Photo by Felicity Davies
Jamie of the UK based band Indoor Pets likes to be the center of attention, “but only for 5 minutes…”. Well, he and his bandmates, James, Oliver, and Robbie, are about to be the center of attention for far more than 5 minutes. With their first US show scheduled at Mercury Lounge for January 28th, as well as their upcoming debut album Be Content dropping in March, Indoor Pets are about to go from a semi-under the radar indie band to one of the quirkiest new groups of 2019. But don’t expect all the attention to go to their heads. Indoor Pets have made a living at taking pride in their own strangeness, and with every stroke of good fortune that has followed them, they have managed to take it all in stride, keeping companionship and enjoyment as their primary goals. Fame and fortune seem slightly less important, though that doesn’t seem to be stopping them from achieving that either!
I caught up with Jamie to chat about the album, his own weirdness, and why the animals he most identifies with are cats.
So far only two singles from your debut album are available and I very much get a vibe of celebrating your own strangeness (and not just because one of the singles is actually called “Being Strange”), what would you say is the ultimate theme of this debut album?
I guess the overall arching theme of the album sits with the title “Be Content”. It’s mostly about confronting those things that overwhelm you and acceptance that life isn’t perfect. We are all flawed human beings and the sooner we accept that, the sooner we will be able to be content. It’s bloomin’ tough though and I am nowhere near there yet. Just on the right path.
This will be your first US show! Any preconceived notions about how it might differ or anything you’re particularly looking forward to?
I’m assuming everyone will be drinking out of those red plastic cups like in the movies right? It’s going to be great. The idea that someone on a different continent wants to hear us perform songs we wrote in our bedrooms is baffling, terrifying and orgasmic. In that order.
For something that started out as a hobby for you guys, putting out a debut album must feel like a milestone. What was the moment when it hit you that this was going to be serious for you guys?
We have always been somewhat ‘wallflowers’ of the scene we’re in because we were constantly watching bands/artists around us pick up record deals and take off. We just assumed we were always going to be those people that tell other people how they’re mates with lots of successful people. I suppose it all changed when Wichita Recordings got onboard. That was the first time that it felt like people outside our little bubble believed we were any good.
What do you think is going to be the most surprising song off the album? What do you hope will be the one that gets stuck in people’s heads?
“The Mapping Of Dandruff” is probably the most surprising song off the album. It’s the soft gooey centre of a very high energy album. We wanted to create a peaceful and vulnerable daydream in the midst of a adolescent storm. For us, “Heavy Thoughts” is the peak of the album. It’s the song that hits hardest and rattles our brains. Hopefully it’ll rattle everyone elses.
What’s your group dynamic like? What is it about each other that makes you work as friends, travel companions, collaborators?
We’re quite a tight knit group. Robbie, James and I are all very driven and want to have full control over every aspect of the band (songwriting, social media, videos, production etc), whereas Oliver is very easy going and is key to keeping everyone happy and pushing in the right direction. On the road, the only constant we have is Peter (our sound engineer) who is very much part of the band and has been for years. We sing many songs about him to pass the time. Think “Pete Morris!” to the tune of “Free Fallin’” to name one.
What do you hope is the feeling people take away from your live shows?
We try our absolute best to leave everything on the stage at every show. We are part of a very lucky minority that get the chance to do what they love to an audience every night and we’re going to make the most of every second. That and very sensual dance moves. Some might say erotic. Others might say deranged.
What does being strange mean to you?
Being comfortable in your own skin. It’s completely fine to follow the crowd if that’s genuinely what you want to do, but it’s really difficult to sometimes take a step back and say “Doing this isn’t making me happy.. So i’m going to do my own thing”. The best people in this world are a little weird, so don’t be afraid to get your freak on!
If you were an indoor pet which pet would you be?
I am a cat. I want to be left alone to sleep all day but every now and again i need to be the complete centre of attention for 5 minutes.