Fresh from a UK tour earlier this year with US pop-punk band Real Friends, and having recently signed to Hit and Run Records, 2015 is already proving to be a busy year for Brit rockers Jet Pack. The band is comprised of four members: Paul (guitar/vocals), Dennis (guitar/vocals), Rich (bass) and Sam (drums). As they prepare for the release of their latest EP titled And You’ve Had Your Six, the band took time out of their schedule for a chat with Kettle.
How did you first become interested in music?
Dennis: The thing that drew us all into music separately was probably pop-punk. I got into playing music through blink-182. They were the reason I decided to start playing drums when I was 14. I remember watching the opening bars of the First Date music video on Kerrang! – where Travis does that now legendary fill – and I remember thinking, “That looks awesome. I want to do that!”
How did Jet Pack come about?
Paul: Jet Pack started in mine and Sam’s bedrooms at University. We started playing blink-182 covers together and our first ever gig was the University Battle of the Bands competition. We got to the final and finished 3rd…out of 3!
Why did you choose the name Jet Pack?
Paul: Through sheer desperation! We had gigs booked but still no band name so we styled ourselves after a James Bond computer game called Agent Under Fire that involved flying around on Jet Packs. Ironic really, given that our latest single is taken from a James Bond quote!
Who are your musical influences?
Dennis: The most direct influences to our music are the rock bands we grew up loving: Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Hundred Reasons, Boxcarracer, Foo Fighters… The more subtle influences range through hip-hop, soul, pop, punk, metal, folk and beyond.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Dennis: At the moment I’m into this great new Birmingham band called The Always, the new Yellowcard album, and a bit of the Cocteau Twins – this weird 80s dream pop band someone put me on to.
What’s the best thing about being in a band?
Dennis: As you would expect, live shows and recording are the two most obvious favourites. A less obvious one is probably the journey to shows in our van. We’ve all been friends for so long that it’s just a laugh from start to finish.
What’s it like being on tour with bands like McBusted?
Sam: Playing shows with bigger bands like that is huge for us as we get to play our songs to so many new people who may not have heard of us, and we hope to pick up new fans along the way.
How do you get inspiration?
Sam: All four of us have very varied music tastes, and we’re influenced by the different bands we like. Then when we come together, each individual’s input helps create the ‘Jet Pack sound’.
Dennis: In terms of lyrics, Paul and I draw from our surroundings and personal experiences both in and outside the band. An unintentional recurring theme is overcoming adversity.
— JET PACK (@wearejetpack) April 4, 2015
What are your interests outside of music?
Dennis: We’re all pretty different. Paul loves air soft and is a massive ice hockey fan, Rich plays rugby for Stratford-upon-Avon, Sam is a long suffering Villa fan, and I enjoy cooking and have an interest in advertising.
Talk to us about your new EP And You’ve Had Your Six.
Dennis: It’s very focused. The title track really sets up what we’re about and lyrically it’s a snapshot of where we were before signing to Hit and Run. The second track Come To Your Senses is very different. Theme-wise it’s about being heard above all the noise of everyday life. The last track First Steps is about optimism and appreciating what you have. They’re three of the best tracks we’ve written and it’s our first label release – in short we’re incredibly excited about it!
Any plans for a full album yet?
Sam: Yes! We’re starting to work on new songs for a full-length album which we’re looking to record towards the end of this year, and then release in early 2016.