It takes a lot to admit you’ve grown up, but it’s an even bigger challenge to grow up in the spotlight.
Making their start in the romanticized scapes of Scotland and currently trekking through the Midwest, We Were Promised Jetpacks is an indie band with lots of heart and exciting plans to hit D.C.’s Black Cat on April 15.
With almost 20 years under their belt and a new album that mixes Sunny Day emo with some ethereal Cocteau Twins fuzz, fundamental changes are being made within this seasoned band and I was lucky enough to get the whole picture from lead singer Adam John Thompson.
Adam in The World
Although I felt a common ground when talking with Adam, we were in different worlds and mindsets with me sitting at home and Adam getting ready to leave Salt Lake City, Utah and make his way to the Rockies.
Despite being Edinburgh-turned-Glasgow Scots through and through, Thompson and the band had a deep appreciation of the country that I could never fathom within my East Coast bubble.
“I wish we could stay in places longer, but the road does have demands.” stated Thompson.
While I’ve lived here my entire life and made stops in many places, it was so riveting to hear a non-American show appreciation for not just the nation’s scenery, but also its music scenes.
“This country has so many great spaces for live music. D.C. is definitely up there with the rest of our favorites.”
Thompson’s words were nuanced, pointing out that music desperately needs the live aspect and that showing love toward your scene is fundamental.
And in his case, the scene he’s shown the most love was Glasgow.
Glasgow and Growth
Although WWPJ was Edinburgh-raised, academic aspirations and musical inclinations took the band toward Glasgow, Scotland’s music hub according to Thompson.
“Edinburgh has amazing appeal, but for us the music scene was in Glasgow. There were so many bands there that inspired us there.”
With such a great launchpad to rocket them forward, I asked Adam what’s changed for him and the band once Glasgow became one of many cities that welcomed them. And without question, it was their mentality.
“Things are not as serious as when we started the band in high school. It’s less about being the best and more about making something we are proud of.”
Having realized their goal isn’t to dominate but rather to be the best “them” they can be, it was no question that this nuanced mentality played a large role in the making of their 2021 LP “Enjoy The View.”
Enjoy The View
Released by Big Scary Monsters and serving as the band’s fifth full-length effort, Thompson notes that this album is lighter than previous releases and reflects the new calm that the band’s achieved.
“More people will sing to this album.” Thompson notes. “It’s even attracted a new wave of younger WWPJ fans that we’re really excited to see.”
While some bands tend to use the same influences they’ve always used, it was refreshing to hear WWPJ take risks and embrace a new outlook after so many years of playing together.
From seeing more U.S. cities than the typical American to realizing that they are no longer a high school band, We Were Promised Jetpacks has an experienced tapestry that reflects the rich growth they’ve gone through.
We Were Promised Jetpacks perform at Black Cat on Friday, April 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more details on the show and ticket information, click here.
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