Gary Hector of Jointpop
THIS is the first time I have featured music from...
Trinidad and Tobago on my pages. A Facebook contact recommended I check out the music of Jointpop: the most celebrated band to hail from the islands. Gary Hector is one of the most influential and impressive songwriters in the world and has been lauded by media and fans around the world. This Is Radio TNT is a four-track E.P. that blends exceptional, detailed compositions alongside singalong choruses and terrific band performances. Across the quartet of songs; the listener is treated to a heady blend of Punk; Indie and Rock ‘n’ Roll: all delivered by a band at the height of their powers. Jointpop are planning a tour of the U.K., and with the E.P. available to the public, there is no excuse to overlook them:
“JOINTPOP are a band from Trinidad and Tobago led by Gary Hector. They are easily the most influential band to come out of TnT (not playing the local flava: calypso) and have an international following, having toured the UK several times (100 Club, Dublin Castle, Hope'n'Anchor among many others) and the USA (CBGB's, The Mercury Lounge, etc.). This new, previously unreleased E.P 'This Is Radio TnT' was produced by Paul Kimble of legendary US band Grant Lee Buffalo. Paul is not the only person to have recognised the potential of Jointpop as they have had continued support from Tom Robinson (BBC Introducing) and Jim Gellatly (XFM Scotland/ Amazing Radio)”.
This is what they say about Jointpop: “They sound like The Clash being molested by The Beatles while smoking with Bob Marley”
Gary Hector: Vocals, Guitar
Damon Homer: Guitar
Dion Camacho: Drums
Phil Hill: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jerome Gidharrie: Bass
Fascinated by the band’s progress and plans: I caught up with Gary Hector to see what this year holds. Few of us are familiar with the music of Trinidad and Tobago; it is an area not often covered by mainstream media. Jointpop are putting the nation on the map and inspiring many up-and-coming bands. The band’s lead/songwriter chats about the bands that inspired him; how the band remains so active- what they do when afforded a chance to kick-back…
Hey Gary. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello to you Sam. Yeah man. All good here in Trinidad and Tobago. We actually just headlined a cool weekend festival here called NEW FIRE Festival.
For those who have not heard your music: can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Well, we are just a five-man Rock ‘n’ Roll band- born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago (The Caribbean). We write, record and try to tour (and make a holy noise).
You are based out of Trinidad and Tobago. What is the music scene like in the country?
Yes we are from Trinidad and Tobago: the music scene here is cool at times; crazy at times and (mostly) terrible at times. We are a Rock ‘n’ Roll band so that makes it even harder to be part of the local music scene- but we just do our thing. The music of T. ‘n’ T. is Calypso and Soca- and that is how it will always be. We have no dreams to change- that, as it’s very indigenous to the country- and like any style there will be good and bad; so it’s all just fine.
Your new E.P. was released a couple of weeks ago. Can you tell us a bit about the songs and inspiration behind it?
Yeah, March 2016. The London-based Indie label Flicknife Records released the E.P. This Is Radio TNT by Jointpop. It includes four songs and was produced by Paul Kimble of Grant Lee Buffalo.
The songs are really social snapshots of our country but maybe they tell a similar story in other countries of this world. The four songs are: Reality and T., Trinidad's Burning (a cover of London's Burning by The Clash); Simply Beautiful and Down to Me.
You can get the E.P. online at top download sites worldwide.
In terms of the musicians you guys grew up listening to: which bands and artists were important to you?
Bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols; The Beatles, The Stones; Bob Marley, David Rudder; Grant Lee Buffalo , David Bowie; The Carpenters, Blondie… and lots more.
Everyone from The Guardian to B.B.C. 6 Music has celebrated and hailed your music. What is the secret behind your success?
Yeah, we've managed to get the music out there in the U.K. and get some support which we are thankful for; and we just keep building a vibe in the U.K. over the years.
In the last 20 years, you guys have recorded six albums (quite un-Trinidadian in terms of work rate). Do you think it is important to keep busy and putting new music?
Well, just for our sake to stay active and involved as a band. We like to write songs and feel the sensation of it coming together.
In your 20-year career, which memories/gigs stand out in the mind?
I’m sure we forgot some along the way (haha) but mostly when we tour; we got some great memories. From playing legendary venues like CBGB in New York to the 100 club in London- and just moving around as a band in strange places around the world.
Jointpop has played all around the world- including the U.S. and U.K. Are there any plans for you guys to come and play in Britain any time soon?
Well, with the E.P. released now, we are working on a U.K. tour in 2016 to support it. Of course, it’s easier said than done- with us coming from Trinidad and Tobago- but that’s just our story. We’re trying to hook-up with U.K. booking agents and management to help the process. But we MUST tour the U.K. this year.
Your music mixes Punk, Indie and Rock. The lyrics look at social issues and deeper concerns. What inspires the song-writing process? Do you look at the news for inspiration or relationships closer to home (or a mixture of both)?
Whatever bothers me and whatever fascinates me. We just let it flow.
Which current-day artists- either mainstream or local- would you recommend to us?
To be honest I’ve been shut-off recently with new music for whatever reason. It’s not planned: I’m just not checking. Have to start again soon…
What advice would you give to new musicians coming through, inspired by your music?
I would advise them to not take any advice.
With so many musician legends passing: do you think we have lost the true icons and characters from music?
Yeah man, but that’s just part of us being humans, but the music lives.
The band is in-demand performs regularly. Do you have a lot of time to kick-back, and if so, how do you spend that time.
Oh yeah, because in T’n’T. is very small so we have to space out the gigs. So lots of time to kick back; but when we tour it’s less kick-back time, so it’s (sort of) the best of both worlds. But I’m into sports, so either I’m playing it or watching it- football, cricket and golf.
Finally- and for being good sports- you can choose any song and I’ll play it here…
Thanks man. The single off the E.P., Reality and T.