Mystery Jets

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The Mystery Jets upcoming new album Serotonin, was recorded by Chris Thomas, legendary producer of Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure, the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK, John Cale’s Paris 1919 and Pulp’s Different Class. Needless to say, the band seem a little at awe in his presence. “He can hear things that none of us can hear,” whispers guitarist William Rees. “He’s got dog’s ears.” “And he has the best stories,” nods lead singer Blaine Harrison. “The anecdotes are just unbelievable.”

Working on the new album with Chris, the band concede, is a VERY long way from their ramshackle beginnings ... Read more

The Mystery Jets upcoming new album Serotonin, was recorded by Chris Thomas, legendary producer of Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure, the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK, John Cale’s Paris 1919 and Pulp’s Different Class. Needless to say, the band seem a little at awe in his presence. “He can hear things that none of us can hear,” whispers guitarist William Rees. “He’s got dog’s ears.” “And he has the best stories,” nods lead singer Blaine Harrison. “The anecdotes are just unbelievable.”

Working on the new album with Chris, the band concede, is a VERY long way from their ramshackle beginnings playing gigs at the bohemian Eel Pie Island boatyard on London’s Thames River, where the Mystery Jets staged impromptu Saturday night gigs that brought them to the attention of the wider world in 2005. When they emerged, they seemed like a band entirely unlike any other: the lead singer was on crutches, his father was on guitar – Henry Harrison had formed the band with his son and Rees when the latter were both 8 - some of the lyrics were in Latin and the prog rock of King Crimson and Yes was loudly touted as an influence on their debut album Making Dens. “We wanted to be Crimson, Yes, the Floyds and Genesis all at the same time,” says Blaine, “then The Libertines were massively influential. And some weirder stuff too,” he adds, as if forming a band influenced by King Crimson Yes and Genesis with your dad when you were 8 wasn’t sufficiently peculiar enough. “There was Afrobeat and Can as well.

The sound emerging from the studio today sounds infinitely less chaotic, but no less inventive. After stripping away much of the excess on their lovelorn, warmly-received 2008 album Twenty One, Serotonin sees the Mystery Jets mapping out entirely new musical territories: the synthesizer-fuelled perfect pop of “Dreaming Of Another World”; “It’s Too Late”, which begins as an aching soft-rock ballad before unexpectedly heading somewhere infinitely weirder; the dark, hallucinatory grind of “Lorna Doone” (“it’s got this really eerie sound, like you’re out on the moors,” notes Rees, entirely correctly). You can hear echoes of ELO, 10CC, Fleetwood Mac and Supertramp rubbing up against the band’s own idiosyncratic, very British, occasionally rather creepy psychedelic sensibility. “I think it’s really important with a Mystery Jets song that you want to get involved, that there’s a bit of blood and gore” offers Henry Harrison - no longer an onstage fixture with band, but still clearly involved in making their records. “We’ve got our hands in the mud. That’s what I feel about this album. You take your hands out and if they’re covered in mud, you say, that’s alright. That’s the kind of feeling we want.”

It’s an album, Blaine suggests, about “dreaming and escapism – we wanted to get a sense of distance on the album, the idea of looking at the world”. Accordingly, it was arrived at via a circuitous route that variously involved a scrapped plan to stage a glam rock revival (“we were wearing all these sparkly clothes at the end of the last album,” explains Blaine), a stay in a gypsy caravan in Cornwall (“we rehearsed there for three weeks, feeding the chickens, that was the real beginning of the album”), a week in “a little pad in Nice” and a temporary name-change to The Crystal Wolf Hunters during a sojourn in Berlin. “It was meant like a piss-take of all those Brooklyn Bands like Crystal Castles,” explains bassist Kai Fish. “we went to Berlin and just did six or seven gigs in hotel lobbies and art spaces under this different name. We didn’t play any Mystery Jets songs other than tracks off the new album. It was liberating, the most healthy thing we’ve ever done.”

“The gigs were completely unpromoted, just the local indie kids turned up, we set up all our own gear,” says Rees. “I’ve never felt more happy to lug my amp around. I thought I’d found my true destiny – to be a roadie.”

Quite aside from the fact that the Berlin trip enabled the Mystery Jets to live out a childhood fantasy – “it’s honestly what we’ve always wanted to do, since we were like seven years old, to go out to Berlin like Brian Eno and Bowie”, offers Blaine, which, as childhood fantasies go, certainly makes a change from wanting to be an astronaut – it enabled the band to explore their new songs fully. “A lot of the time, you write a record, you go off on tour, and by the time you come back, a year later, the songs have got way better than they were when you recorded them, they become different animals. The idea with Berlin was to play the album before we recorded it, wherever they’d have us.”

