Interview with Samuel Shea and Julien O’Neill of Warbly Jets

It’s 2016 on a rare gloomy Thursday afternoon, Lady Gaga is on her Dive Bar Tour and will be at Silverlake’s The Satellite, a place where local musicians bare their raw emotion in hopes of attaining local stardom. We’re in an East Hollywood studio apartment, sparsely furnished with a murphy bed, brown leather couch, and an impressive record collection with the likes of Harry Nilsson, The Clash & The Verve. We’re sitting in a dimly lit kitchen with Samuel & Julien of Warbly Jets:


A E: Do you guys have your tickets?

S & J: (Simultaneously) No.

A E: (Laughs) This is an exciting time for music. People are saying your sound is reminiscent of The Hives, Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre, that you’re blowing predecessors out of the water. How does that make you feel?

J: Is it really an exciting time for music? People don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re being misguided by having the same music regurgitated to them while they read their Pitchfork as if it’s their bible. I think there’s currently a huge gap within rock music where people have forgotten what actually exists and what doesn’t because they are exposed to so little. Don’t get me wrong, these are great bands, but people have to stop and forget what happened 5-10 years ago because that stuff’s already over.

A E: What music do you feel influences you most?

J: We all have different influences. I say this time and again but a lot of the britpop stuff and acid house is a good place that we like to start. Primal Scream is a huge influence,  the Verve, Supergrass, all the Factory Records stuff from the Hacienda.. New bands like C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmares, Jagwar Ma, etc… However, it’s not really necessarily an accurate representation of what the sounds comes out as, those are just influences.

S: Yea, I feel like all those are more underlying and then it’s about creating without the intentional purposes of recreating.


A E: So what do you feel you’re creating?

J: Something new.

A E: Something new?

J: Yeah, we want to push buttons and boundaries.

S: We established an intentional artistic direction at a fairly early stage for our writing process. From there it’s been about deconstructing and reconstructing that process so that what we’re writing is true and honest to us and not purely inspired by anyone or anything other than our instincts.

A E: Standing in the back of the crowd of your shows, I hear time and time again, that these guys are really impeccably dressed. So what I want to know is…do you guys dress yourself?

S: Ryan Anthony dresses me

J: I dress myself and we dress Sam.

A E: Has fashion influenced the band?

S: Yeah, I like fashionable looking people.

J: Fashion is inspiring like any other art. How that translates into music? Clothes don’t make the man.

S: You know, I feel like musical instruments are for people’s wardrobe these days. Being in a band has become a prop for a festival season campaign for Urban Outfitters. We’re going to change that. Instruments aren’t accessories to us.


A E: Who do you guys want to work with soon or in the future?

J: Rick Rubin, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois would be really cool to work with.

S: If we’re going to work with any other producers or engineers we would only want to work with the best.

J: Yeah, cause I mean… we can kind of handle everything else.

A E: When you have legendary figures like Rodney Bingenheimer (KROQ) from the LA rock scene saying on the radio “This is the band all the labels are after, they’re not even signed yet” What does that mean to you? How does that make you feel?

J: Uhhh… it makes me feel vindicated. That we’re doing something right but it also makes me feel like…

S: Like we’re still not signed.

J: Still not signed.

(group laugh)

S: It’s a cool time right now in music. A musician can write a song, record it, and get the song out and in the circuit within a few hours via the internet. What we’re trying to do is bring back the genuine aspect of creating recordings that are actually good, and really giving a damn about the medium of art that we’re working in.  it’s exciting to see that people on that level are interested in what we’re doing. However these days youth culture doesn’t care to take notice in anything anymore. We saw Supersonic, Oasis’s, new documentary last night and it was cool to see them in them in the early stages as a completely un-noticed band. We’ve been playing shows for over a year now and nobody has really seemed to care. It just now seems like we’re hitting some sort of tipping point.

J: I think we’re definitely taking time to be prepared with what we’re doing and designing something that is going against what everyone is doing. The internet is just a megaphone and everyone is yelling into it at the same time. It’s too loud for it’s own good.

A E: Understanding the climate of rock and roll and what’s happening in the world with popular music, how do you guys think you fit in? Bands like Nirvana & Oasis created and lead the spirit of certain counter-cultures. Do you feel like there’s anyone out there doing that now?

S: There are definitely a few groups doing that now, but not many. Fitting in is more about finding a way to not fit in. If you want to be one of those leaders you have to create it for yourself. You know? No one is going to tell you here’s the gap in the music industry that no one is taking notice of.

A E:  “Warbly Jets are “Alive” and ready to be seen as one of LA’s greatest” — FOXES Magazine. With the legacy of Rock N Roll What does that mean to you to be LA’s greatest?

J: It’s flattering but we already knew that. Don’t need someone to tell us that but it is nice to hear it.


A E: If this band never happens in a monetary sense. How would you measure your successes?

S: Impact. I want 12 year old kids go to guitar center to buy a guitar to learn how to play our songs.

J: For me It’s more a matter of respect from our peers. It’s not like a “Hail Me” but for people to recognize that we contributed to something.

S: I don’t care about respect

A E: What are you going to give those kids that they can’t get from other contemporary bands ?

S: A motion that anyone can slip into. Were not a pre-made, plastic packaged rock band. We’ve worked extremely hard to create music with the message of, “anyone can do this themselves if you put your mind to it”. I hope that during this time as a band we inspire others to create, as we have been inspired.

J: A purpose.

Follow the band below and listen to their critically acclaimed track “Alive” now.

Instagram: @Warblyjets

Facebook: @Warblyjets

Twitter: @Warblyjets

Soundcloud: /Warblyjets

11.10 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer w/ C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmare
11.19 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah w/ Night Beats & Mystery Lights
11.28 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar %
12.01 – Austin, TX @ Sidewinder %
12.02 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links %
12.03 – Norman, OK @ Opolis %
12.04 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway %
12.06 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle %
12.07 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern %
12.08 – Washington DC @ DC 9 %
12.09 – Philly, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie %w
12.10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium %
12.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Berlin %
01.22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge w/ Civil Lust

% – w/ The Mystery Lights

L’Agent Goodies…