Across the past twelve months or so, UK based band Jingo has been one of the biggest surprises and persistently unique propositions to keep the site excited and busy with a regular presentation of singles. Recently the band unveiled the final three tracks in a series of four which were released one by one over a four track period. As almost expected now but always impressed by, the songs came with individual character and stylishly varied sounds wrapped in an equally mesmeric imagination.
There was the poetically evocative Before You Were Born, a song which opens with the ever sirenesque voice of Katie Buckett courted by just as elegant melodic caresses and pungent keys. Heart bred and emotively enchanting, the song immerses senses and thoughts in a striking aural narrative which grows and brews in intensity across its length, Kate’s husband Jack alongside Joseph Reeves and Sahil Batra casting a magnetic web of sound and vocal support, not forgetting sonic drama which is mouthwatering. It is a glorious song which shares diversity and startling persuasion with Home, another song which is able to simultaneously seduce and inflict an intrusive adventure upon the imagination and passions. The drama of the previous song is again, as across most of their songs, a thick temptation which shares shadows and sultry colour with the equally delicious sounds and gripping premise of the encounter. The track is a brilliant aural movie for mind and heart, a provocative suitor for ears and senses, and an ingenious lover for the imagination, just like the last of the single released in that aforementioned quartet. Turn Around is rhythmic enticement around which vocals and harmonies flame and melodies dance with a flirtatious summer bred festivity. Again the track offers something new from and about Jingo. It is a trait all of their ten plus singles has succeeded in impressing by, here a Caribbean swagger and warmth aligned to a psychedelic coaxing a bewitching venture to which Katie excels, once again.
Jingo is a band which surely cannot be a British secret for much longer, their invention and craft too big to be contained you suspect and hope, especially with the forthcoming release of their debut album which the band are finishing as you read. With a long overdue move to find out much more about the band; its past, present, and future we had the pleasure of having Katie share time with us and revealing…
Hey Katie and welcome to the site, thank you for talking with us.
Thanks for liking our music.
Tell us about the beginnings of Jingo, where it all started and on which side of the ocean; oh and was it band or romance first? ;)
Jack (guitar) and Joe (drums) brought their band to New York for six months to live the dream. They rented a basement flat in The McKibbin Lofts, a converted warehouse in Bushwick where I had been living for a couple years. I ran an open mic in the building where I first met them and there was a really great community vibe in the area so I guess you could say music brought us together, but it all really came together when Jack and I got married and we decided I should move to London. It was tough, I trained long and hard, but sure enough I mustered the strength to swim across the Ocean. Soon after their other band came to an end, we started playing music and calling it a band little over a year ago.
So what specifically inspired the relocation to London from the US?
Well Jack said in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, in which the only way he could survive was to move to the US, he would only just consider it, so I packed my bags.
Did Jingo start out with any specific intent and vision for the music and its presence?
The most important thing has always been making good music. Sometimes I make the mistake of asking Joe if my hair looks okay and he always says, “I don’t give a shit.” People sometimes ask questions about our varying styles of songs or our fluctuating stage antics but we don’t really care. We’re still growing and I think our attitude towards the music will lead us in the right direction. A Jingo can be stuck in their ways and no one wants to be that guy.
As evidenced by the mass of singles released over the past couple of years, your sound is as diverse as it is contagious; how would you describe your music in a single sentence for newcomers?
Rock and Roll Dinosaur Electronia that the girls can dance to.
Listening to your songs you get the feeling that they organically spring to life with their own ideas on character and then you hone and sculpt them; how does the songwriting works within the band?
Usually I’ll have the skeleton of a song with some words and Jack will refine the melody, then we’ll jam it out in the studio. Sometimes it will start with a guitar riff or more recently we’ll jam the whole song into being. We never really know when a song is going to come out, but at the moment they are coming out our ears. We don’t like to be very formulaic we just take them as they come.
It is a democracy when it comes to creating songs or is there a core source more often than not?
It is a democracy in the sense that whatever sounds the best is law. Sometimes it’s a matter of demonstrating your point, but most times we end up agreeing in the end. People naturally fall into their roles. Jack is definitely the band leader, lyrics are mostly all me, but the all-round writing of the song is very much a group endeavour.
Your songs always, however emotively shadowed they might be, come with a stroll and smile; this is a reflection of you as people and your wants from good music?
