“Craig Bellamy to turn up, or maybe Tom Jones”, was the expectation Jaws held of their first live outing in Wales.
The dream-pop four-piece arrived in the Welsh capital supporting fellow Brummie band, The Twang, the latest show in a long list that dates back to the beginning of summer. “Literally every weekend for two months it was either a festival or an all-dayer that we were playing,” says frontman Connor Schofield as he describes the hectic schedule that the band have enjoyed. It certainly isn’t something that the band begrudges, as drummer Eddy Geach adds, “It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had.”
Jaws’ presence on the UK festival circuit has been felt across the country, but arguably their greatest billing came in the form of Reading & Leeds as the summer drew to a close. It’s fair to say that the boys were not quite expecting the reaction they received. “We were just really excited to be on that line up” says Eddy, “we were setting up our gear backstage and then just saw a load of people running towards the stage. It just went off when we started playing. It was absolutely wicked”. Guitarist Alex Hudson adds that the only negative thing about that set was that they were only afforded 25-minutes.
Despite drawing one of their biggest crowds of the summer at Reading, it was away from the stage where things felt most surreal. Bassist Jake Cooper says, “We were just walking around seeing all these people that you just shouldn’t be meeting. When we came off stage Dan from Bastille was just there, as they were ready to do a surprise set right after us. You should be in college watching them on YouTube”.
It isn’t just festivals that the boys have been playing, having just completed a headline UK tour, many shows of which were sell-outs. “Birmingham and London sold out weeks before which was so surreal, especially the London show” explains Connor, before Jake describes the surprise of selling out venues in some of the UK’s less obvious music venues. “Birmingham and London were about 300 capacity shows so when they were selling out we were expecting a really good crowd anyway, but then going to Leicester and expecting only about 30 people turning up to the show, so when it sells out on the door – though it was the smallest venue on the tour – it rocked it. It was so fun to play.”
Having had less than a week off following their tour, the band went back on the road in support of The Twang. Perhaps not the most conventional pairing in terms of the sound that the two bands create, but nevertheless Jaws all seem grateful for the opportunity to showcase their music to a wider audience. “We’ve always had mutual connections but there’s been a bit of a wall between us and now that wall has been broken down”.
Broaching the subject of the Birmingham music scene prompts a collective sigh, and the band seem sick to death of being quizzed on the community of bands that have emerged from the West Midlands in the last two years. Nevertheless, I ask if there are any negatives to that community, or aspects that have been ignored within the buzz, an angle that Connor seems more inclined to discuss. “I don’t think, in all honesty, that there’s going to be another Peace or Swim Deep. It’s still pretty healthy at the minute and there’s an actual sort of thing there. I’m not being negative or ignorant in saying that there isn’t going to be another Peace or Swim Deep, it’s just that there are too many bands. I’m not being negative about it or saying that everyone’s not good enough. Everyone is good enough, I just don’t see that the industry is going to decide to go that way again.” “It’s all just getting a bit clogged up”, adds Alex. “You occasionally get a few sly people, the odd two just bitching, but apart from that everyone is friends there which is still nice”.
With shows beginning to come to a close, the band are united in their plans to have lots of rest once they’re finished supporting Spector. “I’m sleeping for a week”, says Alex before Eddy suggests that he won’t wake up for Christmas. But whilst resting might be the first thing on their agenda, many will want to know what is next for Jaws, especially after high demand saw vinyl copies of their 2013 EP ‘Milkshake’ repressed.
Without revealing anything concrete, Connor says, “We just signed to a booking agency so hopefully we’ll be back on the road even more. I know we’re planning on writing a lot at the end of the year. We aren’t signed so I don’t think that there will be an album, but there will be something, I’m sure.
“We’re starting a side project called Crystal Deth” jokes Eddy. “We haven’t decided how were going to spell it yet. There’s death as in d-e-a-t-h and there’s death as in crystal meth but with a D.”
Words and interview by Liam McNeily. Read Liam’s review of the show here.