Interview We Were Promised Jetpacks

Guitarist Michael tells us a bit more about the band.

Glasgow four-piece We Were Promised Jetpacks will be releasing their debut album ‘These Four Walls’ in June. Guitarist Michael Palmer tells us a bit more about the band, what they’re up to now, and what they’ve got coming up.

Hello! Who are you and what do you do in We Were Promised Jetpacks?
Hello, my name is Michael and I play the guitar.

So, how’s Glasgow for music at the moment? It must be nice being on the same label as Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad?
Glasgow is doing pretty well these days. There’s loads of awful bands, of course, like everywhere else. I guess bands in Glasgow are encouraged to do whatever they want, as opposed to some scenes where you have to sound a certain way. Being on the same label as those two bands is pretty great. We admire them so much. It has it’s drawbacks, as naturally we’re going to get a lot of comparisons to them and they’ve set the bar pretty high already!

Your first gig saw you win a Battle of the Bands competition at school - were the other bands just awful? Our school was full of 15-year-olds badly covering Green Day…
Oh, we were definitely awful then, it’s a shame everyone keeps mentioning that Battle of the Bands thing. Our school had loads of bands, and most were doing original stuff, but everyone sounded like 15 year olds!

How long was it between when you started the band and when you realised you had the potential to do it all properly - playing gigs, releasing records…?
It was quite a long time. Two years or so maybe. We’d been playing for a couple of years before we’d even turned 18, so it took us a while to play proper gigs. The ones we were doing before were great considering our age! Lots of underage band nights. They were great for our development. So I suppose we realised we could do it when we started playing to a drunk crowd!

Your debut album ‘These Four Walls’ is out in June - we read (in the album’s press release) that most of the album was recorded live, with minimal overdubs - did you have to do many takes, or are you pretty efficient with your studio time?
We had to do maybe five or six takes, I think. There was still a lot of studio trickery though! We would play it live for the ‘vibe’, then maybe cut two different takes together, or something like that. There’s a track on the album that’s like eight minutes long, which is made up of about five different takes all spliced together!

How has recording in this way impacted upon the overall feel of the album? Is there anything you’d like to go back and fiddle with now it’s finished?
There’s loads we’d like to go back and do! Which is a combination of the fact that this is our first ever album and we want it to be perfect, and also our inexperience with a studio to begin with. I think the overall feel of the record is great, and sums up what we’re about.

Did you have to change any of your tracks when adapting them from live to record, or do you write your material with both in mind anyway?
Not generally. There’s one song that we wrote when we were playing acoustic shows when our drummer was away studying in Germany for a few months. When he came back we did an ‘electric’ version to play live. The version on the record is a mash of both of them. I wouldn’t say we write with the studio in mind, but we lucked out a bit that we didn’t have to completely change anything. Maybe next time…

The tour you’ll be playing around the release - are you nervous about headlining every date? Do you prefer headline gigs to support slots?
We’re really nervous yes! We prefer headlining I think, but it’s a lot more stressful. Will anyone show up? Our one and only tour we’ve done was with Frightened Rabbit, and supporting them was great. So we’ve only really ‘headlined’ in Glasgow and Edinburgh. They’re busy but they don’t really count as it’s hometown. We’re a bit nervous about whether people elsewhere will come to see us!

And finally, how will you be spending your Summer?
Playing a few festivals, trying to pass our university exams and waiting for our album to come out in June!

Click here for a list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, and here for ticket availability.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

February 2024

Featuring The Last Dinner Party, IDLES, Yard Act, Crawlers, Remi Wolf and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY