The Jar Family… Quality jams

Interview: The Jar Family

Published on December 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Hartlepool’s foremost “industrial folk” collective The Jar Family play at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton-on-Tees tonight, then headline London’s Water Rats venue for their Christmas show on the 14th. Rocksucker caught up with front man Al Devon for a chat about their plans for the new year, and what it’s like touring with Alabama 3…

What does 2013 hold for The Jar Family?

I think we’ll be releasing our second album early in the year, but we’re still touring our first album, which has been non-stop but brilliant all the same. We’ll take a break from the gigging side of things in January, but we’ve got enough material ready for a third album so we’ll concentrate on releasing the second album then head off to record the third. After that, probably more radio, more gigs and hopefully some TV appearances, by the looks of things anyway.

You’ve just come off a tour with Alabama 3. What are they like as touring buddies?

We toured with them last year as well and I read a quote about them, something about them being the last real ‘rock and roll’ band. Now we’ve met them I can say that’s totally true. Lawless, they are. We’re only just finding our feed so we don’t really drink when we play gigs, at least not until the last guitar’s been put in the van, but that lot get completely wasted when they get up in the morning! (Laughs) 

The first gig we did with them on this tour was in Hull, and when we pulled up outside the venue the first person to get out was their singer who goes by the name Larry Love; he’d only went to sleep three hours before and he was going straight in to soundcheck. But they get up there and they know it out like you wouldn’t believe. 

You’ve had some big support slots. Have any in particular stood out for any reason?

Lots of them. We supported Tim Burgess from The Charlatans when he did an acoustic set up in Newcastle. We also supported Ren Harvieu, Josh Kumra, Jake Bugg…it’s been a good year and a lot of that came off the back of the first Alabama 3 tour we did.

How did you get John Cornfield on mixing duties for the album?

He’s the resident engineer at the Sawmills Studios, where Oasis recorded their first two albums. That was with John. He only lives a stone’s throw away from the studio, and our management had contact with him so we went down there to do work on the album. He’s become a good friend of ours, part of what we call “Team Jar”. He’s a great man as well, really down to earth and has some funny stories as well.

What’s your album of 2012?

I know what my album of 2013 will be! I’m looking forward to Josh Kumra’s album, it’s going to be fabulous. We’ve toured with him a bit. I’m not too sure about this year – probably The Black Crowes’ latest album or something. Nothing’s really grabbed me this year.

Are there any other up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?

Yeah, a Teeside band called The Smiles. Frank Hamilton’s a great acoustic act coming through, released a song a week this year. He’s done some songs with Ed Sheeran and other people, so he’s one to look out for. I could name loads, but those two definitely. 

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the back catalogues of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?

Bob Dylan, Crowded House, The Beautiful South, UB40 because they’ve got loads, and a Tupac album to mix it up.

Al Devon, thank you.

Click here to buy tickets for The Jar Family’s Christmas show at London’s Water Rats on Friday December 14th. The band’s eponymous debut album is out now and available at www.thejarfamily.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.