Mod haircuts, short jackets, pointed boots, hipsters, cufflinks, r&b, freakbeat, style and passion: this is what you find in The Jaybirds nest. The Jaybirds were born in Vienna in 1989 and have had the same line up (except for a guitar player replacement in 1994) all the time. The Jaybirds were unanimously acclaimed as the coolest mod band in Europe in the “authentic side” mods and r&b/freakbeat-scene. Equally lovers of white & black 60’s music, we can find them playing Skip Bifferty to Sorrows or Sam Cooke to Joe Tex masterfully.
1. Who are the members of your band and what do they do?
Bernhard Gold: vocals, harps,
Patrick Nagl: guitar
Norbert Payr: vocals, guitar
Thomas Schmitzberger: drums, percussions
Markus Zöchling: vocals, bass guitar
2. How did you guys meet and what drove you to make music together?
We (Thomas, Markus and Bernhard) met in a graphic arts school in Vienna in 1989. We started making music together when someday we found out by chance that we are all desperately in love with the RnB sounds of Manfred Mann, Animals, Yardbirds etc. And back in 1989, please believe us, there was nothing else we could be fond of… Patrick joined in 1994 and Norbert came in 1995. So by this time we were already known and we did a lot of shows and tours.
3. Where are you from and where are you based?
We are all from and still live in Vienna, Austria.
4. How would you describe the style you play?
In short: Freakbeat (authentic Sixties-style). In long: any style from 64 to 68. Depending on the mood we’re in, who’s playing lead guitar, who wrote the song…
5. What are your live shows like?
Mmmhhh, hard one… We try hard to treat our instruments and ourselves bad _ and hope that everybody likes our music. So there is a plan which we call, ‘the Set’ but we do not stick to it very strictly. We are definitively a no-stage-diving band. More relaxed. Cool?
6.What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?
We are influenced by all kinds of Sixties bands, Sixties culture in general, we only have covers of Sixties bands.
7. What are your main influences outside of music?
Literature, films, art, history, philosophy…
8. How many official recordings have you done? How many released? Where can they be found? And who write your songs and what subjects do you deal with?
Three LPs, some 7” EPs and we have songs on some compilations.
9. What’s the favourite song of yours currently?
There is still so much to discover that it always changes…
10. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?
There are a lot of events now, so we participate as much as we can, we love those parties with great bands and DJs, girls, alcohol etc. and we enjoy to meet all the people again also that we know for so many years now, the entire thing is this same feeling and life-style in common, but there is still a lot of plurality and great individualism.
11. What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Our biggest challenge was of course our support gig for the Rolling Stones, ‘Ah, here they come bringing up this old story again!’ at a local airport near Vienna in front of 80,000 people. We won a battle out of eight bands hosted by a famous Viennese club called the Chelsea and because of a video that was sent to the management of Stones we were happily chosen by them or by the Stones themselves (something that we still believe in to this day). Actually it was an open-air concert on the biggest stage you can imagine and all the business there was crazy with all the huge trucks just for the stage-equipment and so on… But when we arrived there with our old VW-van (1975 or something like that), the stage manager was a bit taken aback for a second but after he collected he’d asked us if this is definitively all? What it was – just three amps and a drum kit. And us of course.
Unfortunately we did not get any money out of this which was ok for us back then (xxxx!!! – just imagine this: if anyone of these 80.000 visitors just have given us one EURO!?) but what’s still nagging us is: that after all we did not have the chance to meet anyone of the Stones personally.
But to be honest finally we are really happy that we had the chance to play a lot of venues in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia.
12 How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record?
Currently, once a week. We play as often as we get booked (though we do not really work hard on contacting people all the time and being a pain in the arse to get booked again) See Q15!
13. What do you think of the music coverage in the modern media?
That’s an issue in Austria in general, life is not easy for a musician here, even for the best or most commercial ones and of course for all the underground bands here. But it got better during the last ten years. Now there is a great guitar-pop scene with all their web, radio and tv possibilities which enables huge followings and is comparable to any other countries scenes nowadays.
14. Do you rate any other current bands?
All sixties-orientated or sixties-influenced bands are our favourite bands. Especially in Austria where we have (had?) the Incredible Staggers, Wild Evel and the Trashbones and the Attention.
15. Who and where would you most like to record and why?
With an endless budget in the background (that we haven’t), at Jorge’s.
16. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions?
We’ll try to write new songs (some more of this I-love-you-and-you-love-me-not shit), to go into the studio again to do another record this year, to do some more gigs etc, yeah… P.S. fortunately you did not ask about our interests which would be still: sex and alcohol!
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