STA is now Ten Years Old

Fake DIY Interview With Raife And Andrew On Touring

"We didn’t see what room we checked into because we turned up drunk, then I had to go down to reception with a towel wrapped round me, twice, to ask what room I was staying in. And knocking on some 50 year-old guy’s door and him telling me to fuck off."

Jetplane Landing are an eclectic bunch, refusing to be categorised, and flying the flag for 'genuine' music. We caught up with them on tour in Ireland.

How would you describe the band to someone who’d never heard any of your material?

Andrew: Jetplane Landing are a very direct band, we’re heartfelt but at the same time we’re over the top. I think those three things describe what we do pretty much.

"Zero For Conduct" covers a lot of ground musically, does that come from varying influences from each member of the band?

Andrew: Well 'Zero For Conduct' was really a collection of demos which grew into songs. Demos and songs that Jamie and I wrote at separate times, in separate houses and separate countries. It was because of where we were geographically that coloured what we were listening to. When I wrote 'Zero For Conduct' I was listening to Pavement and Elliot Smith a lot, and I think there was a lot of that in that record and Jamie was listening to a lot of Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen and then towards the end of 'Zero For Conduct', 'Relationship of Command' (At The Drive-In) came out and that kind of altered the end piece of that record. That sort of gave the idea for the band as a band.

What bands introduced each of you to music in the first place, and have your tastes shifted away from them or just gotten a bit more eclectic?

Andrew: The first band that made me really go wild were The Pixies. When I heard 'Bossanova' for the first time I thought that was amazing. Previously to that when I was 11-12yrs old I’d listen to stuff like The Stone Roses and Ride and that was all pretty popular. So it’s always been guitar music; Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden - they were my bands and I loved them so much. I bought everything and went to all the shows I could go to. We still talk about RATM every day. I think you fall in love with stuff and I think you always have your band whenever you grow up and you never lose that and other bands never really match up to that, ever. No matter how good ATDI were, no matter how good somebody like Bright Eyes or Desaparecidos are or how good the last Fugazi record is - it never really takes away from that love when you first fell in love with them.

How is your tour of the dark recesses of the UK going so far?

Andrew: It’s been interesting. It’s been really good. I thought that at some stages it was maybe better in principle than it was in practice. But as we draw to the end of it, this is the last leg, I think it’s been a really worthwhile thing to do. We’ve introduced our music to lots of different areas. Hopefully cultivating a little bit of 'get out there and do it' in all these places. We’ve created lots of interest in local bands and bands that we would have never ever have played with before and groups of people we thought we’d have never have played in front of before. Like in the Isle of Wight, Shetland Islands and the north of Wales. It’s been good for the band, we’ve learned a lot as we’ve done it..

Any memorable moments?

Raife: Getting locked out of the travelodge at 5am in the morning. We didn’t see what room we checked into because we turned up drunk, then I had to go down to reception with a towel wrapped round me, twice, to ask what room I was staying in. And knocking on some 50yr old guy’s door and him telling me to fuck off.

Andrew: I think the Shetland Islands are ingrained in my memory as just being truly insane. The people there are absolutely nuts, the kids are absolutely nuts they just do nothing but drink solidly - it’s a full time occupation.

Do you tend to get a different reaction or type of crowd in the quieter corners of the country?

Andrew: I think that we find that we need to visit places several times for people to really get what we do. So a lot of initial 'What’s going on here?' on those shows. I think the further north you go, the more vociferous people are and the further south you go (especially in the south coast and London itself) people kind of want a bit more from their bands in terms of their performances. They don’t go as crazy or jump up and down as much. Ireland is a mixed bag, you can have a great show in Ireland or an average one. I think Irish audiences are the hardest to play for. I suppose Ireland is a musical sort of nation and people expect a lot from their bands and artists. We come from a culture where bands play for two and a half hours and that’s entertainment - it’s different.

What do you think of the scene in Belfast at the minute?

Andrew: I don’t really know a lot about it to be honest but I’m starting to find out more about it. We’re doing a lot more with our label now, Smalltown America, and bands from Belfast are actively emailing me and getting in touch; there seems to be a lot going on. The only thing I would say is that maybe a few bands in Belfast, and it’s not a criticism more of an encouragement, should go over to the mainland and fuck a few people up. It’s not that far away to jump on a boat and just go over and do a few shows. We certainly learned that it was relatively easy to go and book a tour. So this is a big shout out to everyone, go and fuck a few people up in England, go and kick some ass.

Have you had much time to write on the road or are all your energies devoted to each live show?

