'An Intimate Interview with Jerome Alexandre of Deadcuts'
Let’s talk about you. How was the artist “Jerome” born? And When did you start to play guitar?
I was born in university college hospital just after midnight 16th February , it’s the same hospital that Mia Farrow (best known for her performance in Roman Polanski’s film “Rosemary’s Baby” and ex wife of Frank Sinatra had twins).My first home certainly made an impression it was above a studio called “Underhill” .It had a bath in the kitchen and a toilet in the back garden.People like Bowie /Iggy Pop/Genesis etc rehearsed downstairs.”Ziggy Stardust” the album was rehearsed and written there before it was recorded .Iggy read me a bedtime story- you know as a kid you have two or three books and you know em inside out ? Iggy made his own version up…it was genius ..if only I had a tape recorder.I have some recollection of Iggy dancing to James Brown and one day Lou Reed turned up wearing shades and didn’t remove them for days on end .It was a place where south London criminals and musicians met – after all both require some level of performance.
You live in London, what do you think about the music scene in London? London like the majority of Europe and the USA is vastly losing its identity, its as if the mayor elected the worst architect of all time and decided to tear down the most beautiful and historic monuments and replace em with these orange Lego brick houses that are so impersonal and overpriced.As for a “Scene” I couldn’t tell you- I’m a lot more reclusive nowadays .The best parties I remember were Notting Hill Arts club which Alan McGee ran , it was a really great place to go , You could witness people like Karen O and Har Mar Superstar getting down on the dance floor and the dj’s always played great music.Gary Powell and I were on a tour bus in the summer of 2013 as part of Sylvain Sylvain’s rhythm section and we were reminiscing and exchanging stories then about when Mark used to run a night entitled “Bring your own Poison” at the Rythym Factory which was cool because I used to go home with wealthy supermodels , stay the night at their house and take their drugs , it was de riguer to have a boyfriend with skinny jeans and long hair so I did alright haha.I was a bit of gigolo back then .And now?there is hardly anything that resembles culture and the reason partly is because of this shiny screen everyone’s fixated on – for every good thing that social media has done ten bad things come with it.Food is really bad here and the alcohol is way too expensive – yknow in Europe you ask for a single at the bar you get a double automatically ? Not here in London unless you go to Skehans.if you want the good old London buy a time machine.Camden has basically turned into a boring dull void – all the best shops have gone and it’s just a place that sells Beatles Calendars for a fortune to gullible tourists.
Usually what kind of music do you listen? Is there anything that you would recommend to listen to? Mainly listen to Hip Hop , Neofolk , industrial,doo wop, and classical all depending on my mood .If im in a solemn mood I’ll put on ” Requiem mass” by Mozart (my funeral song) .If I’m excited to go out and I want to get a boost it’s Flatbush Zombies” 3001 a laced Odessy ” ,The Doors “Crystal ship ” when I’m in a philosophical mood – when I used to get high I’d listen to Massive Attacks “Risingson” romantic mood “If I was your girlfriend” by Prince.If someone’s getting Cursed it’s Boyd Rice “out out out”or Death in June’s “Are you out there”
Thinking about your music with Deadcuts, What other kinds of music have contributed to the creation of your songs? I’m glad you asked that , for Deadcuts I knew I had to approach my guitar playing in a different way Soundtracks are my main influences ,Bobby Beausoliel was a massive inspiration on my playing it’s a shame that he is more known for the murder of piano teacher/ drug dealer Gary Hinman back in 1969 or being associated with Charles Manson, that’s what’s kept him inside all this time.Im blown away that along with inmates in prison he composed a very intricate soundtrack for Filmmaker Kenneth Anger who used it for his film “Lucifer Rising”‘ originally Jimmy Page wrote one which is very trance like too but Page and Anger eventually fell out so Anger went back to Beausoliel to get him to do it.I like the work of Angelo Baldamenti he did ” Twin Peaks” , “Mullholland drive” “Inland Empire” and ” “Eraserhead” which Warped my mind as a five year old ,yknow when your mum said you can’t watch something cos It will be terrifying for little kids?there’s always that sense shall I or shouldn’t I? But my thrillseeking got the better of me and I sneaked into the front room and hid behind the couch and saw images that stayed with me for life ( such as the girl behind the radiator scene) Baldamenti creates unease by using “the frequency of foreboding” that sound that can literally make your fight or flight mechanism spring in to action, I like the whole psychology behind that, like the movies that capture your subconscious and just fuck with it.I like to paint pictures or images with my guitar , I want it to be cinematic .Im a child of the VHS era soundtracks to movies like “Taxi Driver” by Bergman Herman ,”Clockwork Orange” by Wendy Carlos, Kystof Penderecki who did “The Shining” in Stanley Kubrick’s unforgettable masterpiece. there’s a song by the rapper Playboi Carti called “Fetti” I love the production on It ,that had such an influence on my guitar intro to a Deadcuts song called “Don’t die yet” – a phrase Mark Used to say to me for obviousreasons.Id say atmospheres are more important to me whilst capturing the primal energy -a synthesis.
Last year you supported Pete Doherty’s gig, how did you know him?
I met Peter back in 2001 at an Alec Empire gig in Camden , I’d seen him knocking about in a black suit and tie.He knew my ex and she introduced us , and he kissed my hand .I then saw The Libertines some years later atthe Rhythm Factory play and heard “What a Waster” as the opening track and I was really impressed .I went to peters old one bedroom flat in Whitechapel after the gig that night and along with fans we partied till the next orning. .By that point in my life I’d given up being a musician and had a full blown Heroin and freebase cocaine habit I still have no idea why I didn’t end up in jail.I was pretty fed up with life.. what impressed me about Peter initially was his energy and vitality he never put the guitar down.At first it was kinda tense cos I was an opinionated angry street kid and he is a romantic at heart but I think that’s also why we get along – sometimes you need a friend who is your opposite archetype.Peter told me that if I gave music a chance again and put a band together we could open for Babyshambles.so I formed my then band “The Skuzzies” and the next thing I know we’re supporting Peter at loads of differentvenues.So when Deadcuts started later on we played quite a lot of Uk Shows with Peter either solo, with Babyshambles or Libertines which also led to gigs abroad too, type Deadcuts and Doherty in YouTube you’ll find footage of us playing “Pipedown” and ” Broken Love Song” .Mind due there’s another side to all of this if I had a pound , euro , dollar etc for all the crazy women and men who want his telephone number, address or underwear I’d be rich .
Do you like his last album Hamburg Demonstration? I’ve only heard snippets -most of which are songs from an earlier period but I got to witness them bloom into a more interesting palate on the Eudiamionia tour.I remember the night we opened for Peter in Bristol and Thinking how the Puta Madres were similar to Joe Strummers Mescaleros in the sense that it’s a real mixing cultural pot.I was disappointed that “Down for the Outing” doesnt have the same toy piano melody that was on the original though . “Flags of the Old Regime” makes my eyes well up for obvious reasons .
Talking about your band Deadcuts.. I red your name was born in a Magica ritual. So tell us more about this. Yeah it’s true, I’m not sure how much I can really elaborate on that to be honest, it was done with the sole intention of harnessing the dual aspects of nature, you see a lot of people either want to worship god as a positive or dark force but before Zoranastrianism was introduced in Persia thousands of years ago Most people believed in the dual (good and evil) attributes of God.So along with runes an obelisk and a picture of Abraxas ( the ultimate God of duality) we went to work , it wasn’t a ritual per se we were more guided by forces.
You had an important gig at 16th march, where you supported Joe Cardamone and Simone from Primal Scream. How was the show? It was our first gig of 2017 we hadn’t played since September 2016 at the Borderline.Itwas great – loved every second of it -playing live for me is my favourite thing about being in a band – And it was the very first time we’d ever played the Old Blue Last.Aaron our new bass player and I went to see a group Called H09909 play there and they tore the roof off.SoJoe Cardamone (formerly of The Icarus line messaged me about playing a Vice Party and It all went from there ) Joe and I are about the same age and have a similar taste aesthetically and visually.the vibe was great -the sound was top notch ,Its the most fun I’d had in ages.
