AN INTERVIEW WITH: Russell Hastings

From the Jam are coming to Swindon in April, so we caught up with vocalist and guitarist, Russell Hastings, ahead of their show.

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What’s your favourite song to perform?

It changes on a daily basis, to be honest. But at the moment, there’s a great song off the ‘In The City’ album called ‘Away From the Numbers’ which is a really exciting song to play. I remember it being played live back in the late 70’s and it’s a very vicious, attacking song, which is very exciting to play. So, that’s my favourite today.

What’s your best memory of being in ‘From The Jam’?

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Playing in places like Sydney in Australia, New York – selling out New York – playing Los Angeles, and some great memories from about 10 years ago playing at Newcastle Academy. For some reason, it was just an amazing show. But I have lots of great memories all the time. We’re just about to go off to Hong Kong with Madness, so that should be exciting. We’ve also just come back from a big tour in Australia, which was fantastic to go to Australia as it’s a great place anyway but to go and play to a sold out show in Sydney. So, lots of different memories rally, but they’re all really exciting ones and all ones that I’ll cherish forever.

Will you be focussing on old ‘The Jam’ songs or new ones?

On this particular tour, on the ‘In The City’ tour, we’ll be playing a selection of songs from the ‘In The City’ album; one of those will be ‘Away From the Numbers’. But then we play that in the earlier part of the set, and then we obviously will play a lot of the greatest hits as well; ‘Going Underground’, ‘Down in the Tube Station’, et cetera. So a bit of a mix of old and new.

Why did you decide to join ‘From The Jam’?

I knew Rick Butler well, back in early 2000’s – he was the drummer in the band – and he came to me on a friendly basis and asked me to go in the studio with him, rehearsing and playing all those old songs. So I went into the studio with him for 9 months or so, and then him and myself and another bass player, called David Law went out as a band called ‘The Gift’ back in 2005. Then our paths crossed with Bruce Foxton, who’s now on bass guitar, and was in the original band, and he joined up with us and became ‘From The Jam’ back in 2006 and we went off and did some very successful tours. Rick Butler left in 2009 and me and Bruce have stayed together ever since. We’ve been replacing different drummers at different times, but me and Bruce have stuck side by side for the past 11 years.

Were you into The Jam and Madness when you were younger?

Yeah, for sure. I was into The Jam, I went to see them in 1977. I was very young; I was 12. I’m coming 52 now. I was 12 years old when I saw The Jam originally and then I was at the last show in Brighton in 1982. I was into that whole scene really: ‘The Ruts’, ‘The Sex Pistols’. I saw numerous bands on numerous occasions so was into that late 70’s, early 80’s scene. I was playing guitar at the age of 13 and in my first band at 13 as well, so a lot of experience in the music business really.

You can find out more about From The Jam’s show here.