Features Interviews Jets Overhead Heading For Somewhere

Jets Overhead Heading For Somewhere

Jets Overhead
Jets Overhead
Interview by: Natalia Buia

Jets Overhead have sustained a perpetual marriage with music since 2003. The Victoria, B.C. quintet is currently engaged in writing their third studio album. In between, the band has released a few EPs of bonus material they weren't ready to part with completely. All the way on the opposite side of the country, Antonia Freybe-Smith (vocals, keys) apprises on the current shape of the band and what's to come for the meandering members.

"It feels like our biggest improvement [over the years] is that we're writing better songs," says Antonia. "It's amazing how personal and vulnerable it feels to suggest melody ideas. We're like family now and it's easier to blurt out nonsensical lyrics to each other," she says.

Antonia calls their current phase of creating the album "Phase Two", where she says the band's already dwindled down 50 song selections to 20 with editing to go.

The band's making a habit of resurrecting songs from the cutting room floor. Just a month ago they released a digital EP, Bystander, containing songs that didn't make their previous full length, No Nations.

"This is the debate we're having right now: do we want to take more time and make a traditional, full length LP to be released in the fall or do we want to do a shorter album and release it quickly? The neat thing about the industry right now is you can kind of do anything you want."

For Jets Overhead, right now it's a matter of picking up the pace. Generally, the soft-rock outfit has taken a lot of time in between albums but Antonia admits it does have its drawbacks.

"We're so excited about our songs, we just want to get rolling," says Antonia, before mentioning the band will start making demos in a few weeks time. "You start to get overwhelmed by the thought that these little decisions are going to absolutely affect the way the album sounds."

The new songs the band have created stretch beyond the typical soft-rock genre. According to Antonia, some tunes have a soft country flare and some contain distinguished pop elements. She says worrying about whether or not fans will like a different style of music doesn't hinder their creative process.

"In some ways, I think we're lucky. With our band people have always have trouble figuring out what genre we're in. We're sort of all over the place. That can hurt us though. People love to put you in a category. But in a positive sense, we can kind of do anything," she says, adding each member has a diverse taste in music which makes it easier to collectively think outside the box.

"We hang out, have a couple drinks and each bring in a couple songs that are all over the map. We analyze the hooks, what's working, why we want to hear it again. We get into the nitty gritty," says Antonia, calling their hang out sessions Rock 'n' Roll Research.

"The key to doing a full length is to have a linear vibe running through it that makes people want to listen to it from start to finish," she suggests. "Kind of like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. That album's all over the place but you want to listen to the whole thing. In the end it still feels like a real unit."

Antonia hints at a fall release date while playing a few shows on the west coast beforehand. The singer appears over the moon to open for Sam Roberts at the Malkin Bowl in Vancouver on May 28.

"We've played with Sam before. It's the best crowd. Sam and his band are the nicest group of musicians," she says.

Fans on the east coast may have to wait a while until Jets Overhead heads their way.

"We miss being on the road. The idea of going out and playing new material is tantalizing," she says. "Hopefully we'll be back on the touring cycle in the fall. We love playing Toronto!"