IT WAS their most rock’n’roll moment so far when Newcastle band Jones the Cat made it through to the finals of the National Campus Band Competition.
Last Wednesday they competed in Melbourne where they came in second, despite not taking out the gong, the band say the experience was very cool.
To get there they won the University of Newcastle leg of the competition in August. The Newcastle gig earned them a prize of $3000 worth of recording time, which they intend to use recording a new single.
They then took out the state final performing at the Manning Bar at the University of Sydney.
For the national finals, they were flown south and put up in hotel rooms, an experience which stands in stark contrast to their usual touring modus operandi.
“It is the only time we will ever stay in individual hotel rooms,” front-man and guitarist Jack Waterson said.
“No TVs were thrown out the window.
“It was a nice contrast to our usual touring … staying in people’s lounge rooms … driving to Adelaide in a Mazda, being chased by Triston in a van with all the gear in it.”
“It’s nice to fly to a show and come back.”
Waterson described their performance in Melbourne as “very Stooges-like”.
“It was pretty loose and there were a lot of technical problems, it got pretty angry,” he said.
But the winning band, Moaning Lisa, of Canberra, were worthy.
“It was very just, they deserved it,” Waterson said.
The rest of the line-up sees Jarod Wilton on bass, Tristan Lacey on drums and Cameron Macey on guitar. The band is known for its high-energy performances.
“Cam is probably the most energetic man who has every played guitar,” Waterson said.
“At the end of the shows we basically clear out the front and jump around, and it’s worth noting Cam is six foot two and 150kgs, there is a lot of Cam to move around.”
Formed in 2013, they laid down their first recording, a six track EP titled Paste on Smile, at 90 Degree Studio, it was released earlier this year.
They describe their sound as indie-punk and Waterson said unemployment was a bit of a theme in the lyrics.
“I’m pretty grumpy about jobs, apparently,” he said.
“I’m trying to avoid writing songs about the frustrations of going to a job to buy s*** you don’t need or want.”
And in case you are wondering, the band’s name is a nod to the cat, owned by Ripley, in the film Alien.
Follow Jones the Cat on Facebook: facebook.com/jonesthecat
Next gigs: The Lass O’ Gowrie Hotel, Wickham, on September 28, and The Small Ballroom, Islington, on September 30.