Jesse Malin

Native New Yorker, Jesse Malin formerly of Heart Attack and D Generation released his third solo album Glitter in the Gutter in July 2007. This is an up-tempo, powerful manifesto for survival and defiance, which sees Jesse collaborate with Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Josh Homme and Jakob Dylan amongst others.

Jesse’s lyrics are beautiful, a slice of life and urban poetry. His songs strike an emotional chord with people across the world, Jesse says, “I write wherever I am in the world, if my words make a connection with somebody then I know that it’s working.” Jesse has the rare gift of being a storytelling lyricist, like Bruce Springsteen or Neil Young. “Sometimes when I write, I walk around different cities, or look out the car window. I’m often scribbling in the movie theatre on a popcorn bag, or singing into my cell phone whenever the words come; but the rule is to always carry a pen and to follow Joe Strummer’s example; no input, no output. So you need to be taking things in; books, movies, going to see bands, and listening to new records.”

The songs on Glitter in the Gutter reflect Jesse’s personal experiences and those of characters he has observed. He says, “People feel like songs to me. My songs are all personal even if I write about characters that I’ve only observed. If I can’t feel the connection then I can’t write the song. For example, when Broken Radio was written, I didn’t know what it was about and then I realised it was about my mom who passed away when I was nineteen. She was a frustrated singer and a dreamer. She would sing in the shower or in the car. If a song came on the radio that made a big difference to her in her life, it got her through the day. The power of music can be a healer, a medicine or a motivator.”

Glitter in the Gutter is a must-have record and is available on One Little Indian Records.

Shona Fairweather