Es gibt Geschichten, die kann im Grunde nur das Zeitalter des Internets schreiben: über 15.000 Kilometer Luftlinie trennen Australien von den britischen Inseln, doch schlug das kleine Bandprojekt dreier Freunde aus Sydney genau dort zuerst ein – Jagwar Ma. Die Band bewegte sich auf ihrer ersten Platte „Howling“ 2013 zwischen Psychedelic, Dance und Rock und reihte sich ganz nebenher zwischen Lobhymnen von Noel Gallagher und einem Support-Slot bei Tame Impala, in unsere Playlisten ein.
Der Erfolg ihres Debüts zog Jagwar Ma auf die großen Bühnen Europas, das Rock Werchter und das Glastonbury Festival stellen dabei nur ein Auszug ihrer diesjährigen Arbeitsplätze dar. Auf dem Reeperbahn Festival 2016 bespielte das Trio um Gabriel Winterfield (Frontmann/Gitarre), Jono Ma (Gitarre, Schlagzeug, Synthesizer, Produktion) und dem Bassisten Jack Freeman nun das Uebel & Gefährlich. Am Freitag ist mit „Every Now & Then“ ihr zweites Album erschienen.
Einige Stunden vor ihrem Konzert, habe ich die drei Musiker auf der Terasse des Uebel & Gefährlich Bunkers zum Gespräch getroffen. Die erste Single „OB1“ hatte zu dem Zeitpunkt bereits eingeschlagen. Bei NOISIV Radio (ab Minute 24:20) sprachen wir mit den Jungs über die Produktion des Albums in Frankreich, der gemeinsamen Tour mit Tame Impala und das Austesten neuer Titel bei Live-Shows. Außerdem habe ich Jagwar Ma gefragt, ob sie sich Kollaborationen mit Pop-Künstlern vorstellen können und welchen 80er-Song sie am liebsten selber geschrieben hätten.
Wer nun in die Oktober-Folge von NOISIV Radio hineingehört hat, wird feststellen, dass wir neben dem Interview mit Jagwar Ma, auch Gespräche mit Honne, Spring King oder Jez Dior gefeatured haben. Insofern mussten Teile des Gespräches der Schere zum Opfer fallen. Kein Problem: weitere Auszüge aus dem Gespräch mit Jagwar Ma könnt ihr hier nachlesen. Ganz im Gegensatz zur Aussage in der vorproduzierten Radiosendung, haben wir uns dazu entschieden, hier nur ausgewählte Auszüge des Interviews abzubilden.
noisiv.de: Hey guys! I believe you just arrived here at the Reeperbahn Festival 2016. Any acts you’re trying to catch?
Gabriel: I wanted to try and catch Izzy Bizu, but I’m not sure whether we’ll be able to, cause we’re very Izzy Bizzy, you know.
Jono: Sadly, Gang of Four played here yesterday, so weren’t catch that.
Jack: And Yak.
Gabriel: We’ll miss everything…
Jack: It’s the worst day of my life!
As you just finished your recent record „Every Now & Then“: Walk me through a day of a Jagwar Ma recording session.
Gabriel: We normally convene in the kitchen at some point. We had this competition of trying to make the worst coffee ever. It was like: „How bad can we have coffee?“ and at one point it was like instant filtered, three days old, cold and so gross. I think this was the worst coffee that’s ever been made.
Jack: How was it though?
Gabriel: It gave you a real kick. Every day was kind of different, because [the house we were recording in] was such a big property. There’s lots of maintenance and you find yourself having very varied days. Sometimes I went down into my room, to just sit along with the microphone and practice stuff there, while Jono would do some tweaking and synthie-beatsy kind of stuff. Then we’d come back up to reconvene and show what we’ve been working on until we split up again. That sorta back and forth.
Last time you were in Hamburg, I believe you were supporting Tame Impala over at the Mehr! Theater.
Jack: The tour was great. We’ve known those guys for a few years now. Funnily enough, we didn’t actually meet them in Australia, cause we’re from the other side of the country, but we met them at festivals in Europe.
I think when that tour came along, it was maybe a bit early on for us to start playing shows, cause we were like halfway through the album. But it was one of those things you just can’t turn down, as we think they’re amazing and we’re obviously really big fans of theirs. I remember playing here. The show was great.
Did you use those shows to try out some new songs?
Jack: We did, yeah. That was some kind of blessing in disguise. Don’t know if that’s the right expression to use…
Jono: Double edged sword…
Gabriel: Two sided coin….
Jack: You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth…
Gabriel: Multifaceted Swiss army knife.
Jack: Laughs So yeah, we played three or four new songs on that tour. All those songs ended up being taken back into the studio and being updated, because of what we experienced through the reception of playing it at different places. It was really kind of helpful.
Can you see yourself collaborate with pop artists in the future?
Gabriel: I like that world a lot. I have no bashfulness about saying that, when music is beautiful it is beautiful – it doesn’t really matter. But we need to talk and think about what you’re actually talking about, when you are talking about pop music. That word gets used to describe many different things. It has like an aesthetic, but really strictly pop music is not about majority. It’s not about when 52 percent of the people like a song. That is winning by majority, not what I actually think what pop music is. The percentage gotta be way higher.
It’s gotta be sort of 85 to 90+ percent, when everyone’s like: „That’s fucking amazing!“. That’s a really, really rare world and I don’t think it happens that often. But I’d say it did in the case of all of the names that spring to mind: people like Michael Jackson or bands like Nirvana. By now, it’s fairly unanimous, that those were just incredible. And that’s what pop music is. It’s not a pop artist who’s the biggest in the world, because 52 percent of the people kind of like it.
Jono: You could also dress any music up as pop music with enough money.
Jack: But I don’t think this band would have a featuring of other people. I think it stays kind of what it is. But I’m sure in our lives as musicians, that everybodys kind of open minded to collaborate with who ever, you know. As long as it’s good, it doesn’t really matter.
Gabriel: We like what we do here. While we worked on our second record, the conversation came up to get people, specifically rappers, involved on some of the tracks. We thought about it, as we’ve got lots of friends who are in that world. But we kinda just went „Nah… Let’s keep it as us“.
Jack: … Because that’s what this is. This is us.
Jono: To be honest, when I’m not doing this, I tend to gravitate more towards underground music, as a sort of point of difference to what we are doing.
Gabriel: I would love to sit in a studio session with Rihanna. I’d just love to see how it all works. I can’t even imagine how it is to work in that crazy fucking world with all these incredible studios, all this budget and stuff. I would love to kinda just sit there, like a little bug or cicada and just watch. But I don’t know if i’ll be able to offer anything.
noisiv.de likes to thank Gabriel, Jono and Jack of Jagwar Ma for the incredible conversation we had at the Reeperbahn Festival 2016 in Hamburg. If you’re interested in listening to the interview, feel free to listen to parts of our actual conversation on the recent episode of our monthly radio show NOISIV Radio. The interview clocks in around the 24:35 minute mark:
„Every Now & Then“ ist am 14. Oktober via Mom + Pop Music erschienen.