Hearts Of Darkness-International Jetsetters Interview

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“Inside Out (Demo)” By International Jetsetters

“My Redemption (Demo)” By International Jetsetters

The Band: International Jetsetters : Who ? An Oxford-based five piece band formed by singer and guitarist Mark Crozer and bass player Bert Audubert. They were joined by Loz Colbert (formerly of Ride and who also had been working with Mark, initially in Jim Reid’s band and more recently in the reformed Jesus and Mary Chain.) The line up was completed with the addition of Mark’s younger brother Paul as a second guitarist and local singer Fi McCall…

The Music: So what’s it sound like? Well if I were to adopt the orotund NME style of grandiloquent writing I’d be quite likely compare it to “A sonic cathedral of sound awash with understated yet explosive frailty ” or “A swelling cacophony of cosmic beauty that pulses and throbs with a raw wantonness, whilst containing such power therein, that they could, quite possibly make distant stars implode.” Or even “Such is the majestic grandeur of their tunes, one could imagine that whilst Rome burnt , Nero found mere fiddling a woefully inadequate soundtrack to view such an epoch defining spectacle. He decreed his ears needed bathing in something suitably epic, thus he popped International Jetsetters on his Romanic I-pod.(© Pomum)”

There is of course a lot of truth in my NME style musings , but let’s keep it simple eh? As Nightshift magazine  said “they’re dark and dreamy but they rock like bastards.” International Jetsetters songs certainly do contain a swaggering majesty, a sweeping epic soundscape that recalls the more melody infused elements of the “shoegaze” scene. It goes without saying that fans of the Mary Chain, Ride and My Bloody Valentine will love the juxtaposition between the thundering drumming (does anybody hit a drum harder than Loz? ) swirling guitars and Mark’s Mary Chain meets The Beatles vocals or Fi’s voice, which ranges from etherial to pure rock n’roll. These ingredients allied to a strong pop sensibility should ensure their appeal reaches a wider audience then just those who are intent on peering from beneath their lank fringes to visually ponder their foot apparel in minute detail. We  spoke to Mark, Bert and Paul to find out all about their globe trotting jet-set lifestyle….

VP: How did the idea for the band start and how did the various members meet?

BERT: The band started when Mark was offered a solo gig in April 2007, and thought it would be cool to do it as a 3-piece. He asked me if I’d be up for playing bass, and Loz if he fancied hitting the drums… and so it was! I met Mark about 5 years ago, when we both found ourselves doing some fundraising for wild (wild! they were furious) west-country hedgehogs. Strange but true!

MARK: Bert and I had been writing and recording together already for a few years but had never really considered doing anything live until that gig came up. I asked Loz to play drums as I’d been working with him in Jim Reid’s band – which as a huge Ride fan was a total thrill – and I knew he’d be perfect. I didn’t really expect Loz to say yes and I think he was quite reluctant at first but he said he’d do it and now he’s totally into it. In fact the line up wasn’t completely solid at first as we did at least one show with another friend of ours on drums when Loz was busy with something else. It wasn’t until Paul and Fi came along that the band became a proper unit. After we’d been playing as a three piece for about four months we decided, well the band was more of a dictatorship then so I decided that we should have a second guitarist and we asked Paul if he wanted to join. He’s my brother in case you don’t know. We’d been in a band or two before in the distant past.

PAUL: I met Mark at home at a very early age. We pretty much decided to be in a band together before either of us could even walk, let alone play the guitar. Mark and Bert have lived together for quite a few years now, we’re not allowed to divulge the nature of their relationship for fear of upsetting the female fan-base (like when John Lennon got married to a horse). I met Bert in a pub, he was drunk. Mark used to have pictures of Loz up on his wall in 1988, so I guess that’s where they met, I think there was one where he’d cut out a photo of himself holding a guitar and stuck it in the picture with the rest of the band. I first met Fi at a gig where she was singing our songs instead of Mark, she sang them much better so we asked if she wouldn’t mind doing it again.

MARK: Hmmm… there are elements of the truth in there somewhere.

BERT: Fi and I were introduced by a mutual friend at my local village pub last summer.

VP: What have you released so far , and what future releases are planned?

MARK: Our debut EP “Heart is Black” is due out on Planting Seeds Records on Oct 7th though it’s coming out digitally first on September 21st. We’re planning at least one more EP and then hopefully an album. It’s taken quite a long time for this thing to come out even though we recorded the basic tracks for six songs in one day many months ago. For this first EP we basically recorded what we had at the time. Now we’ve got a lot more songs as everyone’s been writing, Bert and Fi in particular have been churning out songs. It’s impossible to keep up! When we do release an album it’s likely to be pretty evenly split between us in terms of the writing. It’s going to be quite varied vocally too as we all sing. Apart from Bert that is. We only let him near a microphone when we want to summon up the hounds of hell. Think of a cross between Alice Cooper and Brian Johnson from AC/DC, only… more evil-sounding.

VP: Does the band name sum up your lifestyle? In between the music is it all James Bond type spills and thrills and the quest to find the perfect marguerita?

