Interview with Janine Rainforth - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Music im Oktober 2022 - Beitrag vom 02.12.2005

Interview with Janine Rainforth
Chrizzi Heinen

In 2005 Maximum Joy re-released a new album. AVIVA talked to the former singer about punk, world peace, her life and her plans for the future.

AVIVA-Berlin: When was your last interview?
Janine Rainforth: For me it´s strange. I´ve just done an interview on the internet, but that was the first one in about 20 years.

AVIVA-Berlin: What happened after Maximum Joy broke up?
Janine Rainforth: Lots of things. Life changes, life moves on. I still do music, but it´s my own music with very similar themes to the Maximum-Joy-themes. It´s about embracing the world, but it´s also about me and looking at how I think there is injustice in the world and bringing awareness up. Maybe it´s more experimental with more space in the music?

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you mean that the lyrics give more space for interpretation, that the lyrics aren´t that explicit as they were with Maximum Joy?
Janine Rainforth: No, actually the lyrics will be similar, but when I say more space... I don´t like the idea of just ballads any more, or just songs.

AVIVA-Berlin: What do you feel when you listen to the music of Maximum Joy today? It´s a different context, because there is no ´Thatcherism´ any more. Or is it still the same situation with just different people involved in politics?
Janine Rainforth: Yeah, I think it´s quite similar and that sort of surprises me. When I listen to the music today, it´s strong in a way. The themes are still relevant today as they were then, but you are right, without ´Thatcherism´. What preceded the Post Punk was the creative explosion that was called Punk and that was remarkable. It wasn´t just the music, there was the social setting, and there was the politics.

AVIVA-Berlin: And the setting - did it make it easier for you to express yourself? If there hadn´t been punk, would you have become a musician?
Janine Rainforth: I would have been a musician in my own way. I´ve always done it since I was a child. I played the violin, piano, clarinet, but Punk was part of me. That was that age, I was the right age. It definitely inspired me, but it very quickly changed. That was the interesting thing about punk for maybe a lot of people. Punk was like an inspirational seed that then - certainly for Maximum Joy - very quickly evolved into different spaces and different musical directions as well.

AVIVA-Berlin: Was post punk a male-dominated sub-culture?
Janine Rainforth: Yes, it was male-dominated. But it wasn´t hard to be a girl. And I was my own type of girl. But then there were the Slits, Poly Styrene, Siouxsie and the Banshees and lots of other girl-bands that I can´t remember. There were still these females who were being strong and doing their own thing. The Slits were pretty feminine.

AVIVA-Berlin: So you mean, you don´t have to exclude feminity by being a Punk-Girl. And you being a female singer in a punk band - did this have an impact on your life in general, or on decisions for your future?
Janine Rainforth: It had a huge impact. I think in ways that I am still realising now and I´m only beginning to realise, and in such good ways, I think. I´ve not acknowledged how important thing it was to have done, ´cause I´ve sort of thought: ´Oh, well I just did that´. Re-releasing the record with "crippled dick" was a real gift for me personally, because it´s made me revisit and re-evaluate what we did then. It made me realise, that it´s still strong today, it still sounds fresh. And I also acknowledge that it was a good thing to have done. And I´m not saying that I thought about it badly, but I don´t know if I gave it enough value. I sort of just thought that was part of my life, and I´m moving on.

AVIVA-Berlin: Maybe one can say, that at the time you were a musician, you didn´t actually realise what you were doing, but you just did?
Janine Rainforth: Absolutely! I was seventeen. God knows how old I am now. I am not gonna tell you...

AVIVA-Berlin: Well, I can calculate this. But I read that Maximum Joy´s background is an ´artist scene´?
Janine Rainforth: We were from Bristol. We were very into Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir... all about sort of stuff. I wasn´t an art student, I was a film student. The others were from different bands, from the Glaxo Babies and the Pop Group.

AVIVA-Berlin: What kind of life do you live now?
Janine Rainforth: Now it´s quite a different life. It´s quite interesting revisiting, because it´s almost like ´hey that was me´ and I´m integrating that part of me now into the life that I lead now. And now I am a homeopath, and so it´s a different life. And yet I´m still me and I still have the same values that I had then. It´s good, life is good.

AVIVA-Berlin: What are your dreams and wishes for the future? Maybe releasing a new record? I´d like to know more about that.
Janine Rainforth: Definitely a dream for the future is to complete some more music for myself and possibly to release. I can´t think of any dreams right now apart from a very obvious one which is world-peace. A lot of people say this, but it doesn´t lose value because a lot of people say it.

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you think music might be a first step for it?
Janine Rainforth: Yes, music has a lot of value and potential power in taking those steps as we´ve see, you know, decade after decade. If only to help people to feel better about where they´re at in their own lives. Music just helps people live.

AVIVA-Berlin: Well, we are curiously waiting the release of your new album and wish you all the very best!

Mehr über Maximum Joy erfahren Sie unter Mehr zur CD-Rezension hier.

Maximum Joy
Unlimited (1979-1983)

Label: crippled dick hot wax! VÖ: November 2005
EAN: 0881390600120
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Beitrag vom 02.12.2005