Jason Edge of The Electric Stars Interview followed by track by track review of the upcoming 2nd album release Velvet Elvis:The only lover left alive
The following interview was conducted by Chris Matthews
How you doing Jason, good to see you and to chat to you about the up coming release of the new Electric Stars album.
Good to see you too Chris, first off can I just apologise to all The Electric Stars fans because we’ve been a bunch of lazy buggers in getting this new album out but thanks for your patience.
So Velvet Elvis: The only lover left alive is the title of the new album, what can we all expect to hear from this?
Well you know what you get with us, great fucking rock n roll music, we love The Stones, The Kinks, The Who and all that’s in there plus more but with Velvet Elvis you will hear us more as The Electric Stars as a proper band because on Sonic Candy Soul we wasn’t really a band as such, it was just Keith, Andy and me, we had the songs and we had a lot of outside help from Lewis on the drums, Martin Coogan of The Mock Turtles, our very own Turner (Louise), Denise Johnson of Primal Scream God bless her, John Ellis, Richard Hodgkinson and Yves Altana but now the band with myself, Keith, Andy, Johnny and Damian is solid and I think you can hear that in this album.
How is this different from Sonic Candy Soul?
What I can say is Velvet Elvis is a great rock n roll love story that everyone will have different ideas and opinions of but in the end can all relate to and the songs tell this great story. On sonic candy soul it was a bunch of songs and you can hear who we love and we take a pinch from each band and then sprinkled some Electric stardust on them but it was a bunch of songs that were written and as much as I love it and its got us a lot of fans across the country but we wasn’t a band like we are now.
Was there a different process in the writing and making of Velvet Elvis than Sonic Candy Soul?
Yeah there was in a way because there’s this story of Velvet Elvis that I’m trying to get across so each song had to fit in really, there is 2 or 3 songs on the album that we have already released that The Stars fans will already have heard. Also with the band now as it is, it meant different ideas and sounds were brought to the studio.
The art work for the album is fantastic, I can see the love of the 60’s and 70’s in there, where does the ideas for this come from? What inspired it? Is this done by yourself and the band or do you get outside help for this?
The art work is amazing and I’ve got to thank Derek D’Souza, Rik Bardsley and Tom Gold for all their help but again it is clear to see its inspired by the 60’s and 70s because that’s what we love and I think it paints another picture of this great rock n roll story of Velvet Elvis.
So who is Velvet Elvis? Is that inspired by someone in particular or is this a character that everyone who hears the album will have a different idea of who he is, what he looks like?
Who is Velvet Elvis, that is the question. Look Velvet Elvis started out as an idea in my head but at the end of the day it’s all the great rock stars like Jagger, Hendrix, Dylan, Morrison and even Liam, they all look great, sound great, wear great clothes, all the girls wanna bed them, all the blokes wanna be them and they occasionally go a bit off the rails but all that said and done it always goes back to one man and that’s Elvis.
If Velvet Elvis was made into a film then who you like to play Velvet Elvis on screen?
Wow, who would play Velvet Elvis……You’ve got me speechless here [Haha] ask me again in a year. The albums not even out yet and you’re already talking about a film.
Coming up to the end of 2020 and I believe it will be the 10 year anniversary of The Electric stars is that correct?
Bloody hell you’re right it is, I didn’t even realise that. It’s been a great time and we’ve done some amazing gigs, met so many great people and made great friends, I just wish we had put more music out but with Sonic candy soul we’ve just done tour after tour and its been amazing.
So what’s different with the band now and how has it evolved in the past 10 years?
Well were all older and I hope to think wiser and as I said earlier, we are now a proper band and also our guitarist Andy has actually built his own studio at his home and you should see it, it’s absolutely amazing so we’ve been able to rehearse there and record everything there and Andy really has come into his own on this album playing different instruments throughout so its given us another dimension really.
Obviously The Stars are a Manchester band but you are not classed as just another Manchester band, you seem to be a peoples band given the following you have, would you say that’s about right?
As you know Chris, I’m like yourself in that we are proud of where we come from because we are the best, whether it be football, music or clothes we are the best, the scousers think they are but they’re not. As for as a band weve never fitted into the Manchester music scene, we’ve got fans all over but for some reason Manchester never took to us but saying that we’ve had some great gigs here supporting some great bands and we always come back, who knows Velvet Elvis might take us off here.
So what have The Electric Stars got planned for the 10 year anniversary next year then? What can fans look forward to?
