“An awesome interview with an awesome band – plus stick around for a truly thrilling giveaway!”
Today’s band go by many names. Some call them “an eclectic mix of five different types of awesome”, some “a riot of organised chaos creating a butterfly effect of rock’n’roll” and some even describe them as “a veritable Aladdin’s cave full of secret treasures and hidden troubles”. However, for the purposes of this interview we shall call them Jagged Little Thrills, a Northampton band made up of vocalist Thomas Wright, guitarist and vocalist Dave Vegas, lead guitarist Matthew ‘weg’ Wetherill, bassist Tom Wright and drummer ‘late night’ Rob Grey.
With their highly anticipated album The Last Alibi set for release on the 26th of February, we’re giving three lucky winners the chance to get their hands on signed copies before the release date! How cool is that? To be in with a chance of winning all you have to is follow the two quick and easy steps below, and you could be jamming out before anybody else!
Playing with their current line-up for a year but with a band that’s been going for closer to two, their uniqueness comes from the fact that they’re influences are all over the place. With lyrics drawing on “everything from the old romantic poets to The Libertines” to “Oscar Wilde and Kurt Cobain” their musical inspirations are just as diverse, with the names dropped including Ocean Colour Scene as well as Jack White.
Despite citing so many people as influencing their work they truly are an original act, with a unique sound that’s incredibly hard to pin down. They don’t really sound like anybody else and that’s half of their charm, with the other half being the quick-witted banter I was treated to when I asked them if they had any tour stories that they’d rather forget:
Weg: “I mean where do we begin with this one? Thomas wandering naked backstage at SCALA springs to mind. We were sharing a dressing room with 20+ musicians and I think it is fair to say that a number of people were left horrified. Apart from Thomas of course!”
Thomas: “That was fun! I don’t think we can answer this question without mentioning Dave and Tom’s sex scandal though.”
Dave: “Hardly a scandal, it doesn’t need mentioning.”
Thomas: “The things he does when he’s asleep… It’s a good job he doesn’t keep pets put it that way!”
Dave: “I don’t even remember… I still think Tom made that up! I did hit myself with my own guitar on stage in Hackney, that was a low point! I Later found out I’d fractured my eye socket!”
Tom: Watching one of my mates from back home trying to punch another mate, missing him, hitting someone else in the crowd and getting knocked out whilst we were midway through a song was pretty funny!”
Rob: “Getting lost in London while recording, ending up at a Heaven after party and kissing lesbians. That and bleeding hands practically every gig; that’s quite horrific!”
It’s clear that it’s not just their songs that have rock star status, they have enough crazy anecdotes to rival whoever drives Marilyn Manson’s tour bus. This carries over to gigs too, with the band playing with amazing acts such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Russell Lissack of Bloc Party fame and Carl Barat, not to mention being the main support for Alabama 3 on just their third gig playing together. Pretty incredible huh.
When talk turned away from real gigs and towards imaginary collaborations I again got answers from across the board. Perhaps most notable was Thomas’ confession that he’d love to share a bill with Little Mix because, as he so eloquently put it, “They’re fit!” Other answers included Dave’s pick The Libertines, because “after supporting them all individually [he’d] love to support them now they’ve reunited!” and Tom’s immediate declaration of Nirvana. Weg seemed to find the question hardest to answer, saying “The Cribs, The Libertines, Modest Mouse, Foo Fighters, The White Stripes, Eagles of Death Metal…I could go on!”
As for their own music, they were again in disagreement over which song of theirs best encapsulated what Jagged Little Thrills was all about. Out of the songs they said, you can find Mosquito Girl here.
Rob : “Mosquito Girl”
Tom: “Streets of Berlin”
Dave: “Streets of Berlin for me too. I think it best captures the rawness of what we’re about and every time we play it it takes me right back to where I was when I wrote the lyrics.”
Thomas: “Casanova… because I feel it best defines me!”
Weg: “The Last Lost Alibi – that’s the one I feel best defines who we are. The lyric ‘look up, into the sky, come lay in the gutter for a view like mine’ is derived from an Oscar Wilde quote that always has always hit home with me and the band. It completely sums up how I feel being part of Jagged Little Thrills.”
Considering their relatively short time on the scene the lads have stacked up an impressive list of achievements. Considering this I thought it might be best to get some advice for any new kids trying to break into the industry, courtesy of those who certainly seem to know what they’re doing. Despite some rather concise (but nonetheless valuable) pearls of wisdom like “don’t be a cover band” and “go on X-Factor!” there was some genuinely helpful comments made, such as Weg’s encouraging “Don’t hold back, have the courage to play your songs how you want them to be played and believe in your music. Anything less will leave you feeling like you could have done more.” and Dave’s frank “Research, research, research Constantly! Some people don’t even know what label they want to be signed too! That’s ridiculous to me!! Oh, and write some cool fucking music… that’s pretty important too.” Bonus advice via Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds, who told Thomas to “just keep writing and believing in your own stuff. If people don’t get it, tell them to fuck off.”