STA is now Ten Years Old

Andrew Talks To Kissing Just For Practise About Jetplane Landing

"This project is one that's meant to make people happy"

‘Once Like A Spark’ has been out for a while now, will there be many changes on the next album?
Yeah probably. I think it will probably be a little bit heavier and I think it will be more dancy, in that there will be more break beats and it might be a bit more like a hip-hop record than a Jetplane Landing record.
 
What are your main influences?
Bands like Helmet and Rage Against the Machine and Fugazi. And then singer-songwriters like Elvis Costello or Bruce Springsteen. People who write lots and lots of really good words and people who are very honest in their song writing, I like that a lot.
 
Do you write the lyrics first or the music?
Sometimes first, lyrics, like "I Opt Out" which was a single off Once Like A Spark. I wrote all those lyrics on holiday. Sometimes things like "Calculate The Risk", which is on ‘Once Like A Spark, they were just made up in the studio and I went through lots of tapes that we recorded in the rehearsal room and picked out the best words and mixed them all together. So they can be done in lots of different ways.
 
Do you prefer playing gigs or festivals?
They’re two very, very different things. Festivals are brilliant because you play to so many people and it’s much more like a party. But what’s been very satisfying on this tour is that lots and lots of people are coming to the gigs and really, really getting into them. In a way, as we go round the country, it’s like a mini-festival each time we play, because it’s such a good a good community spirit that follows around with the band.

What would your ideal festival line-up be?
Oh, that’s a good one. Well, I never got to see Nirvana, so they would have to headline. I would probably throw The Pixies on, but not as they are now, just as they were whenever they started off. I would have Les Savy Fav, Fugazi. Opening up I would have Minus The Bear and I would get Helmet and NWA to do a song after Nirvana had played.

Does it bother you that you don’t get as much recognition as some other bands?
We’ve chosen a life in this band to do things ourselves and that has penalties, in that we don’t get as much press as other people who have got larger marketing budgets, but the trade off is that we get people and people are very passionate about what we do. It does get, sometimes, frustrating when we feel that our songs are good enough to get played on say, daytime Radio 1, but we don’t have the money to push that through. But I can’t complain because we’re a very lucky band really.

What is the worst job you’ve had?
When I moved to London four years ago I didn’t really have any skills, but to live in London is quite expensive, so I had to learn how to type. Then I went and typed at an estate agents’ for six months and it was really boring. I was typing about slates and roofs, it was crap.

Is it hard work being in a band, especially with running your own label? 
Well it’s hard work sometimes, when you’re doing the label and the band at the same time, because things tend to go wrong. You miss deadlines and it can be quite stressful, but I keep talking about it’s the life that you choose and you mustn’t really grumble. You’ve got tonight, for example, 100 people have got tickets for the show and it’s really flattering. That makes it all worthwhile really.
 
What are your views on people and the media labelling bands and classing them as a certain genre or ‘scene’? 
I think sometimes whenever - you know you’re a writer - sometimes you have to describe what a band’s like to help people if they’re brand new. Personally speaking I don’t mind what genre people throw us into and I’d like to think that we hop around lots of different genres. If it helps people find our record, that’s fine. What I don’t like is whenever journalists would rather talk about what a band looks like or what they wear, rather than what sort of music they make. That’s where it becomes annoying.

Do you get much spare time and if so, what do you like to do in it?
Well I’ve got a girlfriend, so she’s my spare time. I don’t really have much time for anything other than that, because I work as well when I get off tour so I do the label and the band, and a job and I’ve got my girlfriend, Laura, and that’s pretty much it. Whenever I do have some time I like to read. I think if I had any advice for anybody who wants to write songs, that you should read, read lots and lots and lots of books, because there’s no real substitute for that and I should read more, really.
 
What’s your favourite Jetplane Landing song?
Ooh that’s a very good question. I’ve never been asked that question before. My favourite one is "Calculate The Risk" off this record, simply because it was the first thing that we ever wrote together, as a band, and I like the lyrics too. I think there are lots of different images in there that I quite like.

Where do you think you’ll be ten years from now, or where would you like to be?
I would like to be still running a record label and I’d like to still be putting out albums that people find modern and new and exciting. This project is one that’s meant to make people happy and as long as the band doesn’t split up acrimoniously and as long as we don’t get into tonnes and tonnes of debt, I’ll be quite happy when I’m 36. Ooh, you brought that up, 36.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Erm, probably the egg.

- Kirsty Johnson, Kissing Just For Practise