STA is now Ten Years Old

Mr Rossy Webzine Interviews Andrew

"There are loads of songs that make me cry - I cry quite a lot really" - Andrew

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Andrew Ferris, and I am the lead singer and guitarist in the rock band Jetplane Landing.

Please describe your style of music?

Art-rock, bits of math/emo/blues thrown into the bag.

What influences you?

Musically - JSBX, Fugazi, Pavement, RATM, ACDC, Robbie Robertson, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. Aesthetically, the DIY movement and underground punk/HC.

How did you meet?

Jamie and I played in another band called Cuckoo who were on Geffen. When we were dropped, it made sense to start another band since we were writing good songs together. Raife is Jamie's brother so I guess they kinda met organically.

You are alot more heavier live than on record. Did you deliberately make your album more poppy?

We recorded the album before we had ever done a live show, so when you are in a studio together, you are moved more by melody than volume. Live, it became clear that certain things don't translate as a three piece so we do a very different show. I hope people think of us as the best of both worlds, or at least, good value for money!

What is the song 'Atoms Dream in Technicolor' about, and is it true that Pythagoras hid the truth?

There are five regular solids, which illustrate perfectly certain mathematical theories. Pythagoras knew about all five but could only bring himself to teach about three, because it didn't fit his pre-subcribed ideas. The Pythagoreans were famous for their mutual friendship, unselfishness, and honesty - but despite this he still concealed the truth - I just find this really interesting and that it informs a lot of decisions that people in life and bands make. We will always take the easiest path, no matter how principled we are. Humans are very interesting animals.

What do you consider to be the main qualities a true rock band should have?

Riffs, groove, drumbreaks, memorable lyrics.

Do you have a manifesto or any thing that you wanna promote through your music?

There is an agenda to what we do. The reason this band exists is to help other bands and promote good music to people who need to hear it. The reason we press our own sleeves and drive our own van is that we are trying to illustrate a model that others can use to promote their own bands. You do not need record companies to exist on a certain level. Obviously, everyone finds their own way which they are comfortable with we are not trying to tell people what to do - but just to show that there is another way should you want it.

There is a fabulous array of promoters and fanzine writers who are there to help in this country. At its highest level music is about money - at our level music is about art and couldn't be less about money. Everyone needs to pay their rent, and so there are decisions that need to be taken at every step to make sure that you can continue to enjoy writing songs and not feel that you are compromising yourself.

At what point did you realise that you needed to be in a band?

Very early on, probably at 13 or 14

Do you create better tunes when you're under the influence or depressed/ melancholy?

I think that if you try to channel what you really feel at that precise moment into your song, it will always be a good one and valid. My worst songs have come when I was trying to rip someone off or trying to write a certain 'thing'. The best songs come when you are totally not expecting them to. that's why I think most bands first and second albums are their best work. After that, it becomes impossible to sustain that feeling unless you are a freak like Lennon and McCartney, which to this day none of us will ever understand.

What pisses you off?

Myself and bands who want something for fuck all.

Have you ever smashed up your gear?

I had this guitar a Honer Jag copy, and for two years I tried to smash it - I mean really fuck it up, but I couldn't. Not even make a dent. the fucker was indestructible. So I gave up after that and decided it looked stupid anyway. Apart from when Kurt does it.

What's on your stereo?

At the moment as I type, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' but I'm listening to 'Superunkown' and 'Betty' pretty much every day at the moment. And I like The Rock Of Travolta album too you can buy it at www.truckrecords.com.

Do you love or hate stage divers?

They are taken on a case by case basis.

Last thing you looked at on the Internet?

www.iwantonenow.com i'm buying one of those really small digital cameras!

Last CD/record you bought?

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists from the tape exchange, he's a mad bastard.

What is the best show you have ever played?

Probably our second ever show which was in Derry in front of everyone who saw our last band, that night I knew we'd be okay - because we totally fucked up the first night of the tour in Belfast.

Has a woman ever slapped you in the face?

Oh yes and I've been kicked in the balls twice.

Have you ever hallucinated? If so, what did you see?

The word 'DESERT' in big letters like the HOLLYWOOD sign attached to the carpet, which was red. It was a long time ago, I would be afraid to ever go back to that.

Favourite phrase or saying?

'You're despicable' like Daffy Duck, but it changes a lot. We have someone who supplies us with phrases, he freelances, I'll give you his card.

What is the most trouble you have ever been in?

I'd rather not say - because a lot of people still don't know about it and my mum knows how to use the internet now.

Has a song ever made you cry?

"Rid Of Me" by PJ Harvey is the saddest, sexiest thing I've ever heard. There are loads of songs that make me cry - I cry quite a lot really.

What's the maddest thing that's happened to you whilst on tour?

Raife reversed our van into a petrol pump in manchester before in the city. We're still hiding from that one, ESSO are going to haul our asses into court if we don't pay them soon.

Describe yourself within five words.

TENSE, STRESSED, AGRESSIVE, CONFUSED, HOPEFUL.

What are your plans for the next year?

We'd like to find a home on a label that will allow us to continue to work as we have been doing. We'd like to release a new album in October and tour Europe before then during the summer. 'Summer Ends' our next single is out February 25, 'Zero For Conduct' comes out on March 4 through Yogaboy and we tour the UK listings on our website March 13-31

- Ross Cummins, Mr Rossy Webzine