JUMP are a six piece band formed in 1990 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

During their career they have released ten independent studio albums plus two live albums and recently have released their first E.P. (reviewed in Issue 3). They have toured extensively both in their own right and as an opening act for artists including Marillion, Fish, Midge Ure, Sam Brown, Wishbone Ash, The Blockheads, IQ, Arena, Arthur Brown and John Young.

I caught up with frontman John Dexter Jones following their recent acoustic set supporting Katie Buckhaven at The Limelight Theatre in Aylesbury. 

For those new to JUMP could you explain the JUMP sound?

Er...no... not really... we've been described by Classic Rock Mag as the band that's impossible to pigeonhole... our sound is what we write, what we fancy and...er... so that'll be a bit of rawk... folk... bit of blues... some (apparently) prog... I honestly don't know... we just like it and we've recorded 13 albums so it seems a few other folks enjoy it too!

For a band that have been together for 19 years, how have you managed to maintain such a stable line-up?

Well we've had a couple of personnel changes over the years... but the nucleus of the band remains...I guess that we understand each other... we can really fizz creatively in a work situation (and we certainly DON'T agree about everything) but we have built a trust and respect for each other that means that by the time we reach the pub/service station/next day...we've learned some more....JUMP is very democratic but has clear cut values that we agreed on before our first gig in 1990 and the band won't compromise our own code.

JUMP played at the 2008 Aylesbury Festival in Kingsbury. How did you find the event?

It was a fun thing. Over the years we've done some pretty intense stuff... more than a thousand gigs including supporting some pretty big acts all over the place so doing the Kingsbury gig on a breezy summer's day with not far to travel and a carefully choreographed road-sweeper and drunken dancer was just typically JUMP! Also since we had no permanent bass player at the time (still haven't) it was memorable ‘cos I met Naz (bass dep) for the first time that afternoon! Mind you he was brilliant...

Have you heard much about Hobble on the Cobbles and how do you feel about playing the event this year?

Oh yes...we were dead chuffed to get the invite.... it's funny ‘cos a few of our friends have played it so we feel connected! Fish did it... we toured with him a while ago and guess what... we're doing a gig for him a couple of weeks before Hobble... the wheel keeps turning!

At HOTC you will be playing in your acoustic guise as ‘John Dexter Jones & The Steven Twins’. How did that come about?

Well we'd done some 'JUMP acoustic' things opening for Sam Brown, Wishbone Ash and Arthur Brown and the like, and then we got a call asking us to do some shows with Midge Ure... after a few of those we started getting serious requests for an album of acoustic stuff so we did the JDJ album when a guy from the U.S. dipped into his pocket and financed it! Really it IS just acoustic JUMP but hey, I've got a fancy long name so we thought it would work better - particularly when you're getting half hour theatre support slots and people can associate your name with a forensic scientist TV serial killer....

You hold your own mini festival in Lacey Green every summer. What is the story behind that?

Perhaps not strictly every year but certainly for 8 out of the last 10. We began an event in the Old Nags Head in Wycombe and then the venue underwent some problems so we decamped to Lacey Green where I live in a vast mansion (The Black Horse...) Recently we've been doing an outdoor acoustic 'Gig in the Garden' thing, but over the years it's been electric as well and we've put on some great stuff... Mostly Autumn, Karnataka, White Buffalo... they've all been there...we do some acoustic sessions on cold Sunday nights in the pub and then we get everybody back to play in the sun with a barbecue and loads of beer...

The band released its first E.P. at the end of 2008. Why did you go for that format?

Andy Faulkner our bass-player at the time had decided to leave JUMP to follow a new path and we had those songs knocking about. It wouldn't have been right to hold them over for the next album because he was very much part of writing them so we did them as an EP. There had also been a huge demand from the fans for the songs too, so it was a neat way to plug a gap and buy some time. The next album is now underway!

And the New full length CD is due later in the year, what can we expect?
Well to be honest you can expect the unexpected! We've followed our noses and seem to be mining a real folk-rock tinged thing... mind you Ronnie is still crunching out loony power-chords and mind-boggling solos so I guess the word 'hybrid' springs to mind... AGAIN...! Lyrically there's a lot of family history... AGAIN...!

You are between two gigs at Aylesbury's Limelight Theatre. Firstly you have just supported Katie Buckhaven as JDJ & The Steven Twins. How was that?

It was an excellent event. The gig sold out and that helps but the really good bit was reaching an audience that were perhaps a little out of our normal sphere. Katie is a wonderful talent who covers a wide spectrum of jazz-tinged stuff whereas we come from a more rootsy/folky brash place on the acoustic shows. But we went down really well...proving that music-lovers aren't stuck in one genre. Mind you Steve Rundle was playing guitar with Katie so it was a good job they liked us... otherwise he might have got some stick!... hopefully some of that crowd will come to the JUMP gig and then to Hobble...

And then you will be headlining with the full electric band on 30th May. What are the plans for that show?

Same as always. To step on the stage with a loose set list and see what happens... entertain, give people value for the ticket and hopefully throw in some spontaneous combustion of the improvised sort.... gig one or gig 1000... enjoy it... and who knows maybe preview some new stuff!?

You include the occasional cover in your sets, how does the band decide what to include?

We honestly, honestly don't decide anything. Actually we tend to incorporate 'snippets' from other peoples' songs in our own structures and they are just tangents that 'happen'. We're not ones for being bothered to learn other peoples stuff... so it's pretty organic. If you can do some Iron Maiden alongside some Steeleye Span in the middle-8 of your own song you're going to promote a smile somewhere. It started out as a way of grabbing attention in pub gigs and then became part of the fun...

Finally what other plans do the band have for the rest of 2009?
Write, record, gig, record, write, gig, record, gig, write.....go down the pub...and then start again....

Well many thanks for spending some time with us John and we'll see you at The Limelight on 30th May.

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The Quick Fire Five ...

What was the first gig you attended?

Ginger Baker and Friends, Bangor University Refectory.

Who is your biggest influence?

Bill Lewis my old English teacher... developed my critical faculties.

What is your musical high point?

Finishing a new song that you know is going to knock 'em dead.

What are you currently listening to?

My son Sam's ipod which dominates the house. I have no choice.

What item can't you live without?

Wales... it's not an 'item' but I'm hardly going to say car, pen or Shure SM58 am I...? so Wales... simple!