The one with Will from Echo and the Bunnymen

jen and willMy good friend is a very well established and disgustingly talented photographer. I do not know what she does, but her pictures of me always turn out looking amazing. She shoots a lot of bands, and we often do stories together, a double act of her supplying the images and me doing the interview and words.  Her husband manages Echo and the Bunnymen, a band that I have loved since time began. She came up with the idea of us doing an ‘at home’ piece with one of the two band stalwarts, Will Sergeant. He is a massive vinyl fan, and she thought we would have a great time gabbing while doing the piece for the magazine I have a column in, Long Live Vinyl.

The day of the interview was bright and sunny. My friend drove us to Will’s house, through beautiful picturesque fields and tree lined roads. It was so typically English, it is hard to describe to someone who is not from here, except that the houses all look like something from The Hobbit, made of stone and having seen multiple of generations of people stomp through their doorways.  In California, we don’t have anything like that, as the omnipresent danger of earthquakes stops any brick or stone material being used in home construction.

We turned down a dusty lane for Will’s house. I was completely fascinated, as Will lives in what was once a mausoleum. I LOVE THIS IDEA. I was picturing a house where the drawers for keeping the dead had been recapitulated into some sort of chic storage for dishes, and perhaps a patch out back which may have had an old grave yard. Nope. The house was gorgeous, quaint and had a massive door with a key for the lock that was about six inches long (do not know how you would get that in a handbag for an evening out), but otherwise had no ghostly vibes kicking around or markers of its former use.

It’s funny when you do an interview with someone famous. You are trying to immediately establish a rapport with them, make them feel comfortable enough so that they will tell you something that is exclusive to you. When I stop and think about it, it is very weird. But with some people, it is so easy, and it comes naturally. Will made us tea, and we began shooting the breeze about music, the Beatles, the internet, a zillion things that did not have anything to do with the column I was supposed to be there doing. At one point, we had not sat down for an official interview nor taken a single picture, and I realized it had already been almost two hours of us just gassing on to each other.

But this is why when you connect with other true music fans it is so special and magical. You speak a language that not many others get, and it is so exciting. I love it when I get the chance to sit down and talk as both a fan and just a fellow music nerd to these sorts of folks, for their work has been with me in so many circumstances of my life, THEY have been with me in so many situations- and now I get to humanize this mystical ether of the song.  You just feel like you are doing what you are meant to be doing instead of what you should be doing.

I had my magical photographer friend take the required photo before we left. Like all the pictures she does, it turned out great. More than anything, though, it is a symbol of the power that music has to span time, space and memory – whether at a mausoleum or in a movie theatre.

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Originally from California, Jen spent her early career working with a variety of big name record companies before becoming the West Coast Marketing Director for Interscope Geffen A&M Records at the age of 25.

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