It’s an odd way of going about things, but then again, “an odd way of going about things” could have been the Mystery Jets’ motto, right from their earliest days, when covers of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and Richie Havens’ “La Bamba” nestled alongside an 11-minute prog instrumental. And odd way of going about things or not, they seem understandably delighted with the results. “It feels like we know what we’re doing,” nods Blaine. No regrets about failing to stage a glam rock revival, then? “No. We talked ourselves out of that one.” He smiles. “We decided to just be ourselves,” he says, safe in the knowledge that means they’re being weird and inventive and original enough for anyone.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

The Mystery Jets upcoming new album Serotonin, was recorded by Chris Thomas, legendary producer of Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure, the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK, John Cale’s Paris 1919 and Pulp’s Different Class. Needless to say, the band seem a little at awe in his presence. “He can hear things that none of us can hear,” whispers guitarist William Rees. “He’s got dog’s ears.” “And he has the best stories,” nods lead singer Blaine Harrison. “The anecdotes are just unbelievable.”

Working on the new album with Chris, the band concede, is a VERY long way from their ramshackle beginnings playing gigs at the bohemian Eel Pie Island boatyard on London’s Thames River, where the Mystery Jets staged impromptu Saturday night gigs that brought them to the attention of the wider world in 2005. When they emerged, they seemed like a band entirely unlike any other: the lead singer was on crutches, his father was on guitar – Henry Harrison had formed the band with his son and Rees when the latter were both 8 - some of the lyrics were in Latin and the prog rock of King Crimson and Yes was loudly touted as an influence on their debut album Making Dens. “We wanted to be Crimson, Yes, the Floyds and Genesis all at the same time,” says Blaine, “then The Libertines were massively influential. And some weirder stuff too,” he adds, as if forming a band influenced by King Crimson Yes and Genesis with your dad when you were 8 wasn’t sufficiently peculiar enough. “There was Afrobeat and Can as well.

The sound emerging from the studio today sounds infinitely less chaotic, but no less inventive. After stripping away much of the excess on their lovelorn, warmly-received 2008 album Twenty One, Serotonin sees the Mystery Jets mapping out entirely new musical territories: the synthesizer-fuelled perfect pop of “Dreaming Of Another World”; “It’s Too Late”, which begins as an aching soft-rock ballad before unexpectedly heading somewhere infinitely weirder; the dark, hallucinatory grind of “Lorna Doone” (“it’s got this really eerie sound, like you’re out on the moors,” notes Rees, entirely correctly). You can hear echoes of ELO, 10CC, Fleetwood Mac and Supertramp rubbing up against the band’s own idiosyncratic, very British, occasionally rather creepy psychedelic sensibility. “I think it’s really important with a Mystery Jets song that you want to get involved, that there’s a bit of blood and gore” offers Henry Harrison - no longer an onstage fixture with band, but still clearly involved in making their records. “We’ve got our hands in the mud. That’s what I feel about this album. You take your hands out and if they’re covered in mud, you say, that’s alright. That’s the kind of feeling we want.”

It’s an album, Blaine suggests, about “dreaming and escapism – we wanted to get a sense of distance on the album, the idea of looking at the world”. Accordingly, it was arrived at via a circuitous route that variously involved a scrapped plan to stage a glam rock revival (“we were wearing all these sparkly clothes at the end of the last album,” explains Blaine), a stay in a gypsy caravan in Cornwall (“we rehearsed there for three weeks, feeding the chickens, that was the real beginning of the album”), a week in “a little pad in Nice” and a temporary name-change to The Crystal Wolf Hunters during a sojourn in Berlin. “It was meant like a piss-take of all those Brooklyn Bands like Crystal Castles,” explains bassist Kai Fish. “we went to Berlin and just did six or seven gigs in hotel lobbies and art spaces under this different name. We didn’t play any Mystery Jets songs other than tracks off the new album. It was liberating, the most healthy thing we’ve ever done.”

“The gigs were completely unpromoted, just the local indie kids turned up, we set up all our own gear,” says Rees. “I’ve never felt more happy to lug my amp around. I thought I’d found my true destiny – to be a roadie.”

Quite aside from the fact that the Berlin trip enabled the Mystery Jets to live out a childhood fantasy – “it’s honestly what we’ve always wanted to do, since we were like seven years old, to go out to Berlin like Brian Eno and Bowie”, offers Blaine, which, as childhood fantasies go, certainly makes a change from wanting to be an astronaut – it enabled the band to explore their new songs fully. “A lot of the time, you write a record, you go off on tour, and by the time you come back, a year later, the songs have got way better than they were when you recorded them, they become different animals. The idea with Berlin was to play the album before we recorded it, wherever they’d have us.”

