Monday, December 28, 2009

A Sound so Sweet

:::Artist Spotlight:::
SWEET JANE



There aren't many bands out there I would say are revolutionary. If you look at what sits on the surface of today's popular music you'll notice it's nothing but a swarm of lifeless, wishy-washy, unimaginative so called "rock bands". Now the first time I heard Sweet Jane it was a different story, the feeling that there was still hope for rock'n'roll sprung up inside me, and brought a rush of inspiration along with it. Sweet Jane's music is straight to the point, straight from the heart, and full of that rock'n'roll spirit that's lacking in today's artists. Listening to this band brings back the joy of discovering something special, that feeling one gets when he/she comes across a new favorite. I recently had a chance to rap with Sweet Jane's Lydia Des Dolles about the band's influences, their future, and the gear they use to achieve their sound.



Danda: Lead Guitar/Vox
Lydia Des Dolles: Vox/Perc
Ruairi Paxton: Bass
Donagh O Brien: Drums






Analog War Cry:
Before we get started I just want to say I am a big fan of the tunes and as a musician it is inspiring to hear someone taking it in the direction you have. Where would you say your inspiration for writing tunes comes from?


Sweet Jane:

Oh thank you, thats so nice to hear, Danda is the main song writer for our band, its really only while we were laying down some demos for new material in the last year or so that I've started to take a little bit more control in the direction the vocals are going. I dont know where Danda gets his initial inspiration from, I dont ask, our music is pretty emotional so I think it speaks for itself, and I dont like to pry with him, I just listen to it, and you pretty much know where his head was at when he wrote the song, hes very direct with music and lyrics, he doesnt hide their interpretation.

AWC:
Where was the band born, how did it come about, and how long have you guys been at it now?


Sweet Jane:
I was living in London in the United Kingdom working on some music and doing some living, then I moved to Dublin, when I got there I met Danda at about 6am at a houseparty, he told me he had some songs and was looking for a female singer for them, and then he asked me to try out, I hadn't told him I sang, and he hadnt heard me sing, but he was really confident that it would work so I decided to try out. When we heard the outcome we started the band and then Ruairi asked to come play bass with us.


AWC:
What's the line-up right now? Are there any new members we should know about?


Sweet Jane:
Sweet Jane is a trio, Danda, me & Ruairi, thats the solid band, sure, myself and Danda started this but Ruairi is just as validated in Sweet Jane as we are now.


AWC:
I could sit here and pick out where I think some of your influences come from but I'm quite curious to hear what you guys have to say. Can you tell us a bit about what drives your sound?


Sweet Jane:
This is such a weird one because we get put into this Jesus & Mary Chain / Velvet Underground box and it just doesn't seem to fit us. I mean we have to respect it in a way, because those bands are institutional, but its not like we sit at our studio trying to recreate that sound, our influences are really varied and so thats the music we make, I think alot of the music magazines & media in general have only got our debut EP to go on, and we recorded that a long time ago, our new material has a slight change to it, but let me just say those comparisons are not the worst by a long shot, so we cant complain.


AWC:

How would describe your sound? If you could warp into any era which one would you land yourselves in?


Sweet Jane:
We were given the title ''dream-pop-rock-n-roll'' by the Irish media, I like that one, so I'll use that. I guess era wise y'know the 70's, look at the caliber of bands that have come from that era, and the guitars, dont get me started on vintage guitars!!


AWC:
Could you give us a rundown of everyone's rigs, what type of guitars. effects. etc... you all use?


Sweet Jane:
OK Danda's guitars are a 1971 gibson es 320-td and an Eastwood Classic 6 Re-wired w/ vintage p90 pickups, his pedals are a Big Muff Fuzz Pedal, a Holy Grail Reverb Pedal, a vintage tubescreamer, a custom Vintage FX pedal and a 1970s Vox Wah, his amp is a Fender Deville. Ruairi plays a Rickenbacker Bass with Vintage FX ColorDrive and Rat Distortion Pedals which go through an Ash Down Head / Ampeg Cab. I please a vintage 70's Epiphone EA 250, with a vintage FX Distortion pedal, and my amp is a Fender Deluxe.

AWC:

How do you approach the songwriting process for your tunes?


Sweet Jane:
For the new record myself and Danda have locked ourselves away with some guitars and some little keyboards, and he'll come up with a guitar part and we'll work out a melody and then lyrics, or vice-versa, then we usually record them onto our 10-track and take it into the studio and work it out with the full band.

