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What is your fondest memory of Chelsea?

I think the first US tour in 79. It was the first time I'd been America. I was 20 and it was just all of us being young and on a great adventure. Miles Copeland was the tour manager! I fell in love with New york on that trip.Always thought I'd end up living there for a bit but never did.

What was it like recording with Kim Wilde?

That was a strange period in my life. I was actually more of a professional mimer during that time. Kim was great to work with and a great girl, truly one of the lads. I wasn't on that many of the recordings. The first single I was on was Water On Glass. Most of the first album had been recorded before I started to work with her and I missed playing live. We used to travel all over Europe doing TV shows, lip syncing, sometimes three in a day in different countries! Mickie Most wanted her to have a band so there was something for the cameras to cut to.

Do you still keep in touch with members of Generation X, and Billy Idol?

"I haven't seen Billy for about five years. I used to run into him when he lived in New York but now he lives in LA I think he stays in more! I speak to Tony (James) from time to time and also I spoke to Terry Chimes recently for the first time in probably fifteen years, who's a chiropracter now, about some live Gen X recordings that are meant to be coming out." "

What has motivated you the most as a professional musician, through good and bad times?

" "Its a cliche, but I guess the power to move people with music. Walking on stage and playing my guitar is still my favourite thing to do and when everything else is bad it can be a massive lift. I count myself very lucky." "

Many GLJ Jezebel videos are still played on VH-1 Classic - and your photo pops up in the VH-1 Behind The Music Special on Billy Idol - were you aware of this?

" "No I wasn't. I never thought GLJ were captured well on any of our videos and the video to Jealous, our biggest US hit, was an absolute calamity as far as I'm concerned. Embarassing. We were a very kind of underground band and when we turned up at the film studio in Hollywood to shoot it, there were all these girls prancing around in stockings and suspenders. It was the worst kind of video we could have made. I hate that shit anyway. I almost walked out but I thought if I did Geffen would never give us the money to make another video. I thought we could edit it all out later." "

What was David Geffen like? In retrospect, how do you feel that GLJ were treated by Geffen Records?

" "I never met David. We dealt with Gary Gersh who went on to become MD at Capitol. I don't think Geffen knew what to do with us. GLJ was definately a weird band. Jealous was about to be a huge hit and then Janey's Got A Gun suddenly appeared and all the promotion staff went on that, it was the end of our record. Another time Jay (Aston GLJ singer) and I were forced to go out on this ""writing"" trip to LA to write with these ""professional"" LA writers. Absolutely hideous! but we weren't going to pass up a free trip to California." "

Are there future plans for GLJ, Chelsea, The Cult or even working with Billy Idol again?

" "I still play with both Chelsea and GLJ from time to time. GLJ had a huge record in Portugal of all places about ten years ago and we still go over and play there about three times a year. We did our first gig in The UK for five years in Brighton last month. In July I did some shows in Germany and a festival in Prague with Chelsea, missed the floods by two days, Gene October is better than ever! Like I said - my favourite thing to do is walk on stage and play my guitar! The=20 Cult are doing some shows in California and they've flown Craig out to do them." "

How is working with Mike Peters, different from others you've worked with?

" "I think there is a unique chemistry that evolves between any two people that work together. Every situation and relationship is different. Mike works harder than anyone I've ever known. He's always doing ten things at once. We're both experts in ""multi-tasking"" that's why we get on so well. But he takes it to the extreme. After ten hours in the studio Steve and I just want to go to the pub, but Mike will be off to a meeting in Wrexham before going home and recording new demos or dedications. He's an amazing man." "

You've co-written a song on the new release ""With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies"".=A0 How much of the lyrics and song structure can attributed to you, and Mike conversely i.e. what inspired you to write the song (take us through the birth and maturation of the song).

" "It was basically a complete song I'd had for a long time. Mike wrote some new lyrics for it.The lyrics are all Mike's. Every song is born in a different way. I had a complete song in as far as chords and melody went. I played it to Mike and he loved the chorus but not the verse, so he wrote a new verse to fit in. The old middle eight (bridge to you Americans) didn't work with the new verse Mike had written so I put together a new chord sequence that seemed to work and that was it." "

What is going through the creative experience like with Mike, as a musician and friend?

