65daysofstatic's Rob Jones

Wayne Madden | Thursday, 04 November 2010

65daysofstatic's Rob Jones

Rob Jones sits in the rather Victorian style bungalow that is the Sonisphere Press Office. Gary Numan has been walking around, greeting everyone with a smile, and Europe are on the Gibson Tour Bus telling everyone how much they love England. This is the kind of place it is, where the real meets the downright strange, and where conversation begins. 

You've just released the album We Were Exploding Anyway and your new single from this release [released 16th August 2010] is a Double A side, which features a contribution by Robert Smith of the Cure. Was it a dream come true or just a happy coincidence?

Well, we were kind of lucky actually, a couple of years ago we were playing a show in Brighton and we had lost the keys to the van (very long story) and one of the guys is emptying the van trying to find them...all over the road, stuff everywhere on the Brighton Pier and outside the venue. And this car pulls up, and we just think, 'that's Robert Smith there?'.

Anyway, we go to the venue and at the backstage area we found him there, and he turned out to be a fan of the band, which is a great accolade really. After the show he asked us if we'd like to go on tour with him for six months. It's something we'd never even dreamed we'd do. That level of touring with a band that size; he's very supportive of young bands and music labels.

So, when we were doing this song in the studio, there was something missing...we started talking about the idea of doing vocals, and it just came up. We know him and thought 'why don't we ask him?'. So we did, and he came back and said he'd love to do it. He's got a studio where he works, so we sent him some material and he sent us some back - you know how it goes, and the record got made. What an honour!

So you guys are performing at Sonisphere, and most bands outside the headliner only get 45 minutes per performance if they're lucky. How do you manage to pick your set list given your back catalogue of material?

It's a hard decision but choosing the set list is probably going to be based around the most recent album, which is still in promotion, and few older songs that we hope and think people will know. It's a set list which will hopefully give people an introduction to the music of 65days and maybe something they'll enjoy - and remember they enjoyed when they get home.

You're also performing at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, in contrast, for an entire week. How does that compare? Tell us a little about this show - how did you get involved with it?

We were contacted by a man called Jean Abreu, who's a Brazilian choreographer. Don't get me wrong, I know nothing about contemporary dance and I'd probably know as much about it as nuclear physics. It's interesting and it's an interesting style of music. The show is about themes of prison and solitude; he sent us a sketch and an idea of the show and we thought it looked great.

We bounced ideas back and forth, and eventually he said he'd like permission to use some of our songs in the act, which we agreed too. We'd never done the show – we'd done nothing with dance. A lot of the songs we'd not played for about six months or so since we recorded the record. So the problem was trying to remember what we had recorded and then figure out how to transfer that into dance.

We started with two days production, then we went up to seven days of this show at a theatre in the Edinburgh festival. I think I may go out and get my suit dry cleaned and just go and have a blast. The great thing too is that we're a band who can do this. As far as doing more dance stuff or rock stuff or hip hop or DJ-ing, we're very expandable.

You have these fans throwing their fists in the air as hard to Apocolyptica as you do to bands like Slayer. We have all these instrumental groups, based in metal; is it a new form of classical rock, do you think? How important is it a scene?

It's an interesting question that I've not really thought about. A really good thing about instrumental music is that, without vocals, it can span so many countries and bring so many people together. Because there's no words you can make your interpretations more easily, people can feel the music in their own way, and make their own story alongside that music.

I think classical rock is a relevant genre to have and I think it has a great future.

So tell us about your plans for the future?

The album came out - the fourth album - back in April. We're finishing the end of that promotion with the festival campaign. We're doing a single and possibly an EP in the autumn; then we go on another tour of the UK and Europe. We're out in Japan and Russia in September doing more promotion of our fourth album.

We're playing a festival in Japan called Metamorphose - it's crazy because we're on-stage at something like 5am. Grand Master Flash is doing it. I think it's going to work out really well for us, because when we fly out there, our body clocks will be on for that time. We love playing Russia so we're going back there. It's kind of non-stop actually, so maybe when November hits I can go and sleep for a month!

65 Days of Static are currently on tour in Europe. Their UK dates begin on 20th November in Southampton.