To celebrate the announcement that Micko Westmoreland & The Mellotronics are not only playing live on 29/04/2018 at The Talking Heads, 16-22 The Polygon, Southampton.. but also on 03/05/2018 at The Roadtrip & Workhouse, 243 Old Street, London - Each member of the band has agreed to answer a few questions for The Rebel magazine. Today it's the turn of Jon Klein
You play guitar in The Mellotronics. How long have you been playing the guitar and who were your musical heroes?
"I started playing guitar in 1974, my 1st 3 big influences would be Duane Eddy, Jimi Hendrix and Mick Ronson."
Your set features tracks from the Yours ETC album as well as a few new songs. Are there any of Micko’s songs you particularly admire of feel excited about playing live?
"When I 1st sat down to talk with Micko, we didn’t really know each other. When he mentioned a track called Noisey Neighbours, that seemed an obvious one to break the ice, as conjures up all sorts of images straight off the bat. Schmescos is always gonna be a fave, but all Micko’s songs are interesting, full of layers of ideas, attitudes, stories and processes, so it’s tricky singling one out."
In what ways are you a bad person and what would you like to change about yourself?
"Usual stuff, selfish, a bit disorganised and hesitant when I should be more forceful. I am learning to be more patient, and to listen to people more!
Also being a phone junky is a real challenge. I get really annoyed at people walking around like social media zombies and bumping into me on the street. I catch myself out doing the phone and walking thing, but try not to. I also don’t like being in headphones in public …I prefer the sound of the world!"
What is the worst film you’ve ever seen and what is the best film you’ve ever seen?
"The worst film I’ve ever seen? Tricky as I always check before going to the cinema and don’t go to see crap films.
One thing I remember though was seeing U2 in 3D as my partner had complimentary tickets.
It wasn’t very 3D, mainly the credits and a few bits of footage. I generally don’t like 3D as it’s blurry in bits of the frame (in a bad way) and the picture doesn’t look as dynamic, often on account of the scratched up dirty goggles they give you, and the edits are pedestrian, as fast cuts can cause permanent eYe damage.
That said I was shocked by how many U2 songs I knew (I’m not a U2 hater!) …and later found out that this film was what triggered Wim Wenders idea to investigate 3D for his movie Pina. Pina had good reason to be in that format, as it made for a new way to experience dance on the cinema screen.
Best film? Not sure if it’s the best, and pretty predictable of course, but I loved the original Blade Runner. It felt like a trip to the future (via Shinjuku) and also was a high point of special FX model making pre the CGI revolution. Mind you Scott’s 1st Alien was pretty epic too."
What are your desert island discs? Do you have any singles or albums that you couldn’t live without?
Normally I should say Velvet Underground or Metal Machine Music, but really Hunky Dory, Another Green World and Transformer have to be up there. I’m not even a fan of every song on Hunky Dory, but it’s got that ‘something’, and Rosnon’s arrangements are exquisite, as they were on Transformer.
What is your idea of beauty in nature?
I dream of seeing the cherry blossom in Japan in the Spring, and will hopefully see it one of these days. This Spring they called it Cherry Blossom Rain!
Micko Westmoreland and The Mellotronics photographed by Natalie Hitchcock. Left to Right: Jon, Jenny, Nick and Micko. Top photo of Jon Ashley Jones.