" "Mike is always open to ideas. He lets everyone take a creative roll. He's not a dictator to work with. None of us feel Mike feels he has a monopoly on the songwriting, which I think is important. Just like I don't feel I have a monopoly on the guitar playing. Mike played a lot of guitar on the new release and the engineer, Martin, even played the solo on Back Where I Started From, well I was in London at the time anyway." "

Are there other songs you and Mike have worked on, or even you have completed yourself, that will see the light of day?

" I'm sure there will be… "

Mike and you seem to have become great friends and your onstage chemistry is great, what do you feel are the reason's for this?

" "Yes, we have become pretty close. I think we've been through a lot of similar experiences in the music biz, a lot of the same frustrations and we share a similar view of life. When you have a lot in common with someone you naturally become close. That is always going to come across on stage. The best bands were always the ones who were mates off-stage too in my opinion." "

Are there any behind the scenes Gathering moments you can share? Do you have a favorite moment, or antidote?

" "Do you mean anecdote? The antidote is always alcohol! Well I thought the last gathering was fantastic. When we were all on stage and Billy, Kirk and Pete Wylie too for the finale, what a motley bunch, brilliant! As you know Mike would stay and play on stage forever. Craig and I force him to do an acoustic section so we can go to the toilet!" "

Your style has often been compared with Billy Duffy's - is this an accurate assessment and what guitar players have inspired you the most?

" "I think Billy and I are very different players. I like Billys playing a lot, he does the rock guitar thing brilliantly. I feel I have maybe a slightly more diverse appraoch. When I played in The Cult, Billy used to call me ""The > Utility Man"" because I'm as comfortable on a Fender Electric XII as a Les > Paul. I like to create layers of sound. Jay Aston once called me a ""symphonic"" guitarist in an interview. I thought that was a huge compliment. My favourite guitarist is the late, great Mick Ronson. Not because he was a brilliant technical guitar player, in many ways he was the opposite, but because he always played the perfect part for the song. That is a true gift. I hate that mindless speed playing. Those guitarists have achieved nothing except what a speed typist has - they can move their fingers very quickly. Big deal!" "

Is it true you do not like to do sound checks/warm ups prior to a show, is this true?

" "Who told you that? No I don't warm up. Bloody hell if I don't know what I'm doing by now I should stay in bed! I don't mind sound checks though in fact I like to have one now Mike is making me sing here and there!" "

What Alarm song is your favorite, and what Alarm song do you feel is most challenging to play?

" "Do you know its only since I met Mike that I got into The Alarm. I never realised before how well crafted the songs were. I love playing Rescue Me, its a really uplifting song and Sold Me Down The River because its just a great piece of Rock and Roll. Rain in The Summertime is pretty hard timing-wise. I think what Dave originally did was a bit of an accident and the intro is bizarre to say the least, timing wise. God I really mucked it up at The Gathering once! But the most challenging is definately Breathe. Especially on a twelve string and with no capo - which is how I like to play it." "

What is your opinion on the current state of MTV, and the music industry in general.

" "The same as everyone elses. Not enough real bands, too much short termism. Labels seem to have stopped developing bands, which is a tragedy. All they want is a hit and they want it now. They're shooting themselves in the foot because the catalogues they're creating, no-one will be buying those records in twenty years time. Great bands are the staple on which the industry survives. That seems to have been ignored for too long. As a=20 consequence they're all in a mess. They blame everything but their own short-sightedness. No wonder they're all laying off staff and going bust." "

What's it like to be a Father, and at the same time a performing rock artist?

