Jetski: “Fuck it, I would love to be on a massive stage.”

Since the release of their debut single ‘Easy Peeler’ back in July, South Yorkshire alt-rock outfit Jetski have been making waves in Sheffield. With their sellout first gig in August to a spot on BBC Radio Sheffield in September, the young group have set the bar high. Ahead of a live session with Exposed, I met with Charles (vocals/guitar) and Jack (bass) to talk emo influences, perfectionism and future plans…

First of all, where are you guys from?
Jack: We’re originally from Rotherham.
Charles: We all live in Sheffield now, but we grew up together in Rotherham

How did you all meet?
Charles: Me and Jack met at school. I met Alex (drums) and Elliot (guitar) through skateboarding. I was friends with them all individually first.

How did you get into making your own music?
Jack: I started getting lessons when I was about thirteen through to sixteen. I would just play by myself and jam a little bit. We learnt ‘Damnit’ by Blink 182 and ‘Basket Case’ by Green Day and that was it.
Charles: We’d play an acoustic cover of ‘Damnit’ at every house party we went to, on every occasion. We were those guys. I’d had guitar lessons when I was really young, but I think I went to like three and couldn’t figure it out so I bailed. Later on, a mate had gone into town to sell his guitar at a pawnbrokers and I said I’d take it off him. I just watched a load of YouTube videos so I’m pretty self-taught. We were always massively into bands and going to shows together. We were really into metal and hardcore music. Then when the emo scene came over from the US we started listening to that and going to those shows. I just thought we could do something like that.

Who are your musical influences?
Jack: There are a good few. We grab a lot from American emo and UK emo.
Charles: American Midwest emo bands like Modern Baseball and American Football are massive influence on us. More locally, bands like Gnarwolves when we were growing us were a big influence, and that sort of DIY punk scene, just the ethos of that entire scene.
‘Easy Peeler’ is a great song. It seems like you’ve taken a lot of care in putting out a really strong debut single.
Charles: Yeah definitely. To us, that song is like three or four years old. It was written a really long time ago, and we’ve sort of just incubated that along with the rest of our songs. ‘Easy Peeler’ is just me being an upset, pissed off little 16-year-old! It’s an accumulation of young relationships, a lot of angst, a lot of heartbreak. Just feeling like anybody does at that age – anxiously wanting to do something and not really knowing how to do it. I think the stuff we’re writing→ now is more mature to some degree, talking about some more serious issues.

How come it took you so long to get your first single out?
Charles: It sort of felt like no one really had the time, and we didn’t want to do it until it’d be really good. I started writing songs acoustically when I was about 16 and then showed them to my guitarist Elliot. I showed the songs to Alex and Jack and over time they convinced me that they were worth putting out there and doing something with. When we started playing them together, we realised that when you write a song and play it for a year it changes into a completely different thing. That always creates a problem because you have to decide when to stop.
Jack: No. You need to decide when to stop. It’s not an issue with anyone else.
Charles: You have to decide when it’s finished and that’s hard! We want to do everything like it’s the last time we’ll ever do it, because if we only release that one thing at least it’ll be cool.

Would you say you’re a bit of a perfectionist then?
Charles: Yeah, without a doubt! You’re trying to put somebody else in your shoes. When I write a song it’s a snapshot of a time in my life or a feeling and I want to get that across in the clearest way possible. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a perfectionist as long as you’re not delaying anything. Right now we have upwards of about sixteen blocks of songs that we’re working on that we’re planning to slowly roll out.
So are you planning on releasing an EP any time soon, or do you just want to roll them out one-by-one?
Charles: We talked a lot about this with our manager and we think that bringing out the singles allow us to gauge a response and for us to seasonally drop songs as well. I think that with ‘Easy Peeler’ it’s a summer snapshot. It was released at the start of the summer and it got played quite a lot throughout it. We’re going to try and do the same with the rest of the tunes we put out.

The music video was wicked; did that take a lot of time and effort as well?
Charles: I’ve been making music videos for bands around Sheffield for about three or four years. And I think this one is the best one I’ve ever made or had a part in making. Also, we really enjoy being able to have control over everything we’re putting out. We like making the tunes, we like making the merch, we like making the videos. Trying to get your music out there and have people hear it and understand it is so hard and people bang on about how hard it is, so we thought we had to do everything we could to give it the strongest start possible. And a music video definitely attracts attention. We dragged round all our equipment around Sheffield for three weekends in a row and convinced our friends to hold the cameras for us.

You’ve only been putting yourself out there for a couple of months, but where do you want to be in a year’s time?
Charles: A Grammy would be great.
Jack: We could do a Teen Choice Award. I want to get slimed.
Charles: To do a tour, to play somewhere abroad, would be great. We’ve got loads of audio equipment in the hopes that we can go somewhere. That’s where we’d like to be and just to experience this with my friends.
Jack: Just more music. More shows.
Charles: Also, seeing people that have made being in a band a full time occupation, that’s something that’s definitely has pushed us. That that could be an option… It’d be sick. I feel like I could give quite a faux answer and say, “I’m happy to just play for 300-capped venues”, but fuck it, I would love to be on a massive stage. I would love for as many people as possible to be engaged with us and get what we’re all about.

Follow the band on Facebook here.

There are no comments

Add yours