Jaws: “Anyone who starts a band to make money is an idiot.”
Jaws aren’t asking much with their second album. They just want people to learn the words, and maybe beat Robbie Williams to Number 1.
Published: 10:27 am, November 17, 2016
“This sounds really arrogant, but every song on this album is the best song we’ve ever written to that point,” Connor Schofield states. “That’s the sort of thing that NME would put on the cover to make me look like a twat,” he laughs. Sure, such hyperbole might be fairly overused at this point, but with their second album finally released, Jaws couldn’t be more thrilled.
“It sounds really big headed, but I’m just so proud of the whole thing,” Connor enthuses. “I listen to it and I sort of think, ‘What the hell - how is that us?’ No disrespect to you...” he trails off, turning to his bandmate sat next to him. “No, I agree man!” Eddy Geach exclaims. “I mean, ’it’s the best record we’ve ever made’ is such a cliché, but…”
The album, released this month, arrives two years on from the band’s debut. In the time since, the three musicians have toured across the country together, performed with other bands, and even started a clothing line. “But more importantly, I work at Schuh and it’s student night next week. Come down!” Connor laughs. “We’ve just been doing real life for a bit.”
Taking time away from the spotlight, the group started work on their new record well over a year ago. “We wrote SO many songs!” Connor proclaims. “With the first album it was sort of like, ‘Oh, look, there’s eleven songs, that’s the album, cool!’” he depicts. “With this album sometimes it would take me eight songs to get to one good one. I’d happily write the eight shit songs, because I knew eventually we were going to get one that mattered.”
With twenty unused songs left by the wayside, and more written in the time since “for the new record” (yes, already), Jaws might’ve been keeping things quiet, but they’ve certainly not been idle. “We write as much as we can,” Eddy states. “Whenever there’s a practice we’ll write something. We’ve basically just been doing that for a year.”
The result of their efforts finally arrives this month in the form of ‘Simplicity’, a record that boils the tensions, worries, excitement, and thrills of every day life down to their very essence. “You have all these feelings in one place, but at the end of the day it’s just life, isn’t it?” Connor explains. “It is simple,” he comments of the title.
Complex though the inspirations for the record may be, the songs do indeed present themselves with a certain simplicity. “I wrote this in a time when I was getting better from anxiety and depression,” the frontman expands. “It’s a mix of the emotions that we were going through at that time.” Condensing the broad spectrum of life into forty-odd minutes is by no means an easy undertaking, but it’s one the group were determined to triumph over.
“I’ve been through having anxiety – it feels like the worst thing ever,” Connor describes. “You don’t understand it.” Encompassing all of that confusion and offering a sense of brightness and satisfaction along the way, with their second album Jaws truly flourish. “It’s about that realisation that actually, everything is alright,” Connor illustrates. “It’s trying to put it in a way that someone can listen to that, sort of as a self-help record.”
Focusing on sound and feeling before their lyrical content, Jaws have kept their words open to interpretation, and in doing so, have created a record that can resonate with anyone. “You can have the best day of your life and still listen to a sad song, or you can have the worst day of your life and listen to this song that makes you happy,” Connor shrugs.
“You can get through it,” the frontman reassures. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s the point really.” Describing the release as somewhere between “the inside of a teenager’s head” and “when you take that first sip of tea in a morning,” the record was as fulfilling to make as it is to listen to. “It’s pretty lit, to be fair,” Connor declares with a grin.
Giving form to your own emotions might sound challenging, but the moment the band stepped into the studio, the process became decidedly simple. “It’s been really natural writing as a band,” Connor enthuses. “We wrote the songs live,” Eddy adds. “There’s such a short amount of time in the studio. We knew exactly what we had to do.”
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With the songs already written and fully formed, all that was left to do was commit them to record. Working from the early morning through until early the next, it was a tiring ten days that gave ‘Simplicity’ its shape, but it’s a process the group are quick to state the record couldn’t exist without. “With the first album we were new to it all,” Connor expresses. “We took that experience and put it into this record.”
“These whole last four years in this industry has been an education,” he continues. As they self-release their second record, there’s no shirking how tight a unit Jaws have become. “We turned down Simon Cowell, again,” Connor explains of their decision to release without a label. “He keeps trying to slide into the DMs on Instagram as well. I’m like, ‘This is not a professional means of communication’. Add me on LinkedIn and we’ll talk.”
“We’re basically running our own label. You don’t need to be signed in 2016,” he offers, more seriously. “Unless you just want loads of money.” “If we were in it for the money, I don’t think we’d even be a band,” Eddy conveys. “Anyone who starts a band to make money is a fucking idiot.”
Over a year in the build up, the excitement surrounding the release is so vivid it’s almost takes form. “We’ve made such a good thing!” Connor declares excitedly. “It’s our little baby. It’s got two dads, and Huddy’s the uncle,” he laughs. “Obviously we want it to do well. We want to make another album. But at the same time, we don’t care. We’re so happy with what we’ve made.”
This isn’t to say the group aren’t feeling competitive about the release. “Our record is coming out on the same day as Robbie Williams’,” Connor reveals. “We’ll be Number 2,” he resigns. “He’ll be Number 2!” Eddy declares, to his bandmates’ cheer of approval. “We won’t be Number 1,” he adds, “but he’ll just be 2.”
“I just hope people learn the words,” the drummer continues. “I love it when they sing at a gig.” With tour dates spanning through this month and into December, there’s every opportunity for that to happen. As for what follows? “I’m going back to work on that Monday, so I don’t know,” Connor states. “It all depends on how many copies of the album sells in the first week – so please buy it,” he laughs.
“That’s the thing about not being signed. You’ve got to write your own story,” Eddy contemplates. “Hopefully there’ll be another tour. Hopefully a support tour,” Connor speculates. “Maybe another interview,” Eddy grins. “If there were less bands, we’d have more chance of being successful,” Connor mulls. “So if you could all just stop…”
Jaws’ album ‘Simplicity’ is out now.