" "Well being a Dad is fantastic but it is hard to be away from your kid, which, if you do what I do, is inevitable at times. My son, Oscar, is ten now and he's just getting into music. He understands it and what I do and I think he sees the plus side. He loves to come to The Gathering, for example and he loved it that I could get Joe Strummer's autograph for him and all the Sex Pistols' autographs (he collects them). He asks me about band's all the time. His favourite bands are The Clash and The New York Dolls! Its very invigorating having a child who's inquisitive about something you're passionate about yourself because it reminds you about stuff you'd forgotten. He recently asked me what The Who were like. How do you explain that? So I showed him the video of them at Woodstock. I'd forgotten how electric that performance was myself. So there I was, reminded. It was like we both ""got it"" at the same time. Him for the first time and me once again." "

What advice would you give to someone starting guitar, as to the proper guitar to select? Do you recommend any specific style or brand?

" "No. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. I would say start on an acoustic. I used to play along to my favourite records, work out the chords and stuff. That's a great thing to do in the beginning I think." "

We understand you've helped Mike select new guitars for a new sound, that really comes through fantastic on the new release. How does it feel to have made such a strong and positive contribution to not only the new release, but other recordings as well?

" "The strangest thing for me is that I've been working for so long with Mike yet this is the first time we've made a record together. There is no ""contrived"" new sound. We both went through a lot of sounds, guitars, amps and pedals and decided which would help get the songs across best. I encouraged Mike to get a Telecaster because I thought that suited the way he plays. And its a classic thing the Tele/Les Paul combination." "

Is there a favorite Mike Peters solo session or track that you prefer the most to play as a lead guitarist?

" "I love playing High On A Hill. I wish I'd played the solo I play live on the record, but the album was made before my time." "

Mike has often asked Dave Sharp to return to The Alarm - what is your relationship with Dave Sharp and what are your feelings regarding this?

" "Well I don't think its as simple as that. Dave got up in Manchester on the last tour and it was a great moment. When Mike first told me he wanted to use The Alarm name again I was very apprehensive, I nearly said I wouldn't do it. One of the first things I did was e-mail Dave to see how he felt. He said he didn't mind at all and was touched that I'd contacted him about it. That made a big difference to how I felt. I was pretty surprised when he said in print a few months later he did have a problem with it! although apparently he warned Mike he was going to say that. He siad his reason was he thought it would be good publicity for everyone! Mike, I think, felt such a bond with all those songs that he had to reconnect with them again in that way. I like Dave's playing. I don't know him that well but he seems very passionate about music. I did give him a lift home once from The Marquee to his flat in Battersea in about 1983 after he'd had one too many!"

How have you contacted and communicated with Dave Sharp?

I guess I answered that in the last question. "

Before taking the lead guitar spot with Mike, had you ever seen The Alarm with DAve Sharp perform before?

" "No I never did, shameful I know. But apparently Gene October gave them one of their first ever London gigs supporting Chelsea at The Marquee. It was after I'd left though. Its surpising I never caught them in the US during the late eighties cos The Alarm and GLJ used to play all the same places. I suppose we were so busy touring there was hardly any chance to catch other bands." "

We understand that you and Jules started the ""Sharpening Society"" while on the last tour, how did that come about?

" "Well Jules and I like a drink as you may know, we're also very good mates and before gigs we often have a few drinks (well quite a few actually) a chat. we decided to turn it into a club, which has a very exclusive membership. ""Sharpener"" is a London slang term for drink so that's how it came about. Jules, Steve Grantley and I are the founder members! Its quite hard to gain even provisional membership as the drinking involved is pretty serious. Mike, for example, will never be admitted, he's just too much of a lightweight!" "

How are things at your guitar shop in London, The London Roads? We understand that even Eric Clapton has purchased from you. What other famous cliental have visited your business?

" "Its called New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium actually. I'm just a partner, I'm not active in the shop although I'm happy to go to a guitar show in Las Vegas if the shop pays my expenses! As I love old guitars so much it was a logical progression for me. And Rick, the main man there, was a mate. Everyone has bought guitars from the shop - Clapton, Joe Walsh, Richie Sambora, Townsend even Madonna. They don't usually come in, although Noel Gallager and James from the Manics do, they send a tech who'll take the guitar to the studio for them to try out. There are some pretty = serious autographs on the bog wall. Thats where Rick makes everyone sign their name!"

What does the future hold for James Stevenson?

"Well you know I said my favourite thing to do was walk on stage and play my guitar..........…"