"I’ve bitten my lip for seven years..." says Itch.
In last month’s issue of Rock Sound, we sat down with Itch to ask how he felt about reuniting The King Blues after nearly four years away.
“Are we going to kill each other? I don’t know. Maybe!” the frontman admitted. Well, the question of how stable things actually were has been answered a lot quicker than anyone might have expected, with guitarist Jamie Jazz leaving as soon as the ska mob’s recent arena tour with Enter Shikari finished on Saturday.
So it’s over to Itch to find out exactly what happened and what this means for The King Blues’ future…
WHEN WE SPOKE RECENTLY THINGS SEEMED OKAY IN THE KING BLUES CAMP. WHAT CHANGED?
“At that point we were very newly back together and things were okay. The fact of the matter is that my relationship with Jamie has been incredibly unhealthy and I feel – I’m sure he’ll feel differently – that he has been very controlling. He’s used me for many years and when he couldn’t use me any more has tried to destroy my reputation, implying that I had an affair with his baby-momma.
"I never came out and said anything negative about anyone’s character because I always wanted to put out positive vibes and I’ve genuinely tried to keep a silence, but it’s gotten to a point where I really feel like I’ve been fucked over. I’m a good person – I’m no angel – but I really do try to improve myself all the time and make the world a better place.”
DO YOU FEEL JAMIE’S CONTRIBUTION WILL BE MISSED IN THE KING BLUES?
“Jamie hasn’t played on a King Blues record since ‘Save The World…’ which is a long time ago. He has tried to claim my work as his own. When it came to the most recent EP it was the same thing. Me and our bassist Pete put it together and then were like, ‘Can we get these guys to do it live?’ because we thought the original line-up would be cool for the kids.
"We had seven practices booked for the Enter Shikari tour and Jamie pulled out of four of them on the day. He refused to do the tour unless he was paid up front. We’re first on, we don’t get paid like that! Every step of the way he’s made it incredibly difficult. In the end I had to pay him out of my own pocket.”
YOU SEEM GENUINELY UPSET ABOUT IT…
“This isn’t just a bitching thing, I’ve bitten my lip for seven years about this stuff. There’s a reason no ex-members of King Blues were in (Jamie’s other project) Bleach Blood. He asked every single one and they said no. I thought I could make it work and handle him being around, but two days before we went on the Enter Shikari tour he goes, ‘This is it for me, at the end.’ It seems like just using it as a platform for his solo stuff. That’s heartbreaking.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JAMIE NOW?
“I think he’s a sociopath, a narcissist and a compulsive liar. I managed to get him to three rehearsals, a photo shoot and a video shoot and that was it. I couldn’t let him use me like that again and when he said he wanted to go it was like, ‘Cool, I’m not going to ask you to stay.’
"I feel like I’ve attracted a predator in Jamie. I’ve had a fairly well publicised shitty childhood and I think that I’ve taken some of that victim with me and attracted predators. It seems that I’m constantly defending myself against bullshit that’s written about me. I’m no angel but my intentions have always been good, apart from maybe in this interview!”
DO YOU WISH THIS HAD HAPPENED SOONER?
“Oh yeah, I wish I’d done it before ‘Under The Fog’ to be honest. After that record he completely and utterly changed as a person. He used to be such a cool kid, but he got a rock star ego like I’ve never seen in my life. It’s a massive relief to be able to go, ‘Finally, this is over.’”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE KING BLUES GOING FORWARD?
“We’ve announced a bunch of festivals, Reading and Leeds and loads of other stuff. We’re there and we’re going for it. There’s talk now about doing the next album. It’s on and it’s super ambitious. I’m so happy to be able to focus properly now, without any distractions.”
Jamie Jazz announced his departure from The King Blues last week, and played his last show with the band on Saturday.
You can read the statement he made upon leaving the band below.
"After spending an awfully long time thinking about this and confiding in those closest to me as well as the rest of the band, I had decided to part ways with The King Blues. Now before I say anything else, I want to make it clear that there is has been no major falling out, there is no bad blood or any arguments whatsoever between us.
"I have just simply come to a point in my life that my desires have changed; my goals in life have changed and what I want to achieve musically has changed and sadly those changes do not match up with being an active member of The King Blues anymore.
"These past few shows have been amazing and for a kid who grew up in Wood Green, playing my final show TKB at Alexandra Palace is a fitting end to a wonderful story.
"I will continue to make music in someway or form, probably with Bleach Blood, maybe under a new name, but thats to come.
"To all the previous band members, love me or loathe me, its been a pleasure to have shared the road with you in the unique, one of kind experience that it is to be in a band.
"To all the labels, agents, press teams, video creators, interns and CEO’s, everyone unseen who helped us along the way, thank you.
"To all the bands I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with around the world, thank you. Some of you we’re my heroes, some I saw as competition, but nearly all of you became my friends.
"To all of the fans that have supported us past, present and indeed, the future, I literally don’t have the words to express my gratitude for your immense love and belief in us. Some bands have great fans, but TKB fans are the greatest and I mean mean that from the bottom of my heart, I truly do. Even after 4 years away you stood by our sides and never let us be forgotten, then welcomed us back with open arms. You know, just thinking about that and typing it out has reduced me to tears. I love you all.
"And finally, to my brothers Itch and Mike. Thank you for having me back for this last ride. They said it would never happen, but it did and it was amazing. I can not wait to see what you have in store for the future of The King Blues. I love you both."