Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO are they?
“We’re The Commonjets. We’re four lads, all from Coventry. Made up of: Harry Holles (Vocals, Guitar), Jamie Keegan (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Reuben O’Connell (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals), Matthew Keegan (Drums, Backing Vocals).
The band started out as a little mess about by Harry, Jamie and Matthew at primary school after getting musical instruments for birthdays or Christmases. With no real musical background, the lads had lessons. The line-up was complete when we all attended the same secondary school (Woodlands Academy) since I (Reuben) joined. I couldn’t really play Bass but I learnt a few bits from my Dad. From then on we played little open mics and small gigs around Coventry. Only recently, in the past year or two, have things got a slightly more serious and we’ve released music and played festivals and bigger gigs. We’re now all together in Sixth Form, and juggling the band with A-Levels and part-time jobs is hard but we’re still looking to make that next step forward.”
WHAT are they singing about?
“Our lyrics and songs aren’t hugely complicated with different layers of meaning. We don’t write about what we don’t know. The lyrics you hear from us are all relevant to our everyday lives as lads from Coventry. Most of our songs are about a certain type of person, for example The Enemy, our debut single, is about the enemy that everybody has, whoever it may be. The songs are based on people we’ve met before and people we know.
Musically, our influences are so broad and varied. We all like and listen to different stuff, I doubt all four of us could agree on one defining influence. We hesitate to give ourselves a specific genre because lots of the songs we write sound like a different band.”
WHERE are they from?
“We’re all from Coventry, we’ve all grown up here and we’re very much part of the city. Lots of labels are attached to this place, but it’s our hometown, as much as we may want to get out sometimes, we can’t hate it. And if we left I’m pretty sure we’d somehow end up back here. Cov has some great musical history, notably the Specials from the Ska era. Of course, more recently there’s the band The Enemy, very much like us, lads from Cov wanting to break the music scene. There’s a shedload of good bands here, but there’s nowhere near enough venues here, which is why Coventry doesn’t get the recognition for good music. We recently played in Manchester, and there’s so many venues that appreciate live music up there compared to here. Even though it’s a bigger city in comparison to Coventry, there should be a lot more good venues here than there currently is. That said, there’s a lot of good people who like music here who try and help bands along the way, and that doesn’t go unnoticed.”
WHY ‘The Commonjets’?
“We were previously called The Prospects but when signing to release our debut single, we had to change it as there was already a band with that name. So after months of deliberation, we settle on ‘The Commonjets’. It comes from Hearsall Common, a place in Coventry where Frank Whittle, who went on to invent the turbojet engine, first imagined the jet engine as he saw a plane land on the common, or so the story goes. We put the two together and there we have it. We’re very much rooted in Coventry.”
WHEN can I see them live?
“We’ve had a busy year this year and this summer we’re all over the place. We’re at the Isle of Wight Festival for the second year in a row, we made our debut last year. We’re on the Electro Love stage, Saturday 13th June at 5pm. Another festival we’re at is V-Dub Island, from the 24th to 27th July, we’ve got 3 slots over the weekend there. Hopefully some more gigs local to Coventry in the next few months, but right now it’s festival season for us.”
Watch the video for new single Her Name