Jagged Little Thrills is British rock band made up of five friends – Thomas Wright, Matthew “Weg” Wetherill, Dave Vegas, Tom Wright, and Rob Gray. They’ve been described as “the love child of Jack White and Peter Doherty” with their unique punk indie rock sound and big personalities. After discovering them not that long ago, I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with them for a quick chat that took a turn like this:
Welcome to Delirious Antidotes! Tell us a bit about the band?
We’re a guitar band from Northampton that is made up of five close friends and musicians that just got fed up with the normalities of the ‘nine to five’.
Weg: My favourite phrase used to describe us as a band was ‘all in’, and that really says it all.
With almost 2,000 Facebook followers, Jagged Little Thrills has collected quite the audience over a space of time. How important is this support to you as a band?
Thomas: If people didn’t enjoy our music there would be no point in doing it!
Weg: We’ve always been incredibly lucky when it comes to support and have always been followed dragged and chased around the country in genuinely unbelievable numbers. It means everything to us.
Tom: Without the support we have had, none of what we have achieved so far would of been possible.
Dave: That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we wanted to wait a while before releasing a record. We wanted to take the songs, play them live around the country, see what works for people, what doesn’t. And the response in such a short time has been brilliant.
Something that, in my opinion, is a key attribute of a band is their name – like with any brand, getting the perfect name can be a difficult balance between originality and being so obscure it’s forgettable. “Jagged Little Thrills”, however, has a familiar sound that’s hard to forget. What’s story behind the name?
Thomas: If we told you that we’d have to kill you. What we will say is it may, or may not involve some barbed wire, a length of toilet roll and a kebab!
If you could choose just three of your favourite aspects of being in a band, what would they be?
Thomas: I’ve got four aspects. Their names are Dave, Weg, Tom and Rob.
Rob: Comradery, travel, getting messy.
Dave: Getting to travel the country, doing what you love and getting into crazy adventures with your best mates.
Tom: An excuse to get together with your mates, play live and feeling that buzz!
Weg: The best thing for me is getting to see peoples reactions when they get where your coming from with your music. That moment when you know you’ve had an impact on someone is really uplifting.
Secondly has to be playing your own music live – there is no high like it.
Lastly, I would say that getting to, literally on some occasions, tear up the country with your four best friends doing something you truly love and believe in is a pretty great way to pass the days.
Thomas: Bad sound on tour. Choosing between suits. And a serious lack of sleep.
Dave: Not much! There’s quite a lot about the business side I don’t like. People setting up their own ‘labels’ and not understanding what a label is meant to do, promoters that don’t promote etc. The worst thing I think is going home. I’d prefer to be touring 24/7 if I had my way!
Tom: Going back to normal work following a great gig.
Rob: Getting soaked in sweat every gig, losing equipment in multiband line ups, cancelling holidays and family events to gig.
Weg: Waiting for Rob! Haha. We even bought him two watches last Christmas! After a week he’d lost one and the other had broken. On a side note I quite like ‘Waiting for Rob’ as a song title.. Dave, Tom.. Where’s your notepads?!
Sometimes we meet other bands who think really highly of themselves but then have nothing to back it up musically. What good is an ‘attitude’ if you don’t have any decent music to go with it? You’re not in Oasis, go and write a f*cking chorus and stop being a bag of dicks.
Of your own tracks which is your favourite?
Dave: I think the title track ‘The Last Alibi’ is one of my favourites to listen to. ‘Streets of Berlin’ is probably the one I enjoy playing live most. It always gets a good reaction and often turns into a riot!
Weg: ‘The Last Alibi’. The lyric “look up into the sky, come and lay in the gutter for a view like mine” is derived from an old Oscar Wilde quote and when I hear it, it always reminds me of why we do what we do and to never lose sight of where we came from as a band.
Rob: ‘Stealing Apples’.
Tom: ‘The Last Alibi’. Particularly the ending
Thomas: ‘Streets of Berlin’. It always makes me want to kick things in a fit of musical induced ecstasy.
If you had to pick any album to listen to for the rest of your life?
Thomas: ‘Mosley Shoals’ I’ve bought that album at least 6 times cause I keep wearing it out!
