In some ways it's not a bad thing that the Clash split up when they did, because we would have become "the only band that mattered" and very pompous. So maybe in some ways cutting your own throat was a good idea at the time. Who knows what sort of people we would be now?
On writing songs with Joe Strummer:
Jones: It started off as, "We need another song." "OK, give us five minutes," and we'd go upstairs to rehearsals and bang something out. At the other end of the scale would be, I don't want to see him, just post the lyrics through the post box.
(Sometimes) he would sit at the typewriter and bang it out like a guy who worked at the newspaper, and he'd pull it out of the typewriter and hand it across the table. It was always pretty quick.
It usually comes naturally, especially with Joe's lyrics. Even the tune was there sometimes. It was the words, really, and the music was kind of a vehicle for those words.
On feeling Strummer's presence while preparing "Sound System:"
Jones: Yeah, it's impossible not to. (Because) it was his words that carried the whole thing, or was the most important thing to it, I like to think he was with us. He's definitely with us through his music, and somehow with us in spirit, as well. (sounds a little choked up) I feel that, anyway.
Simonon: No. The reason I say that, is because it's like each person in the band was an individual. There was no leader. We spent seven intense years working together, so you get a pretty good idea of how each other is.
Jones: We became friends very soon after, that was the main thing. I've had a great time these last couple years while we've been putting this box together. It's been wonderful to spend time with the guys, and have complete creative control over all our work.
Simonon: I see Mick and we do things. We went to a play once (in which) they wanted to use the song "Know Your Rights." They invited us to the play. What they didn't realize was that back when the record was being recorded me and Mick had like a two-hour argument in the studio about the bass sound. I said it needed to be not louder, but a bit deeper. So we went to see this play. And I heard the song being played back, and it sounded really tinny. And I turned to Mick and said, "I told you I was right!"
There's no antagonism anymore. We're sort of grown up now. We know that we were really fortunate to be working together at the time that we did.