Connor (Lead vocals and Guitar), Alex (Guitar) and Eddy (Drums) form the Birmingham trio, Jaws who formed in 2012. Since then have released 2 albums including Simplicity, which was released in November 2016 featured in Dork Magazine albums of the year. They are yet to be signed to a record label but they have leading the trend of bands realising that getting signed isn’t the be all and the end all but social media is the way forward. Recently announced to Y-Not, Truck, 2-Q and Hit The North. They have anthems; Be Slowly, Think Too Much, Feel Too Little and Just a Boy to their name. Since their debut in 2014, they have become fully-fledged giants.
Read my interview with Jaws below, to find out more:
How did you all meet to form Jaws and how do you feel you have developed as a band?
CONNOR: We all met at college, we were all doing the same music technology course. I wrote a few tracks and thought it would be cool to play them as a band so I recruited the guys, and here we are today. The development is there to see to be honest, we were terrible when we started and we’re half decent now and two albums in.
EDDY: Since those first few practice sessions, ALOT has changed but alot has stayed the same. One thing that has changed is there’s more guitars and guitar pedals but our methods of writing have stayed the same to an extent.
ALEX: I already knew Ed and he kind of introduced me to Connor. Con had written some tracks and wanted to get a band together to play them so I was like yeah cool and we went from there, I was originally going to play bass I think.
Coming from Birmingham, what are your thoughts of the local music scene?
C: It has slowed down a bit in the last couple of years but there are still some great bands coming through such as The Lizards, Afterbloom and Sugarthief.
A: It’s still going strong but it’s certainly died down a little.
E: I think there was a real buzz happening around 2012/2013, everyone was starting bands, gigs every day of the week, all packed out, a really exciting time to be in the city.
As you have developed as a band, who have been your influences?
C: I’m not really sure to be honest, I listen to a lot of music, I’d maybe say like The Cure? Brand New? I don’t know, I’m more influenced by the way something makes me feel than a band specifically.
A: It’s more like life has become the leading influence. As I said we started when we were like 17-18 and now being 23, I’ve gained a lot more life experience. I think there’s a sense of maturity in our music now compared to when we first started.
E: Over the years we’ve learnt a lot from the bands we’ve toured with. We also get influenced by different bands attitudes to things whether we agree with them or not. As far as writing, lately we’ve been into proper crowd participation kinda songs, so we listen to the likes of Oasis a lot but still apply our individual influences to that. For example i’m quite into the heavier side of music.
As a band, you are reasonably active on social media, do you feel like this has impacted you as a band?
C: 100%. Social media is a tool, if you realise that and use it in the right way it will help you grow a good following.
E: It’s the nature of the times right now. I see a lot of people getting annoyed because “That’s not how Zeppelin did it!” But that’s a bit silly because that was 40-odd years ago.
A: Social media is responsible for us being a band. I don’t think it would be possible to be a band in this generation without embracing the social media aspect.
2016 was a massive year for you guys. With the release of your 2nd album ‘Simplicity’, How did it feel for you guys?
C: It’s great to finally get it out there. We recorded the album in August 2015, so almost a year we’ve been sitting on it. Finally being able to play the songs live was also great, the tour for that album was amazing.
A: Relief. We hadn’t done anything for what felt like a LONG time. SO just getting the album out and playing the tracks live felt like a weight had been lifted.
Are there any messages you are trying to deliver through ‘Simplicity’?
C: Everything’s going to be alright.
A: Musically for me there isn’t. But if you were to look into it a bit deeper you say there is the message that it is possible to release two albums without and be a relatively popular touring and without the financial backing of a major label.
E: I can’t really speak for Connor (as he is the sole writer of lyrics) but when i listen to the words it’s clear the album is about anxiety and overcoming the hurdles of life. It’s quite a reassuring album i think.
Being an Unsigned band and as successful as you are, do you think its important for aspiring bands to know there’s another way other than a record deal?
E: For sure. Being signed is not the be all end all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not out of choice that we’re unsigned but we’re not getting ourselves down because we haven’t been signed yet. We love what we do and as long as bands don’t forget why they started making music in the first place they’ll strive to do whats best for their music. Don’t get caught up in the things that arent so important.
C: Yeah. 100% you should be doing everything yourself anyway, be cool, calculated and have a bit of patience. Things can work out without labels. Don’t wait around for them.
A: It will take some hard work and sacrifices but it feels so rewarding knowing you’ve achieved so much on your own.
You have recently announced tour dates in April, what can fans expect from these dates?
E: i wish i could say things like “massive pyrotechnics” or “an extra special guest” or “a massive choir” but i can’t unfortunately because we’re unsigned and money is a thing so we’re gonna go a do what we do best and play our songs to the best of our ability. We’ll try and get some cool lasers and some dry ice though.
C: A fun show.
A: We have the best people turn up to our shows, expect dancing, mosh pits, partying and me attempting to look like I know what i’m doing.
What are your plans for 2017, in terms of recording and performing?
A: Just take it as it comes.
C: No idea to be honest with you, i just started writing again so probably mostly writing and touring.
E: This is the joy of being unsigned, we can write our own story.
What tracks are your favourite to perform?
C: What We Haven’t Got Yet, good energy and everyone sings the chorus which is cool.
A: Gold will always go off so that’s a fave to play live. I love playing Right Infront of Me and 17 as well.
E: What We Havent Got Yet, its high energy and fun to play on drums. Right Infront Of Me, it’s fast paced and makes me sweat. It also comes to this class crescendo which i love. Be Slowly, simple but very effective. Crowds go mental
Lastly, What has been the funniest moment whilst on tour?
C: I literally can’t remember, on tour you chat so much shit from the get go. Its like the van turns your brain to mush. From the second you get home a tour your brain starts to function again.
A: The whole tour is pretty much a massive laugh. All the guys we take on tour i.e sound engineer/ guitar tech are great mates. So put 9 mates together for x amount of days it’s always going to be funny.
E: I wouldn’t say this was funny at the time but we can look back in hindsight and laugh. When we played in Italy, we were being dragged across Milan via several buses trams and trains by a man called Matteo who’s English was poor. Anyway, I left my bag on tram and didn’t realise id left it on said tram until I was on a train going in the opposite direction. This bag had my passport, money and drumsticks in so I was well and truly fucked. Anyway, after several hours of travelling, hand signals and trying to speak Italian very badly, I got my bag back and I still use it to this day. Since then I’ve been the butt of the lost property jokes.