The Faces AND the Small Faces may well be active concerns in 2015 — at least if drummer Kenney Jones has his way. Jones tells Billboard that a Faces reunion tour, with Rod Stewart fronting the group again, is indeed in the planning stages.
“We’ve been talking; Woody’s (guitarist Ron Wood) management and myself, we were talking to Rod’s management,” Jones says.
Stewart made the news public last month, much to the chagrin of keyboardist Ian McLagan, who hadn’t heard anything and responded derisively to Stewart’s comment. “Mac didn’t realize we were talking because it was in it’s early stages,” Jones explains. “But he understands full now. (Stewart) probably presumed everyone knew we were doing it, so there was nothing intentional.”
Details are still being ironed out, but Jones says that the reunion “would be lovely to do, we’ve been talking about it (for) long enough. You’ve got to start talking about it about a year ahead of you’re going to do something. The Faces never finished on a good note (in 1975), so it would be nice to finish on a good note, and that would be that.”
Stewart has been tough to pin down for the project. The group has played occasional shows since 2009 with Mick Hucknall singing, and illness kept Stewart from attending the Faces’ 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
“He’s been busy doing the things he’s been creating — Vegas and all the Songbook (albums),” Jones says. “I loved the Songbooks; a lot of people say it’s not really rock ‘n’ roll or this or that, but they’re the songs I grew up with, and they’re great song. Why not go with them? I think he did a great job, but now he’s discovered himself again. He’s going back to his roots, a bit more rock ‘n’ roll, so this is a good time for (a Faces reunion).”
Jones says Conrad Korsch, Stewart’s regular bassist, will likely stand in for the late Ronnie Lane.
Jones, who along with McLagan was actively involved in compiling the upcoming Small Faces box set, “Here Come the Nice — The Immediate Years 1967-1969,” says discussions are also under way about also commemorating the 50th anniversary of that group’s first hit single, “Watcha Gonna Do About It.” Meanwhile, the drummer is continuing to work on a script for an animated version of the Small Faces’ 1968 concept album “Odgens’ Nut Gone Flake,” which Jones says he’s had in mind since the album was recorded.
“I fell in love with it straightaway, ’cause the lyrics tell the story,” Jones recalls. “While we were writing it you got to know the characters in it — at least I did. They all came alive to me, and I went up to everybody afterwards and said, ‘This would make a great cartoon’ — I didn’t know the word ‘animation’ — and they just looked at me and carried on talking. But I’ve carried this idea with me through the Small Faces and everything I’ve done in my musical career. So I can’t wait to get it out of my head and down on and on a film, finished, done.”
Jones says he’s been through several iterations of a script, including fleshing out the album’s characters and adding others to fill out the story, and he’s also spoken with animators — most of whom have advised him to finish the script before moving forward.