Jaunty, nimble rhythms race against spry, chugging guitars. It’s clear that Indoor Pets don’t take themselves over seriously, but it’s because of that, that their liberating guitar pop is so successful, instinctively vibrant and genuine. Led by singer Jamie’s spirited vocal and off kilter idiosyncrasies, the songs are delivered with a zestful zing that could only be compared to the high after an all-dayer on energy drinks.
I sat down with the band’s singer to chat about his musical loves, what music means to him and much more.
Did music choose you or did you choose music? Was it always the dream job?
I had always loved music but I wasn’t bitten by musical bugs until I was 15. This was when it occurred to me that I could express my pent up “Look at me everyone!” desires through writing and performing. I’m a middle child and it shows.
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
Disregarding the “Black Note March” on keyboard, which every child at my school was taught in Year 7 (and to this day is still in my repertoire), I first taught myself bass. I didn’t have any money for lessons and it seemed easy. Plus my sister had one that I was able to easily pinch.
What does music mean to you?
It means everything. It is the only thing I have ever been half good at, and it is something that I spend the majority of my time trying to conquer or at least analyse to buggery.
Where did you play your first gig?
Borden Grammar School – Battle Of The Bands (2007 I think). It was the first time I had ever played on a stage and we (my band was called Handsome Jeff) performed mostly Blink 182 covers. We won! But I’m pretty sure it was because our set finale consisted of myself being stripped to reveal an elephant man thong in front of numerous parents and staff.
What has been the definitive record that has made the most impact on your life?
Tough question. A possibly obvious choice but nevertheless a fine one, would be ‘Doolittle’ by The Pixies. Hearing a band that could craft so many huge pop songs whilst using off kilter song structures/timings/topics has done nothing but constantly inspire me. It is a perfect album.
What is your earliest musical memory?
I remember when I was young, I would write new lyrics to the tune of already existing Westlife/S Club 7 songs for my mother as gifts. I was such a cheapskate!
Who is your favourite songwriter?
I don’t think I could pick a single individual. I think the combination of Lindsay Buckingham/ Stevie Nicks and Christine Mcvie in Fleetwood Mac circa Rumours – is probably as good as it gets to perfection. Almost like when the Power Rangers all combine to make one immaculate machine. The Power Rangers are still a relevant analogy right?
If your music was a person, what would its personality traits be?
I think our music does reflect our personalities as band. James and I are both quite introverted and have a lot of confidence issues whether it be music industry related or just walking to the shops. But Oliver and Robert are both extroverts with a lot of warmth and social awareness. Our songs are pop songs if you strip them to their foundations. Then we add the irregularities, whether it be in the production/structure or even the abstract personal nature that a lot of the lyrics are written, with meanings that sometimes only solely make sense to me. Selfish isn’t it?
A song lyric that means a lot to me is…
“I’m not gonna get too sentimental,
Like those other sticky valentines.
‘Cause I don’t know if you are loving somebody,
I only know it isn’t mine.”
Simple but beautiful.
A song that describes my current mood/frame of mind at this time is…
I am glue.
‘I Am The Hot Air’ is featured on a super fresh compilation ‘Margate, Kent Vs. New Paltz, NY’ released on 2nd September, via Sexx Tapes and Team Love Records. Pre-order it here.