Belfast Telegraph

Q&A: Jetplane Landing

The Londonderry rock band originally formed in 1999, before going on hiatus in 2007. Now the punks are about to take off again with new album, Don't Try, and play at The Limelight 2 this weekend

By Edwin Gilson

You're back after a six-year absence with Don't Try. How did the record come about?

(Andrew Ferris, frontman) It was recorded in pieces over a two-year period, because none of us were in the same town when it was being made. Our guitarist Cahir was in the band Fighting with Wire when we were recording the new album, so he was over in America quite a lot. Our bass player and lyricist Jamie was living in the south of France, so he just sent over lyrics. I worked and recorded vocals in the evenings after I'd put my kids to bed.The fact that it actually sounds like a Jetplane Landing record is pretty amazing.

What's the meaning behind the title of the album?

The album is called Don't Try, not because we're saying you shouldn't make an effort; we're saying that things should be effortless. We really wanted to make a record where we didn't think too much of the direction we were going in. It was all about reacting off that Eighties hardcore punk rock sound. It's very tight and very fast. Our last album, Backlash Cop, was a funk rock concept album, the reason for that being that we had grown tired of the scene we were in.

There is one line on Don't Try that seems to imply a frustration with bands ripping off Jetplane Landing: 'Hey maggots get off my turf/I wrote s**t like this years ago'.

Yeah, that line is from a song called Beat Generation. It's about a writer called Gregory Corso, who was a beat poet overlooked in favour of the apparently more edgy guys like Charles Bukowski.

Corso became very embittered in his later years because of this. It's an imaginary interview between the band and Corso, which he interrupts halfway through by shouting that line.

Really though, that's a symbol for the fact this band have been doing this for 15 years now. I wouldn't say we were first to the party, but we certainly want to remind people of what we've done.

There are a lot of people that like Jetplane Landing that really don't like our style of music at all. They can really connect with us though because of the words we write.

The aforementioned line is something we and the fans can shout in unison, something we can really bond over.

That DIY, punk ethos is clearly very important to Jetplane Landing ...

That's why we encourage people coming to our gigs, filming them and uploading the videos. With a big pop act, where it's all about making sure hair extensions are in the right place, I can understand why people would want to control that. We're a punk rock band though and to me punk is all about sharing and trading.

After that six-year hiatus is there pressure to make another album very quickly?

This will be a short one: it'll be ready when it's ready.

Jetplane Landing play the Limelight, Belfast, tomorrow. For details visit

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