going on lately? I remember when the only Welsh acts were Shirley Bassey
and Max Boyce
and they were the credible ones! Right now though,
we have a wealth of excellent bands from the valleys (Super Furry Animals,
Funeral For a Friend, Lostprophets etc etc) but for me, the insanely
creative Jarcrew stand head and shoulders above the rest. The bands
maniac sticksman Rod Thomas chatted to AD about the story so far
AD: Your debut album, whilst fantastic, is one of the most fucked up
things Ive ever heard! How the hell do you go about writing songs
RT: Its a culmination of what weve all been trying to
do musically throughout our lives. We decided to make a modern mish
mash of the music that appeals to us. It all just stemmed from us jamming
really wed just go into a room and play our instruments,
and then swap them so that we were all playing instruments that we couldnt
really play! Thats the most important thing its got
to be fun, otherwise its just wrong, you know?
AD: Very true. I quit my band when they decided to become a serious
RT: I dont blame you.
AD: Hang on a minute I was told that you were the notoriously
mad member of the group. You dont SEEM mad
RT: Yeah I dont know exactly how I got that reputation but
Ive heard that too! It probably came from when I went through
my funny stage of taking my clothes off on stage and ending
up in just a thong. Then I started wearing sailors outfits when
we played that became a bit of an obsession for me
not gay though
AD: Of course not. So what was the original concept behind Jarcrew
RT: I think we decided we were going to be a band that wasnt
a band. You see, when we started out, there were fifteen of us
and none of us could play an instrument, so we were a kind of all
singing all chanting band. Just a bunch of secondary schoolers
with weird pseudonyms. Then we got a keyboard player called No
fingers Davies, then we bought our first drum kit. It was at that
stage we realised that if we were gonna be able to play these drums,
well need a pedal too!
AD: What would be your reaction in the unlikely (and amusing) event
of Westlife asking if they could cover one of Jarcrews songs?
RT: Id be honoured!
Oh come on
RT: No, honestly, I would be! I have nothing against pop music really,
although obviously Id prefer it if Kylie approached us. And of
course wed be laughing all the way to the bank
AD: I guess there IS that. So, whats the worst thing youve
ever read about yourselves?
RT: Well, the NME didnt exactly love the album; they said
This could have been amazing and went on about bad, shoddy
workmanship and how we were doomed to stay in the valleys;
but that kind of thing doesnt really bother us. I think its
great that people never really knew what to expect of us I think
a lot of folk thought we were going to be some kind of Garage band like
The Hives, so when they heard us they were like Uh
AD: If you could choose a news headline to come true that would make
your day, what would it be?
RT: Joe Strummer rises from the grave. Or Id like
them to find that British guy he was Cornish I think who
went into space; you know, the one that was destined for Mars that went
missing. Ive always been interested in space and that was really
sad to me.
AD: Whos the biggest dick in the public eye?
RT: Im going to have to go for the obvious here and say Tony
Blair. I just think its incredible how we can have someone so
untrustworthy running our country. I mean, the fact that even George
Michael has stated his disapproval speaks volumes!
AD: So, after such a bizarre album, what direction do you take next?
RT: Were going to do a folk album.
RT: Weve played live before with this amazing band called
the Incredible String Band who play this really weird and strange kind
of folk music. Maybe well take a leaf out of their books. Nah,
just kidding well probably just carry on trying to write
good songs. Were off to Iceland as well, so you never know
maybe we can do a bit of Bjork type warbling on the next record too
Strewth. The first album was outrageous enough. The way Jarcrew are
going, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band will have nothing on them! Anyway,
thanks to Rod for this fascinating chat, and hopefully well see
them in the charts some time soon. Yeah RIGHT. This bands WAY
too good for that!
Interview and transcript; Tone E