Well now you’ve reminded me then we’ll have to get something planned for the anniversary. As for what’s upcoming we cant really plan too much as we still don’t know what Covid and 2021 will bring but we have a gig lined up in June at The 100 club supporting Molly Marriot (daughter of Steve Marriot) and a heap of other great acts so that’s one to look forward to. Also looking forward to being part of Mods Of Your Generations March Of The Mods event in Telford which features a fantastic line up of all original bands and most importantly it’s all for a great cause.
Finally, have you got anything you would like to say to your supporters out there?
Again I would just like to apologise for it taking so long for this album to come out but I hope you all love it as much as we do and we hope to see you all in the new year.
Track by track review of the upcoming 2nd album release Velvet Elvis: The only lover left alive by The Electric Stars
Album initial release date – 21st December 2020
Order your copy of Velvet Elvis via the ‘Get my album’ link below
1. VELVET ELVIS
Doors style organ intro followed by Dave Gilmour-esq style beautiful guitar playing and then primal scream piano and gospel backing singers – already I’m hooked on and then incomes velvet Jason’s vocals – BANG The Electric Stars are back and what an entrance they’ve made. Referencing Bowie sound and vision (something that The Stars have in abundance) then quoting Bob Dylan ‘The Times are changing but I aint seen nothing yet’ well I have seen a change, the stars are back and better and more solid than ever, hold on tight this is gonna be a bumpy ride.
2. ELECTRIC STARDUST
Life is great, the title of this song gives the song away and tells you Velvet Elvis is living the good life. This is just a great feel good turn it up pop gold tune sprinkled with a bit of The La’s on top just to make it that bit more edgy.
The party is well and truly in motion and the bar is open for all, another pop gold Kinks-esq tune from the boys, this song I feel could have been part of Sonic candy soul but fits perfectly in this great rock n roll story.
4. POP STAR
Pop star and sunshine could be 2 songs in 1, it shows the story of how cracks can suddenly appear in a rock stars sunshine lifestyle, the guitars are getting dirtier and heavier and even the lyrics are with lines like ‘we’re gonna sell your ass over and over, I’ve never seen so many sycophantic sleazy people’.
It starts to get serious now, the Velvet Elvis story is really starting to take shape and you see/hear it all unfolding, Jason’s voice has gone a bit heavier and the bubble gum guitars have been put away. It’s a great change in gear for the album and really shows how far the stars have come as a band and how much thought has gone into this piece of work.
Almost a soulful gospel esq song by The Stars, great slow tempo to the song that you cant help but just tap and nod your head to, the song almost feels like your walking through quick sand but while enjoying the beautiful bluesy guitar playing above you.
Even without looking at the track listing you know you’re half way through the story and Velvet Elvis is now in his mid life crisis and The Electric Stars bubble gum pop is in precious but with a constant dirty guitar strum throughout to tell you not to get too comfy.
8. THE ONLY LOVER LEFT ALIVE
The amps and Jason’s voice is switched right back up in this pure 60’s/70’s rock n roll psychedelic rock n roll stomper, this is what we love The Electric Stars for. Even after 5 listens I’m still hearing new sounds in this that I didn’t hear the previous time.
9. LOADED WITH REGRETS
A song that most Electric Stas fans is familiar with, a beautiful track that anyone who has ever f**ked up in life can relate to, Rod Stewart will hear this and think ‘why didn’t I write that song’ heart wrenching at its best.
10. WHATEVERS AT THE BOTTOM IS HOLDING YOU UP
Electric Stars 1min album Segway, this is a reminder that when you’re at the bottom (like Velvet Elvis is) there’s always something holding you up……..and that is normally music.
11. I LEFT MY SOUL OUT IN THE RAIN
This and loaded with regrets almost lend themselves to each other in a beautiful heartfelt way. Just think Rolling Stones ‘Can’t always get what you want’, Pink Floyd ‘Wish you were here’ and Primal Scream ‘Damaged’. This in my opinion is The Electric Stars greatest song and that is a big statement.
12. WE LOVE YOU
We love you is another look back at the great 60’s/70’s rock n roll fanfare that no modern day band can do like The Electric Stars can. This also shows Velvet Elvis is back where he belongs – on top.
13. IMPOSSIBLE ODDS
The ending to a truly great rock n roll story of Velvet Elvis, who is Velvet Elvis though? You decide, there can be no wrong answers. This is also a great ending to a truly great rock n roll album and The Electric Stars have defied the impossible odds of releasing a masterpiece after such a long gap between Sonic Candy Soul.
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Copyright © Mods Of Your Generation & Chris Matthews 2020, All Rights Reserved. Image Credit The Electric Stars, Rik Bardsley, Derek D’ Souza, and to all other photographers. Video rights The Electric Stars. No part of this review may be reproduced without the permission of the authors or Mods Of Your Generation