Propaganda and a killing machine: Meet Warbly Jets
After gaining the interest of Liam Gallagher, Night Beats and the Dandy Warhols to name a few, Warbly Jets have lined up a selection of new songs for their new E.P Propaganda. The band’s extensive touring and hard work was proved through their debut record last year. Propaganda is a more honest approach at the band’s social commentary. With strong political and social influence, we had a chat with Samuel and Julian, guitar/vocals and guitar, about the new release.
Your new E.P Propaganda is out at the start of next month. Tell us a little bit about it.
Samuel: This EP is a tiny window into the musical direction we’ve been working to push ourselves towards. Less guitars, more samples and keyboards. Less songs structured in a standard format, more listening experiences that take you on a journey with no absolute destination.
Julien: We always love playing with new sounds, new toys, and new ways of writing. After getting off our last tour in the summer, we pretty much immediately bunkered down, rebuilt a studio, and got to experimenting. We’ve kept quiet, but we haven’t had much of a break behind the scenes, we’ve been consistently busy reshaping our focus towards the future and what it means for us. This EP came about from the thick of that process. We’re trying to lead everything gradually into a different direction and these songs offer a small glimpse into what we’re leaning towards.
It’s got quite a prominent political message, Cool Kill Machine focuses on gun control and Propaganda has a somewhat 1984 message behind it. Where did this come from?
Samuel: Both Propaganda and Cool Kill Machine have some obvious political tones inside of the lyrics. However, we are not making a statement that we stand on either side of the argument with either song. They are both social commentaries on what we see unfolding in front of us in our day to day lives.
Julien: It’s an attempt to grasp why Americans continue to buy into a system that eats it’s own.
You’ve noted that you feel that Public Relations and advertisement is affecting consumers in a negative way. What makes you come to that conclusion? Is it something you’re witnessing in your daily life and do you think people are blind to it?
Samuel: The lyrics of Propaganda were largely inspired by Adam Curtis’s BBC documentary, “The Century Of Self”. The film breaks down the invention of Public Relations and how it’s been modeled to appeal to our subconscious. We are trained to consume in America. There’s a reason we all desire the new car, phone, tv, etc. This ideology has been overlooked and unquestioned. I hope that our message causes many to question the life they’re living.
Julien: We’ve all been reared and raised on consumables and our children will be too; onwards and backwards and so on, but lately It feels like we wake up each day stuck in a feed loop, it’s all too much and too much of the same. Movie sequels, cell phones, face tattoos, political grandstanding, Vice articles, memes, etc, it’s pretty nauseating when you stop to think about the amount of ads and content we see daily. I guess whether this culture we’ve come to is a negative really depends on the individual, but I have a hard time believing it feels like conscious progress for the better.
You recorded your first record independently, including self releasing it. How’s the process behind the new E.P been?
Samuel: Similar to that of the first but slower moving, haha. The idea from the beginning was for this EP to be extremely collaborative. I’ve been working with some other singers and lyricist friends of ours on these songs. In the past the songs we’ve written were generally written and structured on a keyboard or guitar and the then the production was explored after. This round we’ve been a writing in a more hip hop esq way of creating tracks and writing to them after. Honestly it’s been a difficult process, but yielding some great results in the end. Additionally we worked with Mike Patterson on mix down at the end of the recording process which was a great.
Julien: This set of songs has taken a little bit of a toll, but nothing comes without sacrifice. We’re always looking to try different angles when creating and sometimes that pushes us into a spiral, be it up or down. With this set of songs we looked toward more collaborative efforts with friends and started writing songs the opposite way we did on the first album. It’s always good to shake things up a bit.
You’ve toured with some notable bands. Dandy Warhols, Liam Gallagher and Night Beats to name a few. How’s the past year on the road been?
Samuel: Opening up for Liam Gallagher was a life altering experience for me. I gotta say that it felt as if I was being vetted by God himself. He’s always been at the absolute top man for me and unless we open for the Stones I don’t think anything will ever top it. I’ve got nothing but love for that man.
Julien: We’ve had some really incredible experiences in the past year I could’ve never anticipated. I think when we finally reached the end of touring we came to a boiling point with the road and were clamoring to get back to creating again. After some months of creating we’re itching to get back to performing, so it’s a bit of a give and take.
You’ve also recorded the likes of L.A. Witch, Stonefield and Night Beats. Do you feel that working with other artists in a hands on way like that has inspired your sound more?
Samuel: Music itself at its core is about interaction and connection. In a more obvious way, artist to listener. Behind the scenes that same interaction and connection is happening while a recording is being made. Writer, musician, producer, engineer, etc.. I wear a lot of hats depending on the scenario, but I always try to observe the team around me and learn from others throughout the process. I can think of a few things I learned from each of those artists you mentioned while I was working with them.
For the future of Warbly Jets, do you see yourself sticking to the idea of social commentating and politics in your music?
Samuel: We’ve always made it our goal to push our own personal boundaries and to explore new topics inside of the lyrics of our songs. We’ve never seen ourselves as a political band, but always tried to touch on topics globally relevant to the human life we are all living. Sometime those two ideas cross paths and that’s where we’ve arrived currently.
Julien: What we choose to write about is always an expression of moments in time we’re personally experiencing, to predict what feelings will come next is a bit ambitious to try to understand.
What’s next after the E.P is out? Back around the world?
Samuel: Immediately we will be touring the US with a few dates in Canada and China as well. We’re going to be trying out a lot of new material that we’ve been shaping up for our next full-length record. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to try out new songs before the recordings are set in stone. We haven’t ever had the privilege of doing things in that order. The set for this tour is going to be much more experimental than some of our sets in the past. I’m excited to offer up a performance that is more unique than the guitar driven sets our fans have seen before.
Julien: We’re excited to be back playing around the US, Canada & China. Other than some of the really long drives, North America is hard not to enjoy. It’s the culture we grew up in with the people we know best.
You can keep up to date with Warbly Jets on Facebook here, but more importantly, catch them at a show if you can.