STA is now Ten Years Old

Tiny Bombs Interview Cahir.

'...but personally i wouldnt shout "Get away": - Cahir O'Doherty

Please could you introduce yourself and what you do in the band?

My name is Cahir O'Doherty and I play guitar, and sing (or scream as some put it) in the band.

What is the best thing about being in Jetplane Landing?

The best thing about being in Jetplane Landing? Ohh..there's so many things to choose from! I suppose it's just the fact that we don't have anybody telling us what to do. The fact that we can go and do what we want. That's probably the best thing. The other thing is that you're around your mates every single day. That's really cheesy, isn't it?

Which song that you've written means the most to you, and why?

It would have to be ''Brave Gravity'' because I wrote that for the other band I play in. I was trying the stuff out, but the others really liked it and we sorta changed it around. But then a lot of the songs on the new album mean a lot, as its the first time I've sort of collaborated writing stuff with Andrew, Jamie and Raife. So the album as a whole really!

What are your ultimate aims as a band?

Being able to put out records, record albums and just be able to play. Basically, what we do! But we're really happy doing it. I think if the band progressed and got signed to a record label, things would change. We wouldn't be able to do this. We just want to put out records and help as many people as we can.

What is the worst gig you've ever played?

Ohhh, there's been so many!! Um, that's really hard. We did this really strange festival last summer, it was like an extreme sports festival: there was skateboarders, BMXers and stuff like that. But it was a really windy day and we were on stage playing, but we couldn't hear anything as the wind was just blowing right across the stage. And it's funny because that guy Shane from Boyzone was on before us! That was just the worst gig...!

Do you feel there is a need for marketing tools such as releasing singles, and does this cause any moral dilemmas considering the freedom to express yourselves completely is compromised as a result?

I don't really believe in the whole 'singles thing'. I think that albums are a better expression of a bands work and singles are a mini advertisement for that album. I suppose its a bit like putting up posters and giving out leaflets, but if you like a band... just buy the album because at least you have 12 or 13 tracks to choose from! Do I think we have to release singles? Yeah, over here it's been forced upon bands as there's a really big singles market. Over in America its more album orientated. I'd rather just play people the album and see what they think. Although singles are a nice collectors thing; like limited edition vinyls.

You're well known for your DIY ethics, but if some major came along and offered you a deal which meant complete editorial freedom as you have now, but secured your place in the band as a full time job; would you consider it?

Well, we're always open to stuff like that. We're open to everything. It would have to fit with the way we see ourselves though. If we signed to a major, a lot of people would say 'you're selling out'. But I wouldn't say we wouldn't consider it; we might meet some really nice people who just want the band to progress as it's going. I mean, I can't speak for everybody in the band, but personally I wouldn't shout "Get away!". However, we're just happy doing the things the way we are, on our own. We were actually just chatting about this the other day, because if this album really takes off we're going to have to slightly evaluate our position...we're really stretching at the minute, we're at our limits. You never know... you don't know what's round the corner!

Lots of journalists try and place your sound into a category; and most fail. How would you like to be described?

Well, that's funny because we were talking about this the other day too! Some people say we're 'post-hardcore-emo', some say we're 'heavy metal'...we just think it's our band! We're a rock band. Essentially that's what we are. Whatever pigeon hole, under that, you want to out us into - go for it! It doesn't really matter to us, we just play.

Because you are so dedicated to taking your tour to even the most extreme places you must end up playing some pretty rough places. Does this bother you and does being on the road ever get tiring?

Yes. And yes! We play some 'rough places' but that's where Jetplane Landing started. When this started, we weren't really a band. We've only become a band in that last few years. We love playing the small venues and hanging out at our merch stall, something which a lot of bands don't do. That is your grass roots; it's where you meet people. And on the road it does get really tiring, and sometimes we'll turn up to a venue and go 'arghh!'...but they normally turn out to be our best shows. We love it either way! We don't care! We don't mind!

There is an obvious difference between your more recent stuff and Zero For Conduct. I know you've probably been doing a lot of talking about the new album and are sick of it, but just briefly, what can we expect from it?

This album: well, if you look at 'Zero For Conduct' and then 'Els Quatre Gats' and then this album, I think you'll see a natural progression. After ZFC the EP was really heavy, which I think is a result of listening to a lot of different stuff at that stage. I mean, I wasn't in the band when they recorded ZFC, but me and Andrew always helped each other out, so I sort of knew where they were at. When the band moved on and started doing bigger tours and I joined and started writing for the band too. It's just a natural progression, you know? I think this album is everything this band wanted to become, and we've moved on again - after we recorded the album we started writing some other stuff! we're really proud of the album and happy with ourselves no matter what anyone says; it's a big achievment.

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you, as a result of being in Jetplane Landing?

Hmm, the strangest thing? Probably being on MTV2! To turn on MTV2 and see our band! For me, it was that. and playing Reading. Also, to be able to play with the bands that you see on TV and on the radio...you find out which ones are really cool and which are really shit! I suppose just being in Jetplane Landing is strange!

There are a few bands in Britain with a really strong, solid fan base and I'd say your band was one of them. Why, do you think, Jetplane fans are so dedicated??!

I think one reason is because we make the effort to go to the places that no one else goes, and the fact that we do it all oursleves. People seem to appreciate that more than when they go and see a big band and they can't get up close in person and talk to them about their stuff. We're honest and I think people like honesty. that's why are fanbase is strong and people stick with us...i think!

You played on the island for the first time back in February; if you can cast your mind back that far, what were your overall impressions and why did you decide to come back down here again?

Our impressions of the place first of all were like: "OK....", but then we played the show and it was brilliant because so many people turned up. We didn't think many bands came down here and we thought it'd be cool to play our music here. We were well recieved, so when we were booking this tour we knew we wanted to come back to the Isle Of Wight, because we loved it!

Your website contains a lot of music that can be downloaded and there is no charge for this. Does this reflect your views on downloading music for free?

Everyone in the band has their own opinion on this. My opinion personally is that is fine, to a certian point. If a band volunteers, like we do, that's fine. But I think it's wrong to download a band who doesn't. I think it is wrong to download music without paying for it because for a lot of bands selling their records is the only way. and even if it's a really cool album, then that band are always going to be in the same postion, stuck there. If a band volunteers their music, that's cool - download away!

Who, musically, has been the biggest influence on your life?

For me, it was definitely Kurt Cobain. I saw Nirvana when I was 15, in Belfast and it changed my life completely. In my life there's only been 2 or 3 life changing experiences and that was one for me. I went home and started learning guitar. I listened to Pearl Jam, Soundgarden...and everytime I doubt anything I always go back and listen to those bands.

What bands do you think everyone should know about?

Everybody should know about Helmet because they're a band that not many poeple know about but they are amazing. Definitely Fugazi. There's just so many! I could go on forever! At The Drive-in. I like Sparta and The Mars Volta; when you take them apart like that you can hear both influences that are At The Drive-In. Oh, there's too many bands!

What is in your pockets at the moment?

Ok, there is a plectrum holder, a plectrum. A little bag of plectrums, £1.10, a laminate that has been crushed and my wallet!

Sex, drugs, rock and roll...if you had to choose one which would it be?!

Right!!! Because that's easily answered...!! I don't think I could choose one! I would choose 2...! Sex and Rock'n' Roll. Fuck the drugs. you couldn't do the other two with that one, so I don't know why they put it on there!

Finally, sum up your band in 3 words.

(Pauses, deep in consideration) Pure fucking tense! um...yeah! Pure. Fucking. Tense.

- Vicky, Tiny Bombs