Mystery Jets give the lowdown on new album Serotonin

Posted on 18 June 2010
By Dom Martin
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On the cusp of touring their third album Serotonin, the Mystery Jets seem on fine form, reinvigorated by life on the road and new material to showcase.

It is clear throughout our time with them that the band is extremely tight-knit, their banter occasionally verging on the telepathic.

Purple Revolver met up with Blaine and Kapil from the band in the autumnally-hued hotel Malmaison. Musak drifts through the lobby as slick businessman whisper into mobile phones and the staff pitter-patter back and forth from the bar.

The new album has been touted as one which marries up the sound of the previous two LPs.‘Someone said to us quite recently said it was the verses of the first record with the choruses of the second record,’ says a rather jaded Kapil.

‘Which I think is a really nice way of putting it because I think what we really learnt on Twenty One was how to write a chorus. Twenty One was a very concise record, we simplified things down in a way we really felt we needed to and with this we’ve put a bit more meat back on the bones. It’s not so skeletal, it’s more expansive.

‘We’ve had three records out now, we’ve got to know each other very well, know what we’re about and what we wanna do. Also, having Chris Thomas there, who’s been doing it since time immemorial, was great in terms of realising our vision,’ adds Kapil.

Blaine can’t speak highly enough of Chris Thomas. ‘Chris is just as excited by up-to-date sounds as anything. We were listening to a lot of ELO making this record and Chris would go ‘Eurgh, I don’t wanna hear that, it sounds like pastiche’. He was so adamant for it not to sound like a retro record. And that’s why he’s a great producer because he’s not trying to recreate something from the past. Chris is a living legend, but still completely nuts. I mean, he’s in his sixties, but he’s still mad for it.

‘He came out to Argentina with us. He came out for a week and me and Blaine ended up extending our stay there so we could party with him,’ interjects Kapil.

‘And I think what’s happened for us with every album is that we’ve instantly formed a bond with the producer. They become an extra member of the band, there’s a lot of trust there. Chris was very much part of the vision of the record,’ says Blaine.

‘And he played kazoo on Flash A Hungry Smile too!,’ Kapil chimes in.

‘I love that tune! Flash is always the first song I play to people when I play them the new record. It seems to be the entrance song for the new album, I mean it can go in any direction from there,’ Blaine points out.

‘I don’t think it will be re-released in terms of a traditional single. The idea of the traditional single seems to be dying anyway. Labels seem to be saying it’s not about singles, it’s about records, and to not even make your singles chart eligible. I’m not sure whether they’re right or not, I think there’s always going to be a demand for singles,’ says Blaine.

The guys went on to talk about shooting the video for upcoming single ‘Dreaming Of Another World’.

‘God, if I have another drink I think I’ll collapse,’ says Kapil.
‘It was a two day shoot and it was just really bloody tiring. We started at 6 and finished at 12 and so we just went out both nights and got royally pissed up. I’m definitely paying for it now,’ says Kapil.
The band also paid a rather debauched visit to Berlin recently under the pseudonym of Crystal Wolf Fighters.

‘I think people started to cotton on when we did a few Mystery Jets covers, including our two biggest singles, which probably gave the game away… We’d only been to Berlin twice and we were desperate to go. It was actually ‘Crystal Wolf Hunters’ as we keep on getting in lots of trouble with the ‘other’ Crystal Fighters. I keep on seeing them across the room in London, lots of Hoxton rage,’ beams Blaine.

‘We were staying in this amazing hostel which was being built which only had four rooms and we had the whole place to ourselves,’ adds Kapil.

‘I read about the making of Exile on Main Street and that just sounds like a watered down version of what went on in that hostel. We had dwarves, babies, Bailey’s…’. Blaine and Kapil exchange mischievous knowing looks.

Speaking about which local bands they admire, Blaine is quick to namecheck The Coral. ‘I remember when we came out as a band, the first Coral record was kinda like the holy grail. I guess when all the American bands were coming over here, that record for me meant a lot. The influences it drew upon, there were things there you would never have put together…There’s like reggae on it- what?! And then bits sound like Beefheart. It was so exciting to hear that and it was great to know England had a band like that. And their subsequent records have been great too,’ he says.

With the river cruise a few hours away, Kapil begins an anecdote, ‘We did one in Loch Ness…(To Blaine: were you going to say that?) We finish each other’s sentences. In fact, we start and finish each other’s sentences.’

With a band so in tune with each other, the future certainly looks bright for Mystery Jets. As their Myspace intro reads, ‘Place your bets on the Mystery Jets’.