Interview: The Mystery Jets
Much-loved London indie outfit The Mystery Jets are no strangers to Sheffield. In fact, they visited us last year to celebrate 35 years of The Leadmill and now return with more quirky pop ballads and a stonker of a new album for Tramlines Festival. Exposed caught up with lead singer Blaine Harrison.
So, Tramlines 2016… What are Mystery Jets saying?
Well, I’ve been practicing my Pete Townsend windmill moves on the guitar, but my arms seem to be an inch longer than everyone else’s and I keep missing. There are a couple of guitar solos in the new set which always bring a tear to the lads’ eyes. But festivals are all about uniting an audience, so there’ll be some dancing numbers for the girls too.
Nice. Huge props on the latest album, Curve of the Earth, by the way. One of the best records of the year so far in our books…
Thanks! And I’m really looking forward to the mad summer of festivals ahead. We took a couple of years out to make the album so I’m delighted about the prospect of playing it in front of audiences up and down the country.
The band’s image and sound has never stuck to one genre/type – is it a conscious effort or something that just changes and evolves naturally with time?
The funny thing is, whenever we sit down together before making a new record, the conversation is almost always: “We’re on a roll now, this direction is feeling really great and we’ve just got to expand on it… ” But what comes out a year down the line is rarely what we planned. I recognise now that Mystery Jets is constantly being refined by whatever is exciting us at the time and that always manages to draw new songs out of us. And why the hell not? Who wants to hear a band make the same album twice?
Time for the nitty-gritty serious questions: would you rather have your own mind but the body of a penguin, or a penguin’s mind in your own body?
Now we’re getting onto the real questions. The former, as I’m not sure I would appreciate the splendour of inhabiting the body of a Penguin had I been a home-dwelling mammal prior to that.
Would you rather never eat your favourite food ever again or have to name all of your children ‘Keith’?
Now that you’ve put the idea in my head, I would name all my kids Keith, even if I had to never eat my favourite food again.
Would you rather talk football with Adrian Chiles and Michael Owen for a full 24 hours or ghost-write Kanye West’s autobiography?
Ghost-write Kanye’s book. Then I would write a book about it.