Your next LP is HIT ON ALL SIXESS. Could you tell to us a preview about the sound and the songs? “A Hit on all Sixes” was originally recorded at Marks flat and required several weeks of very little sleep.most of what you hear on the album was the first stuff we did there,Then we went to Old Street studios to mix where killing joke record., I believe the drums were done at metropolis studios.Our bassist at the time was sharing a studio with The Vaccines and we did a bit of work there too.Now during all of this I had a very bad liver disease that made me feel like I was walking through a lake of sulphur or existed as a character in ” Dantes Inferno” , then eventually I got on a trial for this new wonder drug to fix my liver- it was miraculous after six weeks My blood was purified .However there was no guarantee the medication would work at all so I felt really nervous. So you can imagine I was ill all the time and my sleep pattern was shot.Anxiety attacks were the order of the day plus there was some disagreements about who’d produce it,an ex girlfriend of mine committed suicide – I’m singing backing vocals on a track called “The Purge” there’s a line that says ” purge my familial guilt and shame ..as soon as I sing that line all the lights went out in East London for two minutes – and then when they came back On and instantly my brother rang to say a certain relative of ours had been rushed to hospital with cancer. I felt tested on all levels, physically , mentally and spiritually .After hearing the album in its entirety I realised we’d made something outstanding -best record this bands made yet,but…not without it having its effects.And adding a grey hair or two..
Do you have plans for your future? I’m just surprised to be alive everyday so I tend not overly bombard my mind with future pursuits, I have goals but ….I like to keep them secret because if I tell you what I want to achieve it won’t happen.I find it very difficult to exist at times – I have either extreme joy or extreme sadness- I’m never neutral and that’s difficult.
What do you advise for someone who wants to play in a band? Do It if you can’t do ,anything else …it’s not like how it used to be.Its like a mathematical equation there’s so much involved and be prepared to lose everything In Order to attain it.I just lost my girlfriend who I’ve been in a relationship with for over five years -mainly because she said i wasn’t around enough .Youve got to be prepared to sacrifici everything. Even sanity.
Top#5 #1 The first record you ever bought? I actually bought a couple , there used to be a shop called “Our Price” I bought a Kraftwerk album called “Man Machine” ,..Guns n Roses “Appetite for destruction” , Ny Dolls self titled 1st record and “Alphabet Street” by Prince #2 The worst song you’ve ever listened to? The worst song … oh there’s so many #3 The song that you wish you wrote? Oh god…so many to choose from.. “I only have eyes for you” by The Flamingoes ” Splitting the Atom” By Massive Attack, or “Disneyland can Wait” by Boyd Rice. #4 The artist with which you would want to collaborate? Denzel Curry, Famous Dex, Saint Vincent , Frank Ocean, AB Soul,Massive attack, Douglas P of Death in June ,ASAP Rocky , Tyler the Creator – Charles Manson ,young fathers,Solange Knowles ,Banks , the underachievers or Fka Twigs.My ex girlfriends brother danced for Fka Twigs and I went to see her perform at The Camden Roundhouse , her energy was astounding and I was so pumped after the show that I wrote 5 songs one after the other ! I feel really lucky to have worked with Flatbush Zombies – they are one of my favourite groups of today – they totally transcend the narrow margins set by the industry and their music is incredibly rich in spirit. #5 How do you imagine yourself in ten years? Hmmm..alive I hope , I started clubbing at 12 and with my long hair I got into 18 plus venues all the time – and now I feel the wear and tear of it all.I hope I’ll be happy , married with a family two kids a boy and a girl , I hope my mother gets to see them.I need some kind of balance.Im going to be open here – this industry has some sort of weird karma attached to it and for all the great experiences there’s a price that comes with it , a deep melancholy .When I was a teenager I had a fever dream in which a being in a hooded cloak began to lead me to these marshes and next to the marshes were old white fountains,in the water there were many different images , it showed me what life would be like if I settled down and got a regular job and had a family then I was led to another fountain and I saw my future in music , the being then informed me I wouldn’t be allowed both.People say “oh your still young you’ve still got time to have kids etc” but in truth your as old as you feel ,I feel like a man in his 80’s ! I’ve experienced a hell of a lot for a young man.And yet stillness so much to do and learn.
Official Page: Deadcuts
Interview by Isabella F.