It’s an odd way of going about things, but then again, “an odd way of going about things” could have been the Mystery Jets’ motto, right from their earliest days, when covers of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and Richie Havens’ “La Bamba” nestled alongside an 11-minute prog instrumental. And odd way of going about things or not, they seem understandably delighted with the results. “It feels like we know what we’re doing,” nods Blaine. No regrets about failing to stage a glam rock revival, then? “No. We talked ourselves out of that one.” He smiles. “We decided to just be ourselves,” he says, safe in the knowledge that means they’re being weird and inventive and original enough for anyone.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

The Mystery Jets upcoming new album Serotonin, was recorded by Chris Thomas, legendary producer of Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure, the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK, John Cale’s Paris 1919 and Pulp’s Different Class. Needless to say, the band seem a little at awe in his presence. “He can hear things that none of us can hear,” whispers guitarist William Rees. “He’s got dog’s ears.” “And he has the best stories,” nods lead singer Blaine Harrison. “The anecdotes are just unbelievable.”

Working on the new album with Chris, the band concede, is a VERY long way from their ramshackle beginnings playing gigs at the bohemian Eel Pie Island boatyard on London’s Thames River, where the Mystery Jets staged impromptu Saturday night gigs that brought them to the attention of the wider world in 2005. When they emerged, they seemed like a band entirely unlike any other: the lead singer was on crutches, his father was on guitar – Henry Harrison had formed the band with his son and Rees when the latter were both 8 - some of the lyrics were in Latin and the prog rock of King Crimson and Yes was loudly touted as an influence on their debut album Making Dens. “We wanted to be Crimson, Yes, the Floyds and Genesis all at the same time,” says Blaine, “then The Libertines were massively influential. And some weirder stuff too,” he adds, as if forming a band influenced by King Crimson Yes and Genesis with your dad when you were 8 wasn’t sufficiently peculiar enough. “There was Afrobeat and Can as well.

The sound emerging from the studio today sounds infinitely less chaotic, but no less inventive. After stripping away much of the excess on their lovelorn, warmly-received 2008 album Twenty One, Serotonin sees the Mystery Jets mapping out entirely new musical territories: the synthesizer-fuelled perfect pop of “Dreaming Of Another World”; “It’s Too Late”, which begins as an aching soft-rock ballad before unexpectedly heading somewhere infinitely weirder; the dark, hallucinatory grind of “Lorna Doone” (“it’s got this really eerie sound, like you’re out on the moors,” notes Rees, entirely correctly). You can hear echoes of ELO, 10CC, Fleetwood Mac and Supertramp rubbing up against the band’s own idiosyncratic, very British, occasionally rather creepy psychedelic sensibility. “I think it’s really important with a Mystery Jets song that you want to get involved, that there’s a bit of blood and gore” offers Henry Harrison - no longer an onstage fixture with band, but still clearly involved in making their records. “We’ve got our hands in the mud. That’s what I feel about this album. You take your hands out and if they’re covered in mud, you say, that’s alright. That’s the kind of feeling we want.”

It’s an album, Blaine suggests, about “dreaming and escapism – we wanted to get a sense of distance on the album, the idea of looking at the world”. Accordingly, it was arrived at via a circuitous route that variously involved a scrapped plan to stage a glam rock revival (“we were wearing all these sparkly clothes at the end of the last album,” explains Blaine), a stay in a gypsy caravan in Cornwall (“we rehearsed there for three weeks, feeding the chickens, that was the real beginning of the album”), a week in “a little pad in Nice” and a temporary name-change to The Crystal Wolf Hunters during a sojourn in Berlin. “It was meant like a piss-take of all those Brooklyn Bands like Crystal Castles,” explains bassist Kai Fish. “we went to Berlin and just did six or seven gigs in hotel lobbies and art spaces under this different name. We didn’t play any Mystery Jets songs other than tracks off the new album. It was liberating, the most healthy thing we’ve ever done.”

“The gigs were completely unpromoted, just the local indie kids turned up, we set up all our own gear,” says Rees. “I’ve never felt more happy to lug my amp around. I thought I’d found my true destiny – to be a roadie.”

Quite aside from the fact that the Berlin trip enabled the Mystery Jets to live out a childhood fantasy – “it’s honestly what we’ve always wanted to do, since we were like seven years old, to go out to Berlin like Brian Eno and Bowie”, offers Blaine, which, as childhood fantasies go, certainly makes a change from wanting to be an astronaut – it enabled the band to explore their new songs fully. “A lot of the time, you write a record, you go off on tour, and by the time you come back, a year later, the songs have got way better than they were when you recorded them, they become different animals. The idea with Berlin was to play the album before we recorded it, wherever they’d have us.”

It’s an odd way of going about things, but then again, “an odd way of going about things” could have been the Mystery Jets’ motto, right from their earliest days, when covers of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and Richie Havens’ “La Bamba” nestled alongside an 11-minute prog instrumental. And odd way of going about things or not, they seem understandably delighted with the results. “It feels like we know what we’re doing,” nods Blaine. No regrets about failing to stage a glam rock revival, then? “No. We talked ourselves out of that one.” He smiles. “We decided to just be ourselves,” he says, safe in the knowledge that means they’re being weird and inventive and original enough for anyone.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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