Musically interrogating the human experience

An interview with We Were Promised Jetpacks

We Were Promised Jetpacks
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks
  • Eleanor Petry
Past Event

We Were Promised Jetpacks

  • Friday, October 12, 2018, 7 p.m.
  • Irenic, 3090 Polk Avenue, San Diego
  • $18

We Were Promised Jetpacks, native to Edinburgh, Scotland, took a long time off after 2014’s Unravelling, but thankfully return to musically interrogating the human experience. They arrive at Irenic on October 12, touring behind their new album The More I Sleep The Less I Dream. Guitarist Michael Palmer volunteered to take questions.

Have you played San Diego before? Favorite stories?

We have, a couple of times. Once, and I can’t remember the name of the venue or when we played, because that’s the type of brain I have, we were playing and a couple in front of me were full-on making out the whole time. Not in a cute-couple way but in a gross somebody-throw-water-on-them way. I ended up managing to get the attention of a security guard while playing, pointed my head at them and motioned to the exit.

The guy smiled at me, then took great delight in throwing them out. Which then got a pretty big cheer from the crowd.

You gave up touring awhile. Was that simple burnout, or something more complex?

It wasn’t really “giving up”, it was trying to carve out time to actually write music. So we didn’t play for a few months, didn’t manage to write anything we thought was good enough. So we took a few more months. And that just kept extending. So it wasn’t like a deliberate plan or anything.

Who got married during the downtime? Did the band play any of the weddings?

I did, as did both Sean [Smith, bassist] and Darren [Lackie, drummer]. The band didn’t play at any weddings because we wouldn’t want to subject our friends and families to that. Plus, who wants to work on their wedding day?

What were the essential differences between the demos you scrapped and the album tracks you’ve got now?

Quality. That sounds like a snarky answer, but it’s not. The songs we scrapped were all too try-hard. We were trying, and you could hear it. The record we have now is very instinctive. We wouldn’t worry if doing a breakdown in the middle of the song and then carrying on doing something completely different was “right” or not. If that was our instinct, we went with it. Whatever felt right. We got out of our own way.

What are your plans?

Play more and write more. Maybe take fewer than four years to get the next one out.

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