A few dates into their North American tour, Australian psych-rockers Jagwar Ma swung by Billboard’s New York studio to share some music and tell their story.
“We all grew up in Sydney and played in different bands, once upon a time,” says frontman Gab Winterfield, donning a bucket hat with a small kangaroo on it. After first treating Jagwar Ma as a side project, the band began to pick up momentum which eventually led to a deal with Mom + Pop Music Records. The independent record label housed one of 2013’s standout debuts, their album, “Howlin’.”
Watch Jagwar Ma talk about “Howlin'” in their exclusive Billboard interview:
“The early recordings of our record were done in Sydney and we fleshed out at our friend’s property in France,” explains Winterfield.
Plenty of bands find inspiration in their unique recording spaces. For Jagwar Ma, it was an abandoned “agricultural city” in the French countryside that they transformed into their personal recording studio.
Jagwar Ma: Billboard Session Photos
“We used the acoustics of the church to our advantage when we were recording,” says multi-instrumentalist/producer Jono Ma.
Watch Jagwar Ma perform their catchy, bass-heavy song “Let Her Go” for Billboard:
Those acoustics led to the catchy, psychedelic grooves of “Howlin’,” which critics have compared to 60s rock and London’s Madchester sound of the late 1980s. Less than a year after its release, the band is already looking to the future.
“We’re always writing,” Winterfield assures. “I don’t think you stop doing those kinds of things – because you love it. Negotiating playing shows and making another record is going to be an interesting challenge.”