Andrew: The reason we booked the Extremities Tour in blocks of months was so that we could write and demo in between. So we’re in a position now that at the end of the tour the album is finished, which is where we wanted to be. We’ve got about half of the album tracked and we’re going to track the other half when we get back. We’ve set up a studio in Jamie and Raife’s mother and father’s house in their living room. They go on holiday and we record.

What other bands have you most enjoyed being on the road with and why?

Raife: My favourite band was in Edinburgh.

Andrew: Yeah the band we played with in Edinburgh that supported us called Fickle Public. They’re really good, an excellent band. You’ll probably hear a lot of them; fantastic band. The nicest band we ever spent time with was Seafood. They’re a good example of a band who’re quite famous but still had so much time for us and took such good care of us. They brought us onto their tour bus and let us stay there almost for free and we sort of lived with them for three weeks. That tour was one of our favourite tours. I think they’re a shining example of how bands should treat other bands. We haven’t ever really been treated badly; Hundred Reasons were really nice guys and Biffy Clyro were nice. I think the new wave of British guitar bands in general are pretty nice guys and girls.

What bands do you think will be big by the end of this year?

Andrew: I think Hell is For Heroes. I hear they’re going to drop another album relatively shortly. I think if that goes well for them they could have the potential to surpass Hundred Reasons as the biggest [alternative] guitar band in Britain. Not that I think that they’re better than them I just think that they have that in terms of image and their fan base. Bands that I’d like to see do well - there’s a great band called Winnebago Deal from London - they’re fantastic. Another band called Giddy Motors they’re really good. I think Corrigan could do well if their next set of songs are up to the standard of the first album. There’s a band called Lomax who are excellent. Tighter are a good band from Reading. There’s a lot of stuff going on out there that could do well. But I don’t think there are a lot of record deals out there at the moment so I think some bands may struggle. There’s not a lot of money being invested in young bands.

What do you think about MP3s and music sharing in general?

Andrew: It’s fine. I’m of the opinion that if your music is good enough someone will go out and buy it anyway. It’s not crediting your fans with a lot of intelligence thinking that they’ll listen to MP3s and not buy any releases. I think our fans know what we do and put it this way. I’ve downloaded MP3s and only on the result of that, because radio is so shit, I’ve gone out and bought things. I’ve discovered bands that way. I like going to a band’s site that we’re thinking of touring with and there being some MP3s available so I can download some stuff, burn a CD and play it for the rest of the guys. It’s really to be encouraged and there’s nothing to be afraid of.

What’s the nastiest thing that’s happened on the tour bus?

Raife: When I get back from the Shetland Islands and must have eaten something...

Andrew: I think Adrian our soundman is responsible for the most rough justice on the tour. Let’s put it this way, Adrian doesn’t think showering is that important when he’s on the road. I think we’re a relatively clean band so we like things to be quite clean.

Raife: I mean everyone gets the shits but, nothing out of the ordinary. No-one has shit themselves yet.

Andrew: I like the way you say yet!

Raife: I’ve been close. Too much Guinness in the Shetland Islands and too many chicken dinners.

What do you think of the UK indie scene at the minute?

Andrew: I think it’s strong and good evidence of that will be our next tour supporting the new album. So the album comes out in September and in October, November and December we’re doing a sixty day tour and during that tour we’ll be playing with all the best bands in the UK So anyone interested in really good music come to see those shows, not just for Jetplane, but to see some really cool bands. There’s a lot of good stuff out there and there’s a lot of people with good ideas - a lot of originality around. We’ve gone through a phase of everyone sounding like Shellac and 90 Day Men and now there’s some really good original English, Scottish and Welsh music. There’s a good band from Wales called Jarcrew as well, they’re brilliant.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve been given by a fan?

Andrew: We’ve had nice things but not really strange things. Someone gave me a Fugazi T-shirt once... We don’t get really get strange gifts. We meet some strange people, people with their arms and legs gaffa taped together...

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Andrew: We’ve done pretty much everything we wanted to do so far this year. This tour is over, we’ve completed part of the album, then cut the record, singles, videos and the next tour. At the end of the year we plan a charity show in Derry - we do a charity show each year. This year we’re swapping it from London to Derry because a friend of ours died last year, Martin McCafferty who was the bassist in Clearshot. So we’re co-organising a tribute night, which is going to be in support of The Samaritans and Marty’s family and we’re going to get some bands over to England for that hopefully. So it’s going to be a very full year.

- Peter Blair, Fake DIY