James and Al

  • JayetAl
  • 2006-04-28

Winchester duo JayetAl have been driving dance fans on the South Coast of England into a frenzy with their searing melodies combined with ferocious percussion. Drummer James and guitarist Al, equiped with a computer with which to create their unique soundscapes, also make the use of keyboard and drum machines to powerful effect. Currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album, it could be the spark to ignite big prospects for the pair. Zap! BANG!’s Mike Barnard found out more.

Mike: First of all, could you just tell me a bit about the history of JayetAl?

JayetAl: We’ve been playing as JayetAl for about five years. Before that we were half of a four-piece Winchester indie-punk outfit, The Ambulance, with Rob Mackie and Greg Ashby. We’d all played together at school.

We’d always jammed a lot, just the two of us, and had started experimenting with home recording individually. We’d also started going to Electric Cosmic Sector free parties in and around Winchester, where we began listening to undiluted, vintage dance music, which opened doors to other genres we didn’t know existed.

In 2001,we went to an ESP night at The Railway Inn in Winchester, and saw ESP the band, who at the time featured only three members, playing live electronic dance
music, which — as musicians amongst DJs — was very exciting. rude_NHS, who was in ESP, was given a tape of some home recording done by Al, and asked him if he wanted to play. We’d talked about doing something live again, and this was the perfect opportunity, and a kick in the backside.

We came up with a half hour set, not really knowing what we were doing, or how this music might sound to anyone else. The first few gigs we got positive feedback, and nearly all of them we did with ESP, the band and the DJs DJ Gush and Klak.

For the last two years we’ve mainly been playing Sinistry of Mound nights, as part of ‘Winchester’s-small-but-perfectly-formed collective’, playing alongside rude_NHS, Arblick Spule, Glitchcentre, Kingsonix, The Stem Project, Benny Woo, System Reel, Klaus Dinger, Fibre Optiks, Dias Corporation, the Illicit Fungal Junkie, The Hip Hop Farmers and the Mound-Daddy hisbadself: Killblinton.

Mike: What, if anything, does ESP stand for?

JayetAl: You’d have to ask rude_NHS or Arblick Spule about that.

Mike: What is a JayetAl gig all about in terms of presenting your music?

JayetAl: Starting off at dance nights we’ve always tried to mix our tracks avoiding the silences that break the flow of the set, (but that’s not always the
case). We don’t talk to the audience or take solos.

When we play live, firstly it’s for us, not for the audience. It doesn’t matter if there’s no- one there, we just enjoy playing. We don’t save anything for live that we don’t do in practice.

Mike: How important has it been to perform in your local area as part of developing and progressing the JayetAl sound?

JayetAl: It’s integral. The Sinistry of Mound, through our DJs and live acts, are a source constant creative juice. New Funk Era, Ejector Seat and the ‘glue’ events have enabled us to reach a different audience in Southampton, and bands and artists who are doing similar things. Every band starting out should establish a healthy local fan-base.

Mike: Who have you played alongside that have really impressed you?

JayetAl: DJ Rubbish.

Mike: Are you working on material with the aim of getting some form of release at some point?

JayetAl: Our first album will be out this summer. We’ve been working on it for over a year now, with rude_NHS recording and producing it. It’s about an hour of our best tunes from the last three years. We’ll be selling it at our gigs, and through our website, which will be ready about the same time. We’re looking to play a lot of gigs through the summer and autumn to promote the album, if anyone is interested in booking us, they can get in contact with us at jayetal@hotmail.co.uk

Mike: What is the future for JayetAl?

JayetAl: Now the album is ready, it’ll mean we can dedicate more time to song-writing and performing again. Getting more professional, (now we have an album to go before us), will present more opportunities to play live and help us to reach new audiences.

As long as the artists and DJs of the Sinistry of Mound continue to work at the rate and quality they’re at, it won’t be long till we’re no longer confined to within the boundaries of Winchester and Southampton.

There are certain technical glitches that have dogged our live sets, and we want to iron these out. That’s going to involve buying a few new bits of kit, and we’re always interested in trying out new software as well.

Mike: And what gigs have you got coming up?

JayetAl: Our next gig at the moment is July 12th at The Railway Inn, Winchester, with Hijera, Mr Fogg and Eustacia Vye supporting. There’ll be more in between probably, but we also think we’re playing the Deviock festival with the Avant Rural kru (that’s to be confirmed, though) which we played at last year, with loads of great acts.

For more information about JayetAl, visit www.myspace.com/jayetal

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