Emotional, honest, and personal vibes are no stranger to Polish punk, who’s been on the rise thanks to the hard work of acts like ZŁODZIEJE ROWERÓW, REGRES, DIE LAST, APATIA, HOMOMILITIA, ODSZUKAĆ LISTOPAD, APORIA or MOJAPOŁOWA. Different generations of passionate writers and performers have been entertaining, inspiring and educating youngsters since the 80s and thankfully there are still a lot of noteworthy torchbearers spitting their political and personal opinions out in the big wide open for everyone to hear. Tri-City’s JAYWALKER is a true & honest reflection of this particular mindset in DIY music and their influenced by, and their classy debut record is something you don’t want to miss. We have teamed up with the band to discuss their project, balancing between poignant and powerful, and their plans for the future.
More than many of emo punk works we’ve heard in recent years, captivating melodies are in the driver’s seat behind JAYWALKER‘s wheel. The EP follows the line of atmospheric, hearty modern post hardcore acts like APORIA and serves as an important, honest and personal release that will resonate with today’s youth who need something they can relate to. Hear the full EP right here and read our interview below.
In 2018 we’ve seen some amazing new up and coming bands that took various influences and styles, fused them together and gave birth to a number of great debut records. Your take on emotive, melodious post hardcore obviously marks the conception of powerful new act on Polish DIY music scene, so congrats on that! Tell us a bit about your backgrounds, your previous projects, and how you started JAYWALKER?
WITEK: Thanks! I think all of us more or less consider themselves as a part of hardcore-punk community so this is where we come from but when it comes to specific genres of music we are into, there are differences. I’m more into 90’s emo like texas is the reason, sunny day real estate, the get up kids, further seems forever. I like also pop punk, Indie rock and diggin bands from this territory rather then posthardcore or metalcore/metal bands like guys. My previous band called Adult Crash and we played hardcore punk with 80s vibe. Since forever I dreamed to play more emo stuff so when AC broke up I started to look for some people interested in playing more softer music, it wasn’t easy but we finally found together and started Jaywalker in 2017.
MATEUSZ: I have been playing punk, metalcore and rock in general for over 10 years. I started playing in Jaywalker by chance. My friend from Toruń (pozdro Kisiel) had moved to another city, and he asked me if I wanted to play with Witek and Paweł.
BARTEK: We all have played in various projects. I played in hc punk, metalcore and even melodeath bands, but emo music was always in my heart. I’ve joined a band when Paweł, Mateusz and Witek were already playing and looking for vocalist. I saw an announcement in rehearsal room and that’s how it all has started for me.
Why ‘JAYWALKER’? Give us some insights on your name and the idea behind it.
WITEK: After many weeks of pointless discussions we couldn’t agree on anything. “Jaywalker” just popped up one day and majority said yes, end of story.
MATEUSZ: For me, the meaning is simple: I go where I want, where I think it’s worth going to, not necessarily by the path acknowledged by everyone else as correct. There is a risk of punishment, but who cares?
BARTEK: Choosing a name was actual pain in the ass, because we were fighting about it for a couple of months. For what i remember, Witek was the guy who came up with the “Jaywalker” idea. I have to say that i was sceptical at first, but now I think it was bullseye. For me, “Jaywalker” means a person that is blind to all the chances around him. When you walk through life lost deep in thought, you’re unable to see all of the possibilities.
Music wise, what in your opinion makes good chemistry between powerful and tender? How do you balance between heavier riffs and excellent melodies?
WITEK: Interesting question, best riffs come to my mind without any previous calculations, I dont assume at the beginning that ‘this’ song should be tender with powerful ending and try to find some cool riffs to put it together. In my case is more like stream of emotions, very often nice riff pops up just from nowhere. I try to build something around it or stop there and wait for bigger inspiration. I think we simply don’t like when songs are boring, sometimes we rearrange some riffs when song is not touching us in some higher level. We always try to get more dynamic or look for some melodies. You will never hear from me that this song is too melodic, more often: this riff is too heavy or you scream too loud jackass ;)
MATEUSZ: I do not know if we are playing riffs that could be called “heavier”. I would say that if there is a heavier element in our band, it is represented by vocals and drums. Despite the fact that guitars are not heavy, neither in terms of riffs nor sound – they stick together nicely.
Were there any artists that inspired your debut tracks?
WITEK: LateIy I’ve been listening a lot to new albums of Citizen, Fiddlehead, mewithoutYou, the get up kids also french Sport and bands from brazilian label Balaclava records like Terno Rei or Kill Moves.
MATEUSZ: I am getting inspired by many drummers from different backgrounds, so it’s hard to name any particular ones. Dave Grohl, Jojo Mayer, Bernard Purdie and the guy from Parkway Drive?
BARTEK: Yeah, iI was inspired mainly by: Die Last, Złodzieje Rowerów, Alexisonfire, Sunny Day Real Estate.
Lyrically, what themes do you find yourself touching on in your work?
BARTEK: All the lyrics on our first EP are based on my personal experience. I wrote about wasting time, ending up a relationship and dealing with reality, where not all of your dreams may come true. It may sound depressing at first sight/listen, but i guess that’s a real life. I think that all of the lyrics on EP represented my state of mind. At the time i came up with those lyrics i wasn’t the happiest man on earth so yeah, that’s a reason for that sad vibe haha.
Tell us about your debut gig in Gdynia.
WITEK: It was our first show so obviously it was a little bit stressful but very cool experience in the same time. Some our friends showed up to support us and sing with us. Thanx! I love Lochy i Smoki so it was awesome to share stage with them. Thanx again Daniel Hidden Beauty Records to give us such possibility!
MATEUSZ: The concert went well, we did not hurry with the debut so we had plenty of time to prepare. Despite the fact that almost no one knew us, thanks to the fact that we performed with recognizable bands, we could not complain about the lack of the audience. I’m happy with the debut!
BARTEK: I was so freaking stressed. I didn’t know exactly what to say between the songs and I was focused on two new tracks we finished couple days earlier. Fear of forgetting lyrics to those songs paralyzed my mind. Anyway i think that our first gig went very well. I felt so much positive energy from people that i almost forgot that we’re playing live.
Can you recommend some more worthy local acts?
BARTEK: And of course Aporia.
Ok, so lastly, what are your future plans? When can we expect a new recording and, gig-wise, how active are you planning to be in the coming months and later in 2019? What’s next on the cards for JAYWALKER?
WITEK: At first we are going to release our EP, for sure you can expect CD release in January 2019 and maybe split Vinyl, but I can’t tell you more details for now. We also have some gig offers so keep in touch if you want to see us or simply hit us via our facebook page and invite to your city.
MATEUSZ: We are planning to play some gigs around Poland, and then maybe we will be able to go somewhere further in Europe. I would like to record and publish LP as soon as possible, but we will see if creativity, finances and time will allow us to record it soon.
BARTEK: Making new tracks, gigs in Poland, a new record – Lp/split.
Great, thanks so much for your time! Please drop your final words and take care! Cheers!
WITEK: Thanx very much for interviewing us and showing interest in Jaywalker. Doing great job with IDIOTEQ! Thanx everyone who support us, see you at gigs!
BARTEK: Thanks IDIOTEQ for this interview! Thanks Daniel – Hidden Beauty Records! Thanks to the bands we played with :)