Jax Chambers Interview
23rd July 2020
Q: What have you been doing since all this Covid 19 stuff started?
JC: Well we did the Girlschool tour which was brilliant because we haven’t done Britain for a long time as we are usually abroad. As soon as that finished, I had a day off to go home, get changed and go back out on tour with Syteria and we were on the tour when all this kicked off. There were talks on the Girlschool tour that there might be measures and then on the Syteria tour – I think we were about a week into it – and we were in Swindon but two people had died from it that day and nobody was going out. We had sold all the tickets but there was nobody there! So since then I’ve been writing and I’ve been doing a couple of charity singles and also a new Syteria video which means I’ve had to learn how to use a camera, edit and a load of other skills. It’s fun in a way.
Q: Your trip over here last year; I didn’t realize but you were celebrating twenty years in the band.
JC: Yeah and so this year is 21 years and the band has been going for 42 years so I’ve been in the band half the time. I actually met Kim and everyone in ’95 and they were always trying to get me to join from that point but I didn’t do any gigs until 2000.
Q: You had a guitar problem at that gig last year here…
JC: Oh it was one of the worst gigs I’ve ever had! (laughs) I don’t know what happened but we took the guitars on the plane and I dropped it and something happened and every time I played the G string it wasn’t as loud as the others so when we’re playing Bomber and Tush you couldn’t hear the trill and I was getting really upset – I thought I couldn’t play. I was getting more and more frustrated, Denise was saying I wasn’t playing it right and then of course I had to take it to Australia.
JC: Yeah! (laughs) It’s working now but there’s still something…it just seems to take a little bit of heat or cold and I just don’t want to take the risk and anyway, I’ve got a nice new one as I’ve been endorsed by Gordon Smith.
Q: Never nice to lose luggage and Tracey’s first time in Japan as well…poor thing…
JC: (laughs) Yeah that was a very interesting time wasn’t it? (laughs) Lucky we had a day off – although you didn’t, you were running round airports and luggage places – but we had a day off to do a bit of shopping. The hotel couldn’t have been nicer; they were giving us all cosmetics, toiletries and all sorts of things because we didn’t have anything, just the clothes we were wearing. I was ok because I always put stage clothes around the neck of my guitar so I’ve always got something to wear onstage but the others all had to go out shopping for stage gear. Everyone was so helpful, giving us what we needed. The Japanese are so hospitable!
Q: How long have you had Bomber in the set?
JC: We only did that when Tracey came back. Around 2005, Me, Tracey, Denise and Jody from Rock Goddess put a band together called No Class and we used to do it in that set with a few other covers and when Tracey came back, we thought we had to do something new in the set so we put in Action which Tracey recorded with us and she knew Bomber form No Class so it was an obvious one to do and it keeps it interesting for us as well. It gets faster and faster whenever we play it. (laughs) Denise!
Q: Are you vegetarian or vegan?
JC: I’ve been vegetarian for eight years and this year I went fully vegan. I always wanted to be vegan but on tour it’s almost impossible as I’m allergic to garlic and all I used to get was vegetarian cheese. I’ve cut that out now though as there are so many options for vegans.
Q: Problems finding vegan food here?
JC: Well that’s why I always say vegetarian on the rider as finding vegan food is almost impossible on some countries like Japan. Spain as well oddly enough.
Q: It was a bit of an in-gig-out trip; you’ll stay longer next time and get out and about a bit. Anything you particularly want to do?
JC: I want to wipe out the memory of that last gig! (laughs) Ermmm…well I’d like to go on a Bullet Train. I don’t know really…touristy things I guess. Just having the experience of doing something that I can’t do here.
Q: You will be back here as soon as gigs and tours open up again. Girlschool is on hold at the moment due to this and Kim’s Mum being ill; what’s happening with Syteria?
JC: Well the album has been getting amazing reviews, lots of airplay and as I said we were on tour but we had to cancel that so we are just releasing a new song and video called Talk Too Much. That will be out on Friday (22nd May).
Q: It’s different to Girlschool musically right?
JC: Yeah it’s Rock but has more of a Punky element to it and we do four-part harmonies. We’re not Heavy Metal but we are Rock. We cross a lot of genres.
Q: Jax, great to chat. Take care and we’ll see you soon.
JC: Yep – better let you go then. See ya!
Check out Jax’s other band, Syteria