It’s really not big news anymore; Birmingham boys Jaws are back for business. Following two years on from dream-pop debut Be Slowly, last week saw the release of second album Simplicity – the trio’s finest work to date. I spoke to frontman Connor Schofield, ahead of their upcoming winter tour, to discuss Simplicity’s intense recording process, the step-up in expressive writing – and what’s it’s really like to be an unsigned band in the modern day music industry.
It’s been two years since Be Slowly was released to critical acclaim; was there any pressure writing Simplicity?
There wasn’t really any pressure. We’d only ever release music that we’re happy with, so we spent as much as we needed to on this record until we loved it.
Simplicity feels the heaviest and rawest material that you’ve put out to date. Do you feel more of an emotional connection with this album?
Yeah, 100%. I think everything is generally a step up on this album. I know it sounds a bit mad, but we made sure we could play all the songs before we worked on them or recorded them – we write a lot on my MacBook.
‘The Invisible Sleep’ stands out as Simplicity’s highlight; it has a different vibe to the other tracks. Were you aware of this when writing and recording the song?
Yeah, this is my favourite song, and to be honest I’m quite proud of this one. I agree it’s different – but it definitely still sounds like JAWS.
‘Interlude’ is chilled and particularly ambient; can you see yourself writing more instrumental tracks in the future?
Definitely. We write so many bits like this. They all start out as bits for the live show so we can link songs, but this one ended up working its way onto the album
Were there any challenges recording Simplicity – either inside or outside the studio?
The fact we had 10 days to record it was pretty challenging. We were getting up at 9am and going to bed at 4am. It was pretty intense.
What was it like to work with Gethin Pearson?
Amazing – genius levels.
With the tour just around the corner, are you excited to be back on the road? Is there anything you’re planning on doing differently live this time around?
We can’t wait! It’s been so long since we’ve toured. There’s a lot of new stuff to play so that’s pretty different.
You’ve had remarkable success releasing your material independently. Do you think it’s important for new bands to know that there’s another way than just going through a label?
It’s so important. My advice to every new band is stick with it and not give up. We’ve never even had a label try and talk to us, and its never once crossed my mind that we should give up because we’re not signed.
Are there any new bands out there, unsigned or otherwise, that you’re currently digging?
The Lizards from Birmingham.
Lastly, I’m from Birmingham myself, and it’s been brilliant to see the city get the recognition it deserves the past few years with the rise of the ‘B-Town’ scene. Are you proud to be from Birmingham?
I love Birmingham, and I always will.
Catch Jaws at one of their upcoming dates:
23 – Bristol, Thekla
24 – London, The Dome
25 – Leeds, Headrow House
26 – Newcastle, Think Tank
27 – Glasgow, King Tuts
29 – Hull, Fruit
30 – Manchester, Sound Control
2 –Birmingham, Rainbow
‘Simplicity’ is available now: https://www.musicglue.com/jawsjawsjaws