Jake & The Jellyfish - Dead Weight

Band Interview: Jake & The Jellyfish

This week, one of Leeds’ finest acts, Jake and the Jellyfish released their second album, ‘Dead Weight’. It’s certainly going to be in my end of year list, and hopefully in many others, the band have made an album so incredibly strong and relatable, that since it reached my ears a month ago I have near enough listened to it every day, finding myself lost in both the lyrics and instrumentation. On top of them playing a Seeing Your Scene show at The Chelsea Inn in Bristol on Saturday night (April 11th), I felt that I needed to catch up with frontman Jake McAllister to discuss the album.

The album quite well sums up the position you are in when you’re in your early 20’s in current Britain, Jake tells us “I was writing a lot of the lyrics to this album when I was searching for Jobs after uni, and then when having one struggling to get by on an ever-changing wage”. He continues to tell us his personal struggle that inspired the album “everything I was writing came out [of] talking about trying to balance creativity, jobs, relationships etc all in one”. Although aside from this there are some positive inspiration from life experience, as heard on tracks such as ‘Tour Talk’ and ‘Coffee Tally’, Jake tells us; “I think touring has really influenced [the album], playing shit loads of gigs, getting to know new people and making new friends all around the world through music really has a positive effect”.

Compared to their previous release Jake tells us that ‘Dead Weight’ “definitely feels [more] like a ‘band’ album”, where the last album was partly songs Jake has “had for quite a while, and were banded up, this one is all new”, making it clear this time that “Everybody has had an equal share of the writing”, perhaps inspiring the strong musical elements on this album on top of the far above standard song writing. Explaining the bands’ mix of folk, ska, punk and more, always being a hard band to pin down Jake tells us “I’ve never been too big on sticking to one sound at all times, we try and mix genres up a bit”, asking about the future Jake hints that they already have new songs in the works and talks about how they are developing as a band, “I think as we grow as band we’ll be able to explore everybody’s strengths more and more. Rich has improved dramatically over time with his Violin playing, and Steve’s always grabbing influences from places you wouldn’t expect, to change songs direction completely”.

Moving onto the DIY scene is where Jake says the most and feels the most passionate, asking why it’s important to him he tells us, “I think the thing that really makes the DIY scene different and important, is that there’s a much friendlier aspect to it. It’s much more transparent. You don’t get a lot of the fake ‘look how much of a big deal we are’ thing when you’re part of it. You may be on stage, but that doesn’t make you any better or ‘cooler’ then anybody else at the show. I think that’s really important. As long as you’re nice, pretty much everybody is supportive, it doesn’t matter whether a big label is pumping loads of money into your band, we’ll all be there singing along, making the zines, putting on the shows, buying the merch and spreading the love!”

Grab ‘Dead Weight’ from the Jake and the Jellyfish bandcamp.

Catch them live at Fishlock Promotions/Seeing Your Scene presents at The Chelsea Inn in Bristol this Saturday (April 11th).

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Chris Fishlock

Chris Fishlock

Punk rock enabler at Fishlock Promotions & Seeing Your Scene sub-editor.

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