Monday, 13 July 2009

SWEET JANE

Photo from Johnny Savage's Collection

Sweet Jane. One of Ireland's finest bands. Hardworking, honest and strong-hearted. I met these fellas about a year and a half ago, and one and a half year ago later, what needed to change has changed, they're bigger, they're greater, and they're still around, rockin'.
And what's important remains, they're still the same people I talked with (and kept on talking) thru these years.
From Danda's multitalented hands, thru kicking ass with Glasvegas, until loving Spinerette, the Sweet table is set, and Lydia Des Dolles spreads some truth.
Sweet people, Sweet Jane.

Hattie Carroll: So why "SWEET JANE"?
Lydia Des Dolles: It was Danda Really who gave our band that name - I think from a combination of things really, those two words have a load of different meanings in different cultures and of course yknow Lou Reed had that hit - and its a great song, when we started out the two of us recording onto a little 10-track Sweet Jane was a perfect name for what kind of music we were going to start making.

H.C: You know, I first heard from you guys back at the beggining of 2008, since when have you been around?
L.D.D: We started recording together in early 2007, it was quiet soon after that when we got the full band together.

H.C: And the formation wasn't like it is now, right?
L.D.D: No, we had a few line - up changes at the beginning, we had people who joined and really didnt give a shit about playing music just enjoyed the lifestyle being in a band brought, so for the sake of your band you've got to keep playing with passionate people.

H.C: I know you guys share members with The Brothers Movement, how do you work that out?
L.D.D: We only share one member with them, that's Danda. It works perfectly, they have their band, and Sweet Jane is myself and Danda - it's two completly diffrent bands, and we just do what we do there's no great secret to making it work.

H.C: So far you guys have opened for bands such as Glasvegas, BRMC, APTBS, and others of course, don't mean to put you in an uncomfortable situation, but which show was the most important for SWEET JANE's history?
L.D.D: I'm not sure, with APTBS & BRMC those guys are good friends so it was like more of a fun time, getting to hang with friends whereas I guess for the band it would be Glasvegas - I mean that was important for us because the people who enjoy their music seemed to really dig our sound and embrace us with open arms, it opened alot of doors for us - and for that we will be forever grateful to them & their management - their the only band that we've all been like ''we wanna do a full tour with those guys'', they are super great people & super talented.

H.C: "Blackboots/ Blackhearts" is one hell of an EP, how was the whole process of writting and recording it?
L.D.D: Y'know its really weird when I think back on the recording of that EP - we pretty much recorded that when we started the band and we've done alot since then, in such a short space of time too, but we recorded in our studio, we got our engineer to bring his studio and set it up in ours, so it was quiet a natural enviroment, we had Ryan Van Kriedt from the Asteroid No.4 mix it for us in Philadelphia, which was incredible because he is so talented!

H.C: So when will we be able to have an LP in our hands?
L.D.D: It's coming, I mean we have the songs its just a matter of taking the time out to go record. We've pretty much toured for the last year non stop - and you just cant make a record in the middle of touring but it will definetly see a release date for early next year. And we're looking at September for recording.

H.C: Yeah. You play live a lot, are you guys signed or work with any label; or you take that with your own hands?
L.D.D: We released 'Blackboots & Blackhearts' through Dead Flower Records, which is an independant label that were involved with perfect for us because we have full control on all aspects of our releases, and RMG distributed its digital release.

H.C: So how would you say the underground scene is in Dublin?
L.D.D: It's changed dramatically in the last couple of years, the amount of amazing bands over here right now is incredible - its great for getting everyone to be more creative and competitive in a healthy way.

H.C: Who would you say your inspirations are?
L.D.D: Y'know i always struggle with this question, for many years when I was younger it was female musicians like almost every 12 year old girl wanting to be in a band, now because thats what I do I tend to get more inspired by the simpler things in life like art and people.

H.C: And when inspiration comes and you guys write, you do it together, or each has their own way?
L.D.D: When we started, Danda basically done everything, he would bring me into the studio and say ok 'you sing here and here' in a weird Phil Spector-esque type way, but now things are different, I've gotten better on guitar and can get a melody on piano accross to him, so then we can re-arrange and complete it that way, or he'll come to the studio with something on guitar & we'll work a melody out that way, but I mean I still cant take any credit for the music side, he plays every instrument on our songs, I think this band is a little bit of a challenge for him in the sense that with anything he's done in the past he's done the 'you play this and this' and it never changed so he finds it a bit weird having to consult someone else y'know [laughs].

H.C: What are the pros and cons of having such a big city as London so close?
L.D.D: Good question I've never been asked that before. I think London in general is an amazing place for any band to play, I mean it's the capital but it really is the core of the music scene, you just cant play there and not become an oppurtunist y'know, I love playing London because we have so many friends over there. The cons I guess are like anything, the money aspect, for us it's not as easy as hopping on a plane, you've got to bring the bus, which means getting a ferry to Wales, and having to drive from Wales to London & y'know that's a whole day of driving before your show.

H.C: Any plans for a tour soon?
L.D.D: Not for a while, we've had a heavy year on the road so I think its time to just concentrate on this record but it always depends y'know, we probably wont do our own tour for a while but you never know what other bands will ask you to come on the road with them. We have the most unpredictable life ever so these questions are hard to answer [laughs].

H.C: What bands have you been listening to lately?
L.D.D: Fuck, there's a lot - Royal Trux, Darker My Love, Glasvegas, Down, The Kills, Pj Harvey, Elbow, The Coral, Talulah Does The Hula, Elvis, Howling Bells, Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys, 2 Many DJ's, Aphrodite's Child, The Smiths, Curtis Mayfield, and Brody Dalle's new band Spinerette.

H.C: So many great ones. So what's ahead for SWEET JANE?
L.D.D: A little of the same and alot of new, were at the start of it all right now so I think we just want to keep working hard and making some great records - actually I wouldn't mind a touring with Spinnerette I'm listening to them right now and loving those songs.

Released by Dead Flower Records Sweet Jane 'Blackboots Blackhearts' is a one shot music video part of the 'Beauty of the Beast Collection' . Directed by Russell Lee Ford and Produced by British Getaway Films

+INFO:
Sweet Jane on MySpace
Sweet Jane on Facebook

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