warm jets interview
(14th April 1997)

From the casually classic debut e.p. "Autopia" which boasted four effortless pop songs with the angularity of Elastica at their best and the languid ease that comes from the knowledge that quality will out, through the Kraftwerk cover from the "Never never" single and on to the confident and stylish 3 minutes of exquisite guitar tuneage that is recent single "Hurricane" the Warm Jets---name procured from a Brian Eno LP, fact fans---have the class to worm their way into your hearts and lodge themselves there for the duration. "I see us as early Pink Floyd and late Beatles, a pop group but experimental" says singer Louis, "the missing link in 1997". And he's not talking Neanderthal Man, this is a forward-looking link, backed up by the album "Future signs", to what might be if only a few more bands would start thinking for themselves instead of taking their lead from the boneheads who retro their way into the charts.

Backstage at the Cambridge Junction, on tour with the Wannadies and West Pier, Paul (guitar) is in an expansive mood "..it's been great, the bands are good, the Wannadies are very nice, they have rituals though: burning Viking longboats in the sink, well, small models of longboats, it's still pretty impressive" and the rest of the band are very much into the idea of being interviewed by a Magic Robot boardgame that generates Clint Eastwood-related questions. Which is something of a relief. A fistful of answers from Paul, Louis, bassist Colleen and drummer Ed.

What makes your day?
C: Sun.
L: Good paper that is..when it swung left I was surprised, but fair enough.
C: Can I be really boring? Playing a good gig..
L: ..but that makes your night.
P: Playing a festival could make your day. Not being at the mercy of mud and piss.
L: Yeah, not wetting the bed, that makes my day every morning..what a glorious day, dry as a bone!

Who is unforgiven?
L: I know who's unforgiveable..
E: ..Phil Collins..absolutely unforgivable..
P: ..Prog Rock..
L: But what about early Genesis?
P: Even worse.
L: There's a few exceptions though..
P: ..King Crimson.
L: "Another green world".
P:..that's not prog.
L: But Collins plays on it.
Me: But one right doesn't forgive a whole career of wrongs.

Do you feel lucky?
P: Yeah..but I can't say why.
All: Hmm..
Me: Do you feel luckier with this band than your previous ones [Paul was in Eat, Colleen was in the Pale Saints]? I mean, do you think you can go further or be better or whatever your yardstick is this time?
P: I dunno..I think this is the..I don't know. I don't believe in luck as such, but I think this band has made its own luck. It's a nice outfit, friendly and amiable..people like us.

Which fairground attraction turns you into a Pale Rider?
L: Anything fast..Rollercoasters, I don't even have to go on them, but I'm generally Pale anyway..in fact tonight I'm the Pale Ale rider.
P: How about Eddie Reader?
L: Well she can come and have a go if she thinks she's hard enough.

Name the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
L: My mom, dad and brothers.
P: That's very deep, I didn't think this game would be quite so therapeutic.
L: I feel much better now..although actually my dad's not "bad", he's just baaaad.
E: I think we're good, but the bad and the ugly is Phil Collins.
L: So that's the Jets, the Collins and the Collins? You're really having a go at him tonight.
E: Well he pisses me off.

What was your narrowest escape?
C: Escape from Alcatraz?
P: I was in that.
L: It's a horrible club isn't it? Southend. I'm not playing the Alcatraz again.
E: Dundee, Lucifer's Mill.
P: That was a narrow escape..the gig was double-booked with the 18th birthday party of two inbred cousins and all their mates had come. Basically the gig was full of hillbillies..
C: ..puking up..
P: ..over the mixing desk and pulling the support band off the stage, heckling, throwing things and fighting. At one point I went out and the place was full of smoke and five people were beating each other up..it wasn't much of a gig, but it was a great night! And when we left a load of Scottish Nationalists tried to break into our bus, they were shouting about William Wallace!

Do you talk to the trees?
C: I talk to the trees, but they don't listen to me..
P: Ah, from "Paint your wagon".
L: Was that a musical? I hate musicals!
C: But do you?
L: What? talk to the trees? Well, I talk with marijuana...does that count?

It counts in our book, although he seems to do pretty well without it as well. In fact the whole band completely fail to come across as jaded and bitter at the industry as you might expect, having been through the mill in other bands. It turns out they'd rather not have to talk about their music all the time anyway, side-stepping the hackneyed old faithful "we'll let our music do the talking" trap with consummate skill: "they ask you all sorts of questions in Europe, like what's your favourite comic? or what do you think of disco?". For the record, Colleen is into Hate and old-school Robert Crumb ("he's beginning to lose it now that he's moved to France") and Paul thinks that disco is "Brilliant! it's one of the greatest modern musical forms..it's like pure.." Sex? "..there is that, but it's more abstract, like pure primal..stuff. And I like that." And you'll all like the Warm Jets, not exactly primal sex, but certainly a luxuriously-extended foreplay.

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