The Edinburgh, Scotland band, We Were Promised Jetpacks play Friday at Fountain Square for the MidPoint Indie Summer series. This indie, post punk revival band have been on the scene since 2009 when their debut album, These Four Walls dropped. “Quiet Little Voices” is easily one of the best songs of that year, in my opinion.
We Were Promised Jetpacks released their sophomore album in the fall of 2011, In The Pit Of The Stomach via FatCat Records to critical acclaim. In The Pit Of The Stomach received praise from Spin, Rolling Stone, Magnet, Under The Radar, The Onion's AV Club, Entertainment Weekly, Stereogum and more. Since the release of the album, We Were Promised Jetpacks has played numerous U.S. shows, which included stops at the SXSW Music Festival, Coachella and made their late night TV debut on Last Call with Carson Daly.
Prior to the Fountain Square invasion, I sat down with Mike Palmer for a chat
CincyMusic.com: What's it like on the road? Paint a picture of a day in the life on the road?
step 1: get out of bed. this is the most variable of the steps. if you're lucky it's at 11 or 12 and this is a good bit of the day. most of the time it's not and it's 7 or 8 and then it's the worst bit of the day.
step 2: get in the van.
step 3: drive for several hours.
step 4: lunch. sometimes in a nice place where we can sit down and have something nice but often it's a sandwich eaten in the van. i like that though cos i like to watch stuff when i eat. there's a weird kind of joy in watching old episodes of mad men whilst eating a subway in the back of the van
step 5: drive more. this is more fun as we're all awake now and we've eaten which is good.
step 6: arrive at the venue. this is when you take as long as you can before step 7. any excuse. go to the toilet, pretend you're waking up from sleeping. peter our drummer does a thing where he spends ages putting his shoes back on. we all have our techniques.
step 7: load in the gear. some places have big men that lift the heavy stuff for you and those are the best places.
step 8: setup/soundcheck. this takes forever. once we've loaded in the gear and put it roughly where it should go on the stage, we run away to the dressing room and harass people until we have the wi-fi password and sit there for a few hours. our sound guy anders helps the local sound guy mic-up the stage then we do a quick soundcheck. this is Anders' favourite part of the day, he loves it.
step 9: food. yas. more food. great
step 10: the show.
step 11: post-show. wait as long as you can before Anders and Esteban (our tour manager) start to get a wee bit annoyed that you've not packed your stuff away yet. do it then so they don't get too angry.
step 12: load out. this is even worse than the load in, as it's late now and dark outside and you're probably a bit drunk now after steps 9 and 10. peter is really good at working out the tetris of packing the stuff, so we carry it out to him and he does that.
step 13: hotel. if it's a bad step 1 the next day then usually straight to bed. if it's a good step 1 the next day than maybe a nice bar for a drink or two.
CM: What's your favorite venue to go see / play a show? (dive, festival, arena...)
MP: hmmmmmmmm. play a show is a good one. We love music hall of williamsburg in New York. That's a nice sounding stage and the people are nice. there are plenty of good places, it's actually quite hard to pick a favourite.
CM: What's the first concert that you attended?
MP: I took my mum to see Mull Historical Society in edinburgh for her birthday. It was pretty good. that's a bit of a strange one!
CM: Are you working on your next project? When do you expect that to be released?
MP: Yes! We're taking our time with it. We want to make sure it's as good as it can be. Hopefully before next summer, but you never know!
CM: If you could work with any artist, who would that be and why?
MP: Dr Dre & Snoop, so we can remake 2001.
CM: What's been you biggest moment so far? The time when you felt like this is why I do this?
MP: I think probably coachella last year. there's been a few really great moments that were fun at the time, but you don't really apprecitate how significant they are until you get some context later on, but we were all very aware of how cool it was to be playing coachella.
CM: What advice do you have for an artist just starting out?
MP: I feel like we're in no position to be dishing out advice! i'm not sure, keep trying to write better music i guess. I know that sounds like a moronic answer but a surprising number of bands don't really seem aware that that's what you're meant to do. But yeah, you don't really have to listen to us. We're not exactly the best folk to be dishing out advice!