top of page



20th September 2017

Q: You first came here thirty years ago…


SJ: Yeah! Well, you know…I ran out of rice. (smiles) We would love to come over more but it’s just prohibitive expense wise.


Q: I guess it’s changed a lot.


SJ: I have to say I haven’t seen a lot. We’re in a hotel which is outside of things (Tokyo Prince Hotel). Beautiful hotel and we walked around a little bit but when we were here last we had to ride around. We went to Kyoto and stuff but because of the two shows a day, I haven’t seen as much. One of the things we were all remarking on is that they have done the big architecture so well – all of the buildings don’t look the same. All of the thirty story buildings are different and they all have some thought to them as far as the architecture s concerned and I’m always impressed that people care enough about that. If you go to some American cities, it’s just very plain.


Q: I first saw you at Knebworth in ’79…


SJ: Knebworth! (smiles)


Q:  What do you recall of it?


SJ: It was great for us. I knew Todd (Rundgren) so I got to talk with Todd and of course that was the one with Keith. (Richards – The New Barbarians)


Q: That was the second one: Todd was on the first.


SJ: Right. We met a lot of people there and I’m walking around going ‘Hey I’m from New Jersey!’ but I think the thing that struck me the most was how bad Led Zeppelin was. They were really not good and you know my guys back then all loved Led Zeppelin. First of all, the sound was terrible and they had their own sound system and soundcheck…it was all very strange but it was a great feeling and I really enjoyed it. We flew over, played, flew back and did a gig, flew over and did the second one and then flew back again and at that point I was so fried with jetlag I don’t remember what happened after that.


Q: Certain areas around the world have thrown up more than their fair share of music. To what do you attribute so much music coming out of New Jersey?


SJ: I think that it’s more of the argument that they are from New Jersey (laughs) because if you are from Ohio or somewhere, it’s not much of a story but New Jersey is this rough industrial state so there is a back story to it but also the proximity to New York where you could go in and get work if you were a Jazz musician – Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and all people like that – and also, there were a million places to play in this blue collar state. People who finished work for the week, wanted to go out and here some music and drink and dance and get in fights so there was always room for musicians to play. Then you have leading figures that come out like Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Bruce (Springsteen).


Q: And yourself.


SJ: Well I don’t blame me for any of that. (smiles) Actually it wouldn’t be a bigger deal without Bruce, even with Sinatra and all the rest because he was and is still such a big star, they think ‘What is it about New Jersey?’ Then of course we came along and Jon Bon Jovi in that concentrated period of time when people were coming from the Asbury Park area but you had to be able to keep an audience entertained on a Friday night or you were in trouble – hey would literally beat you up if you stank on stage. That whittled out the bad guys and the good guys remained. We played some shows where we were not very good and got booed  - this is way before The Jukes when I was sixteen years old.


Q: You’ve undoubtedly set some kind of record for band members – I believe it currently sits around 150…


SJ: Yes!


Q: Are they all from the area?


SJ: No no no. The preponderance of them yes but Jon Bon Jovi came out and played guitar for us for a while so he’s Juke and Bruce played with us for a while but we’ve also had so many different people. I’ve had tours where we had thirty dates in Europe and the drummer said ‘I can’t go’ so I had to get another drummer right away. So you start to learn that if somebody is not fitting in, they always can be replaced and you have to be somewhat brutal if someone is holding back the band. That’s one reason but also we’ve been doing it for forty years. People have kids, get tired of the road…I’ve had guys leave to join Diana Ross and David Bowie and Willie DeVille so just attrition….plus it’s me! (smiles)


Q: You’re not that bad are you? (smiles)


SJ: Nah I’m not really that bad but I’m one of those bulldogs that wants to play all the time.


Q: You’re doing a lot of shows this year.


SJ: We are. Everybody wants to work and make money but we don’t travel first class or anything, we get on the bus, we drive and it gets to be wearing. It’s tough; it’s not a glamorous life. You really have to want to do it and some guys fall by the wayside.


Q: Going back to new Jersey for a second, is the scene there still as good now as it was back in the 60’s and 70’s?


SJ: I think so. We have a lot of clubs that have opened up in Asbury Park and there are clubs all through New Jersey but there is a scene to and they all support each other. It’s still a struggle but there is a lot of places to play and a lot of good bands and it’s good to be a part of that tradition.


Q: You’ve seen a lot of changes in the business, fashions and trends that came and went. What’s your opinion on the current state of the music scene across the USA both live and recorded?


