Jeremi Sauvage Interview

1 - Before to come into The Mission, you were playing in other bands (Pulp and Artery, if my memory's good). Face toi these first experiences, what represented the speciality of The Mission for you, as a musician ?

After being more a multi instrumentalist with previous things I'd done, I was focusing a lot more on guitar playing in 1985. Artery had released the 4th album "Number Four - Live in Amsterdam" which was the most straight-ahead rock guitar style I'd ever done, so about then I started to think of myself more as a guitarist. After Artery, I wanted to find a new approach with the next project I worked on, which would combine atmosphere with a strong rock guitar presence. In those days the Sisters were probably nearest band to what I had in mind, and quite coincidentally while I was doing some producing work at Fairview Studio in Hull, I was told by the engineer that Gary Marx was about to quit (before the band even knew he was) so I told this guy I'd be interested if the Sisters were looking for a replacement. I think it was about 6 months later, when I'd completely forgotten about it, I got a call from Wayne (Hussey) asking me to audition. It seemed that it came at the perfect time because I hadn't been able to get the right band together for what I wanted to do. When that phone call happened it all made sense, so I knew right away that the job was mine.

2 - How would you describe the way you approached guitar at this period, between 1986 & 1990 ?

It took a while to settle in. Because of Wayne coming from a background as a guitarist and moving into the front man role, he still had strong ideas about what the guitars should do, but over time I think he realized our different strengths as guitarists and that our best work came out of him doing his thing and me doing mine. Wayne is great at piecing structure together and has almost metronomic precision with his arpeggio playing. I tend to approach the guitar from almost the opposite angle, insomuch as I'm happiest punctuating a song rather than working out the structure, and I kind of feel an idea before I ever play it. For me to hold arpeggios together through a song is work, because all the time I want to let loose, so in the end, when I hear recordings of The Mission now I can hear myself chomping at the bit, then letting it fly on the lead breaks and solos. I guess it's a form of tension and release, which is a phrase you'll sometimes hear when people over-analyze rock music.

3 - What did bring you to stop the adventure in 1990 ? It was really sudden (the fans - I think - and I truly missed you, to be honest). What was the problem in fact, what did not work anymore for you ?

There were many reasons which culminated in quitting the band. The worst thing about it was that the timing was very bad. I'd been extremely ill a couple of weeks earlier, and I was feeling really burned out. I had been planning on leaving the band amicably at a convenient time (for them) because I was sick of being shipped around like a performing monkey by the record company, and I wasn't getting enough freedom musically to make it worth putting up with. When you're in a family of 4 people, the worst position to be in is 3-against-1. I had felt like that when I first joined the band, and for some stupid insignificant reason that's where I found myself again on that night, so I just snapped and said fuck it all.

4 - Were The Metal Gurus not a way to make the stress and the pressure disappear ?

I did record a M.G. single after leaving the Mission, and it was really great to be with the guys again. A lot of wounds were healed at that time. There was never any thought of going back though.

5 - How did you feel as a musician after your departure ? How did you manage to pursue the musical adventure ?

Well, overall I was in a state of shock at what I'd done with my life for a long time after quitting. The Mission were a successful band, and I'd become quite used to the lifestyle. But musically it felt great... I did all sorts of adventurous stuff for the next few years, which was the perfect reaction to having my creativity harnessed in those late 80s.

6 - Had you followed the Mission after your departure and how did appreciate the post-Hinkler area of the band ?

I didn't follow them at all really. I needed to distance myself from that world. However I did hear the Masque album - reviewed it for a magazine actually - and although there were a few moments on there, I thought it was pretty bad on the whole. There have been so many line up changes over the years too which is not good for a band's sound and identity... but to be fair, I was responsible for splitting up the original line up, so I'm not the one to be pointing any fingers in that department.

7 - How would you describe your relationship with Wayne nowadays ?

There's a certain knowing relationship you get from being in a band, and dispite whatever fall-outs may occur, that never goes away. The Mission were particularly close-knit in that area. Now, I'm happy to say Wayne and I are on very good terms, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

8 - How do you see the possibility to play perhaps on several songs on the new album ? What's you state of mind face to this little return in the universe of the band ?

I'll probably only play on a couple of songs. I've been working on one of them on-and-off for the last couple of weeks, and it's going to be, errr... bloody marvelous. I'm really glad to be doing this with Wayne. It's been so many years since we did anything together, and it's rather nice to remind ourselves, and everyone else, what we can do when we put our heads together.