Andrew Ferris Interview With Tower Records On JPL Formation And The Future

"My First Record was something crap like "Kick" by INXS" - Andrew

Dropped from Geffen Records, a final tour wrapped up, ex-Cuckoo guitarist and bassist Andrew Ferris and Jamie Burchell just couldn’t sit still. What followed was relocation to London and the building of Straight To Tape Studios. A year of writing and recording took place there, travelling to the studio each weekend and analyzing the results back in London during the week. Joined by Jamie’s brother Raife on drums & newest addition Cahir on guitar. The album ‘Zero For Conduct’ took about 6 months to produce & since its realization, conception & completion these 4 lads have been gigging hard. Hear we join Andrew on the eve of their current tour to ask him few questions & get his views on the current state of the music industry amongst other trivial matters.

How and where did you meet?

I met Jamie (bass player) about 4 years ago at an audition in London. We then played in a band called Cuckoo for a number of years, which was signed to Geffen, but that broke up and we moved to London, which was pretty much the next step. We then started writing material, playing gigs and this culminated in Jetplane Landing.

What bands would you say had the most influence on you?

There’s loads, but probably from about 82’ onwards, American bands such as Fugazi, Shellac, Big Black – anything substantial with loads of guitars. There are good British bands also, like Idlewild who I personally think are really good.

Someone asks you to recommend an album of the century so far, what would your choice be?

Umm.., let me think, it would possibly be "Relationship Of Command" by At The Drive-In. This basically came out at just the right time and after listening to it [again recently] there’s nothing wrong at all with it, I mean its pretty perfect, like the band was kinda [perfect].

What was the 1st album you bought?

Something crap like "Kick" by INXS, that’s fairly embarrassing but there you go. First single was by an Irish band ‘The Four Of Us’ but you’ve probably never heard of them.

What new bands do you rate?

At the mo, there’s an American band called Cursive who write brilliantly written pop songs with tongue firmly in cheek, and they’re really exciting. Then say, Hundred Reasons who should definitely be proud of what they’re doing and we're proud as well to be supporting them on the up-coming tour – should be good!!

Do you mind your material being downloaded?

We’re totally fine with it, in fact we have an open-taping policy at all our shows and if anyone wants to stream or archive our gigs then all the better. We encourage fans to download our MP3s and in future we want to be able to make all Jetplane Landing gigs available on the web. If someone is a true fan they’ll go out and buy the album for the artwork etc, so…

What other music genres do you like?

I really like old-school hip-hop and singer-songwriters like Aimee Mann, Nick Drake and Elvis Costello.

Do you like being compared to other bands?

Everybody needs somewhere to hang their cap, which then helps someone buying a record, you know if it says ‘sounds like Pavement’ and you like Pavement, then you’ll probably buy the record. It's flattering to get compared to any band, even though we’ve had some strange similarities from AC/DC, Jon Spencer to say The Pixies.

Zero For Conduct – how long did it take to produce & were you happy with results?

It was recorded over something like six months in Jamie’s mums garage. We spent weekends working on it whilst working in London during the week, but I couldn’t listen to it for a while simply because it just took so much out of us. But it's been out for like a few months now and I really like it again. It was a well realized record and basically what we wanted to make.

Do you like being on an independent or one day a major?

You know, when we were at Geffen, they stunted our material, which is not good. I like the fact that with an independent you can record something and then like a week later get it in the shops without some guy saying ‘hang on a sec..’ – it's good for creativity.

Finally, what’s next on the agenda?
Okay, well we're on tour as of tonight and then we’ve got a split single with Seafood coming out, then an EP ‘El Quatre Gats’ which is a new 4-track in conjunction with the Hundred Reasons tour. Then come Sept/October we’ll do the next album

- Justin Hurley, Tower Records