April 11, 2013

This is Jagwar Ma, the guitar/electronic/genre mash duo from Australia. With a whole lotta love stemming from their third single “The Throw”, we interview a band that are causing quite a stir on the international music scene with a Spotify playlist to match.


The history of Jagwar Ma is impressively short, forming their sound in Sydney beach house. Only two years later JM have found their sound spread across the world, fans and press alike lapping at their experimental vibes. How is it that with only three released singles Jagwar have found such a stage? We can only assume it’s down to a hugely diverse sound incorporating themes such as Stone Roses 90s, Primal Scream electronics and hypnotic vocals, all glued together by a live show described as “baggy” or “rave”. (Please note we did mention the words “Madchester”, oh crap we just did)!

With our ears full of Jagwar Ma’s hooks, we just had to get a few questions over to the guys. A few email air miles later and this is what we found in our Urban inbox.

UO:So, Jagwar Ma, your music makes us pretty happy – how do you do that?

JM:I don’t know. I guess if we are having fun while we make it then it should translate to the listener with a bit of luck.

UO:How would you describe your sound?

JM:Like patting Bootsy’s baby on the butt (to paraphrase Bootsy Collins)

UO:How long have you been playing together?

JM:Just under 2 years.

UO:And how did you meet?

JM:Gab and I met after a gig in Sydney. We went back to a mutual friends house and watched Enter The Dragon. I met Jack through Gab in London fields.


UO:There’s a rolling, journeying quality to your songs – is that intentional?

JM:Yes it’s intentional. I like music that is repetitious but evolves slowly and steadily, music that morphs and twists over time. When we write I generally have things on loops and modulate them gradually.

UO:How do you go about creating sounds – do you know what you want to do or is it a lot of experimentation?

JM:There’s loads of experimentation involved. I like outboard gear, samplers, echoes, modular synths but I also love Ableton because it’s such malleable software and you can shape sounds and ideas almost as quick as they come. I’ll generally always start with a beat and layer and layer until there’s a good landscape, then I’ll do a rough arrangement and then get Gab to sing over it. Then the song starts to get relayed back and forth between us till we’re both dancing to it.

UO:What’s the best thing about your job?

JM:Making music and people appreciating it? What’s not to like?

UO:What’s your favourite musical era?

JM:1950 to 1969


UO:Be honest, do you ever sing into a hairbrush when you’re on your own?

JM:No, but Gab dances to his own shadow in streetlights and I like singing to Dusty Springfield in the shower.

UO:Do you get to spend much time at home?

JM:This year… home is where the studio / gig is.

UO:If you weren’t making music, what might you be doing?

JM:Cooking or swimming.

UO:What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

JM:Re-soldering broken patch leads by day and flipping pizzas by night.


UO:How many names did you go through before you settled on Jagwar Ma?

JM:None. That was the first name and it stuck. The name kind of picked us.

UO:Who are your musical heroes?

JM:George Martin is one of mine. Gab loves MJ. We both love Hendrix.

UO:Ever been star-struck?

JM:We bumped into Frank Ocean a few weeks ago. Gab sat next to Johnny Marr on a plane a couple of years ago.


UO:What’s been your proudest moment to date?

JM:Recording at Maida Vale Studios for a BBC Radio 1 session with Huw Stephens.

UO:If you were wrestlers, what would your names be?

JM:Johnny Jackhammer Ma and Gabe Lincoln the Log.

UO:Tell us a joke…

JM:”I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I was over in Australia during Easter. It was interesting to note they celebrate Easter the same way we do; commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night. Now, I wonder why we’re fucked up as a race. You know, I’ve read the Bible. I can’t find the words ‘bunny’ or ‘chocolate’ anywhere in the book. Where do you come up with this shit? Why those two things? Why not ‘Goldfish left Lincoln Logs in your sock drawer’? As long as we’re making shit up, go hog wild. At least a goldfish with a Lincoln Log on its back crawling across your floor to your sock drawer has a miraculous connotation to it!”

Looky here, Jagwar Ma made you a Spotify play list based on the theme “Music to listen to whilst playing basketball outside”! Nice…

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