Jaguar Interview

Maybe some of you still don't know Jaguar. Well, the following words can describe them better than anything.

Classic Rock Magazine:
"Why haven't Metallica covered a Jaguar song yet?"
Lars Ulrich:
"When we're good enough we'll do it."
Classic Rock Magazine, April 2014.

1. Hi Garry, how are you? We are really glad to have a true NWOBHM legend like Jaguar on our blog! We have recently bought the “Power Games” reissue and it looks and sounds super. Are you happy with the result? Can you share with us some memories about the making of this glorious LP?
I am good thanks, it's an honour to be here with you. Well I remember we stayed in a guest house in Whitley Bay just outside of Newcastle for the recording sessions and it was bloody cold!! We recorded the album at Impulse Studios in Wallsend which was owned by Neat Records boss Dave Wood. I remember not being too pleased with the sounds we were getting in the studio with guitar and drums due to time constraints but we had to go with it. People kept popping into the studio to do interviews and stuff and even a few fans appeared. I've said many times that we didn't have enough time in the studio to do it properly and when we asked for more time Dave Wood said 'What do you want to do? Go on a fishing holiday!!' It took five days from start to finish, that was all the time we were allowed, laughable really!! It could have been so much better with more time. Having said that I think we captured the spirit of the band and we still play most of it, sometimes all of it, live even now. People like it, and tell me that all the time, so that's good enough for me!

2. Internet has unhearthed each obscure item from NWOBHM, giving new interest for that long gone movement. Do you think it have helped out Jaguar to be recognized by the new generation or do you think it just have led undiscriminated downloading?
Well yes, it has certainly helped us. I'm always amazed that the interest is still here all these years later, that people still have any interest in us at all. It allows us to play all over Europe and meet wonderful people and have a great time! What could be better? We're going to the USA later this year too, awesome!! We wouldn't be doing any of this without our fans, I love em'...!! The downloading issue unfortunately is not going to go away anytime soon.....

3. Comparing the first period of the band with the latest effort (METAL X of 2014), which are the differences in term if songwriting and production? Is it easier today make an album and spread it all over the world?
Yes it definitely is easier to record with recording technology we have today and of course you can get it out there with a click of a button, we didn't have the internet back then. The downsides for me are one of quality, with so much music out there you really have to wade through it to find quality music amongst the average stuff and of course the issue of free downloading makes it very dificult financially.

4.  “Who's the animal, you or the fox? Its plain for all to see...” the theme of the anti bloodsport/ hunting is not very common in heavy metal. How did that lyric came up? Anti-specist consciousness before times or just disgust for fox hunting?
Cruelty to animals is disgusting and here in the UK fox hunting is simply unecessary cruelty, just for fun. It's banned here now but back then it was legal when we wrote it. Paul Merrell and I hated it so much we decided to write a song about it and we came up with 'The Fox'. I think it worked very well with Paul's clever lyrics. We still play it now at pretty much every show and I enjoy playing it. It always goes down well with the fans!!       

5. Can you give us five records (and a brief description for each one) that you can consider mandatory for the Jaguar’s sound?
Hmm...that's a tricky question, I'll do my best...

(1) Motorhead - 'Overkill'
A total classic! Enough said, and the title track, a massive inspiration for us....  

(2) Sex Pistols - 'Never Mind The Bollocks'
Steve Jones was and still is a huge influence on me personally. I love his sound and his breaks, not solos as such but tasty and memorable playing.

(3) The Ramones - 'Leave Home'
The first Ramones album I really got into, great guitar sound. I love everything about The Ramones.

(4) AC/DC - 'Powerage'
A powerful album, I saw AC/DC on this tour in 1978 and their power just blew me away. We loved 'Riff Raff', another influence for us.

(5) UFO - 'Strangers In The Night'
We loved the version of 'Rock Bottom' on this album, one of the best riffs of all time!!

6. Can you tell us some crazy/funny live related story?
When we played at the Wacken Festival in 1999 our singer at that time, Jamie Manton, decided it would be a good idea to climb up to the top of the stage lighting rig and sing a song from there. He got to the top but unfortunately couldn't get down again and so starting meowing like a cat!! The audience didn't know what to make of it, and neither did we...ha ha!! He eventually managed to get down about four songs time..!!

7. What Jaguar are planning for this year? Tour or new recording ahead?
Just some shows for this year, we are doing our first ever show in France in September at the Pyrenean Warriors Open Air Festival and our first show in the USA in October at the Frost & Fire Festival in Ventura, California. Looking forward to both of those. We're also got loads of ideas ready for new songs, we need to get writing some new stuff.

8. Metal has changed a lot through the years but the classic legacy of bands like yours still remains. Who do you think has gathered the heritage of your sound? Plus: are there some young band that needs to be mentioned?
The NWOBHM spirit is still alive and well and not only with us older original bands. I think a newer band that captures that spirit best is Night Demon. In fact we love them so much we're doing shows with their singer Jarvis Leatherby, he's helping us out, he's a great guy and a great singer. Enforcer are good too.

9.  “And my mum seems to care about the length of my hair. She even makes jokes about the clothes that I wear”. Those words really describe the life of a young metalhead in the 80s?
Ha ha....indeed they do!! Well we were only 19/20 years old, very scruffy and didn't really care what we looked like. Long hair, and of course our parents didn't like that too much, always complaining, moaning that we didn't look 'normal'. Never mind they got over it, I wish I still had that hair now...!!  

10. Free space. Thank you very much for you time!
Cheers everyone! Thanx for reading...see you on the road...!!

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