Meet: Olly Bailey, The Man Behind Jaws The Shark

Rob Crawford

Releasing the debut EP ‘Another Day In Paradise’ in 2021, Jaws The Shark is the garage rock project of Londoner Olly Bailey who is set to release a follow up EP. We caught up with Bailey to find out a little bit about him and his project.

Give us a potted history of Jaws The Shark

Jaws The Shark started in July 2020. Smack bang in the middle of the pandemic. I’d moved from London, back to Devon, which is where I grew up. I knew that I didn’t fancy being in the city and stuck inside my tiny little flat. I’d always wanted to get another musical project going, I’d just never had the time. Before that, I was working with a lot of other musicians and acts as part of their touring crew, so I was constantly away working or on tour somewhere. The time that the pandemic gifted me, allowed me to properly focus and dedicate all of my time to writing the songs that I had stowed away for so long. I’m currently writing this from my local pub in Hackney. I’ve been on tour supporting Deaf Havana for a couple of weeks now, I got back yesterday and so I’m catching up on the admin. That tour was really great for me, playing much larger venues than I’ve had the opportunity to play up until this point, which has opened me up to a much larger audience, which I think has been really useful in terms of my development and exposure as an artist. It also allowed me to play at the Roundhouse in London, which is my favourite venue and has always been one that I’ve wanted to tick off of the list. The show couldn’t have gone any better either, which was the icing on top of an already delicious cake.

Who inspired you to start making music

To be honest, I’ve been at it in terms of making music for ages, since I left school and was in my first ever band. I used to be so fanatic and excited by discovering new bands and new music back then. I think what inspired me in those early days was just going to as many gigs as I could with my friends, who all felt the same, going into tiny club shows at The Cavern in Exeter and just seeing these new bands doing what I wanted to be doing. It didn’t matter who it was, but I just admired them for doing it. That was pretty inspiring. I’ve always been a bit of a show off and liked to perform and have all eyes on me. Not from a vanity perspective, I just like how it makes me feel. Later on, when I started touring on a professional scale with already established artists, I saw the venues grow in size and the feeling of accomplishment by everybody when a milestone was achieved, that’s also really inspiring to see and be a part of so that definitely factored in me wanting to continue my own musical journey, so I could experience that for myself in some way.

And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically

‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana and ‘Relationship of command’ by At The Drive-In. To be honest, there are loads, ‘Born To Die’ by Lana Del Rey may be one that surprises people based on the other two I’ve listed! Nirvana and ATDI are very similar in some ways in terms of their artistic aesthetic, no frills, no gimmicks, just raw power and energy, where mistakes are almost encouraged. It’s very ‘real’ and that’s what really pulled me in and really made me feel that I too could do this. Lana is just a beautiful soul and I feel like she was born in the wrong era, this album was a breath of fresh air when it came out. I love the production on it, it’s 50’s but with a modern, almost hip hop production, which I found pretty unique at the time. 

If you’re trying to explain whom you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say

A knock off version of Nirvana, Weezer & The white stripes

Tell us about your new single

Latest single release is a track called ‘Reno’. I wrote the song after having a pretty fun night out in a place called Lake Tahoe in California, the night before me and my friend were travelling to Reno in Nevada, which is about an hour down the road. It was a wild and eventful couple of days involving casino’s and a couple painful incidents on some e-scooters! I recorded it in Brixton with Larry Hibbett. Larry got it immediately, it’s a pretty fast and frantic track, which perfectly suits how those couple days it’s written about were. If I remember rightly, it was recorded on a white Fender mustang, ran through a vintage Laney amp.

Where can we get hold of it  

You can stream it everywhere that you normally would. There’s nothing physical yet, but I expect at some point the EP it’s taken from will have a physical release, so at some point, you’ll be able to get it on wax (vinyl).

Tell us how you write

I don’t necessarily have a set or dedicated formula, it changes based on where I am and what I have available to me at the time. When I started this, JTS was literally just me, doing everything, writing drums, bass, guitar, vocals, any additional keys bits and all that. I generally still do write like that, at least to demo, but now I have a band that I play live with, so now I can bring ideas to a group during rehearsal and it’s nice to just jam and see what other ideas people can bring to to the table. Sometimes we’ll jam a riff I’ve written and I’ll feel really excited about it, so I’ll go straight home and write the rest of it. Tends to mean I have some pretty late nights because I hate to leave an idea when I’m excited about it. It’s hard to recapture that initial excitement and come back to it with the same enthusiasm at a later date. I tend to write the music first and then as I go, I record melody ideas that come into my head, I’ll usually then fine tune the lyrics once I consider the track to be finished musically.

Tell us about your live show What would be your dream gig

It’s pretty raucous and heavy live, which is exactly what I want from a live show from a band that plays the music that we play. I don’t really care about it sounding exactly like it does on the record, because I think that’s boring. I like each show to be slightly different, that keeps it exciting. I’m not the tightest of guitar players when I play live, to be honest, but I like to give it everything I have and put on a show. I want my lineup to expand as time goes on though, and to be able to get in somebody to play all the bits that are currently missing, but for now, I’m happy with how things are.

What can we expect from you in the near future

I’ve got another EP out in December. This will be my second EP of 2022. I have a huge amount of songs in the locker that I want to record, so I’ve already begun discussions about recording again either at the end of this year or the very beginning of next. We live in a time where people just consume music at such a fast place, you have to kind of keep on top of it all in terms of releasing music, otherwise you’ll be forgotten about pretty quickly and it’s really hard to regain the momentum once that’s happened. 

Tell us your favourite records that’s rocking your headphones/tour bus/stereo

I’ve been playing the new Arctic Monkeys track ‘There’d better be a mirrorball’ a fair bit lately. I think it’s beautiful. Didn’t vibe to it when I first heard it because I wasn’t really sure what I was going to expect, but the more I’ve listened to it, the more I love it. Nothing else out there at the minute that sounds like it. I’m a huge Bowie fan and it has a lot of him in it. Also, the new Wunderhorse record is really great, really accomplished songwriting and I love the rawness of Jacob’s voice.

Check out the track That Feeling, below:

Find out more via Jaws The Shark’s Facebook

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