Being the first Greek group to open for the legendary Aussie band The Triffids, back in 1987, was an accomplishment to be proud of. And yes they did it again, in 2010! Ladies & Gents, The Jaywalkers break their silence merely hours before the ultimate Athenian indie pop event, organised by Make Me Happy, on November 10th at Death Disco! To be honest, listening to them, (You can) be happy all the time…
Welcome on board! For those of you who might not know, please feel free to provide us with info about the band and its origin…
The Jaywalkers emerged from the ashes of Migraine an active group in the Athens new wave scene in the 80’s. The nucleus of Migraine George Mouchtarides and Paschalis Plissis were joined by the brothers Divolis Giannis and Vassilis on violin and drums and George Manos on bass, to form The Jaywalkers. In the three years of their existence The Jaywalkers performed in many concerts, recorded a demo tape and released a mini-l.p. They appeared as a support of great groups like The Dream Syndicate or Green On Red and were the first group to perform in the legendary Rodon Club as the opening act to The Triffids.
It was April 2010, if I’m not wrong, when you decided to come back after a 20-year hiatus, to support the legendary band, The Triffids, at Gagarin 205. Would you like to tell us which were the main reasons (thank God!) for this comeback?
To be able to perform after so many years brings us joy and elation and underlines our love for music and youthful expression.
Let’s travel back in time and specifically in 1987 (!) when your debut ‘Mini LP’ got released by Virgin. Three excellent originals and a great cover version of The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Back then it was a commercial failure, but the last years it’s an object of desire for vinyl diggers. What can you recall of these days?
The release of the ‘Mini LP’ was a dream come true for us, an event that got realized with our friends’ support financial and otherwise. It was a time of great enthusiasm and inspiration and we were lucky to work with Manolis Vlachos at the controls and the wonderful girls Rania and Joanna with the angelic backing vocals.
Back to 2017. Reading your bio on your official Facebook page, I notice that you are working on a re-release of your debut. Should we expect any new goodies from you too?
As the years rolled by there was always planning for a re release with the addition of extra material old and new but it’s the difficulty of the logistics that makes everything so slow to materialise. Still there’s always hope that something good will emerge in the near future!
How difficult is to find time for the band now that, by all means, your routine is different from the 1987’s one? In addition, you are not young any more, at least physically. Or is it all a matter of strong will?
Finding time is almost utopian as we all live in distant location with family and work responsibilities pressing us very hard indeed. It takes a lot of effort in organizing things but ultimately is the love of music and good vibes among us that will help us overcome the difficulties.
‘(You Can’t Βe) Ηappy All The Time’ is an immaculate indie pop gem. Listening to it, I could say I possibly could be happy all the time… Is there any special story behind this one?
The story behind ‘(You Can’t Be) Happy Αll Τhe Τime‘ is one of celebrating and understanding life. It is a fast youthful insight on the aspects of love and friendship inspired basically from our meeting with the Swedish group The Watermelon Men, when they visited Athens for a concert and we hung out with them and befriended them and interacted musically.
Many bands like Slowdive, The Jesus & Mary Chain among them made a comeback in 2017. There is a revival of the 90’s music in general. How do you feel about this and which do you think are the reasons behind this?
Well we do not live in the age of innovation but in the age of refinement. That is the reason for revivals, cover versions, mashups, new editions, and in general of retro tint in various forms of human expression.
On December 10th you will appear on the ‘A Sparkle From The Past’ Release party at Death Disco along with three important Greek band of the same era, Next Time Passions, Pillow, & Starblind. Apart from the 4 ‘Mini LP’s tracks, shall we be lucky enough to listen to any new stuff from you?
It will be a performance for the event of the release of the compilation so it won’t have the character of a ‘’proper’’ concert so we are happy to have the gig and some fun with a special audience!
What holds the future for The Jaywalkers?
If someone knows what’s in store please send an insight through the numerous media currently available for it would be well and truly helpful. We are informed through relentless messaging that we are here for a limited amount of time so might as well do our best to enjoy each breathing moment. With that perspective let’s hope The Jaywalkers will reappear with new songs and music staying true to their eclectic nature!
Finish this interview the way The Jaywalkers like… Any special message?
Thanks to everyone who listens to us and appreciate our music and thanks to Christos Doukakis and Last Day Deaf for this interview. Stay Happy, even if not all the time. Love from The Jaywalkers!