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Posts Tagged ‘album

Condo Fucks – Fuckbook (Matador)

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Condo Fucks

In a wicked teenage prank to expose the kid in school that claimed to have heard every unreleased demo or b-side by any band you could name we once invented an obscure US garage band. had we attended the same school Yo La Tengo and I may have been fast friends.
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Written by Jonathan

March 9, 2009 at 3:50 am

The Mystery Jets – Interview with Blaine

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This article originally appeared on Subba Cultcha.

“We all got pretty pissed off…members off the band started to trash the stage…everyone started throwing bottles at the road crew and the organisers, so it kind of turned into a bit of a mini riot.” Blaine Harrison Queen laden videos and how to deal with having your festival set cut short.

It’s not always easy being in the Mystery Jets. The band have recently returned to the live arena following an enforced absence brought about by Blaine’s illness. Returning with sets at Reading and Leeds would have been a celebratory affair you might think, but the course of live music never runs smooth. Things started well enough with their Reading set, “ Yeah we had a good weekend. Reading, Reading was really fun, good turn out and it was the first gig we’d actually done in a long time, so it was nice to be out playing to so many people again.” However, when Leeds rolled around things were not quite as simple, “Um Leeds was not so good, we had basically our set cut short by four songs by the organisers due to, God, I think it was due to stage times overlapping. I think there was a 15 minute change over before or set which was just not long enough really, and yeah, our set just got cut in half and we all got pretty pissed off. I wasn’t really involved in this but other members off the band started to trash the stage and everyone started throwing bottles at the road crew and the organisers so it kind of turned into a bit of a mini riot. I mean I suppose it was quite a dramatic ending but I would rather have had a full set, so that was a bit frustrating really.”

2008 has been a rollercoaster year for the Mystery jets, the release their defining album ’21’ in march saw the band take giant steps forward stylistically, fulfilling much of the promise they had signposted on ‘Making Dens’ and ‘Zootime’. They moved into the summer with a series of triumphant shows, including a turn at Scotlands Rockness festival.  Yet just in the middle of a string of UK and European festival dates that would have seen the band performing to the largest audiences of their career Blaine was taken ill and everything was put on hold. Forging on from their return at Reading and Leeds the band have just released chart bothering single ‘Half In Love With Elizabeth’, which contains the only video in recent memory where the Queen plays basketball continuing an increasing line of experimental and satiric videos, “well in the past we’d write a bunch of screenplays and send them out to a bunch of different directors and whoever came back with the best storyboard we’d go with them but we felt for the second album we wanted more of a consistency between the videos and more of a defined style. So we came across this guy James Copeman, and the first we saw of him was the Noah and The Whale video ‘5 Years Time’, and we said look we want to get this guy. So we’ve stuck with him for the whole record, and ‘…Elizabeth’ is quite a step on for him because it’s like a mini movie. so I think it was a really good thing for him to do and I think he did it really well, so I’m really pleased with it. The song itself was always meant to be like a stand alone between albums. We were actually playing it a long time before anyone had heard it recorded, like 2 summers ago we had an early version of it. We actually went in to record it with Stephen Street who’s such a good producer and it was amazing to work with him but we really went in before we had any idea what sound we wanted for the new record. That’s a sound we achieved eventually which is quite a stripped back sound whereas with ‘…Elizabeth’ there’s quite a lot going on, which is Stephens style, so I think it stands apart from a lot of the rest of the record sonically an stuff, which is cool because it bridges the gap from the old sound to the new sound.”

The events of Reading and Leeds along with preparations for the October tour have Blaine musing about the nuances of performing to partisan and loyal crowds. “I have to say I prefer our own gigs (to festivals) as perhaps the people there are people who don’t need to be convinced, they’ve already bought your album and are ready to have a good night and know we’ll make sure they have a good night and they’ll make sure we have a good night. So it’s usually, if you’re doing your own tour, a guaranteed good night, whereas at festivals there is this sense that you do have to win people over. They might have read some hype or heard a couple of reviews and want to see if you and your songs match up to what they’ve heard about you, so there’s that challenge, ” offers Blaine. “I mean sometimes that challenge…you do get off on it and you play for your dinner really, you have to work harder to win people over, so that’s exciting too.”

Hitting the road again in October the band will put a summers worth of experimentation into practice as they hope to deliver the most rounded Mystery Jets sets to date. “When you start touring a record there’s always songs which are more difficult to play, and songs that come to you very quickly. Like the singles which are better known and the crowd pleasers, they always go down well whereas the quieter songs are maybe more difficult, but over the summer we’ve done a lot of work. Right at the beginning of the summer we did a tour with The Zutons, which was really good training for the summer and I think there’s a real art to how to read crowds because we haven’t really played festivals since two years ago. So I think that building a set is something that comes with time and our set in October will be a much more refined version of what we did at the start of the year. There may not be new songs post the album but there are old songs which we’ve revisited and chopped about a bit and brought them up to date. I think it’s always exciting to look at old things and give them a lick of paint. Plus, they’ll definitely be a few surprises we haven’t thought of yet.”

So it’s heady times for the gentlemen from Eel Pie Island. Certainly following on from the October tour Blaine is keen to get to work on the follow up to ’21’. “I’d like to get on with it quite quickly, because often there’s a lag between coming off a record and waiting for everything to happen, for a new campaign for mixing etc, so I’d like to get on it as soon as possible. So even though we’ve got dates up until December we’re starting to write as of now. You hear about some bands waiting 2 or 3 years to bring out an album but thats just not us, I don’t think we have a specific sound thats going to be tied to now, I think we always try to make everything sound as different as possible to what we’ve done before, and we’re very influenced by new music around us so it’s important for us to keep up and to be constantly putting stuff out.” A testimony that will ensure that whilst they may only be half in love with Elizabeth their fans hold total devotion for the Mystery Jets for a long time to come.

Written by Jonathan

September 7, 2008 at 11:22 pm