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5 minutes with Gary

"To me it's just Rock n Roll"

Today we welcome into the Fit4Talent interview room Gary from top band Jointpop.

So tell me a bit more about your band Jointpop. How did you first get together?

Well, it was 15 years ago; I started the band Jointpop, after my previous band 'Oddfellows Local' broke up.
I just continued writing songs and called up some people I knew from around the local scene to see if they may be up for hooking up to start a band. One member from that original line is still here today, Damon Homer, Jointpop's guitar player.
For the last 6 years, the present line up has been intact; our other members are Dion Camacho (Drums), Phil Hill (Keyboards) and Jerome Girdharrie (Bass).

You're from Trinidad & Tobago, right? What are the differences between music there and here in the UK?
The music scene here in Trinidad and Tobago is quite diverse, but it's dominated by the local Indigenous music from the Islands like Calypso, Soca and Reggae. That's just how it is and will always be, to be honest.
The rock and alternative scene is very underground with very little support, so the bands just move around in various, limited, small venues. That's why we tour the UK when we can as the scene there suits us.

It seems you've been going for a while, have you noticed any changes to your local music scene over the years?
Yes, of course, it's getting worse by the minute, because no one wants to just be honest and patient with their sound and songs, so they just do what they think will please people. We stay very far away from that situation...and I mean very far.

I understand that your up-coming album will be entitled "The Pot Hounds", what exactly is a 'pot hound'?
Hahaha...well, it's the name used for like "Street Dogs", which we have lots of in Trinidad; stray dogs on the streets like Mongrels, without pedigree or high class breeding. Neglected and living off scraps. Pretty much just like Jointpop.
I understand in the UK people call them "Pot Lickers", not sure if that's true.

Well there's a new word for the majority of our readers haha tell me a bit more about the album itself; where did you get the name from? What was your main inspiration?
The vibe came from our situation as a band trying to survive on this Island.
It's also like a 'Fictional band' called "The Pot Hounds", without going too deep into the "Concept Album" method.

Who has influenced your album in its style?
My influences all through the years have always been the likes of The (Rolling) Stones, The Beatles, Dylan, The Clash, (The Sex) Pistols. The songs on this album seem to be heading in a strange 'country-like' direction; like what they call "Americana". I call it "Trinicana"....hahah...but to me it's just Rock n Roll. That's all we ever do and all we ever want to do.

Your current tracks seem fairly diverse but always tend to work well as an album, what would you say your style is?
We are simply a rock n roll band. And a free band to write what we want.

You've released quite a few albums, what do you enjoy about being in the studio?
The process of watching the albums take on lives of their own right before your eyes and ears; the moment when the ideas that you came into the studio with just comes out. They can be long hard days but very beautiful times as well. Could do with the production debates but that's part of it.

Are you signed to a UK Label or are you an unsigned band.
We put out our own records for now, it's not that we want to, but we have to.
Even all the talk and debates of whether bands need record labels today with the Internet and all that, in our case (a band from Trinidad and Tobago) we need that extra muscle to keep in touch with live music related situations in the UK; like festivals, bookings, radio and press.

You've done quite a lot of gigs around the UK, New York and Miami, what do you think of the changes in the crowds?
Nothing much has changed apart from the fact that it's like a revolving door of people checking out new bands. Mostly, if they like you, they let you know that and that's how we build our following in other countries.

You seem to enjoy touring, is there a country in particular that you prefer touring?
Our last 3 tours were in the UK. The last tour being September/October 2011. It went well and was lots of fun and hard work at the same time.
The longest drive in Trinidad is around two and a half hours, but some gigs in the UK we drove for 8 hours.
We did 19 gigs across England, Wales and Scotland. I must admit we do have a soft spot for Scotland. Thinking of buying a castle there hahaha

Thank you for taking the time to do an interview with us. Before you go; any last words for the fans?
Firstly, thanks to you for the interview, and to all the people that came to our gigs in the UK, and also for following us online. Cheers.

You can find out more about Jointpop on their Official website at www.jointpop.com, find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jointpop/ or Follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/#!/jointpop/.

Interview by Robyn Lees.

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