Whilst in the recording studios Jason Perry, lead vocalist for 'A', takes time out to chat to Room Thirteen.


Room Thirteen:You have just completed four sell out shows, on four consecutive nights, at the Metro in London. You let the fans pick some of the set list. What was the idea behind that?
Jason Perry: Normally when you have a new release due out you try to do something to launch it. So we just thought we would do it over a week and give something back to the fans. We have a lots of die hard fans and we thought it would be good to let them choose the tracks they liked and to do some of the older material. It looked good on paper but it was very hard work as we had to learn over 40 songs.
R13:So apart from being hard work, did you enjoy it?
JP: It was great! I really enjoyed the week. It was a bit weird that we didn't have to get on a tour bus and coming back to the same venue every day was strange. What was really weird was there were forty four kids who had all won passes to come in every night. They all stood at the front every night and you got to remember their faces.

R13:There was always a fairly obvious sense of humour running through much of your earlier material. Does the slick new image mean that you've become more serious?
JP: Well we haven't really got a new image. We did a photo shoot the other day with about 10 different changes of clothes. It just so happened that we were wearing a shirt and tie on the last album and people think we have a new image. In reality it was one photo of about a hundred and it just so happened that that was what we were wearing. We have always been serious about our music, just not so serious about ourselves.

R13:When London records were bought out by Warner many of the bands on their books were dropped. How much of a boost to the band was it that 'A' were retained?
JP: With regards to Warner our feelings are neither good nor bad. Obviously we acquired a new Managing Director and to have him running the company was amazing. Basically we would have gone anywhere he was and as he moved to Warner it saved us the trouble.
R13:Was this the reason fans had to wait so long for the album?
JP: Well yeah, the album was finished March of last year but then two days after we handed it in the company folded. Everyone lost there jobs, bands were being dropped and they didn't want to put it out; you don't really want your album coming out during a situation like that anyway.
R13:With such a long break between releases do you worry that you may have lost some of the impetus that you built up following "HiFi Serious"?
JP: Yeah definitely, our band is all about energy and to leave that was terrible especially when you are on form. This industry is all about keeping it on a roll. It has happened to us three times, where we have finished a record and had to sit around and wait. You get used to it especially in this business!

R13:You recently shot the video for new single "Rush Song" in Hollywood and I'm told it draws on a lot of cinematic themes. Why was Hollywood chosen for the location?
JP: Logistical and permit reasons really. The only idea we had was that we wanted to do two songs in one video and a lot of people were scared by that and wouldn't do it. However this one company came along and said that's a great idea and we would love to do it. We also wanted it to be quite dark and moody and they gave us the best feedback. It was shot over 3 days, was hard work and very intense. We were doing fourteen hour days but it was worth it because it looks great.

R13:The whole Hollywood theme ties in nicely with your inclusion on the Wasp soundtrack which won Oscar. Do you have any control over where your songs turn up?
JP: We do yes. Every so often our publisher will call us up with offers from company's saying they want to use this or that and we get to say yes or no.
R13:You also did a Nokia advert too didn't you?
JP: Yeah well that didn't turn out too great but you live and learn. Everyone thinks you would end up loaded from that but I think it ended up costing us 11,000 and we ended up with five phones that didn't work.
R13:So I take it wont be seeing 'A' songs advertising Pantyliners anytime soon!
JP: No, but there would be money in Pantyliners as it's a product that would never go away!

R13:I've read that with the new album you're returning to your roots. What should fans expect?
JP: Well returning to our roots would be recording stuff about "Cheeky Monkey's", but the new album is a lot more refreshing and honest. It's a lot heavier in places but a lot lighter in others. It's more dynamic and in your face. I think it's more raw than the last couple of albums but it's definitely our best so far. I did say that about the last one and the one before that but if you can keep doing that it's worth it.
R13:Do you have a date for the album yet?
JP: No, the record company keep changing it so even if I told you it would probably be wrong.

R13:Will the new album be getting a general release in the America?
JP: Yeah. We should be going over there at the end of summer and starting all of that.
R13:Have you had much reaction from American fans?
JP: With the new label we haven't but with the last album we got a lot of radio play in the Boston area where we got a number two in the most requested charts in just one week. We were supposed to go over there and literally as we were about to get one the plane we got a phone call to say the record company had been disbanded so it was all off!

R13:What plans do you have for the future and is there anything you'd really like to see happen with the band that hasn't already?
JP: I would like to get really big in Japan, just so we can go there more often. Our last album did really well over there so hopefully we will. It would also be nice to go and work over in America again as spent a lot of time over there with "Monkey Kong". We're not really a clicky band and we like lots of people being influenced by us. We just want to keep making music, keep touring and keep rocking basically.

"Rush Song" is out on the 18th April 2005. For more information about 'A' please visit their website www.a-communication.com

It should also be noted that R13's Andrew Latham also contributed to this interview.