t your property while the intellectual stuff is?
JAX : Hmmm that really is a bug bear for all bands not to own their own material. One of the reasons we wanted to re record “Hit and Run” was to get back the songs once again but it didn’t quite work out as we’d hoped. Most bands sign deals that really do them no favours at all and Girlschool are no exception to that, having signed deals whilst young that didn’t benefit them.
Looking back at your back catalogue, how much control do you have over it? Is there something that you wish hadn’t put the name Girlschool to?
JAX : None at all unfortunately. There are record companies putting out collections all over the world that we have no say or control over. The only albums that we have some control over are the ones since 2000 and even then not full control. There’s probably hundreds of different albums out there we have no idea about and will never see but there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s no album that we actually know of that we’d be ashamed of having our name associated with.
What kind of interest is there in the back catalogue to be re-released on CD? What would be the ultimate re-release format for the old stuff? How would you like to see the re-releases getting treated?
JAX : There is a lot of interest and we’re constantly being asked how to get a hold of certain albums but we have no say in what of the back catalogue gets released. If we owned the back catalogue then we’d re release all of the old albums as they were so that anyone who wanted them would have access to them.
I guess that the career of Girlschool hasn’t been a high profiled ride all the time. How tough is it to have to take a straight job to pay the bills when you have been/is in a band that helped shape the way many looked at heavy metal?
JAX : No not at all, although we’ve kept going throughout the 34 years we’ve been together even when there wasn’t the profile there, mainly because we all love playing music. We’ve all had to do other things other than the band to make ends meet as do many musicians now but we’re still able to get out there and play too and that makes it all worth it in the end.
I have to ask this. What was it like to be a part of a so vital and powerful scene as the NWOBHM was in the 80s? It helped shape my musical taste.
JAX : Although I wasn’t in the band in the 80’s (joined 1999) I know that being a part of that movement has been good for the band and we get involved with a lot of the festivals with the bands from that era which is always great fun and like a huge party back stage with all the old bands getting back together again.
Are there any chance that we will see a new Girlschool album in the near future?
JAX : Hopefully so, as we’re still promoting and touring the “Hit and Run” revisited album we haven’t really thought about it as yet but give it time…lol