Teal by The Night Jars is one of the best songs I have heard this year. It starts like a roving vampire bat soaring above Victorian London and goes in for the kill in all its Bauhaus shattering glory. Brilliant!
Sonically dark, and infinitely interesting The Night Jars are a compelling outfit. Somewhat of a mongrel, their sound infuses dark and gothic 80s post-punk, with echos of XTC or PIL mixed with garage and swirling psychedelic rock.
Vocalist Tommy is a veritable chameleon, channeling Mark E. Smith, John Lydon, and even Chas Smash. Sometimes I swear I even hear the ghost of Joe Strummer.
TNJ have released two solid EPs so far Daka (2013) and Babble (2015) and I for one, am looking forward to hearing more. We caught up to bassist Rollo to pull back the curtain a bit.
Tommy – vocals
Jimmy – Drums
Tim – Guitar
Kevin – Guitar
Rollo – Bass
People say we sound like….
A post punk band caught in a psychedelic feedback loop, led by a member of the Jones Town cult.
How did you become The Night Jars?
We used to wear bird masks and play very fast Garage Rock. Then we met Jimmy and Rollo who changed up the rhythm section some what. Since then, we have been working on our craft and our sonic identity as The Night Jars.
We are originally from…..
Tell about the scene in London?
There is a ‘scene’ in London for whatever you are into, but also lots of stuff that doesn’t necessarily fit. It’s a like an infinite moving Venn diagram, with overlaps in many different circles.
Live music will always be popular in London. We have enough basement venues in East London to see a decent band every day of the year.
What music has had an influence on your sound?
Tommy our singer generally loves energy a rhythm in his music. That music can span many different genres, as long as connects with him. Tim is a big fan of the original Garage Rock scene, and a fan of the likes of The Seeds and Joe Meek. Kevin also has an eclectic music taste and is into some of the heavier Garage Rock bands. Jimmy our drummer is into of a lot of Post Hardcore and Math Rock. The likes of Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower and At The Drive In. For me it’s all of the above, and I produce and listen to a lot of Electronic music outside The Night Jars..
Tell us about your live show…
It is really good and entertaining. Catch us at a venue near you soon!
What do you make of the music industry right now?
Some of it is shit. But essentially there are a lot of good labels and musicians doing great interesting things. Just look at the likes of Fluffer Records, Bleed, Warp, 1234, Death Waltz, Sonic Cathedral, Lex, Erased Tapes, Ninja Tunes. We are lucky to be living in this time..
What influences the band lyrically?
Ahh. Tommy isn’t here to answer that one. All I can say is that his lyrics are very tangible and visible. There is no wafting insipid crap about how nice the sky is or how girls make you feel bad. Every song has a message, often one that you wouldn’t expect. Listen to ‘Teal’ and ‘Maya’ as good examples..
Our most memorable gig ever was….
For me, it was the 1st one I played when joining The Night Jars. We played at the now sadly gone Buffalo bar with our friends Deep Men. We played really well and the crowd were great. We have played lots of other fun shows since, but the 1st is always memorable.
Best concert we’ve ever seen…?
Between us we have been to thousands of shows, but I did see Portishead at Latitude the other day and it was quite overwhelmingly good.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
The Night Jars would jump on the time train back to 1959. Go to 304 Holloway Road and record with Joe Meek.
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
New Tame Impala single (proper pop writing), Rapper Vic Mensa – U Mad ft Kanye. Anything by Thee Oh Sees, Local band Shit Wife, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and anything from the album Benj by Sun Kil Moon..
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Thee Oh Sees… I think we all agree that this should happen..
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van/bus/plane what would it be?
Maybe cheat with a compilation or something?
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
I’m producing music and making videos. The others are all doing other enlightening things too.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
That the Earth is actually really small for a planet
What’s up for 2015/2016?
More recording. More shows. Exciting projects.