Look out for Mystery Jets comics

SINGAPORE - With their newest album out, English indie pop-rock band Mystery Jets has big plans to "travel the world".

How exactly?

In an interview last Friday at Swissotel The Stamford, band member William Rees joked that his future plans include a trip back to this hotel, just to savour the international breakfast spread multiple times.

With tongue firmly in cheek, the 27-year-old guitarist said: "I only had time to get around twice. Breakfast in the hotel is like a ticket around the world.

"You start off in a kind of Indian market with masala, then you get a bit further and you're in Paris with the quiche and baguette."

Rees was also present at the interview with two of his other band mates, lead singer Blaine Harrison and drummer Kapil Trivedi, both 27, prior to their show later that evening at Hard Rock Cafe.

But jokes aside, following the release of Radlands on April 30, fans can look forward to a three-part comic narrative from the band.

Based on a character called Emmerson Lonestar, it will be available at the end of this year.

"When we finished the album," said Harrison, "We realised we had a lot of similarities with the characters in the songs. "There were a lot of narratives, so surely they can exist in the same world.

"We thought what we needed to do was write a book (on) the protagonist (and) give him a world to live in, a way of bringing him to life."

A Kindle edition of the first part of the comic, entitled Radlands: The Ballad of Emmerson Lonestar, is already available on www.amazon.co.uk.

The album itself was written in both Austin, Texas, in the US, and London, where the band is based. No doubt, the album was very much inspired by the experiences of the band while in the US.

But at least half of the album was later written when they got home. Harrison explained: "Sometimes you need to experience something, then go home and only then can you digest it because you're seeing it from a distance.

"And here I was thinking we're going to Austin and we're going to write for a bit. But it doesn't really happen like that. It's a process, a mysterious thing."

Radlands, according to the band, is different from their previous works, which include Serotonin and Twenty One.

Harrison described the record as a step away from a pop album because "it was time to move on". And that wasn't the only change that the band has undergone.

Ex-bassist Kai Fish had earlier left the band, and Mystery Jets have since roped in Matt Parks, who plays the pedal steel, as well as bassist Pete Cochrane to perform with them during the Radlands world tour.

Mystery Jets also includes Harrison's father, Henry.

With the new line-up, the band played most of their songs off the new record on Friday at the Esplanade Concert Hall, as well as old crowd favourites such as Dreaming Of Another World and Two Doors Down.

But it was the Jets' bass-heavy and emotion-filled performance of Lost in Austin that shook the stage that night.

The intimate venue was a choice pick and audience members were able to get so close to the band that they could have easily reached out for the younger Harrison.

Or steal the setlist, which was exactly what one of them did after the show was over.

It was a night of high, unrelenting energy that ended on a quirky note with the last song off Radlands.

Before ending the night, by way of introducing the song, Harrison said: "Apparently you guys say 'lah' after everything. This is our last song, it's called Luminescence lah."

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