From the jangly, dream pop of ‘Surround You’ to indie that rages with grungy guitars that evoke a much harder, grittier sound on tracks like ‘Home’ and ‘Gold’. The tracks on ‘Be Slowly’ are loaded with atmosphere and lush reverb, most are romantic tales of young love and adoration, it’s a dream combination. What JAWS have given us with their début album is nothing short of 40 minutes of pure nostalgia-inducing good times.
We caught up with singer/guitarist Connor Schofield, before the band played Manchester’s Deaf Institute last night to a packed crowd. We talked about everything from how it feels to finally have their début out, fears and touring, plus much more.
Charlotte, Bitter Sweet Symphonies: The last time I saw you in Manchester was at Dot to Dot festival, you were playing in the basement of The Ritz and it was rammed. It must be a good feeling when that many people want to come and see your set at a festival?
Connor: “Yeah it’s amazing. Because we were on first, we didn’t get a chance to see any bands before us and see how their sets were going, so we didn’t know what to expect and it was packed. It went off, so that’s always nice, it’s a nice feeling when that happens.”
You’ve just released your début album, congratulations on that. What does it feel like to finally have it out there in the world?
“Really good. It’s been finished since February time so it’s nice to finally play the songs live because as the singles have been released, we’ve been adding them into the set and now we’re playing the whole album so that’s the main thing really being able to play it live finally.”
What does ‘Be Slowly’ signify to you?
“It just means to take a breather. There’s no rush, too many people rush around.”
Do you think people may be surprised by what they hear on ‘Be Slowly’?
“I guess. I don’t know. I feel like it’s a lot better than our old stuff without sounding big headed. So I think people might be surprised, they might have heard the old stuff and thought it’s a bit shit and then heard the new stuff and be like that’s better than the old stuff without sounding full of myself. I think they might be surprised in that way.”
I’ve always been intrigued by your press shots and band photo’s, there seems to be a theme running through them a lot of time, almost like your trying to shy away from the camera maybe….
“I don’t know, I think it’s just that when we have a photo shoot it usually takes about 7 hours because we just fuck around and there’s about two pictures that get seriously taken and they’re the two that we end up using. We’re really terrible at photo shoots.”
Most people are afraid of sharks. What are your biggest fears?
“I don’t know. I’m not really scared of anything, like an animal or anything or heights. Maybe being just really out of my comfort zone something like that, that’s something I’m scared of.”
You have Fickle Friends, Milk Teeth and Brawlers supporting you on this tour, did you hand pick those bands yourself?
“Kind of. We knew we needed some bands, so we messaged our booking agent to say we need some bands and they just sent a load of bands through and we listened through all of them, they were our favourite ones.”
You’re a band that has built up a good reputation and strong following through constant gigging. Does the experience of touring match up to the expectation?
“I guess as you tour the better you get and people will see that and probably like it more because we’re not shit, but not sounding big headed. But obviously the more you play, the tighter you get, the bit better you are. So I guess, you definitely get better and people will like it a bit more.”
What is the world’s biggest misconception about you?
“That we’re all fucking druggies, none of us do drugs and it’s like everything is “stoner band” or whatever. It’s like you’ve got the wrong band.”
What has been the biggest learning curve for you as a band since you started out?
“I guess learning how to tour. We’ve toured that much that it’s become a really natural thing to do now. Sometimes it feels like you’re on tour more than you’re at home. Being on tour there’s loads of different things you have to learn to cope with, and deal with and get through and that’s probably the main one.”
The majority of your releases have been on vinyl. Is keeping the physical side of music something you’re passionate about?
“Yeah. I have a record collection and I know Jake’s just starting his. It’s just something; it’s a piece of music isn’t it? I think when you download something off iTunes, you’ve paid money for it but you don’t feel like you own it. But if you buy a CD or a vinyl or a tape or anything like that, you’ve got it and you’ll remember that you’ve got it. You might not treasure it, it might not be your favourite album but it’s a thing that you can hold.”
2014 has been a busy year for you, from releasing your debut album, to touring and playing loads of festivals. Has this year felt any different from your perspective to previous years?
“Yeah, it’s just been way more serious. It’s kind of like we’ve been practising for this year, we’ve just had a lot on. We’ve recorded an album, released an album, touring the album now. This is the third tour we’ve done this year, so it’s just been busy, busy, busy but there’s no other way to be, especially when you’re unsigned.
The only way to get out there, is to just get out there. If you sit in your bedroom expecting Simon Cowell to tweet you, it’s not gonna happen, so you gotta get out there and do it yourself. It’s the only way to do it, unless you’ve already been signed.”
A special thanks to JAWS for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below: