Text: Marieke Weeda
On 18 January, we will take over one of the many stages inside the Drie Gezusters in Groningen during the Penguin Showcases (supported by Eurosonic Noorderslag). The CHAOS team has selected for you the biggest promises of the upcoming year to come and play some dirty sets. One of these promises includes Jetlag Jenny. We spoke to Davic Roest (vocals, guitar, song writing) and Hidde Rodenburg (lead guitar, backing vocals). They form the band together with Marcel Medema (drums) and Herman Nijkamp (bass).
Let’s start at the beginning: who are Jetlag Jenny, how did you start as a band and what kind of music do you make?
Davic: Jetlag Jenny formed in Zwolle at the end of 2018. In 2020, when the other band members continued their studies, it kind of fell apart. At this point, I started Jetlag Jenny 2.0. A bit more pop punk instead of the punk rock we made before, a more poppier sound with all new guys around me. By now we’re already at a kind of Jetlag Jenny 2.2 because there have been some more changes, but we’re still going strong and have had a good year.
Who are inspirations for your music?
D: For me as a songwriter, those are bands like Green Day, which is my favourite band and also the biggest in the world I think, All Time Low, Simple Plan, and Waterparks. A bit more the poppy side of pop punk really. We all have a sub-branch of what we think is cool within the band as well: Hidde is very much into glam metal, our drummer (Marcel) is really a metalhead, and the bass player (Herman) is a bit more into dirty punk, so those influences also show up here and there.
Hidde: I’m not really a pop punk guitarist, I came more from the rock side, very 80s, and I notice that since I joined the band the sound becomes just a bit different. I actually try to add a touch of ‘me’ as well.
What do you want to convey with your music?
D: First of all, just energy, we make music to go wild on. I as a lyricist look for themes picked from everyday life. We have released a few singles recently and they are a lot about love and heartbreak. Themes like a watered-down friendship and going crazy inside sitting in corona time also come up. Of course, these are topics that everyone recognises. I often just write about what I am experiencing and feeling at that moment, and that comes across to the listener I think.
Your Spotify shows a number of singles released this year. Which of these is a favourite for you guys?
H: There are new singles coming out, and I think the coolest one is among them. The one that really defines the new Jetlag Jenny has yet to come out.
D: My favourite has already been released though: that’s ‘Sudden Irish Storm’. This is also quite a personal song, so I resonate with that one a lot. ‘The Day You Broke My Heart’ I think is also quite defining for us. We deliberately picked this one as a single because it’s an ultimate hitting song: if we were playing live and we had to pick a final song to convey how we sound, I’d pick this one.
What else have you guys done this year?
H: Played on Vlieland. (ed. Little Dutch island with one single village)
D: Not at all! This is a nice little story, though. We had a show at a campsite in North Holland this year, and Hidde was 100% convinced we were going to play a show on Vlieland.
H: Sitting there in front of my tent playing guitar, I said: I actually thought we were going to Vlieland but I didn’t dare say it again.
D: Furthermore, we played more than 20 shows with some very cool highlights. Played Hedon a couple of times, several support acts, including for Fokko which was very nice. Our own homecoming show in Meppel was also very special. The absolute highlight this year was supporting De Dijk. We played in front of 2000 people, which was really great.
What do you enjoy most about playing live?
D: I really like hyping people up. We are quite a band that plays a lot with show elements and audience participation. When we manage to capture the audience, it’s a back-and-forth of such a fine energy, that gives an indescribable feeling.
H: The best thing about playing live is that you are on a stage with three other guys, and then you put down something really great together. Making music with others is very cool, and if you are enthusiastic, people see that and become enthusiastic themselves.
How have you grown as a band this year?
D: Since we started together in June 2020, we basically did everything but play together. Occasionally we practised together, but there were no shows. Because of this, we still had to get quite close to each other. Hidde had been in the band for six months before we first performed together. On stage is very different from in the rehearsal room, so in terms of playing together and live, we have grown enormously. We also recorded a lot of new music, so we learnt things within the studio as well. It was a very fruitful year for the band.
You will of course be playing the showcase in Groningen. What can we expect from you guys at the gig?
H: You’ll have to come first, then of course you’ll know!
D: It will be nice and energetic. We try tremendously hard to give people a nice evening, so the more we get back, the more we also give. That’s a trade-off. Especially with a lot of people, we are going to play better. That’s why that show with De Dijk was also one of our best shows: we got 2 thousand people singing things back then, and we only grow from that. It will be a fun energetic evening with catchy sing-alongs.
What else can we expect from you next year?
D: New music.
H: The most fun songs!
D: We also have quite a few shows lined up already. Even before we play the Penguin Showcases, new music is coming out, and with that single we are going to make a very big announcement, which is going to be very cool.
Besides the concrete plans, are there any biggest dreams for the band?
D: I hope we can catch a few festivals for the first time, the Popronde is also a target.
Hidde: Festival shows are a whole different kind of show anyway, the atmosphere is really fun and you’re with a lot of acts, so I’m up for that.