So, the final in our wee trilogy of pre-gig pieces on the acts playing at itm?’s anniversary gig at the Electric Circus.
We Were Promised Jetpacks have been ‘stalwarts’ with is this music? – admittedly appearing in tat period between the mag going online and finishing up paper production-wise, they nevertheless played their first live show for us. (They also showed up at our Frightened Rabbit show at the 13th Note, or did Frightened Rabbit show up at the Jetpacks show? Anyway, we like to think that the seeds of their relationship with their label, Fatcat, were sown there somewhere).
Now, world-striding superstars, they’re hard to get hold of (and play with the TTS at the Barras next week). However, a convenient warmup for Adam’s always-impressive voice, as he slots into our bill.
Adam found time to answer our questions on the band, and his part in it.
So, we have you solo in have-guitar-will-travel mode. Do you enjoy being up without the backing of the full band? Is being onstage something you’ve had to get used to i.e. pre-gig nerves etc?
“I quite like it, I do go through periods of not liking it and liking it. Before the show is a lot more boring as I have nobody to play with or annoy but playing on my own I can go at my own pace or change it up a little.”
Are the solo shows you do a handy way to try out new material? Also, having seen the band play stripped-own once – in Sleazy’s when (drummer) Darren was away – is that something you might do again or more frequently ?
“Any time that we do get together we just like to write band songs. We’ve never been very good at doing covers or anything because we think any time we spend together is better served writing full Jetpacks songs. Some songs will be ok to do acoustically and try out but a lot of them I imagine will sound quite boring without drums and other loud noises.”
Thinking back to the early band shows – your first live show under the Jetpacks name was that one at Backpackers, but what’s changed since then from your point of view? The process of writing songs perhaps?
“The process has pretty much stayed exactly the same. I think we like to think it’s changed a little but it’s still pretty much me coming in with a song then we all finish it together so everyone is happy.
We might change it up a little this time and use some computer stuff at the start of the process. The only thing that’s really changed is that we are now aware this is our job. Before we just kind of practiced whenever and if I came up with a song we would write it whenever that would be.”
Who have you ‘discovered’ over the life of the band and have they had any particular influence? And who out of your contemporaries are you most impressed with at the moment?
“I’m sure this is really obvious but the discovery of Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad were huge influences for us just before we got signed. I think we took a lot from them but didn’t realise it or mean it. They are my favourite bands still. Also The National. I think they are the bees’ knees. I’d like to be able to write and record songs like them. There is nobody new at the moment that I’m really into.”
Finally, what’s coming up band-wise? Any radical changes of musical direction or new material we might hear at the show?
“Relaxed writing. For the last album we didn’t do much for a while then all of a sudden we wrote a lot of songs in a short space of time which was new to us. There is no plan or pressure yet to do another album and I think maybe we all need a little time away from it to get excited and motivated again. There will definitely be more space and softer noises in the album. We’re getting pretty sick of being called epic or any shit like that.”
We Were Promised Jetpacks play at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on Saturday December 15th, with The Twilight Sad and Holy Mountain. And, obviously, Adam plays at is this music?’s 10th anniversary show with ballboy and We See Lights. More at www. wewerepromisedjetpacks.com.