R13 talks to singer Jesse Malin whose covers album, ‘On Your Sleeve’ is out now.

R13: 'On Your Sleeve' is a pretty impressive collection of covers, what made you decide to release a covers album?
Jesse: It is something I felt passionate about. I've always played weird and different covers at my live shows to mix it up and give a nod to my inspiration.

R13: Have you been playing many of the songs live beforehand?
Jesse: Very few of these were, funny enough.

R13: Are there any tunes that you love too much to feel you could do them justice by recording them yourself?
Jesse: Yes there are plenty that I believe could never be touched but then again I have been surprised.

R13: What's your favourite cover song by another band?
Jesse: I love the Rolling Stones doing "Have Mercy", Neil Young "Four Strong Winds", the NY Dolls "Stranded In the Jungle", and the Counting Crows "Friend of the Devil".

R13: What's the most inspiring piece of music you've heard recently?
Jesse: The last Spoon album.

R13: There's a good mixture of old and newer tracks on 'On Your Sleeve', do you think that there's still a future for rock n'roll?
Jesse: I do believe there is. It's just harder to find that hi-fi needle in the haystack. It's a schizophrenic mix of songs. Like my record collection or a great old mix tape.

R13: Are there enough original bands around to inspire young people now though?
Jesse: I believe there is to inspire young people, but what about old people? Billy Bragg has a song called "Old Clash Fan Fight Song".

R13: You've been touring pretty constantly for a while now, what do you do to make each show still feel special for yourself and the audience?
Jesse: Play it like it could be the last one. You never know. Pull out songs I never get to play including whacky covers and talk about whatever free form pontification, telling stories jokes, in and out of the crowd, but mostly though, it's really about the music. Each city can be different and the audience can make a difference too. It's an interactive experience.

R13: Is there anywhere in the world that you would like to play a show and still haven't had the chance to?
Jesse: I'd love to go to Russia, Israel and Poland as well as South America.

R13: Your touring band last year included Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls, how did that collaboration take place?
Jesse: A friend of a friend mentioned it to me that the Dresden Dolls were on a break. That boy can hit the drums.

R13: Will you be playing any festivals this summer?
Jesse: I believe so. Need a new bathing suit, high powered water gun. Let's go.

R13: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Jesse: Violence, war, killing… I'd like world peace.

R13: Do you think that America will be safe in the hands of any of the presidential candidates?
Jesse: Hopefully safer. It's the lesser of evil situation.

R13: Thanks for your time and take care.