Bolton's The Jade Assembly launch their new single One Last Time next Monday and precede it with a launch show at their home town's Blind Tiger on Sunday supported by a host of local bands. The single is another example of their bold, heartfelt take on alternative rock and another step up for a band with songs big enough to fill big rooms. We caught up with front man John "Foz" Foster for a chat ahead of the launch.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Foz. First of all, can you introduce The Jade Assembly to those who don't know you.
The Jade Assembly are an alternative indie rock band hailing from Bolton. I, John Foz Foster, am the lead singer and play guitar, Andy Watson plays drums, Danny Hayes bass and Gareth Smedley lead guitar.
How did you get together and what have been the highlights of your time together so far?
Me and Andy met through work. We bonded over similar music taste especially Led Zeppelin. Danny and Gareth came after. We met on the Bolton music scene again sharing the same taste in music.
Personal highlights for us are playing at the home of Bolton Wanderers and having our song played before the Stoke FA Cup semi final at Wembley. And playing with The Vortex featuring one of our heroes Bonehead from Oasis.
Do you write songs together as a band or do you have one songwriter?
I write all the songs for The Jade Assembly then take them to the band and they add their own melodies that we eventually agree on together.
You've got quite a fervent following, The Jade Army, that follow you around. We saw a lot of them at a recent Manchester show. Does that inspire you as a band to see so many people singing your songs back to you?
Definitely. That is what makes it all worth while. The fact people feel as passionate about it as what we do is pretty special I think. They're the nicest bunch of people. Everyone is welcome to be part of the Jade Army.
Your new single is called One Last Time, could you tell us a little about the subject matter of the song?
One Last Time is basically about how having the right people around you in life makes things a lot better. We've all had times when bad people influence some of the stuff you do and I'm out of that circle now. It's a happy song.
Your single launch is at The Blind Tiger in Bolton on Sunday. It's an all-day event with lots of local bands on. What's the thinking behind doing it that way?
The single launch was originally going to be at night but to be honest we played a B Fest charity day at Blind Tiger. It was brilliant. And the quality coming through the music scene in Bolton is insane. They support us and we support them. Its a community.
What have you got planned after the single release?
We've got a busy couple of weeks gigging around the country trying to get the word out there straight after the single release. Then hopefully it will get to the right people in the right places and they will love it.
Finally, if you had to describe yourself to someone who'd never heard your music before, where would you start?
I'd say we've got a classic rock guitar sound. With lyrics that I feel people can relate to. My voice is often likened to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam which is obviously a massive compliment. He's got such a strong rock voice. We take a lot of inspiration from the bands we listened to growing up in the 90's Brit Pop era as well as classic rock bands Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who to name a few.
One Last Time is out on Monday, May 4.
The Jade Assembly play Bolton Blind Tiger (May 3), Rochdale Midland - acoustic set (9), Manchester Sound Control (16), Sheffield Maida Vale (22), Bolt Fest (24), Tyldesley Cadence Cafe Festival (June 20), Kendal Calling (August 1), Ramsbottom Festival (September 18) and Salford Kings Arms (October 16).
The Jade Assembly's website can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.