“The Songstress’s Tale” - Jayney Klimek talks to TWR about her work with Tony Banks. Photographs By Virgin/Estoteric Records.
TWR: Tell us a little about your background, your musical influences and how you got into the music business...
JK: I studied Classical singing, influenced by my mother and sister who were both Classical singers. I soon came to the conclusion that the Operatic world was not my thing. Seriously, my first passion was acting and so I dived into study at the National Theatre Melbourne and John Guaci School of Film and production. I still loved singing but never thought I would really go down that road. In 1982 my older brother Alf returned from Europe after fronting the band “Spliff” and was eager to get something happening in Australia. So, together with Alf and my other two brothers; Johnny and Robert, we formed a band called “The ABJJ Band” so hence the beginning of my rock/pop world. After some touring, Alf and Johnny took off to Berlin and I decided to stay in Melbourne and continue my acting career. In 1984 I went to Berlin to visit the boys and joined their band, “The Other Ones”. My singing influences were : Lisa Dalbello, Blondie, Kate Bush and Barbra Streisand, very female orientated.
TWR: You have worked with an impressive array of artists including Tangerine Dream, how did you get involved with them?
JK: Most of all through word of mouth on the scene. With Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese contacted me directly.
TWR: You have also been involved with a Prog band I know quite well: XII Alfonso, how did you become involved with them?
JK: XII Alfonso also contacted me directly. Great guys but I can’t really remember all the details of how or why they approached me.
TWR: You worked with Tony on two of his albums: 1989’s Bankstatement and 1991’s Still. How did you become involved in those and were you aware of Tony’s music beforehand?
JK: Steve Hillage who co-produced Bankstatement suggested me to Tony. I was tickled pink because I was a huge fan of Genesis and especially loved A Trick Of The Tail.
TWR: What were your first impressions of Tony?
JK: He was very polite and British (laughs). Very down to earth and not pretentious at all and he made me feel very relaxed.
TWR: How involved were you with the song writing process? Did Tony already have the ideas fully formed when you arrived at the recording studio?
JK: Tony had already written everything and knew exactly what he wanted so it was pretty cut and paste but in saying that, he was very open for ideas and suggestions.
TWR: Being the singer, singing someone else’s lyrics, how much latitude did Tony give you and the other vocalists in terms of adapting the lyrics/vocals to suit your own voice?
JK: I do not know about the other singers, but as I already mentioned, Tony was very open to ideas. I don’t think we changed any of his lyrics, but his ideas were slightly edited to fit the individual performing characters.
TWR: Were there any major changes (apart from personnel) between the two albums?
JK: Yep, different songs! (laughs). Well no, or nothing that I noticed.
TWR: Of the songs which you recorded on the two albums, which ones are you best pleased with and why?
JK: My favourite would be Queen Of Darkness. Why? Because I was actually hired for that particular track which worked very well for my voice.
TWR: What projects are you currently working on?
JK: I was planning on going back into the studio to work on my next album which I intend to do myself. I have always co-written so now I think it is time to see what I can do on my own. Also, The Other Ones was an ‘80’s band and together with my brothers, we are speaking about possibly performing next year at some ‘80’s summer festivals.
In 2016 I got a great role in a film called “Hotel Rock ‘N’ Roll” which was an Austrian/German production. I plan to put myself out there for more acting roles, Berlin is starting to turn into a major hub for film production so you need to be in it to win it!
Indeed you do! Our thanks to Jayney for taking the time to speak to us and I am sure you will join with us in wishing her every success in her future endeavours.