THE JACKETS - WE REALLY LOVE THE CRAMPS
Since when do you exist?
Chris: Our first gig as The Jackets was on the 11th of January 2008 so we are approaching 15 years!
Were you in other bands before?
Chris: Yes, we all have been in bands before The Jackets. Jackie had an all-girl band called The Mad Cowgirl Disease and before that she was the singer in a band called The Fox when she lived in Zürich. Both bands have made recordings. Sam played guitar in a band called The Budget Boozers who still do the occasional show. I played and recorded with Beat-Man (The Monsters, etc.) as his drummer during his Lightning Beat-Man days (1990’s) and in the beginning of the Reverend Beat-Man phase (early 2000’s). I also played with the singer and the bass player of the legendary Miracle Workers in a band called The Get Lost in the early 2000’s.
What made you meet and form The Jackets?
Chris: Jackie and I started writing songs and rehearsing together as a two-piece, drums and guitar in 2006. But we really wanted a bigger sound so we were joined by our first bass player, Severin Erni (from the Swiss punk band Tight Finks) and The Jackets were born. We did our first LP Stuck Inside in 2008 with Severin but he wanted to start a family and couldn’t continue touring with us. We were lucky to find Samuel and he joined us full time in 2009 and his been with us ever since.
Why this name, The Jackets ?
Chris: Actually it has to do with Jackie, who we also call, Jack. The Jack-ettes….
Your musical influences or inspirations ?
Chris: We really love The Cramps, The Monks, The Music Machine, The MC5, Love, 13th Floor Elevators, The Seeds, Dead Moon to name just a few. We love movies, theatre and painting. We love the DIY aspect of the punk movement and take a lot of inspiration from the DaDa art movement that started here in Switzerland in the early 20th century.
Your visual and clothing influences or inspirations ?
Chris: This has a lot to do with our belief that a rock and roll band should also have an aspect of the theatrical. We want to create a show, an experience for the audience and our dress and Jackie’s make-up, etc. are a part of creating that experience. We love the way The Monks took their stage dress so seriously and how it created their personalities on stage. We were very influenced by them.
How do you record ? Live or on your own, separatly ?
Chris: We have recorded in different studios around Europe in the last 15 years - Switzerland, Spain, Germany. Some studios have been analogue, which means we didn’t use any computers but most of the time we did. We like the options digital mixing gives us to try things and cut things here and there. As far as the act of recording, we do all the initial tracking live and then layer guitars, percussion and vocals or other elements later.
You will release a new single on Wild Noise Records early next year, "Pie In The Sky/Misery Of Man". You were on Chaputa! Records previously and on other labels before. Why these changes?
Chris: We started our own record label this year called Wild Noise Records primarily to take over the master rights of all our previous recordings. Our first new release will be the 7” single Pie in the Sky/Misery of Man. We have just released Pie in the Sky digitally and opened up the pre-order for the single now, so whoever is interested, go over to our Bandcamp page! Our last record contract was with Voodoo Rhythm Records who we worked with for 7 years and released two LPs and one single. As of now, we were only featured on one Chaputa! Records 7” release with The Courettes earlier this year.
Following this new single, is there a new album planned soon?
Chris: Yes! Just to combine this answer with the last one, we will now start working with Chaputa! Records. Another 7” will be released by them around April or May 2023 so look out for that! Hopefully we will have a full LP ready for later in 2023 if everything works out!
You have worked with different producers. Same question as for the labels, why change?
Chris: I think change is good. Working with different people is always good. We have always been on a bit of a journey as far as collaborating with lot’s of people to find the right fit and I think we will continue doing that.
You share volume 4 of Chaputa!'s double feature series with The Courettes. Why them? Is it a choice of the bands or the label?
Chris: That was the choice of the label. Chaputa was asking us to be on one of these double feature releases for several years and it just happened that The Jackets and Courettes landed together on the last release. I think we go together quite well actually.
Is it a band you toured with or would like to tour with?
Chris: We don’t tour with other bands that often. It’s not really how it works with us. When we tour the USA, then we always tour with bands. In the USA we toured with The Woggles, The Loons and The Darts. We did a few of the Cosmic Trip tours and toured with Weird Omen a few times. It is fun to tour with other bands because usually we are in the van with the same people all the time and it can get boring!
The cover of this double feature Vol.4 made by Rui Ricardo represents Vampira in the movie Plan 9 From Outter Space. Was it your idea to use the image of an Ed Wood movie?
Chris: No. That was all the idea from the Chaputa guys! They designed the cover and we just gave them the music.
Which films or which cinematographic genres interest you?
Chris: Well, for me it’s Sci-Fi old and new, good and bad and I love Fellini, Kubrick, Jacques Tati, arthouse films, etc. I can’t speak for all of the band, but Jackie is a huge cinema lover. She is a trained film maker and is currently finishing off a documentary film at the moment. We also love making music videos.
You've been in France with the Bellrays this year, a good memory ?
Chris: Yes, we have played with The Bellrays before a few years back. We have a lot of connections together since I come from Los Angeles originally. We also know the drummer Dusty Watson from his time with The Sonics and we toured with his wife in the USA when she was playing drums in The Darts.
Did you share the stage with French bands ?
Chris: Yes, many times of course. Bands like Les Lullies, Weird Omen, Howling Jaws, The Scanners, Magnetix,etc. Too many to list here!
Best tour memory(s) ?
Chris: We have had so many great moments and so many tours but we had a great time on the first Cosmic Trip Tour with Weird Omen and the whole Cosmic Trip family on tour in France for two weeks in 2016! And our first USA tour with The Darts in 2017 was super fun!
Worst tour memory(s) ?
Chris: We were in a very bad car accident in 2014 in Spain. We totalled our van but amazingly we all survived because we were wearing our seat belts. It was a very scary experience to think how bad this could have been.
Is it a full time job or do you have a job on the side ?
Chris: In one way, yes, The Jackets is almost a full time job as far as the time investment it takes to keep everything going. But we all can’t live off of the band only. We are all self-employed and have income from our other projects/Jobs.
Is Switzerland a rock country ? Is it easy to play there ? How is the life of a band in Switzerland ?
Chris: Maybe Switzerland wasn’t always a rock and roll country but with the influence of Voodoo Rhythm Records since the early 1990’s, Switzerland and Bern in particular have really become a centre of the rock and roll world in Europe. It is a small scene but rock and roll is in the youth culture here. The Swiss federal and local government also supports art and music and even punk and garage bands can benefit from this by submitting proposals for making a record and touring. There are many rock and roll clubs and concert places here so touring around is not a problem. It’s also a great country to have as a home base since in is right in the middle of Europe and we are either neighbours or very close to all the big countries.
Your next gigs will take place in Italy, Switzerland, Holland and Spain. Will we have the chance to see you in France in 2023?
Chris: Yes, a bit later in the year for sure so stay tuned for more info. We are often in France and in fact, it’s probably where we play most often!