BERT: In a word, yes! When we’re not pretending to live mild-mannered lives at the local village pub, we don brightly-coloured lycra costumes, and fight crime in exotic locations across the globe (sometimes after one marguerita too many!)

PAUL: Absolutely, I for one am quite a jetsetter in my daily life, being a regular user of the A12. Mark also jetsets in the Kirtlington area.

MARK: It’s all about margueritas. Actually the irony is that I came up with the name International Jetsetters as a joke because at the time I hardly went anywhere apart from to the local pub and village shop.

VP: What have been the highlights of the last 3 years or so?

BERT: Doctor Who, getting a new owner at the local pub, watching Mark, Loz and Fi play with The Jesus and Mary Chain at Brixton Academy, drinking margueritas at Coachella and just being in International Jetsetters with the best musicians, and loveliest people I’ve ever had the honour of knowing…Oh, and finding a £5 note in my wallet that I thought I’d lost.

MARK: I agree about Doctor Who. I think that £5 was mine though… Going to New York was a fun experience and it was great playing at the Punt, a one-night local music festival in Oxford. I think the best things are still to come though. I could tell you about the lowlights if you like. Playing a very badly-promoted local music festival in a huge field to about ten people at least half of whom were so off their heads they couldn’t even stand up…

VP: How did Fi feel about making her debut public performance with the Mary Chain at Brixton in 2007 (on “Just Like Honey”)

BERT: Aaargh!!

PAUL: Great!

MARK: Um… it seems like she has opted to let us answer for her. So… perhaps somewhere between “aaargh!” and “great!”

VP: Rumour has it that Mark was instrumental in the Mary Chain re-grouping.

MARK: Well, that’s really not true at all. I was instrumental in helping Jim Reid’s solo band get together as I introduced Jim and Loz in March 2006. I’d met Loz once briefly at a gig a few weeks earlier and I thought he’d be up for it. I managed to blag my way into the band too somehow.

VP: And what’s this I hear about a phone call from Jim (Reid) in which it was thought he was going to be asking for his guitar back ?

MARK: Yeah, that was quite funny. A few days before I’d received a number of emails from various promoters saying they’d read that the Mary Chain were getting back together. At the time I was sort of Jim’s unofficial booking agent. When I called Jim to find out if there was any truth in these rumours Julie answered the phone and confirmed that it was indeed true. I was totally stunned! Two or three days later I was in London doing a solo gig and it had gone really, really badly. There were only four or five people there and I came away thinking that I was going to quit music for good. Then later on, when I was waiting for the bus home, my mobile phone rang and it was Jim. My first thought was that he wanted his Gibson guitar back that had somehow ended up getting left at my place after a recording session. But in fact he was calling to ask me if I wanted to go to Coachella with the Mary Chain. I was utterly shocked. I was on cloud nine for a long time after that phone call. So… it just goes to show that you never know what’s going to happen even when things appear to be as bleak as they can get.

VP: What sort of music do you listen to these days, any new bands that grab you?

BERT: I tend to listen to a lot of local music, and stuff my friends are doing. There’s a great music scene in Oxford, and there has been for some time. Ride, Radiohead, Supergrass, The Young Knives, all great bands, and there are lots more who could easily join them on more of a world stage. Little Fish are a brilliant local band, who have just been signed, so keep an eye out for them, and rather than list loads of music here, take a look at Nightshift magazine and Oxford Music Scene magazine online. They both put a lot into what’s happening here, so, hey, check them out, have a listen to who they recommend, and make up your own minds.

MARK: I’m a big fan of Bat For Lashes, Editors, er… Jacques Brel… As for new bands… I can’t think of any in particular that I really love. I could list a hundred that I hate but that would just be nasty. Like Bert I tend more to listen to my friends’ bands. We did a gig a few months ago in Oxford with a band called Witches who are truly great.

VP: As previously mentioned the Mary Chain have regrouped , My Bloody Valentine and the House Of Love are back, Spiritualized are around are there any other bands you’d love to see back, from that era. How about Ride ?? 😉

BERT: Glen Miller and The Inkspots, possibly together actually.

MARK: I went to see The Chameleons when they reformed briefly a few years ago and they were great. I’m very happy about that as I never got to see them when they were around in the 80s. It would be great to see Ride reform of course. Just briefly though as I wouldn’t want to lose Loz!

VP: Five things that would improve the music industry?

BERT: 1. Remove the word “industry”. 2. More cash into local venues. 3. More education in schools on all aspects of music. 4. Put Simon Cowell in a sealed cardboard box. 5. Introduce scratch and sniff CD’s.

MARK: Oh, I dunno. I try not to think about the “industry” aspect as it depresses me and makes me want to jack it all in. Scratch and sniff CDs though… that’s a good idea. But how could you market a scratch and sniff mp3?? Maybe we could do a line of scratch and sniff International Jetsetters t-shirts permeated with the sweet smell of success. Ah… that’s so cheesy.


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Planting Seeds Records

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“I Will Not( Live) ” By International Jetsetters


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NB/ Thanks To Rob Dobbs and Neil Del Parto

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