SJ: Well once you get away from the Top 10 Pop manufactured artists, I think there is a lot of great bands and they a lot of interesting things. You’ll have  guy from The Black Keys or somebody like that play in somebody’s living room and that’s just brilliant. They’ll play the small intimate places and then go and fill up the big places. Dave Grohl has been a big part of that – he’s for that organic thing. They can play to twenty thousand people any time they want but he’ll go and record with other bands and play in the smaller places. I think there is a feeling that the music belongs more to the people that are making it and support it than the corporations. The corporations were really ruling things but now they only rule the multi-million sellers like Taylor Swift – and I’m not knocking hr for that. There is that whole internet thing where you can go ‘Look, I’m glad you like my music, listen to this’ – somebody else and a lot of well known people in American and the English do that to. I think it’s one of the best periods for music, it’s just that you have to work to get to it. It’s not going to come easily; they are not going to show up at your arena unless you work to get them there.


Q: I’m going to take a guess and say when it comes to recording, you’re still pretty much an analogue guy.


SJ: No, actually I‘m not. (laughs)


Q: I stand corrected.


SJ: I love analogue and the sound of analogue and I’ve worked hard to get digital to sound like analogue but the early live album Reach Up And Touch The Sky was a very early digital recording. Then of course I put it on a 24-track and went back into an analogue studio to make it sound good (laughs) but I think digital has worked out most of the kinks and with computers, you have more facilities to do things live. You can put the band in a studio, separate things and have them all play together. We play live in a studio; we may overdub the horns and then there have been times when we recorded altogether too so I think digital affords you to be more together. You don’t have to put the drums in separate booth - we made one album when the drums were right in the studio (Poor Fools) because we could with the digital separation. The band shouldn’t cater to the technology; the technology should cater to the band.


Q: Live From E Street cooks…


SJ: Thank you!


Q: Any chance of releasing more songs from that show?


SJ: Erm…I was not happy with my performance. The band played great, I thought I got a little over excited and sang a little over the top. What I would like to do is do it again, calm down and sing it right.


Q: I can’t imagine you calming down on stage.


SJ: I don’t mean that. I mean my vocal performance was not good. I listened bak to it and went ‘Oh noooo…no one can hear that,’


Q: Who is Southside Johny at home? What books does he read and movies does he watch?


SJ: I got my Kindle right here and I’m reading Graham Green’s travels in Liberia (Journey Without Maps) written in the ‘30’s which is just insane. I read a lot when I was a teenager and of course I realised he did that Travels With My Aunt which is a hilarious book. They all wrote travel books, Evelyn Waugh and all those people, they all travelled a lot of strange places and Grahma Greene sees it from a lot of perspectives of Catholicism, Intellectualism and the doubt of the lack of spirituality in modern western culture. It really makes you think bout things but I read detective fiction as well. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I occasionally watch a movie but I’m not big on movies…and I drink! (smiles)


Q: Thank you very much. I drink as well.


SJ: Thank you.



サウスサイド・ジョニー インタビュー2017














































SJ:僕はアナログ、アナログのサウンドは好きなんだよ。アナログのサウンドをデジタルで作れるように必死でやってきたんだ。でも初期のライブ・アルバム『Reach Up And Touch The Sky』は、初期のデジタル・レコーディングだった。24トラックをデジタルに収めて、いいサウンドにしようとアナログのスタジオに持ち込んだんだ(笑)。でもデジタルって、もっと複雑だと思っていたんだけど、コンピューターを使えば生き生きとしたサウンドにもできるんだよ。バンドでスタジオに入って、バラバラにレコーディングしてから合体させる。スタジオでもライブ演奏して、ホーンをオーバーダブしたりすることもある。すべてを一度にレコーディングしたことも何度もあった。だからデジタルはいろいろなことを可能にしてくれるんだよ。別のブースでドラムだけを収録する必要はないんだ。僕たちはスタジオ内にドラムを置いて、アルバムを作ったよ(プア・フールズと)。デジタル上で楽器を分けることができたからなんだ。バンドはテクノロジーに使われちゃだめなんだ。バンドがテクノロジーを使いこなさないとね。


Q:『Live From E Street』は使いこなせていますね。










SJ:自分のキンドルを持っているんだ。グラハム・グリーンのリビエラ旅行記を呼んでいるところさ(『Journey Without Maps』)。30年代に書かれた本なんだけど、ちょっと狂気の世界って感じなんだ。10代の頃から本を読むのは好きでね、『Travels With My Aunt』が面白い本だというのに気づいていたよ。イーヴリン・ウォーとか、旅行小説ばかりを読んでいたんだ。グラハム・グリーンは、カトリックや知能労働や現代西洋社会での精神性の欠如などを啓発している。いろいろ考えさせられるよ。推理小説もよく読むんだ。テレビはあまり観ない。たまに映画を観るくらいだけど、大作は苦手なんだ。一杯やってるのがいいね!(笑)




Anchor 1
bottom of page