FRONTMAN GABRIEL WINTERFIELD TALKS MUSICAL INFLUENCES, DIFFICULT SECOND ALBUMS AND WINNING A-LIST FANS.
Three years ago, Sydney-bred, Uk-based Jagwar Ma dropped their first LP, Howlin’. Almost overnight, they became one of music’s most acclaimed acts, with headlines, summer anthem status and celebrity fans. Now the boys are back with follow-up Every Now & Then, delivering an evolution of the band’s signature sound, transcending vocals and psychedelic rhythms. “We’re quite progressive as people – that’s the best way to put it,” explains Gabriel Winterfield, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, who credits the likes of The Beach Boys, hip-hop and Motown as influences on their second effort. “From the beginning, it was about trying to do something different.” Those eager to hear the results include Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Prince Harry, but their biggest celebrity cheerleader is Noel Gallagher, who famously declared he was too busy listening to them to bother reforming Oasis. “That was funny,” says Winterfield. “We didn’t know him at the time. But I’ve met him since. One time we were rehearsing in South London – they had a Nintendo in the rec room and I had Mum’s minestrone, so I was already nostalgic.” He continues, “I saw the back of this guy’s head as he walked down the corridor. Then he opened the soundproof door, all we heard was ‘And after aaaaall’ then the door shut. It was Noel Gallagher and they were rehearsing ‘Wonderwall’! I was like, ‘what year is this?’” he laughs. “We exchanged numbers and caught up during [this year’s] Glastonbury. We were talking about Adidas, and he told me that when he met Pharrell, he said ‘Oasis – it was about more than the songs, man. Your sweaters were so good!’” No word on Jagwar Ma’s knitwear, but they’ve still received their fair share of hype. Is second-album pressure real? “Yeah,” admits Winterfield. “I talked to Noel about it and he said, ‘Don’t overanalyse things. You make records, put them out, go touring. Then you do it again.’ It’s easy for him to say because he’s made amazing records. But some of the pressure is good – it’s motivating, exciting.” That said, Winterfield’s not fazed about conquering the airwaves a second time. “It used to be about trying to get on the radio, but fuck that – it has to be sincere. We can’t do exactly what we think people are going to expect.” Every Now & Then is out October 14