JAWS - Q&A
Formed in Birmingham in 2012, JAWS were identified as being part of the Digbeth B-Town scene.
The trio released their sophomore album Simplicty on 4 November and are currently touring with kindred fuzz-rockers Nai Harvest and Chartreuse providing ample support. Simplicity is JAWS' first outing since their frenzied debut LP Be Slowly in 2014 - they Optedfor a short period of silence to recalibrate - the band resurfaced with hazy new single What We Haven’t Got Yet’- a truculent slice of surf rock, that rides the rip curl of pop refrain. We caught up with the band to discuss their new album, emergence from Birmingham’s B-Town scene and not getting caught up in the hype.
Q. You once said there were two stories about how you got together and formed the band. One story was college, what’s the other?
Ermmmm, I can’t remember probably a really bad joke I tried to make and then gave up on (story of my life) but yeah we met at college!
Q. You’re soon to release your new album ‘Simplicity’. Can you tell us a bit about the ambitions for this album and how it differs from your first record ‘Be Slowly’.
We put a lot more time and effort into this record, we wrote A LOT more songs and made sure we were 100% happy with everything before we even thought about going into the studio. I think we really just wanted to make something that we were really proud of and I think we’ve achieved that.
Q. How do you feel you have evolved as a band and what lessons have been learned from the point of starting out, trying to get signed, being promoted and now releasing your second album?
One lesson that we learnt was that there is no need to rush at any point in your band’s career. Just do what feels right. We rushed into our first shows and we’re lucky it didn’t ruin us. I think we’ve evolved quite naturally, we’re definitely a lot better live than we were and that’s just from playing more and more shows.
Q. You worked with Gethin Pearson on Simplicity. How was the recording process and what do you feel Gethin brought to the project.
Recording was really really relaxed and comfortable for how little time we had, we did the whole album in about 10 days, getting up at 8am and going to bed at 4am. Gethin is amazing as well as the Engineer Dan Austin. We already were really happy with our songs but they helped us take them to the next level and give the confidence to try things.
Q. A lot of bands get hyped up on their first release. How did you deal with this experience yourself?
I don’t think I ever really lost focus, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this and I never forget that, but at the same time we’ve never really had a long term goal, as Cliché as it sounds we only ever started this band to play music.
Q. You have written songs that are intensely personal – I’m thinking particularly of the song ‘Home’. How does song writing help you to come to terms with the world?
Sometimes you feel like there’s no one you can really talk to or there’s something you feel you can’t say and sometimes just writing it down takes a huge weight off your shoulders and makes it a bit easier to deal with and talk about.
Q. You are from Birmingham – a city with a rich musical heritage. What are your thoughts on the whole ‘B-town’ thing?
‘B-town’ was a great time, I mean no one here has actually ever called it that but yeah what a time. We still have great bands here of course but that was a special couple of years for sure.
Q. You are touring the new album release across the UK at the end of November. Can you tell us about what the different challenges are you between recording and playing live shows and do you have a preference?
Well in the studio you have endless possibilities of how your song can sound so its always a challenge to then make it work live. I think I prefer playing live, you get an honest reaction to your songs, you can’t beat that.
Q. If you were to describe your 2016 via a playlist – which three songs would you choose?
Golden Days – Whitney
Black Beatles - Rae Sremmund
Sombody Else – The 1975
Q. Finally, what does 2017 have in store for Jaws?
We genuinely have no idea, we should probably sort that out!