An Interview With Jonquil

Posted on May 7, 2010


Oxford-based, experimental band Jonquil are relative veterans in their own right with a wealth of touring experience and a well-received debut LP (Lions) released in 2007, the band have been on the fringes of mainstream success for several years. We caught up with band member Sam Scott for an ‘OBscenely’ brief chat about life in Oxford and plans for this summer.

OB: Firstly for those who are not familiar with Jonquil, how would you describe your music?

SS: I’d go with Rainbow-Pop, Calypso Tropicalia, or Fleetwood Mac meets Fela Kuti.

OB: How did the band form?

SS: The band began as a bedroom-recording project based around Hugo and a bunch of broken folk instruments. When he realised they were all broken, he drafted in a bunch of mates in bands, possibly for their instruments, possibly for their ability. The idea of a live band grew and grew from there.

OB: Growing up what were you main musical influences? Have these changed in any way since the band began?

SS: The bands we knew each other from were varying post rock outfits, so Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tortoise were the favourites. We certainly don’t sound very post rock anymore but still enjoy the idea of a solid crescendo and a nod to minimalism. Now it’s pretty much just Donna Summer and Chic.

OB: For the non-natives of Oxford, what hidden treasures within the city can you recommend?

SS: There’s a Brothel above Ladbrokes in Summertown. High Class!

OB: And what has been your favourite venue to perform in Oxford?

SS: In the early days we loved the intimacy of the sing-alongs in the Cellar but now its great just to play to a full room at the Academy, regardless of the branding.

OB: You’ve been in the studio in recent months, can we expect to see a new album soon?

SS: We are continually recording at the moment but aren’t focused on creating anything as consciously complete as an album, probably not for most of 2010; it’s always on the Horizon though. Expect a single or two, towards the end of the year.

OB: Has your sound progressed since your last album ‘Lions’?

SS: The songs are sounding very different. We’ve lost all our restraint.

OB: Aside from recording, do you have any big plans for the summer?

SS: We’re soon to announce some exciting news so keep your Internet peeled.

(Since this interview the band has confirmed a support slot on the new Foals tour that commences at the end of April).

OB: What would you say is the best thing about being in a band?

SS: Being able to persuade ourselves that ‘feeding the art’ is a necessity.

OB: Finally, where would you like to see the band in ten years time?

SS: There’s a Brothel above Ladbrokes in Summertown. High class!

Tom Fitzgerald

Posted in: Music