When WANARB Met: Laura Jones

Laura Jones chats to WANARB

Pint-sized Leeds native Laura Jones has been going from strength to strength over the last 10 months, culminating in the upcoming release of her Leftroom Presents… Laura Jones compilation featuring the likes of Kate Simko, Guy Gerber, dOP and My Favourite Robot. As she prepares to join Matt Tolfrey and Sam Russo in Chelmsford this weekend for Gist’s Leftroom Special, we caught up with the lovely lady in question to quiz her on cocktails, creativity and clubbing…

What’s been your best night out recently- from a clubber’s perspective as opposed to a DJ one?

UK-wise, the best night I’ve actually had out recently would probably have to be the Visionquest party at Fabric as I’ve not had that many nights out in recent months.

In terms of places I’ve played – Just Jack last month in Bristol was really good. I played with Gavin [Herlihy], Maceo Plex and Subb-An. Elsewhere in the world; I’d probably say one of the parties I went to at WMC like Get Lost or something like that.

And I’d also probably add there’s likely to be a new pick soon, after the months I have coming up!

Tell us a bit about your summer plans- festivals, Ibiza, that sort of thing!

Now I’ve got my Leftroom compilation out of the way, summer is all about getting into the studio, just getting the next few productions under my belt. I’ve done a few things recently but I want to keep building and building so I can pick the best ones to send out. I’m finishing off two EPs for Visionquest and Leftroom…, which has been a long work in progress because I’ve been so busy. Gig-wise I’ve got SW4, Mysterylands Festival, Garden Festival in Croatia, DC10 opening, I’m gigging quite a lot in Italy in places like Cocoricò and all over. I’m going to Burning Man on the personal side of things, playing at Nordstern in Basel with Tale Of Us, which should be really great, I can’t wait for that, it’s meant to be amazing. So yeah, I’ve got quite a lot coming up, I’m literally away every weekend for the foreseeable Summer. Busy busy!

If you were a cocktail what would you be and why?

That’s a very good question. I would probably be a bloody mary…

Is that because you perk people up in the morning?

Yeah exactly! I’m a morning person and also, they are good to get you out of a scrape. I’m always good at getting others out of scrapes; I’m a very good counsellor for my friends. You know when you’re in a scrape and you need a cocktail but you don’t want anything harsh, you have a bloody mary? I’d be a bloody mary.

You designed the cover for the remix ep of Love In Me… any further plans to take your creativity in that direction?

I would love to get a bit more creative with the art side of things at some point; it’s just really finding the time. Longer term, I’ve got some audio-visual stuff coming up…

I think I would like to have more of a say on art, moving forward, definitely. Gavin and I plan to have a label of our own at some point; it’s TBC at the moment. I’m looking forward to getting into the nitty-gritty of the creative side of that. I think the art side of a label is really crucial. Especially when it’s a new thing, first impressions count. It’s the first thing you see so it’s almost as important as the music to an extent.

The branding plays a big part…

Before I did music I worked in marketing so that’s probably where that comes from!

You’re playing alongside Matt Tolfrey and Sam Russo at the Leftroom Night at Gist in Chelmsford. What is it about the label that you have such an affinity with?

Matt’s been a friend of mine for many years, ever since the start really, the days of DC10 when I spent the whole season out in Ibiza… He was one of the first people I sent my first tracks to, which is when they got snapped up by him. I owe him a lot basically because he put my music out there, he supported me from the start so I’m keen to support him with my music also as it’s a two-way thing. Similarly with Visionquest– they ended up taking one of the first few tracks I finished. I want to support those labels as much as they want to support me.

How do you think the Chelmsford crowd will differ from your hometown Leeds crowd?

That’s an interesting one. I actually find that generally, the buzz in the smaller towns is a bit better than the bigger cities. I think in the bigger cities they are more spoilt with what they hear so they may be more particular and choosy, so I find that when you go to the smaller suburbs or towns you get more energy and more of a buzz so it might end up being quite similar to that!

As we seem to be in the midst of the disco rapture… what’s your favourite disco track and why?

I’d probably say disco-wise or music from around that time, my preference is more Paradise Garage-esque where they cross over a little more in to 80s pop a la Joyce Sims – All And All kind of thing.

I also love Serious Intention – You Don’t Know but again that’s not disco-disco.

Your upcoming Leftroom compilation is great- it’s really well thought out and coherent. Which track are you most pleased about including on it?

That’s a very good question but I don’t think I could possibly pick one. I’m really happy with the end result, with all the tracks, because it can be quite tricky doing a compilation with the licencing and everything else. You pick a load of tracks and they don’t all get agreed and I did have a few declines from various labels and that’s fair enough, it’s understandable because of technicalities I won’t bore you with. In short, it all ended up turning out quite well, even the remixes that I got in, like Gavin’s, Ryan’s [Crosson], Matt and Russo’s… I didn’t give them a guideline I just let them do their thing, which was a bit risky as if they’d all come back with totally different vibes that I had to then try to slot into the mix it would have been quite tricky. But I didn’t want to put that pressure on so I let them do their thing and they all delivered amazing remixes. They were all great and totally on my page, so all in all I’m really happy with the way it’s turned out.

That’s why it’s great it comes across so coherent…

Yeah, because of those technicalities which no ones needs to worry about but they are in the background. That’s why it was so time-consuming and ate into my studio time a little bit just to get it right, really. And I’ve had some good feedback so far which is great. When you do something like that, you do lose perspective on whether it’s actually any good or not so it’s always nice to have some kind words!

What are you excited about for the future?

I guess I’m just excited about more of the same really. I’m pretty excited about what’s happening right now, never mind the future! I just hope long may it continue. I’m still very much a beginner in the studio; I’ve got a lot to learn. Sometimes if I have a few weeks out of the studio, when I go back in I feel like I’m at square one again. I’m looking forward to furthering my skills in the studio, doing exciting gigs, and just generally seeing more of the world.

Finally, what would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

Hide! Hahaha! Somewhere! Well I would say if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em but I don’t know if I have a choice in the matter! Depends if I get bitten doesn’t it!

Ha, most people do say that though. Seriously, the amount of people that say “yeah y’know, I’d just get bitten and become a zombie”… where’s your fight?!

Hahaha, where’s my fight?!? HIDE! Hide behind something very quickly! Which would probably be quite easy as I’m not very big… Again, this is a tough one; I don’t know what my conclusive answer is.

“Hide” was your initial reaction though…

That doesn’t make me sound very cool though! But yes “hide” was my initial reaction so yes, lets go with that. Maybe I’m just not cool! I’d try and hide and if not, er, shout help?

Laura Jones plays at Gist in Chelmsford, Essex on Saturday 2nd June alongside Matt Tolfrey and Sam Russo.

Rachael Williams



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