This year saw the debut of The Jack Rocks/This Feeling stage at Leeds Festival. A huge success, the stage featured some of the best upcoming bands in the UK at the moment. One of these bands is the Liverpool six-piece, The Jackobins. Receiving rave reviews, Dominic Bassnett , Veso, Andy Pink, John Whittingham, Chris Marriott and Marc Terry have been taking the UK by storm. The band have been featured in over 100 publications and have supported the likes of The Enemy, Reverend and The Makers and The Riffles. As part of our Leeds Festival Special, we caught up with Veso, Marc and Dom from the band.
Hi guys, thanks for taking part in our Leeds Festival Special. How has the festival season been for you so far? And what has been your highlight?
Veso: It’s been incredible, there’s no other way to describe it really. We’ve appeared on some outstanding festivals including Dot 2 Dot, Sound City, Tramlines, Live At Leeds, Y Not and now Leeds Festival, it’s been a fantastic year for us so far. As for a highlight, it has to be our performance at The Jack Rock’s and This Feeling stage at Y Not, we owe a lot to those guys. It was our favourite moment, because about 2 songs in we packed out the tent and people were queuing up outside, by song 3 we had everyone singing along and bouncing to our tunes, it was truly magical.
We love your band name, why did you decide on ‘Jackobins’? And how did you form?
Veso: Myself, Dom and John started jamming around in our house at the time, that period is now known as the ‘The Kitchen Sessions’ which is pretty self-explanatory. We spend a while trying to find the right ingredients to the mix and had several members join and leave until we found Marc and Chris and The Jackobins truly began. Up until last year, we were a 5 piece and with Andy now joining us on rhythm guitar, I think we seem to have found the last piece to the puzzle.
Dom: As for a name we just couldn’t agree, and as there are some very strong personalities in the band so you can imagine how that went down. We decided to hit Picton high street and had a pub crawl debating names. I can’t remember exactly where or who threw the name into the air, but by that point we were sufficient drunk enough to agree that it was a fitting name, since as a band we can be quite intense and though perhaps not being quite revolutionary, or having a fondness for decapitating aristocrats; we are pretty non-conformist and are firmly placed outside the lines of what one would call average.
If you guys were to organise your own festival, who would you have headline and why ?
Veso: I’d say Kasabian, but in the good old days after discussing it with Chris, we both love their self-titled début album. Same with The Stone Roses me and Andy are big fans.
Mark: Clean Cut Kid and Sunset Sons will have to be up there for me, they’re two of the best new bands around and they’re both incredible live. I’d also have to have Catfish & The Bottlemen, it’s a must.
Dom: DoIt has to be The Killers for me, they’re one of my biggest influences and hold a special place in my heart, other than that I’d really enjoy having Clean Cut Kid there.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? And what’s the songwriting process?
Veso: It’s a really different process for each one of us, but I think that’s the beauty of it. The writing usually initiates from a cool guitar riff, or a groove bass line then we all just start generating ideas. I think that’s probably my biggest influence, bouncing off the ideas and vice versa. Other than that it’s just everyday life, we like to write about things that are real and close to us, not about New York or California when we’ve never been there, I just don’t get that.
Marc: I used to get inspiration from bands I loved and listened to for years but now I try to discover upcoming talent and take influences from a less polished sound to keep ideas fresh.
Dom: Personally, the writing process is almost a sort of semi, meditative process; it’s something that isn’t logical, it comes and goes and is its own master and when the melody presents itself, you just ‘know’ its right. With lyrics again, I can hear what the song is about through the instruments, like a story just starts coming into my head and there’s this level of certainty that that is what the song is about and consequently, melody will come along, and then the lyrics start to fill up the melody almost on their own.
How has growing up in Liverpool influenced you as a band?
Dom: Liverpool is a great working class city with a proud history of being something of a ‘rebel’ city, in that we don’t let ourselves be walked over and stand up against things we don’t feel is right, no matter how big the fight. We also stick by one another, you hurt one of us and we all bleed, and this particularly is part of the fabric of the band, that sort of brotherly fellowship whereby we stick together in the hard times and the good like some sort of Spartan phalanx. Above all, being a musician in Liverpool, a no-nonsense, tough, but a brilliant city, has ensured we stay grounded, the people of Liverpool are some of the most down to earth in the universe… we don’t ‘do’ pretension.
Marc: It’s made us more determined to be successful because it’s such a hard city to crack and there’s a certain amount of jealousy on the scene, rather the support that’s needed to nurture new talent.
Veso: It’s tough, there’s the whole ‘Beatles’ issues, where everyone compares you to them one way or another. There’s plenty of venues that are closing down, new ones opening so its ever changing and it can sometimes become difficult to establish yourself, because of it. I think personally more alternative press and promotion companies are needed as there’s a large quantity of very talented young musicians, which have to make their name somewhere else before the city recognises them.
Leeds and Reading aside, do you have any upcoming shows you would like our readers to know about?
Veso: We have a very special home show for which we teamed up with This Feeling on the 30th of September in The Zanzibar. It’s rare we get to play Liverpool these days, touring constantly and being locked up in practice or the studio the rest of time. We also have quite a few upcoming dates, yet to be revealed and a few small festivals around the country. For anyone interested just keep an eye on our social media.
Why should people see you guys? What can we expect?
Veso: We’re always aiming to outdo our set at Y Not and that was the best gig of our careers to date, that should be good enough of a reason. Our gigs are loud, energetic and we’ve always got a few special tricks up our sleeves, so we hope to see you at our next gig!
Sep 02 The Plug Sheffield, United Kingdom Tickets
Sep 17 Spiders Webw/ Mint Grimsby, United Kingdom
Sep 18 Askern Music Festival Askern, United Kingdom
Sep 30 This Feeling- Liverpool Re-Launch Liverpool, United Kingdom
Nov 26 Kazoopa Leeds, United Kingdom
Rachel Brown/ Imogen Thomas