PHOTOGRAPHY Dean Avisar
CREATIVE DIRECTION Rachel Ma
INTERVIEW Julian de la Celle
FOXES: How are you guys? What have you been up to?
William Rees: Hello! We are very well thank you, we've been playing lots of glorious festivals this summer, from Glastonbury to British Summer Time with lots in-between.
FOXES: How did you all get together?
William: The band began a long time ago, back in the early 90's when Blaine's dad Henry would play us the records that he loved. From learning our first chords on guitar and singing Buddy Holly songs to meeting our drummer Kapil and playing guerrilla style gigs on our later HQ Eel Pie Island, the band is something that has slowly grown and developed with time, taking on many guises and forms, a process of becoming. Jack Flanagan, our bassist and indie dream boat is the newest member, and with him and our fifth album just released it feels like a new dawn for the Jets.
FOXES: I read that you were initially called The Misery Jets but misspelled the name on the drum skin to Mystery Jets, what made you decide to keep the name?
William: Yes that's right, it was misspelt and then never changed. It's hard to say why the name was never changed, it sprang from a childish imagination and I think there's something quite honest about that. I think also that 'Mystery' and 'Jets' represent two different aspects that we are always trying to meld together, the ethereal, the sub-conscious, the unknown which you could call the 'Mystery' and the driving, progressive, perhaps volatile which you could call the 'Jet'.
FOXES: When did you decide that music was the path to go down? Do you pursue other creative things ie. writing, painting, photography?
William: Since a very young age, 7 or 8, playing music in a band and making records was all I've ever wanted to do and nothing else ever really threatened that, although I do remember at one point Blaine wanting to be an astronaut, but that was after watching Armageddon and only a passing phase. Painting was an area I was interested in for a time and both myself and Blaine studied at art schools. The thing with music is that it makes you feel, it can hit you in an extremely powerful way, humans need it, I need it, so anything I can do to be close to that is where my life will take me.
"Driving out across the Westway, most probably listening to a cut from "Up the Bracket" who do I see swerving between the lanes and driving dangerously with all his windows down...Peter Doherty."
FOXES: What was the most memorable thing that's happened to you guys on tour so far?
William: Ah so many memories! After 10 years of touring we've experienced so much and in so many different countries that it's almost impossible to filter through them all and find one....however...one moment in particular feels like quite a significant one to mention. Just over 10 years ago, we were driving along the west way in London (a legendary strip of road that short cuts above west London) on our way to play a gig at the barfly in Camden. At this time, London and most of its young music lovers where completely enthralled to the mythic and often shambolic guerrilla style performances of the Libertines. The Jets were no exception to this and were completely obsessed with their sole debut offering "Up the Bracket". Driving out across the Westway, most probably listening to a cut from "Up the Bracket" who do I see swerving between the lanes and driving dangerously with all his windows down...Peter Doherty. Leaping up and down with mad excitement in the back of our van, I wound down the window and as Peter's car approached I thrust out a flyer for our gig. He reached out of his window and grabbed the flyer, managed a quick thumbs up and then sped off. What then topped the amazingness of this was when we arrived at the barfly to find Peter there. He stayed around to watch our sound check and chat and then disappeared off into the afternoon, leaving us with what felt like a good omen.
FOXES: Who are your idols and have you met any of them yet?
William: I have so many, some I've met, some I haven't. David Bowie, Robert Fripp and Peter Gabriel are all idols to me, none of whom I've met. Billy Bragg is a hero of mine and I have met him. He was very kind to me, he told me about how he wrote "A New England" and I gave him the book I was reading, a hard back of Henry Miller's 'Black Spring'.
FOXES: Do you remember the first record you ever bought?
William: It was a cassette of Queen's first album "Queen" and it would have been bought from the long defunct Our Price record store. I was obsessed with this album, playing it endlessly on my sisters walkman until she nicked it back off me.
FOXES: Do you remember the first concert you ever went to?
William: Yes I do, it was Bon Jovi at the Miton Keynes Bowl! My mum took me! I was 8 years old and I remember eating a huge hotdog, befriending a leather clad lesbian couple and being blown away by Joan Osborne who was supporting and who sung "What If God Was One of Us."
FOXES: What's next for you guys?
William: We have a busy summer full of festivals and then just after that there is a surprise release planned that I don't think I can talk about I'm afraid, never the less something brand new is on its way to you from us!
- Love, William.