Interview With Jettblack - 12th May 2011
Photo Of JettblackJames caught up with Jettblack in Wolverhmapton for a long chat about how the band came together, their debut album, plans for their next album and much more.

Can you give us a brief history of the band such as how you came together and came up with the name Jettblack?
Will Stapleton: We’ve known each other for a long time basically, all 4 of us met at school. We were pissing about in bands and just having a laugh; we got older and started getting better at our instruments. We used to have an old band which was just us messing about but then we thought we need to write some proper songs, make a decent album and try to make a living whilst having a laugh; the old name didn’t really suit so we just spent about 3 months looking for a name. Everyone was coming out with the shittiest joke names you can imagine trying to be wacky and funny. This is really uninteresting but I started reading the dictionary from the front then gave up then the drummer started reading from the back and got to “Jet-black”, he obviously got a lot further than I did. He said that and it was the only name everybody didn’t hate.

Jon Dow: We’ve come up with I think literally every single name you could possibly think of. There was thousands.

Will: We should have released a book on band names, there were some good ones in there but they weren’t really us.

Jon: It was the least offensive and the label liked it and they were giving us the money so we said “yeah, cheers I’ll have that”.

Will: We didn’t just bow down to the label. We decided to do that before we even got signed, it just stuck.

Who would you say your main musical influences are?
Will: All of us like different ones but as a core influence for all of us it’s got to be...

Jon: Got to be Metallica hasn’t it?

Will: Metallica yeah I suppose. I’m quite obsessed with Ugly Kid Joe.

Jon: Whitesnake

Will: I like Paul Gilbert, I’m not saying I can play anything like him but I’ve ripped a fair bit off him ha ha. Skid Row too.

Jon: All rock music basically.

Back in February you headed out on tour with Grinspoon and Die So Fluid how did you find that tour?
Will: It was really good! It wasn’t as busy as we’d hoped but then again nobody had really heard of Grinspoon; they’re massive in Australia apparently and they’re really cool guys they were just testing the water really over here. The London show was really good and we played a headline show at Southampton which was cool.

You are currently on a co-headline tour with Heavens Basement, how did this come about and how have the shows been so far?
Will: We’ve played with them a few times before when they had their old singer and the one between him and the new one. We’re on the same booking agency and we’re at similar levels in their career so it made sense, we wanted to do our own headline tour but I don’t think we’re ready yet.

Jon: It was a match made in Heavens Basement... Sorry that was a terrible joke.

You have been confirmed to be playing the Jagermeister stage at Sonisphere festival, how does it feel to be playing such a great festival?
Jon: I’ve never been before, so I’m looking forward to going for free, getting my mates in for free and getting pissed for free ha ha.

Will: Normally we hire a van out with as many seats as we can and fine excuses to bring them in like Stylist for one.

Jon: Yoga teacher, just whack any excuse.

Will: Moral Officer Ha ha!

Jon: We get 13 people in and there are only 4 of is!

Will: Problem is they all leave us and nobody fucking helps us. We get to set up and they’ve all drank our beer and fucked off! It’s going to be amazing though we’ve played Download a couple of times, the Big 4 are playing Friday too so we’re going to get their early.

Jon: Hopefully we don’t get too drunk that night.

Will: I’ve never been able to catch Metallica live!

Will you be checking out many bands at the festival?
Jon: Megadeth, I might go see how boring Dave Mustaine’s become. Who else is it Anthrax with the original singer?

Will: Yeah that should be really interesting. Who’s headlining Saturday?

Jon: Biffy Clyro and The Mars Volta

Will: Drunk day then.

Jon: Weezer are playing!

Will: We’ll need to make a plan to who we’re going to see.

Jon: I’ve not looked at the line up that much, basically Fridays the day and then Slipknot are playing. I missed them a couple years ago at Download because I got hayfever and had to go home.


Jon: We were playing the next day and I didn’t want to not be able to sing so I had to get out of that fucking field. Good decision but I missed Slipknot and their amusing to watch. I saw them on the live feed which was just as good probably better sound and because I’m short so probably had a better view.

If you could tour with any band past or present who would it be and why?
Jon: Aerosmith, simply because they must get a lot of pussy.

Will: Michael Jackson when he was big back in the 80’s would have been good.

Jon: Definitely not Michael Jackson you may as well throw Gary Glitter in the mix as well then before the “incident”. I saw him when I was 12 terrific performer.

Will: Let’s get away from the paedophiles. Ugly Kid Joe then because I’m obsessed.

Your debut album ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ has been out for a while now, are you happy with how the album went down with your fans and the press?
Jon: We didn’t get a bad review; we almost did from Kerrang but not really they just said we were a bit thick which I’m not going to argue with, we’re not the brightest but we still got KKK which is pretty respectable and they said “You can’t help but like it” well they actually said “You can’t help but like these numbskulls”. Apart from that we got all good reviews I think we’ve still got some life left in it we’re recording a new one at the moment.

