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Gig Review and Interview: JAWS
Image Credit: JAWS

Gig Review and Interview: JAWS

6 May 2017 | Miranda Cattermole

Is guitar music dead? It’d be easy to dismiss the genre as utterly exhausted. After all, how much variation of that well-known format can there possibly be? Indie rock bands now have got a serious challenge in bringing something new to the table.

The retro, laid-back cool-kids JAWS have been tipped as the next best thing to emerge from the Birmingham indie rock scene. They certainly have captured a prevalent fashion at the moment, which recalls the feel of 90s dreampop bands such as Lush or Slowdive. However, they also manage to synthesize this legacy with much more melodic, upbeat choruses, departing from the moodiness of their shoegazing predecessors.
 
The band’s second album, ‘Simplicity’, was released in November of last year to critical acclaim. Their sound has certainly matured significantly, and the lyrics on this record often tell of growing up and fitting in; an experience surely of great importance to both themselves and their young audience. We interviewed frontman Connor Schofield ahead of their Oxford gig, to talk about his experience of the band.


Image Credit: JAWS
 
How did you guys meet, and decide to make music together?

We met at Halesowen College, I was writing music and were doing the same course so we started the band.
 
What would you say are your key musical influences?

Life, I listen to music to pin down one band or a specific genre. I think it’s good to be open minded, and try and take something from everything you experience or listen to.
 
If you could spend a day jamming with any band of your choice, who would you choose?

Deftones, I just want to copy them basically.
 
What would you say you’ve learned between producing your first and second albums?

I mean we've all grown up a lot in a short space of time, i think we've learnt to have patience though.
 
Simplicity (your new album) seems to be much more anthemic than Be Slowly. Do you feel you’ve drawn more tightly from the ‘indie rock’ genre?

Not really, we just make music with no agenda, the music on Simplicity is what just happened at that time in the practice room.
 
What’s the writing process been like for Simplicity?

It was really good and productive, we wrote probably 30 songs all together.
 
You’ve been grouped with other Birmingham indie-rock bands such as Peace and Swim Deep. Do you think that ‘B-Town’ has a distinct sound which you fit into?

Nah not really, we're all very different bands
 
Where next for JAWS?

Hopefully more touring, more festivals and more music.
 
The band’s popularity was certainly reflected at the live show, being nearly sold out. The Bullingdon, a small Oxford venue with capacity of only about 400, was packed out with local youngsters ready to sing their hearts out to tales of misspent youth. JAWS were flawless technically, maintaining their ‘cool’ throughout whilst the crowd went wild. Amongst the more typical indie-rock anthems, the band held our interest with some skilfully delivered ambient sections; these were just as, if not more, enjoyable than the album tracks themselves.

JAWS is set of talented musicians, with their finger on the pulse of youth; this combination of factors certainly gives them potential to be main-players in the UK indie scene over the coming years. If a new band like JAWS can excite a crowd to the point where sweat drips off the walls, and everyone leaves with a grin, we can conclude that guitar music is not dead: it is veritably alive and kicking.

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