By John Curley
The surviving members of The Clash—guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Topper Headon—appeared recently on the London alternative-rock radio station XFM to discuss their upcoming box set Sound System with XFM DJ Sunta Templeton. The box set includes CDs of the original albums as well as additional CDs of demos and a DVD. Discussing the work that went into the creation of the box set, Jones said, “In our own minds, we still exist. You know, we’re NOW. So it was important to us that we took control of every aspect of it.
“The music’s really special because you’re gonna hear it like it’s never been heard before, because of the major advances in technology which have gone towards the remastering. You’re gonna hear stuff that you’ve never heard before in the form of tracks that you’re very familiar with. You’re gonna say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was on there!’”
When Templeton asked if there were any plans to play the material live, Headon stated, “There are no plans to do that. You’re never going to replace Joe [Strummer], are you?”
The entire interview can be heard at http://soundcloud.com/xfm/the-clash-on-xfm.
Jones, Simonon, and Headon also recently appeared on XFM Manchester’s Breakfast Show to discuss the box set with DJ Tim Cocker. That interview is available for listening at http://soundcloud.com/xfm/the-clash-on-the-xfm-breakfast.
In addition to the Sound System box set, The Clash are also releasing a two-CD set called The Clash Hits Back. This set features the studio versions of the songs from the band’s show at the Brixton Fair Deal in London on July 10, 1982. When Templeton asked during the XFM London interview why they chose that particular show, Simonon answered that part of the reason why that show was special to the band was because he and Jones went to see movies at the Fair Deal when they were kids. (The Brixton Fair Deal is now known as the Brixton O2 Academy and is one of London’s busiest concert venues.)
There is more about the XFM London interview at http://www.xfm.co.uk/news/the-clash-to-release-new-box-set.
Additional information about the Sound System box set and The Clash Hits Back double CD can be found on The Clash’s Web site at http://www.theclash.com/news/gb/2013-05-21/the-clash-sound-system-and-the-clash-hits-back.
Both the Sound System box set and The Clash Hits Back two-CD set are being released in the United States on September 10th.