Interview with The Jellycats

 

After recently playing Slamdunk and winning a spot at Download festival through the Red Bull Bedroom Jam I thought it was time I introduced you to The Jellycats. An Essex based ska/pop/punk/rock band with a great unique sound, made up of catchy hooks and uplifting melodies and a bouncy, energetic and fun live show, The Jellycats really are a band to watch out for. We were lucky enough to catch up with them, Emma – Vocals, Ollie – Guitar, Rob – Bass and Stu on drums to ask them a bunch of questions.

Where did the bands name come from?  Our name came out of a drunken night out trying to think up band names, we had a list that we carried around with us and just kept adding to it. The next day when we were going through it ‘The Jellycats’ was on there; we can’t remember writing it down & can’t even recognise who’s handwriting is who’s but we liked it and it’s stuck!

How did you get started?  Ollie & Emma had been writing songs together for a little while and it just naturally evolved into a band. Stu, being Ollie’s brother, got involved on drums and then we just started the hunt for a bass player. That was actually quite a bit harder than we’d expected it to be, apparently no one wants to play bass! (Queue bass player jokes 😉 ) But yea everyone was a guitarist who initially was up for swapping and playing bass for us but then decided they couldn’t hack it. Eventually we found Rob through mutual friends and we haven’t looked back!

What have you got going on at the moment?  There’s so much going on at the moment; we’ve recently released our first proper video (filmed by +44 Films,) which we are really pleased with, have made it into the final 8 in Red Bull Bedroom Jam and subsequently have a summer full of awesome festivals such as Slam Dunk, Download and Hevy as well as being on the line up for some great local festivals like Bay Days and Bear Fest which we are really looking forward to. At the end of this month we are supporting Bad Manners and can’t wait for that and hoping to get into the studio to record our first album in the very near future which is very exciting. It’s all go at the moment!

Favourite music and why?  We really like a range of music but some of the bands that influence us as a band are Blink 182, Reel Big Fish, No Doubt, Madness, Less Than Jake, Green Day, Jamie T, Tenacious D, NOFX . I like music that make’s me feel excited, something that makes me want to dance or run about and kick things! Music is amazing at changing your mood and taking your mind of things and you out of reality. Stuff that lifts your mood, gives you a load of energy and just make’s you think ‘Fuck it’ is what we best like to listen to!

Favourite book and why?  Hmm I’m not sure. The boys don’t really read anything other than the McDonalds menu! ….and nuts magazine! No but seriously, they do read a few biographies, Ollie favourite books are ‘The Dirt’ by Motley Crue, and Slash’s ‘Slash’, no words can describe why these books are great, you would have to read them! Stu’s favourite book is ‘Redemption song, the ballad of Joe Strummer’ because he’s a massive clash fan, and Robs favourite book is ‘Noddy Builds a Rocketship’. Because, well, its Noddy! …the one with the red AND yellow car…!!

 

Favourite film and why?  One of the films we find ourselves constantly quoting is Dodgeball, I guarantee on route to each gig it’s quoted at least once! It’s just such a classic, funny film! We are definitely going to the next fancy dress party we are invited to dressed as Dodgeball characters (I think Ollie already thinks he is White Goodman, so we are ¼ of the way there already!) But everyone likes an underdog story don’t they and we all feel like underdogs in one aspect of our lives at some time or another, so I think that is something we connect to; as well as the fact that it’s just hilarious!

Best experience in the business?  Getting through to the final 8 in Red Bull Bedroom Jam is already proving to be one of our best experiences. We made it through by the public vote; everyone has been so supportive and complimentary it’s been really humbling and that in itself is just an amazing feeling. The fact that we are going on to play at these awesome festivals we’ve dreamt of playing at since we were kids just makes it even better! We had our first meeting about being in the Final 8 in Red Bull Bedroom Jam the other day and were all given two free Gibson guitars, it’s just ridiculous! (If you are reading this Mr Gibson thank you so so much, you are AWESOME!) But this is just the start of this experience and we can’t wait to get into the full swing of it next weekend at Slam Dunk.

Why should Soundscape readers care? We are a really hardworking band that is making music for the love of music. We don’t try and be anyone else or take ourselves too seriously we are just doing what we do and hope that you enjoy it!

Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?  Rob earns a shit load at Sainsbury’s…!!

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  We haven’t actually toured yet, we’ve been gigging pretty relentlessly around Essex/London but have only very recently acquired a van so gigging too far away was pretty much out of the question! We’ve been travelling about in Ollie & Stu’s mums tiny car (which is approximately the same size as a 50p) with guitars, symbols etc. wedged between our knees/heads etc. so as you can imagine was very uncomfortable! Many bands will relate to this, this is definitely a bad point! But playing and seeing people are actually listening to you, tapping there blue suede shoes, smiling and singing makes it seem worth it. This summer being part of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Festival Tour will be incredible and a perfect way to start off our touring experience we recon.

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  Robs trousers once fell down on stage while he was going commando. He claims the venue was “very cold…” that’s his story, and he’s sticking to it!

What’s your writing and recording process?  We don’t really have one. Usually Ollie will come up with all the music and send it to Emma to get ideas for vocals; once they’ve got the general idea sorted they get turned into Jellycats song at band practice.

What inspires you?  Anything really, anything that makes you feel some sort of emotion. Most of our songs are based on things we have experienced in real life that have made some kind of impact on us whether it’s big or small, serious or stupid, it makes you think/feel some kind of strong emotion.

Best thing about playing in Wales?  We’ve yet to play anywhere other than Essex and London! We are hoping to start getting out and about very soon, and Wales’s definitely on the list!

Who are your role models/idols?  We all have different idols – Rob’s is totally Tom Delonge (which narrowly borders on stalking 😉 ) Emma’s is Gwen Stefani however Ginger Spice is still up there that her 6 year old self still loves, Stu’s has got to be Travis Barker and Ollie is Frank Butcher. I’m not sure why he said Frank Butcher? We’ll just go with it…

What do you think the hardest thing about the current business is?  At the moment a lot of promoters are doing this “pay to play” business which totally sucks and we feel is wrecking the UK music scene; to get a good gig or to get to support a relatively well known band to help grow your fan base, more often than not get’s decided by whether you can afford to shell out £100’s of pounds not by how talented you are. Otherwise you have to sell tickets to family/friends to cover that cost and all these unsigned bands are just playing to each others friends/family’s, never actually playing to just music fans and managing to create a proper fan base. There are so many good bands out there that just don’t have the money that comparatively rubbish ones do and yet they are missing out on the exposure and opportunities these other bands are getting because of lack of money.

Favourite Batman actor?  Adam West! Partly because of his genius Family Guy character 🙂

You can check out the awesome video for ‘T.W.A.T’ below and head over to the bands website for more info.

http://www.thejellycats.com

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