Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Gary Miller

SXSW Interview: Mick Jones & Tony James

Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 14

Carbon/Silicon's Jones and James were more Mutt and Jeff, or maybe Hope and Crosby, than their former Clash and Generation X personas would have you think. Their humorous conversation with MOJO Editor Phil Alexander revealed less about their storied punk rock past than their obvious delight with the instant musical gratification provided by the digital revolution. "The only trouble with iPods," noted Jones, is that "you can't roll a joint on it." And what of their plans for the future, these natty, chatty punk rock pioneers? "We have no expectations, really," mused the laconic Jones. "If the worst happens, it's to be expected, and if something good happens, it's a bonus. The future is unwritten." "What's amazing," countered James, "is that we've still got that drive to create, and it's still exciting to get up in the morning, learn a new guitar lick, create a new song. Maybe we're just nuts. Maybe we should stay at home with the kids. But I can't imagine what I'd possibly wake up and think about if I wasn't doing music." Jones: "If I didn't have a penny, I'd still do it." As Dostoyevsky used to say: Give these men a pound and a pint, 'cause they're still punk as fuck four DIY decades on.

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