Group hopes to cash in chips

“It’s like a virtual reality record,” says Jesus Jones leader Mike Edwards, describing “Perverse,” the group’s third album, which arrives in stores tomorrow. “It’s all done from digital memories. The only live instrument is my voice.”

Strangely enough, Edwards says the songs are more personal than on the first two albums, despite the extensive use of computers.

“These days, I find the computer and sampling are a much better way of expressing personality and emotion than arestricting machine like a guitar,” he says.

“There is nothing but predictability in a guitar. I pick that thing up, I put my fingers down a certain way and I know the sound that’s going to come out. When I sit in front of a keyboard with all this other equipment attached to it and press different keys, I have no idea what’s going to come out.”

“This is where rock is going,” Edwards adds. “It’s a perfect interaction between man and machine, between techno music and old style rock music. I’ll be standing on stage playing a guitar, but the sounds coming out of it aren’t going to be standard guitar sounds. I’ll be playing orchestras or samples of someone falling off a cliff.”

The approach takes the British five-piece band even deeper into techno territory than they explored on their first two albums.

The group’s debut, the energized dance rocker “Liquidizer,” laid a firm alternative groundwork for the band in the U.K. and the U.S. with the first single, “Info Freako,” which went Top 50 in Britain.

But the follow-up, the multiplatinum “Doubt,” blew Jesus Jones into pop stardom. The album produced three hits: “Right Here, Right Now,””Real Real Real” and “International Bright Young Thing.”

“Doubt” made Jesus Jones one of a handful of bands to put SBK Records on the map. “Right Here, Right Now,” the first and most successful of the singles, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the video monopolized the MTV airwaves for the better part of a year and earned Jesus Jones the 1991 Grammy for new artist.

The first single from “Perverse,””The Devil You Know,” is No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart after debuting at No. 4, while the video is in regular MTV rotation.

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