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Introducing: The Jacques

by DavidBeech
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on 26 November 2014 in Features
Record Label 25 Hour Convenience Store
Release date Out Now

In future when people try to tell me that guitar music is dead, I will point them in the direction of The Jacques debut EP. Not often enough do records, even from the most seasoned of musicians, jump out and fill you with the same kind of shit-yourself excitement that came over me when I first heard the Pretty DJ EP. Yes it's loose, yes it's scrappy, but that's the beauty of it. This is a record that's been recorded live and as a result of that, is filled with the infectious clamour and clatter of what I can only imagine a Jacques gig would encompass.

It epitomises youthful folly, hope and hopelessness; a nostalgic reminder of a youth spent wasted, red wine hazes and the likes of The Libertines, The Rumble Strips and many other mid-00s indie bands. It's not even wholly original, but in its homages to 2005, it sets itself apart massively from miserabilia of contemporary guitar-rock, or the synth-reliant sounds of electro-indie.

We caught up the band following on from the release of the Pretty DJ EP.

Hi guys, thanks for finding the time to have a chat with us. First of all, can you introduce yourselves and tell us how you got together?

Fin and Elliot are brothers and have always played together – Oli was in Fin’s year at school and started playing with the others when they were about 14. Fin wanted a second guitar, and Oli's brother Jake joined at the beginning of 2014 – and the 4 of us became The Jacques.

Do you find having two sets of brothers in the band helps when writing tracks, or do you find the arguments more frequent or severe?

Not really – we all get on really well and Fin writes most of the songs before coming to us with them anyway.

You're signed to 25 Hour Convenience Store, Gary Powell's (The Libertines) record label. What's it been like working with him? Has he brought anything new to the table?

Gary doesn’t tell us what to do musically, but he is a really nice guy and has a lot of advice generally. Fin spent a long time talking to Gary at the Libertines Hyde Park show in July– obviously he did not know us then, and we didn’t know about 25 Hour – but he was really encouraging and took the time to talk when he had quite a lot on later that day.

Similarly you're earning comparisons to The Libertines left right and centre, and it's easy to see why. Is this something that first attracted Gary to you, or was it something that's happened since working with him?

It’s not since working with Gary. The Libertines are a massive influence, and so are the bands who influenced them. We listen to all sorts so a massive melting pot of influences has always been there. The other bands on 25 Hour are nothing like the Libertines, so Gary’s taste is obviously broader than his own back catalogue.

You're debut EP Pretty DJ has just come out. What's the response to that been like?

Great so far – it’s a big thing doing your first EP – sort of setting out your stall to the world. It is amazing for us that people have been interested and said good things about it.

And what was the recording process like? Was it different to anything you've done before?

We worked with Dan Swift at Rockfield and it was completely different to anything we had done before. We had made some demos before, but had never been to a studio where we could record anything live. Previously we’d been forced to track things separately to a click, and Dan just completely changed that so everything bar vocals was recorded live as a band in one room, you can really hear that. We also had a real laugh recording the vocals – Dan made us do loads of weird takes in different voices to free us up. It really worked.

You recently played Manchester on the same bill as some friends of mine, Delamere, how was that for you?

We really like Manchester. We played there back in May when we did the Dot 2 Dot festival and we always feel welcome – Fin and Elliot have family roots in Manchester as it’s a great city for music with a lot of history.

Any plans for a tour of your own soon?

We don’t feel big enough yet. We have been doing a lot of gigs though, and it would be good to more festivals next summer. We might be looking at touring with the next EP depending on how this one goes.

With Pretty DJ's release behind you, what can we expect going in to the new year?

We are planning another ep in the spring. We have a few new songs which we have started playing live and will record over the Winter, and we’ve already got lots of ideas about what we want to create after that – these could be completely different in a months time, who knows?

Finally, any exclusive news or words of wisdom you'd like to give our readers?

If you are wandering around Hyde Park and run into a Libertine, have a chat with him – you never know where it might lead.

We have had a great time this year, and it is fantastic to be supported by people like Shout4Music.

Le Freres Jacques…


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