Please introduce yourselves to our readers, who you are and how you formed?
The Keepers are Jordan Jones (Vocals, Guitar), Jack Isaac (Guitar) and Steve Smith (Drums, Backing Vocals). We met through a mix of serendipity and chance really! Jordan had an initial batch of songs and Steve was recommended through a mutual friend after chatting in a pub (back when pubs were an actual thing). Jack then came along after popping into a rehearsal to buy an old 12-string guitar from Jordan.
What style of music would you describe yourself as and what influences do you draw upon?
Indie post-Britpop Rock will do I guess! Influence wise we’re collectively into The Beatles, Bowie, T-Rex, The Police, Supergrass, Roxy Music, Suede.
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
We were supposed to be playing SXSW 2020 festival in Texas when Covid19 all kicked off. Literally it was about 10 days before we were due to fly out before it all got officially pulled. At that stage we had no idea if our flights would even be refunded etc which would have ruined us. So that was pretty stressful. Plus then not even performing at such a cool festival still hurts to be honest…. But we have set up our own recording facilities and been writing, recording and working on stuff throughout 2020 and 2021. We are making fine lemonade from life’s metaphorical bitter lemons!
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
Hopefully with the vaccine venues, bands and promoters can just hold on a few more months. But by the time ‘normality’ comes around we could well be looking at 18-24mths of total paralysis. Certainly at our end of the food chain the whole scene runs on small venues, independent sound engineers, promoters who exist often week to week. Those issues grow exponentially as you move up the chain to full touring artists with roadies and full time PR to fund. We’re still not entirely convinced the big June 21st reopening will happen but can only keep our fingers crossed!
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
A lot of venues didn’t even qualify under the definition of the bail out so they have had nothing. They are in an even worse situation than those that at least did get something. Calculating how much is enough or not enough is definitely way, way above our pay grade and we don’t pretend to begin to know the answer. The industry is however clearly saying collectively that they are in a death spiral. The government has to listen to those warnings and take every possible action to avoid it. Even the most pessimistic and prudent promoter would not have planned for all this to still be going on a year on.
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you?
We released two self produced singles ‘Champagne Candy’ and ‘Deadly Penny’ and even managed to do a couple of outside socially distanced gigs between the previous lockdowns. Steve also discovered Gin, Jordan cut down smoking and ran a couple of times and Jack discovered to his cost why you don’t turn your back on a field of angry cows. We also took to the opportunity to sort out our social media which had been neglected for quite a while.
Tell me about your most recent release or upcoming single/album…
Deadly Penny is available on Spotify and all major streaming platforms. It’s a suede-esque indie banger that marks a clean departure from our earlier mod/psych era and is more the future direction we are taking as a band. We kind of threw elements of Adam Ant, Suede, T-Rex into the pot. It was our first fully self produced and mixed release so we are quite proud of it and it’s set our working template going forward.
What’s the best venue you’ve played so far and what’s would be your dream venue to play after Covid-19?
The 100 Club was a great milestone and we’ve played Le Truskel in Paris a few times who are always lovely to us. Dream venue wise we’d probably say the obvious, Glastonbury. Steve has been several times and wants to avoid the annual Sunday 9am fight for tickets next time!!
Favourite festival you’ve played or want to play and why?
MaNo Festival in Germany, It was crazy every night and we did 5 gigs in 3 days there. One venue brought us a shot on stage between each song. We then had to do it all over again an hour later. Good times.
What tune should readers listen to right now of yours that sums you up the best?
Deadly Penny. It’s our latest and the most hands-on we’ve been in recording mixing and producing. As an ‘entry’ point to The Keepers however ‘Hippies and Punks’ or ‘Here Comes Spring’ seem to remain long term favourites with people.
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
We already have our next single lined up called ‘Dresden’ but we will probably hold that back just a little bit longer until we know the lay of the land how best to promote it and where (if anywhere!) we can do a live launch, it’s a proper belter of a track though. We then have two further tracks recorded just finishing off mixing/mastering and about 5 others in advanced stages so possibly an E.P after that. Covid willing we also want to do our previously planned gigs in Manchester and get some festivals under our belt before any new ‘mutations’ of the virus rear their spiky little heads and send us back to the stoneage.
Keep uptodate with The Keepers below…
Photo by Ola Hać.