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Interviewed by
Ben Coley
Wednesday 15th October, 2014 11:05AM

New Zealand post-rock behemoths Jakob are coming out of the shadows to release their highly anticipated fourth full-length album Sines. It’s been eight years since we last heard from the Napier based three-piece, their previous effort being the 2006 album Solace. It has been a frustrating period for the instrumental act, with all three members having to deal with unlucky string of injuries and incidents beyond their control that hampered their progress on the new album. However, the extra time has seen the guys hone their craft and evolve their sound as they gear up to unleash their sonic masterpiece this week via Shoot The Freak. They are celebrating the album's release with a six-date nationwide tour that kicks off at the end of the month, before they take their impressive live show worldwide. UnderTheRadar caught up with guitarist, Jeff Boyle to have a chat about the impending release of Sines...

UTR: Hey Jeff, How does it feel to finally be releasing Sines to the world?

It feels incredible. It took us nearly two and a half years to finish. It was just one problem after another with all the injuries and setbacks that we’ve had. It is a great feeling to have the album and artwork done. Now we are just waiting for the stars to align to release it.

I understand Maurice (bass), Jason (drums) and yourself have all had to deal with injuries in the eight years since your last album. Can you tell me a little more about what happened?

After the Europe tour with Isis in 2008 we got a record deal with a label called Conspiracy Records, which is a really great label. We came back from that tour to start recording an album for them and then I got an elongated ulna bone and had to have surgery. That put me out for a year-and-a-half. Then at the end of 2009 we were getting back on track and had a New Zealand tour organised, which was when Maurice broke his hand and he was out for three or four months. We were then half way through recording the new album in 2011, and we had a 29-date tour of Europe lined up and signed off when Jason cut his hand opened and severed a few of his tendons. We had to cancel that tour and obviously it postponed finishing the album.

Have there been any advantages or positives to come from the injuries or has it just been a setback?

Not really, it has just been so annoying. I mean these things happen, injuries are part of life. However the timing of them couldn’t have been worse. All that momentum you build up just dissipates.

You all have families now, has that made it harder finding time for Jakob?

Family comes first, back in the day before we had kids we’d be hanging out all the time and jamming for hours on end. Obviously having a family puts an end to that. We still get together a couple of times a week, talk over songs and bring ideas to each other. It is an ongoing process, but one that just slows down a lot when families are involved.

Can you tell me about the recording process for Sines?

The first session for Sines was in October 2011 at Roundhead Studios. We did a nine day session with Jono Gardner who is an Aussie engineer, and was also Isis’ sound man. Dave Holmes, who recorded our first few albums, was over in England so we had to come up with someone else, and Jono seemed to be the right man. I then did a few overdubs at a later date and we thought we had finished recording. So I went over to L.A. to mix it with Aaron Harris (Isis’ drummer) and we got a couple of days into mixing and realised it wasn’t finished, we didn’t quite do what we were after. That was devastating.

I flew back to New Zealand but by that stage we had spent most of our money and were like, "what should we do now?". Luckily a friend of mine here in Napier, Nick Lowe, has a great little studio called Sister Lung Productions. He helped us out a lot with studio time. Basically we just had to slowly chip away at it in between jobs, family, and when we could afford it; that is essentially why it took so long.

Jakob are an organic band. You feed off each other, jam and explore sounds. Some of the songs on Sines have been around for a while now. Have the songs progressed, developed and changed over the years?

Absolutely. A song like 'Magna Carta' was written back in 2008, we played it on the Isis tour. That song has definitely grown and developed over the years. 'Emergent' was another track written about the same time which has also changed. In all honesty all the songs have been slow burners. The first three albums were super organic but this one was much more crafted. The process for Sines was different to the other albums as well. We may have even got a little over intricate and took it a little too far at times because we didn’t have a deadline as such. However as a result we have something new and interesting which is definitely an evolution of our sound, I think that is really important to us.

Were there any influences or themes for the album?

Not really, we are just in this for the sake of making good music. There is no driving idea behind what we do. I mean there are always influences coming in from general life, but I couldn’t pinpoint it to one or two things.

Where does the name Sines come from?

Yeah... that is a long story. Basically the original idea for Sines is that it was going to be called 'Colossal Sines'. It’s about how things are moving fast. It seems that everything is evolving so quickly, especially the music industry. It’s hard to keep up. You can’t base anything on history because the industry is completely different from a few years ago. We ended up taking off the Colossal and just went with Sines.

Who did the artwork for the album?

A good friend of ours called Mike Hawksworth. He is a really talented Hawkes Bay artist. He had been hitting us up for a long time to do some artwork and we kept saying we would make it happen and this time we actually did it. He had a few pieces in mind and we went around to his place. They were up on his walls as finished forms and that one just stood out to us straight away. We were like, "that’s it!".

Your fan base seems to be constantly growing. Is it cool to know the fans have stuck by Jakob for such a long time?

Yeah, that blows our lights out. We know it has been pretty frustrating to be a Jakob fan for the last few years. I mean, it’s been pretty frustrating being in Jakob. That people have stuck with us for so long is humbling and amazing.

Are you looking forward to be playing live again?

I am so motivated. Essentially it is what we do. All the recording and that stuff is fun, but what we want to be doing is playing live. I am stoked that we have finally got to a point where we are going to be doing an awful lot of that soon. Also bringing these new songs into our set is going to be a challenge, especially for me because we have evolved and what I am doing with textures and pedals is much more intense, but it’s cool. You have got to step up and that is exciting.

 Sines comes out 17th October through Shoot The Freak

Jakob are kicking off their six-date tour of New Zealand on the 23rd October with a show at The Cabana in Napier. Head over here for full tour dates and to buy tickets.


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