Introducing: The Jury & The Saints

By Lais

In our first Introducing piece of 2015, we’d like you to meet The Jury & The Saints, a four-piece who hail from Auckland, New Zealand. We had a chat with guitarist/vocalist Jesse Smith to find out how the band started, how they got to where they are now, and what we can expect from their self-titled album, out in March.

Jesse and fellow guitarist and vocalist Rowan Crowe formed the band back in 2009. “We formed about three weeks before our first show and only had two practices. Needless to say it was fairly rough to start with but people seemed to like it, which could only be a good thing,” says Jesse. “Ivan and Marty joined a couple years later in 2011. We had all known each other through playing in different bands growing up. It all kinda came together real good and we progressed and became what we are now.”

For anyone who hasn’t heard the band, how would they describe their sound? “We have always found it kinda hard to describe our sound in words and genres, but I guess it’s a mix of rock and punk with the energy and gang vocals of a hardcore band,” says Jesse. “We are all into different stuff but some of my favourite bands and influences would be At The Drive In, Brand New, Hell Is For Heroes and Hundred Reasons.”

The Jury & The Saints are releasing their debut self-titled album on March 2nd in the UK, and they couldn’t be more excited about it. “It’s been a couple of years in the making and we know it’s our best work yet by far,” says Jesse. “We’re so excited that people are gonna hear it real soon. You can expect an album full of high energy, singalong songs, as well as a couple that change the pace a bit.”

The band recently released a video for their single ‘Focus’. It’s a fantastic, high-energy song with a raw feel to it. Is this a good sign of what’s to come from the album? “’Focus’ is definitely a good taste of things to come on the album for sure, but we did try to vary the dynamic while maintaining the same vibe throughout, if that makes sense,” says Jesse.

The band have already done some pretty cool things, like touring with Paramore. How was that for them? “Touring with Paramore with amazing. We played right through New Zealand and Australia to giant crowds and got heaps of tasty catering along the way,” says Jesse. “I probably remember the food as much as the shows! The folks in Paramore were super nice and seemed to find our stupid antics funny, which made it even better.”

What has been their favourite thing they’ve done as a band so far? “Easily my favourite thing was getting the opportunity to go to Germany for a couple of months to record the album and tour Europe. It’s always been a dream of mine, so for it to actually happen was unreal,” says Jesse. “Germany was actually so similar to New Zealand – all the people were amazing and loved BBQ just like me.”

The band’s plan for 2015 is to release the album and play it to as many people in as many different places as possible, especially the UK: “I lived in London for a few years and I would love to come back.”

And finally, what are their main goals as a band? “To be ourselves and play the music we love. We always wanna make sure people have fun at our shows. It’s never been about us being anything special, but more about us doing stuff we love to do and hopefully giving other folks the chance to feel free and alive – even just for a moment, no matter what they have been through or where they’ve come from.”


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]