Track by track /// Jet Pack ‘Chasing Sunsets’ [EP] 2013

Jet Pack

Alternative rock performed by Jet Pack is punchy and not without a good deal of pleasant, catchy melody.  Moreover, this massive cocktail of rock and pop is spiced up by punk for greater sensations and sharper edges, so this band’s music is something you’ll love no doubt. The year 2013 saw Jet Pack release their EP ‘Chasing Sunsets’ and  the band’s own Dennis Cook (vocals/guitar) and Paul Roberts (guitar/vocals) give you a detailed story of each track on the record.

Back to Life

Dennis: It’s about escaping the pointless stresses of working a day job you hate and feeling like you are not where you should be in life and that things are slowing down – weirdly enough I hadn’t thought about how relevant the video being shot in a warehouse actually is until now. The song came about at a testing time for us as a band and individuals. We’d just come home from a short tour with The Hype Theory and parted ways with SGR Management. We were a little strained musically and personally. I remember the first line came to me on the way home from work on a Friday night and it all came together from there. As I recall it was the first song we wrote for the EP and really set the tone for what was to come. It’s one of the hardest to sing live but its one of my favourite to play.

Paul: This is probably the heaviest track on the EP in terms of the sound and the general pace of it. I agree with Dennis in that it sets the tone thematically for the rest of the CD – we were on a real low and it felt like we were in complete no man’s land with the band. We more or less called a meeting in a bar with just the 4 of us, laid out a few home truths and said well we either give up or we put all our energy in to fighting for this. I really like the chorus to this song, the way the pace slows it’s almost as though you’re taking a breath to asses everything, that’s exactly where we were as a band at this point.

 

Now I Know How John Locke Felt

 Dennis: Originally I wrote the lyrics about my home town in Cornwall. It’s where I grew up and where the majority of my family and friends still live. It’s a small town, so relatively speaking everybody is close. I got so far along but it nagged at me a little. The lyrics were all right – which to me isn’t good enough anyway – but I just didn’t feel that the melodies were up to scratch. So I stripped all the vocals out and sent it to Paul as a sort of blank canvas and he came back with some really poignant lyrics set to some great melodies.

Paul: Usually Dennis and I come to rest of the band with a complete song so this was a nice opportunity for a true collaboration between us. I first heard the track without any lyrics or vocals and I was really excited by the energy in the music. I asked if I could have a go with the lyrics as a vocal melody just jumped straight out of the music for me. I took inspiration from ‘The Middle’ by Jimmy Eat World, I’ve always loved the positive nature of the lyrics in that song and for me ‘John Locke’ is a little pep talk to ourselves, reminding us to stay positive and not give up. The chorus is definitely a response to parting ways with our management, but overall this song encapsulates the theme of focussing on the positives and using that energy to drag ourselves out of a bad place emotionally.

 

Heat of the Moment

 Dennis: This was one of those songs that came really quickly. I wrote it while sat on a mattress in the spare room of our drummer Sam’s family home – they were kind enough to let me live with them for a while. It is about dealing with regret. I get sick of people saying “no regrets” all the time. To me, that’s not a healthy way to live. Yes, we must move on, but we need to think about what we’ve done. The song is about hurting someone you never intended to — getting caught in a moment and doing the wrong thing. If I didn’t feel regret towards what I did, how can I be a better person? I’d just go crashing around not caring about the feelings of other people. A certain degree of regret is healthy.

Paul: I really like the honesty of Den’s lyrics in this song – that was another thing that the two of us talked about on this EP. So many bands these days are churning out insincere lyrics, laced with clichés about things that mean nothing. To me music is about honesty. It’s about putting it all out there for people to relate to. We shot the video in Devon on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year. I had to phone in sick for work on the way down there and we spent the whole day getting burnt to a crisp on a beach. We should have released a Jet-Pack keep fit video for this one as we were running up a 400m cliff carrying all of our equipment in 30+ degree heat.

 

Chasing Sunsets Feat. Lauren Pryke

 Dennis: This is all Paul really. A real departure from what we’ve done before. Less rock, more electronica. I remember that we originally intended that Lauren would sing harmonies and responses to Paul’s lead but as soon as we heard her it was one of those moments. We wrote Lauren’s verse in the bridge in about 5 minutes and those are some of my favourite words in anything we’ve done. Her delivery is perfect!

Paul: Dennis and I spent weeks together in his tiny little bedroom at Sam’s house, constantly adding and changing the smallest things. I guess this song was cathartic to me as it deals with the break-up of a long term relationship, but I hope people can relate to the different stages you go through, from the denial to the desperation, from the blame and anger to the acceptance. We met Lauren for the first time at a gig the night before, we turned up and she was playing a cover of ‘Always’ by blink-182 and we knew at that exact moment she had to sing on this song. I messaged her later that night and to my amazement she caught numerous trains to come and record the very next day, with a bunch of guys she’d never met, for a song she’d never heard. It was the most fun day I’ve ever had recording and what Dennis and especially Lauren brought to the song was truly amazing and I simply can’t imagine this song existing any other way. This song reminded me of everything I loved about music at a time when I was having very mixed feelings about whether to carry on or not. The whole experience of recording this song was really inspirational for me and I know we all gained a really good friend in Lauren through the process.

 

All I Need

 Dennis: For me, this song is about a very particular moment. I was in a nightclub a few years ago, saw one of those people who just make everything around them stop. I just had to talk to them, and I’m awful at talking to girls. I saw a little more of them in the following weeks and at one point found myself thinking, I could give up my ambitions and dreams for this person. It didn’t work out though. But over time the meaning has changed for me. Now it feels more about my love of music and our band.

Paul: This is my favourite song to play live and it’s definitely become the fan favourite. I love how many different ideas are going on here, especially with the vocal tradeoffs. I still get little goosebumps on the back of my neck whenever the dual vocals come in after the middle 8/bridge of the song. I think years of listening to Taking Back Sunday rubbed off on this track.

 

This Is The End

 Dennis: Originally this did have lyrics, but worked best as an instrumental. It’s meant to be a medley of ideas from the other tracks, and initially I envisaged it as an introduction to the EP – setting the scene as it were. But in terms or the track listing it just didn’t work. I’ve always thought the chords at the beginning have a certain finality to them, like the closing credits of a film. With that in mind it works really well as the last track on the EP giving a really strong, binding finish.

Paul: I had a lot of fun recording this track – and no one got to see it! I went into the vocal room at Matt O’Grady’s studio, turned the amp up full and literally swing my guitar around the room – I must have looked like I was having a fit or something but the feedback I was getting was just perfect. Musically, the song borrows riffs and ideas from all the previous tracks and wraps everything together nicely for what feels like the perfect end to me. This EP was a very personal thing for us and something that we did exactly the way we wanted to. I’m not sure that you’ll necessarily hear 8 minute acoustic tracks and instrumentals on future Jet-Pack releases, but I’ll always be proud of what we did on this record.

 

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