INTERVIEW with Ross Hamer of Jet Setter


ahead of this gig –

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Echo Article - Jet Setter



Ross Hamer, the lead singer and guitarist with Dublin based 4-piece rock band ‘Jet Setter’, spoke with Ronan Leonard ahead of their live debut in Cork which falls the day before they release their third single ‘Not Yet’ on Any Other City Records.

For a band of serious music fans it came as no surprise to hear the chain of events that led to the group forming, “I met the other guys through working in R.A.G.E., a record shop on Fade Street. During some after hours drinks in the shop Jeff Courtney, who plays bass, told me he wanted to be in a band called Jet Setter, and I thought it was a great opportunity to make some music.  After a few months of saying “we really should organise a practice” we eventually ended up in a rehearsal room.  I had no idea Neil Dexter could play drums or that Paddy (Ormond) played guitar.  We wrote two songs in the first practice and played them to a packed Whelan’s supporting Spies the very next day”

This fast moving nature has carried on since their formation, “it has always been easy being in Jet Setter, we write songs very quickly, and practice is the highlight of the week.  Neil and Jeff both play in Spies as well, Paddy Ormond had played some solo shows, but I’d never actually played a gig before Jet Setter! It took a while to become confident as a band, particularly for myself as I write the bare bones of the songs, but once I became more comfortable performing live our ‘good dynamics’ really began to translate.”

While they can be identified as a rock band, Ross doesn’t get too bogged down on genre, “we all love good guitar music and really well-written songs and that’s what we try to do.  I think we do our own take on music that we love.”

Unsurprisingly for a band that formed through an independent record shop the bands they are into aren’t all very well known; “I could list names all day, so I’ll try to keep it short: The Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers, The Feelies, The Clean, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Galaxie 500, The Byrds, Big Star.  I wouldn’t say we sound especially like any of those bands in particular, but it’s a good indication of where we’re coming from. American guitar music basically, with a bit of New Zealand in there.”

Ross also thinks the fact that they have been aligned with a record label from the very early days of their formation has been a great support, “Any Other City is a fantastic label, and the owner James is a great guy to work with.  He’s proved his credentials with some great releases over the years, like Villagers and more recently with Girl Band.  He has given us great advice from the start, which has allowed us to concentrate on writing songs and enjoy practice, as well as avoiding pitfalls.  We’re looking forward to releasing as much as we can over the coming years with Any Other City.”

Ross is confident they won’t be struggling for material, “we write songs very quickly, and we’ve a large pool of songs to pick from for the next single which will most likely be out in January.  We’d love to record an album in 2015 too, so that is what we’re working towards.”

Their two singles ‘Over The Boardwalk’ and ‘Out Of Bed’ so far have garnered positive notices online and in publications like NME, which has Ross has been pleased by “it has been very flattering to have some nice things said about us in the UK and the States, and hopefully it continues to grow with our next releases.  We’re looking forward to playing more shows around Ireland and hopefully get a bit more attention over here.”

While they haven’t played outside of Dublin much, that doesn’t mean they aren’t keen to get out on the road, “our show in The Pavilion will not only be Jet Setter’s first gig in Cork, but also only other place outside of Dublin we have played so far is London, so we’re really excited. We’ve some old friends to catch up with too, so they better come to the show! In terms of bands from Cork we’ve heard some good stuff from down there, we saw a solo set from one of the guys from the Trumpets of Jericho that was really great. A huge part of the appeal of being in a band is the potential for travel through touring. Musicians have always had to travel, but it’s a great way to meet new people and see the world from the window of a splitter van.”

Jet Setter play a free gig in The Pavilion on Thursday 10 July


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