AWC:
The first run of tunes you guys wrote I heard on Myspace for the first time. Is that a record that's available? How did that project come about and who dreamt it up?


Sweet Jane:
Those songs are on a 5-track EP called ''Blackboots & Blackhearts'' which we released at the end of 2008, I think it was a natural progression we were starting to tour alot but we didn't have a release, and the more shows we played the more people were after material, so we decided to just get it out there, we didnt didnt anticipate any type of reaction, so when the reaction was good we were really pleased, naturally.


AWC:
Are you guys working with any other bands or musicians on other music projects?


Sweet Jane:
Theres a couple of artists & bands who have asked me to sing on some material which Ive done, and which I still have to do, but I don't think I'd publically announce what bands or make it into something big y'know, I like having my voice out there on other projects that people dont know about, I really dont want to take any focus off of Sweet Jane, because I work so hard at it.


AWC:
What are some of the bands playing right now that have had an influence on you, and are there any good bands coming up in your town we should know about?


Sweet Jane:
Where we are right now, there are so many great bands, really its been like this unbelievable surge in new bands making great music, but Id be lying if i said that any of those bands influenced me, they dont, I still have to go back in time to get influenced, y'know its like a life thing, you are always inspired by the people or artists that have gone before you, because theyve already conquered what it is they set out to achieve. Imagine if one of our records was in teenagers collections in 30 years time, just amazing!


AWC:
Is there a tour in the works, where you're playing right now, how are the shows going. etc...?


Sweet Jane:
We spent last year pretty much on tour, it seemed like we only saw each on stage rather than in our studio, so we've started to spend some more time just writing and setting up new material, we have two shows for October, and a festival at home. The shows have been getting better and better, you start to see new faces in the crowd, and you see the old faces singing all the words, y'know were building an empire in a sense, and were still so new, so were growing and learning.


AWC:
Any interesting or strange things happen yet, memorable gigs or moments you'd like to share?


Sweet Jane:
We've had a pretty trippy couple of years so far, I think what most people find fascinating about our band is how relaxed is it, nothing is forced y'know, you see so many bands get desperate, and that in turn is weakness, you have to be confident about your band, and be confident that with time, all your hard work will pay off, which is where we are right now, were working, really hard! The weirdest stuff to happen to us, for me, is the reception from bands that are in the eye of the storm right now, emailing and calling us saying ''we really love your music'', i just hope its an eye opener for whats ahead for us.


AWC:
What music do you guys listen to when you're on the road? Is there anything in particular you jam to before a gig? I know my band does.

Sweet Jane:
We dont really have any kind of team bonding thing before our shows, were all usually off doing something different, and just before we go on, we'll have a beer together and run over the setlist or something like that. Its usually a quiet affair until were off stage.


AWC:
New record in the works?


Sweet Jane:
Of course we're always planning our next releases, were speaking to some labels right now about the possibility of releasing something in the new year, another EP, to build some repetoire for our album which will hopefully see a summer release.


AWC:
When are you guys playing LA?


Sweet Jane:
You wouldn't believe the support that we have gotten from America, especially L.A its been kind of over whelming, but for us as a band to get over there to tour it would cost us money that we just dont have unfortunately, hopefully that will change and soon, we have alot of friends in bands in L.A that have let us know how wonderful the music scene is over there, so it is definetly on the cards, for sure.


AWC:
For the guitar players in the band. Favorite stompbox of all time?


Sweet Jane:
I asked Danda what his was and he said the ''Octavia Fuzz''


AWC:

Nice choice. Anything else you'd like our readers to know?


Sweet Jane:
Um, I guess if any of your readers have ever supported our band in any way, we'd like them to know that we truly are grateful, I mean really, we are super-appreciative of any one who's came to a show, or bought a record, or got a friend to visit our website, it really does mean alot, and I dont think that we'd be where we are had it not of been for the public recommending us to friends, spreading Sweet Jane's music, y'know, so thank you I guess.


AWC:
We look forward to seeing you guys play soon and wish you the best of luck on your adventure into this music thing.


Sweet Jane:
Thank you so much, long may it last, right? [laughs]




For more info on Sweet Jane visit their Myspace at www.myspace.com/officialsweetjane Make sure to also check out their videos on their Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/OFFICIALSWEETJANE

BOOKING / MANAGEMENT / MEDIA
PLEASE CONTACT :

OFFICIALSWEETJANE [AT] GMAIL [DOT] COM


LABEL / RELEASE INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT :

INFO@REEKUS.COM

WWW.REEKUS.COM




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