Reverend & The Makers‘ frontman Jon “The Rev” McClure is well known for not being afraid to say what he thinks, and, ahead of next week’s general election (June 8), he’s had his say on Corbyn, rocking the vote, and what lessons can be learned from this year’s campaign.
Have you been checking the polls in the lead up to this election, or have you been trying to avoid them?
“No, I check them but I don’t trust them too much. [They were] way out the last few elections, eh?”
Do you think Labour have a fighting chance of winning?
“They have a chance, definitely, but I don’t share the optimism of my London mates. I still live up north, around the white working classes, many of whom have swallowed The Sun and The Mail‘s propaganda wholesale. Time will tell, I guess.”
Why do you think Theresa May called the snap election in the first place?
“Pure opportunism. She knew the election funding scandal was a bit dodge, saw she was way up in the polls, and decided to cash in. Backfired though, hasn’t it?”
What’s your response to the way the media’s handled this election? Many titles are still trying to pin anything and everything at Corbyn. Do you believe there’s a media bias?
“The press is owned by Millionaires. Every day they attack Corbyn because he represents a threat to their wealth and power. It makes any notion of living in a democracy a sham. What use is a vote if all the people don’t have access to all the facts? Total fuckery!”
What aspect of the Labour manifesto do you find the most appealing?
“All of it. It’s brilliant. Considered, progressive. All my family are nurses so it’s the NHS stuff I love the most.”
Jeremy Corbyn follows you on Twitter. Have you been in touch at all?
“Yeah, a little. His people asked to come to the gig at Tranmere Rovers [Wirral Live, which was headlined by The Libertines], and I introduced him onstage to 20,000 people singing his name to the tune of ‘7 Nation Army’. In turn, he’s thanked us for our support on the Hillsborough justice campaign and bigged us up in a couple of his interviews. I love him.”
One of the main lessons that was learned from the 2015 election was to get out of a social media bubble, where everyone on a Twitter feed broadly shares the same political opinions. Have you been speaking to people who might vote Tory about the election, trying to swing their opinion?
“Round where I’m from there’s loads of working class Tories. The Labour heartlands have been decimated by 30 years of white noise media and it’s started to push the people I grew up with to the right. It’s so depressing.
“The other problem is that the bands who could have formed a counter culture like we had in the 60’s have been ridiculed and derided. I was slated by most music publications and radio stations when I started being political. Oddly, they all now agree with me.”
NME’s coverage of the election often gets the response: “Stick to the music!” Are you told the same, and what’s your reply to that?
“Yeah, I was told this time and time again. My response would be The Clash, NWA, The Beatles , Dylan, Public Enemy , The Sex Pistols…”
If the Tories win, what lessons can be taught for the future?
“That we need to support the counter culture and the people who have an alternative voice. With all due respect, Bastille aren’t going to lead the revolution are they?”
How much of your new music reflects the last few years of political turmoil?
“A little bit, but it’s more subtle these days I guess.”
Reverend & The Makers will release their new album, ‘The Death of A King’, on September 22. The album’s lead single, ‘Too Tough To Die’, is out today (June 2), and can be downloaded upon pre-ordering ‘The Death Of A King’.
The band will set out on a short tour in support of ‘The Death Of A King’ in October after a number of festival shows this summer. See their confirmed live dates below.
3 – Camden Rocks, London
10 – Tidal Waves Festival, Bridlington
8 – One Live Festival, Guildford
9 – Llangollen International Festival
21 – Bugjam Festival, Northampton
22 – Pennfest, Buckinghamshire
28 – Camp Bestival, Dorset
29 – Kendal Calling, Penrith
6 – Hope and Glory Festival, Liverpool
12 – Green Meadows Festival, Peterborough
14 – Garage, Glasgow
25 – Electric Ballroom, London
27 – Academy, Sheffield
28 – Academy, Sheffield
4 – Academy, Manchester
Tickets for the new headline shows are available to buy from here. Reverend & The Makers will play a sold-out show with Cabbage and Milburn at Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl later tonight.