Dave: What a tough one! ‘Screamadelica’ by Primal Scream: It has everything for me and has stood the test of time unbelievably well! Either that or The Stone Roses debut.. Even after a quarter of a century it still gets better with every listen.
Weg: For me I would have to say ‘We were dead before the ship even sank’ by Modest Mouse – lyrically and musically it is a masterpiece…and massively under appreciated!
Tom: Nirvana- ‘Nevermind’
Thomas: The entire Brit-pop era!!
Weg: I would have to say the band that have stayed with me throughout has been The Cribs – they are the perfect blend of dirty crunching guitar, pop choruses and not giving a f*ck. The best live band I have ever seen by a country mile.
Tom: Bob..my step dad. He used to play sax on a horse in front of the queen. He comes to a lot of our shows and he’d be the first one to say if it went well! And without him or Weg I would of never picked up an instrument.
Dave: Jack White and The Libertines for me!
Rob: Drum-wise? RHCP, Mars Volta, Jimi Hendrix Experience, James Brown, Bloc Party, Interpol, Massive Attack and Portishead.
If you could pick three people, other than your band mates, to make up your ideal band, who would they be?
Dave: Captain Beefheart, Keith Richards after snorting his dad and Jack White on drums.
Thomas: Meg White on drums, Charlotte Cooper from Subways on bass and Joan Jett on guitar. The four of us would make one sexy band!
Weg: Chris Dangerous from The Hives on drums; he is an incredible performer and a fantastic drummer. I would play bass myself, it was my first love! On guitar, I would have Robert Ogley from The Jackal Nine. Not only is he a bloody good guitarist but he’s also a double hard bastard. At our last gig a couple of troublemakers started causing a scene whilst we were on stage and Rob jumped straight in and ‘handled it’, making sure that they were ejected from the venue and that the gig could continue uninterrupted. I definitely need that kind of quick thinking protection if I am going to be in a super band!
On vocals/guitar I would have to have Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse – he is one of the only musicians I would consider to be a genuine genius of our time!
Rob: Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole.
What is one outrageous fact that hardly anyone knows about you?
Tom: I am secretly bald and my massive mop hair is a cover up 😉
Weg: There are no outrageous facts about me personally but I can tell you that Northampton’s most famous landmark, the Express Lift Tower, goes as far underground as it does above ground. Probably.
Rob: I like the taste of long pig.
Dave: If it hasn’t been said already it definitely isn’t printable.
Care to spill any secrets about your fellow band members?
Thomas: I’ll tell you something embarrassing… If Dave and I get locked in anywhere, I guarantee that before long we’ll be singing Whitney Houston songs acapella!
What prompted you to really delve into the music industry?
Thomas: It needed me as much as I needed it! Plus there’s just not enough suits in the public eye anymore!
Tom: Having the time of your life with your mates! If you don’t love doing what you’re doing then what’s the point in doing it?
Dave: I’ve always known I can write, since I was really small. I used to write rap and hip hop bars and sell them to the older kids for 50p on the council estate I grew up in. Then as soon as I picked an acoustic up about 10 years ago, knew immediately that it was lyrics and music I was meant to write. Soon after I enrolled and studied music industry for a few years and in one way or another been in the industry ever since! I’d say it saved me if it wasn’t such a cliche.
Weg: I’ve always loved music of all kinds from a really young age but when I started listening to The Cribs and The Libertines in my teenage years I really felt a connection to their music and the effect their live performance had on their fans. I found it completely exhilarating and really wanted to be able to feel that connection using my own music.
Weg: Watch other bands on the same bill as you. This should be a rule that is forced on all bands.
Tom: Just keep calm. And carry on!
Rob: Either be naturally talented and love it – so that practice is just what you do, not a chore – or be good looking and know someone that is talented!
Dave: If you’re not making mistakes along the way, what you’re doing has probably been done before! And don’t be one of those moaning Tory bands. If all nighters and sleeping in the back of vans isn’t your thing neither is this industry!
Thomas: Always pack more pants than you think you’ll need. Always. For anything!
Weg: Is there an age rating on this interview?! I honestly can’t say a lot of the things that have happened purely for legal reasons! It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve got in trouble for that. But, from a personal point of view, supporting Alabama 3 at our third gig at a sold out Brixton Jamm was pretty cool.
