We caught up with lead singer of the indie rock quartet to find out how their phenomenal Brit award-winning year is panning out
Exams, school proms, uni applications are all standard teenage stuff. Playing the O2, winning BRIT awards, recording at Abbey Road studios, not so much – but that’s exactly what’s been happening in the world of four talented teens from Wolverhampton. Theo Williams, Jon Murphy, Tasha Jones and Matt Gregory, aka indie rock band Jump the Shark, were thrust into the limelight in February when they were crowned winners of the Big Music Project and awarded a Young BRIT Award after wowing judges at the O2 in London. The quartet has been playing together in various bands after meeting through a Zip Theatre Rock School workshop and school five years ago. Inspired by the likes of Primal Scream, Tame Impala, The Smiths and the Stone Roses among others, the band began ‘jamming around’ initially in 2010. Tash’s parents had access to a room in a school for them to practice in. A year later they performed their first gig and haven’t stopped since. Unusually, Tash is the lead singer as well as drummer and when she first suggested this set- up the boys were a bit sceptical. She remembers: “We were originally a five-piece then the drummer left a couple of years ago. The rest of the band didn’t think it would work, but I kept nagging until they agreed to give it a three-month trial.” It is unconventional, but clearly it’s a winning formula and the judges at the Big Music Project thought so too.
Tash explained: “We wouldn’t normally enter competitions but we found the Big Music Project online and it looked really cool, particularly with the Brits link, so we went for it.” More than 1,000 unsigned acts entered the nationwide competition which consisted of numerous stages including an initial online round followed by a regional audition at Birmingham Conservatoire and ultimately the final at the O2 where they impressed the judges with their track There’s Always One. The band was overwhelmed with the reception they got at the final. “It was exciting enough to play such an amazing venue but to win was brilliant. We didn’t expect it,” said Tash. Not only did they win the coveted gong but the prize package also included a recording session at the famous Abbey Road Studios plus one of their songs will be featured on next year’s Brit award compilation and they were invited to attend the Brit Award ceremony. All the band members have studied music and are working towards A-Levels this summer. They share writing responsibility, so it’s a collaborative exercise and they are producing new material at some pace. Ambitions are high and clearly this is more than a hobby. “We want to go as far as we can.” Tash recognises that London might be where it’s at. “Although Birmingham’s on the up, the Midlands music scene isn’t great.” With a manager on board to steer them and bags of talent and energy we think the future’s pretty rosy for this hard working bunch.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
If you’re wondering where the name Jump the Shark came from we’ve Tash’s dad to thank. It originates from the moment when the Fonz jumped a shark on water skis in an episode of Happy Days. So now you know…