Blasting Off At Noise Pop: We Were Promised Jetpacks
After somewhat quick and early success, these Glasgow-by-way-of-Edinburgh youngsters hopped on tour with (now labelmates) Frightened Rabbit last fall. Adam Thompson (singer/guitarist), Sean Smith (bass), Michael Palmer (guitar), and drummer Darren Lackie, all 22, gained fast fame across the world for a three-song demo, so when These Four Walls was finally released on FatCat Records, it was obviously met with critical acclaim. Moving up in the ranks, We Were Promised Jetpacks are headlining their very first US tour, and they're stopping by Slim's tomorrow night to top the bill for Noise Pop. The show is supported by other strong acts such as The Lonely Forest, Bear Hands, and SF's own Tempo No Tempo. We got to trade some words with drummer Darren Lackie from the road before their anticipated arrival for Noise Pop. Check out what he had to say:
7x7: Who exactly, promised you guys jetpacks? And why didn't you get them?
DL: No one ever promised us jetpacks. If we could go back in time and change our name, we would. We had a list of names on a piece of paper and we decided that we needed to pick one.
7x7: What was it like supporting Frightened Rabbit? What kind of trouble did you get in to with them?
DL: Oh those Frightened Rabbit boys, what a hoot. It was great to support the Rabbits because before anyone other than our parents knew who we were, they were the band that we were all listening to so getting to tour America and the UK with them was lovely! There wasn't a great deal of trouble - I think we're all well behaved! just loads of really good big nights out on the tiles!
7x7: How do you feel about all the attention you've been getting lately (on blogs, sold out shows etc.)? How are you handling your ever-growing popularity?
DL: It's really nice getting a bit of attention. We never planned on this when we first started our little band in high school, we just started playing for something to do, so to have people all over the world writing about us and buying our records is great and a bit odd! We're handling it well I think... it's not like we're chased down the street by the paparazzi or anything. It's funny trying to tell your extended family about what we're doing...they don't really understand that our record is for sale in shops, they just think we sell it out the back of a van or something!
7x7: Having just released your debut album, you're pretty fresh on the touring circuit, and it appears you're making your way around the world over the next 2 months. What's the best and worst part about it? Where are you most looking forward to playing?
DL: I'm gonna go with the easy answer and say the best part about it is getting to play in all these cities that we've never been to before and when people actually turn up to the gigs! It's nice to get to travel all over the world! The worst part is the long drives between the cities. We were playing in Oslo, Norway last week and had to drive to Stockholm, Sweden the next day. It was -18 degrees and the heater in our van was broken. We were all sitting with about 5 layers on, 3 pairs of socks and wrapped in sleeping bags while everything that had liquid in it turned to ice...drives like that aren't much fun.
7x7: What's the biggest cultural difference between playing in Glasgow and playing somewhere like San Francisco?
DL: This will be our second time in San Francisco, we played at the Independent when we were on tour with Frightened Rabbit, and that was a great show - one of my favourites from the tour! I'm not so sure there's that much of a difference though. I think the people who go to gigs here in Glasgow and Edinburgh seem to get a bit more drunk than most Americans do!
7x7: You're headlining a show at Noise Pop, and your openers are some of our most hallowed local (and not local) indie favorites. In a place like SF where indie really thrives, what do you expect to see from your SF fans? What's something that everyone should know before going to one of your shows?
DL: We never have any idea what to expect from any gig. At the moment we have no idea how many people are going to show up and whether they'll know who we are, so I think we're just hoping that there are people there to watch it. This would be a good opportunity to make up something like...no one gets into our gigs without novelty hats on, but really all people should know is that we are there to have fun just like they are!
7x7: Everyone keeps saying Scottish is the best accent for indie. Do you agree? What do you think the best accent is?
DL: I honestly have no idea what the best accent for indie is. It's not a deliberate thing we go for, Adam just sings in his normal voice, which believe it or not, isn't a very strong accent over here. There's some people from Scotland I struggle to understand half the time. If I was to go with a favourite accent, I'd say I do enjoy a cheeky Irish accent. I also really liked when we were way down in the south of the US in places like Alabama, and the people speak the same as they do in the movies, I always thought it was exaggerated a little bit.
7x7: Which festival would you most like to play this year?
DL: Oh, tough one. We've not played that many summer festivals as of yet but they were all really good fun to play, especially the ones in Scotland like T in the Park and Wickerman festival. I'd like to play a some European festivals this year, it's always nice to get to travel to play! I think Glastonbury is a classic answer here, and it's one of the most famous festivals in the world.
7x7: What's next for you guys once your tour is over?
DL: After this tour of the states, we've got a few weeks off when we'll have to start writing some new songs for our next album. When we're not doing that I'll be sitting in my house playing Xbox all day. Then we're back off to Europe again in April with our friends Dupec supporting us, which is something we're really looking forward to!
Check out the photos below by Misha Vladimirsky.