Mystery Jets Interview
We were joined by the very chatty guitarist (William Rees) and drummer (Kapil Trivedi) at the Institute.
Hey guys, how was your London gig yesterday?
Amazing. It was out first London show we’ve done for about 3 years now. So it was great to go back and play the home town.
Was that the first gig for the new album?
Well we did an album launch at the ICA at the end of last year… but London was the first proper tour gig.
Oh yeah, I think I saw some of it on the NME snapchat…
Yeah it was an NME gig that’s why.
So for Radlands you guys were in Texas and you came to the UK for the new album “Curve Of The Earth”… how much did this impact the album?
Well with Texas we went with the express intention of making an American influenced record. Originally we were going to do either L.A or New Orleans so we sort of just picked the place that was in the middle.
I know lots of artists go to L.A – Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg…
Exactly, basically anyone who makes loads of cash goes to L.A. Bit of a cliché really but we chose Texas instead.
And then coming back here for this record, we just had to do it in London. We decided to set up our own studio and find a new ‘headquarters’ for the band and I think that was a big influence on the sound… primarily as to what we wrote about.
And you guys produced the album as well?
Yes, with our friend Matt (Twaise)?
Is that the first time you’ve produce your own albums?
We tried to self-produce Radlands and we got about half way there but then we called in a friend. Couldn’t quite do it.
And are there any artists or genres which influenced the new album?
I think previous records more as we did look at what was around us. But for this record we looked more at what got us started and what got us into music in the first place. With all the experiences we’ve had in the past 10 years we’ve tried to make something new but also true to our roots and things that first inspired us. There’s something in this record that’s leaning back to the first album. They’re not similar but there’s a slight return.
There aren’t really any specific artists really that got under our skin and influenced the album directly. There are lots of great things that acted as daily catalysts – like a new track by The Fat White Family, or the new Beck album – which energized us.
Is it a lot more personal then?
Yes definitely the most personal album. With Radlands all the songs were filtered through this alter ego character called Emmerson lone star so they were all personal songs but from the perspective of this guy. But with curve of the earth it was much more direct.
Interesting. Who is Emmerson?
He’s based on a guy we met in Texas. He’s quite a wild character… very skits. He kind of just appeared when we were around in Texas. We actually knew him from before because he played guitar in a band called the 747’s so it was good to see him. But he basically completely changed; when I first met him he was this really sweet, younger, chirpy chap. And then in Austin you had no idea where he was really from and he just went round with a huge beard and cowboy boots.
The first time I heard about the new album was through Harrison Koiser’s (Peace lead singer) twitter because he was hyping it a lot. How did you form that relationship with Peace?
We took them on one of their first tours for Radlands. And then he appeared a few years later again because he lives with Jack our bass player, so Harry was hanging out a lot in the studio. We’re very pally with them.
Are there any other bands you hang out with a lot or know well?
Yeah lots really. Bands kind of come and go; you have like a 6 months love affair with a band as you go on tour and then one of you go’s off to make a record somewhere and you don’t bump into each other after a couple of years backstage at a festival and you’re like “ohhh how are you guys” like nothing’s changed.
We have that sort of thing with bands like Futureheads, Bloc Party, loads.
Have you been able to meet any of your musical heroes?
Yes but it’s dangerous to do that. I mean you’re lucky if you meet someone who lives up to someone you want them to be. I’d actually say don’t do it. And actually it’s such a false situation because you’re meeting someone who knows nothing about you and you know everything about them, and already it’s not off to a good start. Have you guys met any of your musical heroes?
Joel: I bumped into the Cribs a few years ago after one of their gigs and I threw up in front of Ryan.
Pablo: I haven’t really met my true heroes, maybe from a few bands I’ve interviewed. I’d love to meet Damon Albarn.
I’ve met him actually and he’s one of the ones that went a bit wrong. I think he’s a nice bloke but he’s a very very well-known personal and he gets that a lot. I met him twice and the first time he ignored me and carried on walking; the second time I met him I just went up to him and said like “I really like your music” and just thanked him for his music and he just sort of hugged me and said thanks. I left it at that, didn’t want to overstay my welcome.
Reminds me of the recent incident where Paul McCartney, Beck and the Foo Fighters drummer got rejected from the Grammys after party.
We were also checking out your Wikipedia page and it said that the band started when you were at school you used to send each other music through cassettes. Is that true?
Yes that is true. (Name) was in France and I was in London and we would record things that would really inspire us. I had a cassette player that had a record function so I just used to do that.
The other thing we saw was that the band was called originally “Eel Pie Island”. Is that true?
No, that’s just where we’re from. It’s an island in the Themes in Twickenham.
Are you touring any more in the future?
We should be doing a few festivals which haven’t been announced yet and we might be doing a ‘University tour’ in March going round all the major universities I guess.
And we should be back around September too.
Brilliant, thank you. Have a great show!