Stone Jets Interview: Transmissions from the UK

Cape Town-based trio Stone Jets are currently touring the UK in support of their recently released EP, Memory, and although it’s been a long-time coming, the tour is in full swing, and they already have a few things to write home about.

I caught up with the guys to hear how it’s going and how they’re finding the UK so far.

Hey guys. What a year 2018 has been for you! You’ve released a single and music video for How Can You, played Up The Creek Festival, SplashyFen and Oppikoppi, all while planning and releasing an EP. Now, you find yourselves in the UK. Did you expect all of this to happen this year?
Hey Darren. Yeah what a year! We’re very fortunate to realise the fruits of our labour. Working hard and smart is a South African trait that we use to our advantage, and we grabbed the opportunity to tour Ireland and UK when it arose.

How has the reception been? Anything worth noting?
The people of Ireland and the UK have this beautiful way of appreciating music and respecting it as an art. Their reception has been very warm and enthusiastic which has rendered us speechless. Ireland has this great thing where musicians get together and jam around a table, and the venue’s patrons listen-in and support them. That was an amazing experience. We were privileged to be part of such a jam session on the South Coast of Ireland, in a town called Ardmore.

What was the first thing that caught your eyes when you got to Ireland and the UK?
Ireland: the lush greenery and fresh air, and musically, the intent listening and appreciation of the music. The UK: the rush of being among so many people, and musically, the respect people have for musicians who perform their craft.

DublinAirport
Given, Manfred and Eduan at Dublin Airport

How are musicians reacting to your music? I guess it’s one thing reacting to your music if you’re a music lover, but another when you’re a musician?
Musicians love the feeling they get from the music. People are people, musician or not, and they seem to feel the music more.

Your style of music is uniquely South African. Some have called it Indie-Kwela and Afro-Pop-Soul. How has that been received over there?
Surprisingly well! They love music here and have a culture for it. They have all the time in the world for anything musical, as long as they can connect with it.

Has anything changed for you guys since you’ve started this tour?
Yes and no. It would be better to say that certain things have been affirmed about what we do and what we were wondering about back in South Africa. The only thing that has changed, is our view of our country’s boundaries and touring overseas.

Any venues you’ve performed at or going to perform at that you are amped for?
Yes and yes. We performed at The Dublin Castle in Camden where Amy Winehouse once performed and that was amazing! We’re going to perform in Blackpool, which is near Liverpool – the home of the Beatles – so we’re hoping for some of that magic to rub off.

Has the autumn weather and the Brexit saga affected the mood and music atmosphere there, as well as the reaction to your music, perhaps?
Everyone we’ve met is uncertain of the future and it seems that our music carries them to a better place, or rather, a happy place. So, yeah, it seems that we’ve brought the South African sunshine with us.

unnamed
Stone Jets at Hard Rock Café, London

Are there any similarities you can draw from the places you’ve been performing at, compared to those back home?
It would be unfair to do so. Every town has its own character, and yes, there are small similarities between the towns we’ve toured in South Africa, but at the end of the day, people appreciate and love what we do, and we’re appreciating our identity even more. That’s what makes every performance memorable.

Lastly, do you have any words of encouragement or advice you’d like to share with musicians back home who wish/are about to embark on a tour overseas?
Do it! Everything is hard until you take the first step. For us, it was the VISA and then venues, and, and, and. It all worked out in the end for us, so that was wasted worry. So just do it!

If you’re reading this in the UK, or know anyone in the UK who’d enjoy seeing Stone Jets live, be sure to share the poster below or catch them live at the venues below. To Stone Jets, thank you for your time and good luck for the rest of your tour!

IrelandUKTour

[Follow DJ on Instagram: @darrenglen and Twitter: @johnstondarren]

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