The Mary Janes have found a new focus for their lives, and it involves
helping re-unite the West and East sides of Mostar, a city smack bang in the
middle of the formerly war-torn but still war-weary Yugoslavia.
Lending their name to the 'Warchild' cause, the Mary Janes will find
themselves setting flight on a cheap ticket with Croatian air-lines, and
10,000 pounds worth of kiddies Doc Martens in tow.
SORTED magAZine caught up with Mick Christopher and Mark Stanley before they
"We've had some internal conflict, and we've been left with no bass
player", says Mick. "But I don't see that as really being a
problem", says Mark.
"As well as that we're being threatened with a major law suit over our
name by an American company. We are going to sit down until they decide to fuck
us and we will change our name then, maybe to something like the Artists
formerly known as the Mary Janes", or AFKATMJ as they would surely be
"But then again we might change our name to Sham because that's what
the music industry is, a total sham".
They're not totally distraught by the threats and the losses though.
"With Warchild, all of a sudden playing a gig in Whelan's doesn't
matter anymore," says Mark.
"We've been needing some inspiration and we have found the place to get
it. It's a great opportunity for us to have a bit of fun."
"We've already helped pave the way for a lot of bands to do this,"
"It may seem really egotistical, but we have done more for Warchild in
four days with a handicam than Warchild have done with a massive budget, and
a team of staff in two or three years. They've even said so. We're just doing
our bit to help both sides get together," says Mark.
The plan at present for the Mary Janes is to play a massive gig in a new
music centre in Mostar. They're hoping to get a band from both sides of the
city to play with them - the only thing the two sides are presently united
in, is their mutual hatred of each other.
The project is funded by luminaries like Pavarotti, and Brian Eno, with whom
the Mary Janes share a common belief in the power of music to unite.
"The function of the project is music therapy for children that have
been through the war. Warchild does classes with the children to teach them
a million different things. Our free open air concert will just be part of
the effort," says Mick.
"Nobody's interested in Bosnia, not even the U.N. forces that are there.
In ten years you couldn't count the number of bullet-holes in the city,
buildings don't have windows let alone rooves, but Mostar is still a
beautiful city, it's got a great spirit," says Mark.
The two are also hoping to put together some kind of documentary for Irish
television on their experiences over there. No Disco have already said
they're interested, as well as another Irish programme, the name of which
Summing up, singer Mick Christopher puts it: "The whole thing out there
changes your whole focus, it's great for us because we're getting away from
being just another band. You realise that there's more than just playing
by Ken Foxe