I think that even if you write a sad or dark song, you want the listener to enjoy the experience of listening to your music. Bad experience can unite us and a bumping beat is the best remedy. And you can never take yourself too seriously.
What inspires the lyrical side of your music? Some of the songs are quite dark at their core.
It’s not the same for everyone in the band, but for me art can be a sort of therapy. There are some things that have happened in life that are hard to conceptualize in any other way besides writing a song. I had a troubled friend who killed herself and our song Jaclyn is a combination of anger and loving life in her honour. Sometimes rocking out and screaming your heart out is better than suppressing love and loss where no light can get to it.
As mentioned you have released a tide of singles, how do you see your sound has evolved and grown since the first and the recent Turn Around?
I don’t think we’ve found a specific sound yet, but we are starting to play a lot more songs that aren’t as dark. Jack had only just started music production with these first recordings, so we’re definitely improving fast in that way. We’re becoming a lot more relaxed with each other and with our new band-mate Chris, who also produces electronic music. We’re really excited for what the future holds.
You are obviously a band who pushes themselves and embraces different styles and flavours; what past and currently has inspired you most potently?
I think we all get down with the music our parents listened to in the 60s and 70s- Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, King Crimson, Jimi, Beatles, . We are all avid music listeners. Our heroes of now are Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, Interpol, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Tame Impala, Grizzly Bear, Lana Del Rey, Prince, Haim, First Aid Kit the list is endless.
Live you are renown for your exciting performances, your first ever show being support for Blur’s Graham Coxon. How did that come about?
We run an open mic called Cable Street Electric. Once in a while we do a charity night, one of those was at Mother London in Shoreditch. When they wanted to do their own charity night for Shelter, they thought of us and invited us to play, just so happens Graham Coxon was playing after us, pretty dope.
Would you say it put you swiftly under a certain spotlight or it did not really aid the emergence of the band other than in experience?
It’s always great to play for fresh ears. I don’t know if we really benefitted especially from that night as far as the band goes, but it makes for a great story and none of us will ever forget it.
I am assuming band members have a ‘real ‘life’ and job outside of the band, so how does Jingo manage to be so prolific with their songwriting?
We’re really lucky in that music is what we do. We intentionally don’t have full-time jobs so that we can put as much into our music as possible. We all have certain skills that we can get by with for living costs, but the music is always at the forefront of our minds. We practice often, have a good work ethic, but also have a ton of fun doing it.
What has been your favourite single to date, or the one which you feel epitomises Jingo for new ears?
That’s a hard one, I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I really liked the release of When You Want Me. We won a competition where we got to record at Strongroom studios where Radiohead and a load of others have recorded. It felt for a second like we were big dogs and they treated us really well and we got to tinker with all their toys.
Tell us about your forthcoming EP? What can we expect and how does it push on from the excellent singles which have already seduced so many?
It’s a full album silly! We are releasing our last couple songs with the record and they are quite fresh so we’re really excited about it. Also I’m a painter, so I get to do some artwork for it so I’m pretty pumped about that. There are some surprises with all that and two new music videos coming out around the same time. We aim to please.
Your singles have all been released for free downloads, are you going the same way with the album?
Nothing is final but we are definitely selling our album. With putting out free singles we really wanted to build a fan base and give everyone a chance to get to know us, I hope our fans will return the favour and purchase a copy so we can make more and tour potentially.
What were the ambitions for the band when it first began and for you when first making music, and have they changed or evolved since?
The ambition has always been to make great music; I don’t think that will change. The next cloud would be to make a living at it, I think we are well on our way but only time and hard work will tell. Maybe I can get the guys to all wear animal costumes, I’d get a kick outta that.
What is planned for the rest of 2014?
There are definitely secrets in store of which I can’t divulge. All I can say is stay tuned; album, videos and more to come soon.
Again a big thank you for chatting with us and providing such great and richly loved songs for our podcasts :)
Thank you so much for listening and sharing, we owe it to people like you putting a signal out.
Any last thought you would like to leave us contemplating?
All you need is mom’s spaghetti, a brick and a bin bag.
Lastly if you could schedule a stage at a festival with Jingo headlining, what emerging bands which you have played with or come across would you invite?
Not Blood Paint, Bird Courage, Bailiff, Pat Dam Smyth, Bad for Lazarus, Steve Nelson
The RingMaster Review 08/06/2014
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