5 Minutes With… Jingo

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Already having garnered support from the likes of Amazing Radio and BBC London Introducing and having once owned successful London DIY open mic night “Cable Street Electric”, Jingo are anything but short of valuable influence and the evidence speaks for itself. Jingo’s first live show saw them supporting Blur’s Graham Coxon: an early yet fitting achievement for a band with success set firmly in their sights. 

A.D.D is the latest product of the bands endeavours. The track, which is taken from their EP to be released later in the year, showcases their penchant for dynamic chord progression and intoxicating vocals that parachute in and immediately demand attention.

We caught up with Jingo ahead of the release to get to know the band a little better. 

Hi Jingo, how are you and what are you up to today?

We’re doing very well thanks and feeling particularly invigorated today after writing two very promising new songs last night in rehearsal. It’s a nice feeling when songs come together so quickly in a flash of creativity and to know that we are still improving as a band and body of songwriters.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Some sick souls soothing and smashing you with sonic symphonies.

Can you name the albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

A huge inspiration at the moment is a Belgian band called BRNS. We went to go see them in Dalston last month and they absolutely blew us away. It’s dynamic perfection. They have a new album out, ‘Patine‘, which is great and an even better EP that precedes that called ‘Wounded‘.

Perhaps our biggest influence over the 2 years we’ve been a band are a group we know personally from Brooklyn and who we toured the Mid-west with last September. NOT BLOOD PAINT. Not only does their music blow most others completely out of the water but they also put on the most exciting shows I have ever seen with all sorts of weird and wonderful stage antics, costumes, concepts etc. You have to see it to believe it.

One final band that we love and listen to a lot is BAILIFF from Chicago. Now that is some good, tight rock n’ roll.

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

Liking the sound of a band called THESE GHOSTS a lot at the moment. Need to go and see them live.

I saw that Denai Moore is just about to bring out her debut album, which is amazing. We know her personally as she used to frequently come and play our open mic night that we host in our warehouse space. It’s called Cable Street Electric. She was even spotted at one of these nights by her manager I think. We’re so proud of her and her success and the music is hauntingly beautiful.

What would we find under the category of “Guilty pleasures” in your music collection?

Lana Del Rey.

The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition that it would have done ten years ago?

I’m sure that has a direct effect on it but I personally think the main reason is just the sheer volume of bands trying their hand at it. Given the current state of the internet and the social media age we live in, being in a band is a more attractive prospect than ever. At least the idea of it is. Bands can easily fool themselves into thinking they are getting places by becoming more popular on their social profiles, and whilst this is important to keep an eye on, it can distract musicians from what they should be spending most of their time working on and improving, the music itself. So if anything, I think its easier for bands to get ‘recognition’ these days and that’s why there are so many competing against each other. However, its not the kind of ‘recognition’ that’s going to keep them in the game their whole working lives.

If not the popularity of electronic music, what would you say are some of the challenges indie bands face in the music industry today?

Electronic music has its uses and that’s coming from someone who really isn’t into it as a genre of music. In our band we are always trying to develop our sound as the songwriting continues and whilst we are not going to sub out the drum kit for a drum machine, we incorporate aspects of electronic music into our stuff all the time. Synthesised vocal harmonies, all sorts of crazy electronic guitar effects etc. It can be very useful to keep your mind open to all possibilities when writing and I think a lot of bands don’t allow themselves to. It’s fine to have a particular vision but sometimes it can be limiting and you can benefit from being willing to experiment.

Challenges? There is an ongoing war of attrition between promoters and bands, especially in big cities like London. It’s all too easy for young bands to get excited by some promoter promising the world and the best night in the history of music, then turning up to find out the promoter isn’t even there, the bands don’t gel together at all and the audience keeps on coming and going between acts as they are basically all friends who have paid to come to support their mate and only their mate. Of course, there are good promoters too but in general there are way too many trying to profit off ambitious and vulnerable young bands.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

I asked Katie to answer this as she writes all the lyrics. This is her response: “From everything. There is never a time when my net isn’t cast. It’s usually something that I am trying to figure out, questions about life etc. In a live show you want your audience to feel that you are being genuine so I try to make it personal and from the heart.”

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?

For a while almost every song would begin with just Katie, a piano and the five or six chords she knows how to play. She would then bring in the skeleton of a song with its vocal melody and lyrics and we would flesh it out and try to make it as dynamically interesting as possible. However, in more recent times we have begun the writing process all together in the same room and Katie writes her vocals to the soundscape we are creating then and there. In terms of any particular steps, I will just reiterate what I said earlier about how important it is to be open to the possibility of experimentation. Anything goes at that early stage. Once you’ve let the song out of its cage and become what it wanted to be then you can refine it later and begin to tame the beast. Oh and just continuously write new music, never allow the juices to stop flowing.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

Definitely our final show of the American tour last year in Brooklyn. It was almost the worst but I guess the gods were with us that night. Three songs into our set at a packed out Radio Bushwick and getting really stuck in, my guitar lead gets pulled out of my guitar by one of NYPD’S finest. I thought I had trodden on it so swiftly went to plug it back into the amp but then the hand of authority literally grabbed my arm to stop me. Turns out there were around 10-15 cops and fire marshalls in the building performing a ‘routine check’, which was only meant to take a few mins but after an hour it became clear that they just wanted to shut down the show. Fun involving a lot of people is apparently not allowed in America. Anyways, a bunch of our friends helped carry all the gear to a bar a mile down the road where we knew someone working . The place was tiny compared to the other venue but the audience followed us down there and crammed in. We didn’t end up going back on until around 2 in the morning but everyone in both the crowd and band were really loosened up by this point and thus ensued the sweatiest, most raucous show we have ever played. There is a video of it up on our Youtube channel.

And the worst?

Driving all day to a show in Wales where we found out upon arrival that the previous band had to leave straight away and take all their gear with them. This was the gear that we had previously arranged to use. So, no show. And to make matters worse, the manager of the place felt bad for us and offered to set us up in the private bar downstairs where we could drink and be merry for free all night. What he didn’t tell us and what we soon found out was that the bar was a Patriot bikers bar and we were to spend the evening with four of the scariest looking gang members on the planet. They literally had knives out on the table a shotgun up above the bar. We had to do a runner in the early hours as our bassist got a little too drunk and started rambling on about why he has mixed feelings towards the monarchy. Apparently this doesn’t align with the views of a patriot biker and things turned a little ugly. Still, a memorable night!

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Katie: Scientist
Jack: Digger driver
Joe: Carpenter
Chris: Music Producer

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

There are countless festivals across mainland Europe that we would love to play one day. Just start the summer off in the northern tip of France and drive from festival to festival throughout Europe for months. Mmmmmmm.
Of course, it would be great to play the UK festivals too but with shows abroad it becomes more of an experience.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

I think at the moment it would be BRNS as that seems like a vaguely achievable dream but if we are talking crazy then I (Jack) would personally give an arm and a leg to perform on the same stage as Eddie Vedder. That man rocks my world.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

The first single from our upcoming EP, ‘A.D.D.’ will be out on 1 June and the launch show will be at the Old St Pancras Church in London on 11 June.
There will then be another single released to precede the EP in September.

Other upcoming shows:

17/04/15 – The Sebright Arms (London)

30/04/15 – Le Kalif (Rouen, France)

01/05/15 – L’Atelier (Caen, France)

02/05/15 – Le 114 (Paris, France)

16/05/15 – Great Escape Festival (Brighton)

11/06/15 – Old St Pancras Church (London)

For more information and to keep up with Jingo, click below.

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