Partying hard with a band that we all love in a top venue was a real eye opener for so many reasons! But the story comes when we were leaving and we realised that our driver had been matching our antics; drinking etc all night long! The ride home that we had to endure can only be described as one of the most terrifying, white knuckle coach rides in history – when we got back to the shire, thankfully all in one piece, there was a real sense of relief and we all went away having a new found appreciation for life.
Thomas: Dave and I drunkenly buying a 3ft wooden giraffe at a service station. Everyone called us twats at the time, but ‘Jaggy’ comes everywhere with us now!
Rob: One time after a gig in North London, a couple of us drove back, had a service station burger, had a nice chat then headed home. Good times.
Tom: We played with 90’s legends ‘space’ a few weeks back and those antics were pretty epic.. Not sure much of its printable mind! But I loved them back in the day and they’ve still definitely got it! The new material is great and they’re really sound blokes as well.
What was the first concert you’ve ever been to?
Tom: Ummm..Feeder!…it could of been worse.. I suppose!
Dave: James at De Montford Hall in Leicester when I was about 13. It was an amazing gig and will stay with me forever.
Weg: The first significant gig I remember going to was an Electric Six gig in Northampton. what a great band!
Rob: Some school orchestra thing. It was Dull but I loved the timpani.
Thomas: First gig of note that sticks in my head, I saw Red Hot Chilli Peppers back in 2001.
Is there anything you want to plug here?
Weg: Our debut record ‘The Last Alibi’ is released on 26th February 2016. It was recorded by Alan Emptage at One Louder Studios, whose past credits include Arcade Fire, Skunk Anansie, Adam Ant and most recently had a No.1 album in the US billboard charts with Joss Stone.
Thomas: There will also be a tour supporting the record with the dates still to be announced so keep your eyes peel on our social media sites!
Rob: I also run a jam night at the Bantam in Northampton on Thursday nights. Come down and see me!
Quick fire round, now. What colour socks are you wearing?
Thomas: Black, always.
Tom: Live. By a country mile!
Thomas: Playing live; it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Dave: I love being writing and being creative in the studio, whether it’s in front or behind the desk. But I don’t think you can beat the high of a great gig!
As a band, how many tattoos do you have?
Rob: Haven’t thought to count!
Tom: I’m pretty sure Dave has all the tattoos.
Thomas: 9 or 10?! They’re all Dave’s!
Dave: About that, yeah.
Which of the band members is the laziest?
Dave: Haha.. You’ve never seen yourself rehearse or onstage then! I think we all pull out weight equally in different areas. We’re all good at different things so it works out well.
Gold or silver?
Dave: Silver or white gold.
Tom: I prefer old festival wrist bands as jewelry.
What was your favourite life stage?
Dave: Next year when we’re touring the new record. 😉
Weg: What’s a life stage? I’m only 29!
Rob: It’s all been fairly enjoyable!
If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?
Dave: If I wanted to change my name, I would!
Weg: Alberto Vesuvius Mclintock. (It’s a bit more ‘jazzy’ than Matthew.)
Thomas: Lord Thomas Wright MBE.
Tom: Clubber Lang.
Rob: Romi Bremstt.
Sorbet or ice cream?
Tom: Ice cream.
Dave: Sorbet after a meal or ice cream as a meal!
Weg: Ice cream.
Thomas: Ice cream
Rob: Ice cream
Which band member is most likely to lose their keys or phone?
Dave: Thomas is clumsy enough to lose anything, anywhere and still fall over it!
Tom: Definitely rob!
Thomas: Dave. He’s brilliant at losing his one key. His phone however is like his little black book and never out of his sight.
Ideal holiday destination?
Thomas: The Amazon rainforest so I can swing from vines like Tarzan.
Dave: Ko Lanta, Thailand. It’s a magical place that has an aura about it that can be described by no one and understood only by someone that’s spent time there.
Weg: I’d say the south coast of our very own England.
Rob: A Thai island
Tom: The moon!
Thanks for the interview, it’s been great to have you here. Best of luck with all of your ventures!
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