What would you say your favourite tracks from the album are?
Will: I like the first one “Slip It On”, it’s not actually as commercial as “Two Hot Girls” obviously but that’s a good song simply because they let us do the video for it so in that perspective.

Jon: It’s got to be “Two Hot Girls” then because we got to spend a whole day with 14 girls jumping around in bikinis. That was my favourite when we started writing it so I’ll have to stick with that one.

Will: “Slip It On” was good because we both sang on it and both played lead guitar on it, it’s just full Jettblack it’s what we’re all about so that’s my favourite.

I understand you are about to start work on the follow up to ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’, what do you have planned this time around?
Jon: It’s already been planned and executed apart from the widdley bits. It’s in the same vain but its more aggressive and in my opinion its got even more hooks and it’s even more catchier that the previous one, possibly a little less cheddar.

Will: Less cheese? It’s more of the same but just slightly heavier.

Jon: We’ve got 14 songs at the moment so we’ve got to cut it down a bit yet but I think it’s better than the first one.

How do you normally go about writing your songs? And what inspires you when it comes to the lyrics?
Will: I wish we could say something clever and intellectual but it’s pretty boring; we have 14 songs, Jon wrote 7 on his own and I wrote 7 on my own, we all learnt them then recorded them. We do jam bits out and everyone has their input but mostly me and Jon write them.

Jon: Lyrically it’s just about what possible situations we could get into with girls. Pretty much it, problem is getting peoples input on a song, well you can’t please everyone so I prefer writing on my own or with limited people.

You played Ozzfest in London how was this show?
Will: Yeah we had 2 gigs in one day! We were on tour with Wreckless Love and we were meant to play Manchester with them but obviously we were in London! We opened up and we were outside the main arena which worked out best in the end.

Jon: It was a weird one really, it was a good gig but there was so many big bands there it would have been great to chill with them, as soon as we finished playing we had to get straight on the tube and then on the train to Manchester. Spoiled it a bit but the actual show itself was amazing.

Will: Where the stage was with all the stalls and market outside so nobody had a choice but to listen to us ha ha.

Jon: When they first built the millennium dome I always thought I’d love to play here, well it was more like the car park ha ha! Great show none the less.

Will: By the time we got to Manchester we were knackered, carrying guitar heads around the underground and getting taxis then we got 20 minutes to warm up and went straight on and that was still a great show as well!

What’s your take on the digital revelation killing off the music business?
Jon: I’m all for it to be honest, if you can get it for free as long as you enjoy it and go to see them live then why not.

Will: I think with rock music you get a lot more loyalty than with pop music. People come to shows and connect with bands, buy their t-shirts because they genuinely want the band do well. We’ve got to accept that there isn’t that much money to be made with album sales these days anyway so it’s all about shows and merchandise; so if we get the music out there then hopefully more people will come.

Jon: To be fair 90% of our friends say to us “Yeah I loved the album” and we’re like how did you get hold of it “I downloaded it for free”. I would never hold it against them as long as they enjoyed it, I know 90% of the people who come to see us haven’t bought the album they’ve either nicked it or got a copy of their mates. It has always happened even before the digital revolution they’d tape copies! It’s more important people enjoy it than pay for it.

Social network sites seem to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?

Will: Myspace has changed, don’t know why they’ve done it to compete with Facebook I guess it sucks. Facebook’s great because your fans feel like they get you as a genuine friend and not a .com just solid site.

Jon: It’s great because without it ways of getting our name out and our music would cost a fucking fortune so it’s just perfect for us really.

Where do you hope to see Jettblack in a year’s time?
Jon: Barbados or something I don’t know.

Will: We want to be touring in other countries with any luck to be honest with you. World domination is what we want!

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Jon: You don’t see a lot of giraffe getting eaten by lions. So I’ll go for that one and plus you get the best fruit.

Will: I’d be a zebra, black and white, they look better.

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
Jon: Enjoy the new album, come see us live, we love you and appreciate you. Make sure you’re attractive when you come to the shows spruce yourself up we’ll appreciate it.

Interview By James Webb
 Band Members

Will Stapleton
Jon Dow
Matt Oliver
Tom Wright
 Latest Releases
Jettblack - Get Your Hands Dirty
Release Date - June 2010
1. Slip It On
2. Two Hot Girls
3. When It Comes To Lovin´
4. Fooled By A Rose
5. War Between Us
6. Get Your Hands Dirty
7. Not Even Love
8. Mother fucker
9. Sleep
10. Holding
11. Innocence Is Mine

 Band Related Links
Jettblack Myspace