Having spent a number of years touring the world as an artist manager and tour manager, singer and producer Olly Bailey aka Jaws The Shark felt that now was the time to pursue his own career in front of the microphone as he unveils his debut single 'Mission Impossible'.
With a desire to produce fuzzy and lo-fi offerings, 'Mission Impossible' makes for a fun and catchy introduction to the frontman. With its grizzled guitar hooks, bold vocals, and punk aesthetic, this new delight is sure to be the first of many engaging bangers from the artist in the months to come.
So with his new single now doing the rounds, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and what has been the biggest inspiration behind this new project.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Probably the guitar, just because it was the first one that I learnt to play. Picked it up when I was in primary school, didn’t get along with it at first, so I left it for years before I tried again. By which time, I'd forgotten everything I'd learnt and had to teach myself how to play again. I do love drums, i’m rubbish at playing em’, but always something that i’ve imagined myself learning properly one day.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
I started off playing in my first band when I was about 18, since then, I always knew that I was going to be involved within the music industry in some capacity. I’ve been working as a tour manager with a number of artists for the past 7 or so years now and I've been fortunate enough to see a lot of the world doing that. When the whole lockdown situation happened and all of my touring work got cancelled for the remainder of the year, I felt like it was probably the right time for me to pick up where I'd left off all those years ago. There’s definitely some unfinished business with my own music that I needed to attend to and that has been the driving force behind my decision to become Jaws The Shark.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I’ve always been into artists that embrace imperfections in their recordings, if there’s a guitar that hits the wrong note, or the vocal is slightly out of tune, they leave it in rather than doing another take. There’s something pretty honest and raw about it and I love that. The most notable bands were Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Nirvana, The Libertines, The Kills and At The Drive-In.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
There’s one memory in particular that sticks out, it was a song called Happy as Annie by a band called Larrikin Love. It was just before I was in my first band and I remember dancing around the front room in my mums house pretending I was on stage, fully going for it. That was probably the first time I actually envisioned myself up on a stage performing. Pretty embarrassing now looking back at it...
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
First thing I do in the morning is jump in the show and for one reason or another, Lana Del Rey is always a pretty constant one. Takes the edge off. That or something along the lines of The Kinks or The Beatles. Something pretty chilled.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
As Jaws The Shark, I've only put the one song out so far, and that one was about myself (vein or what!). But I've probably written a couple that are due for release about other people in my life. I usually like to try and write more observationally about people that I don’t know and their situation. Otherwise I'd just be going around ruining all of my relationships!
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
As it’s still pretty fresh, i’d have to say so far that it’s probably just putting the first single out and seeing the reaction of people and other artists that i’ve known or worked with for ages and them not hating it.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
Big shark fan. Always have been. I used to be fascinated as a kid and wanted to be a marine biologist to study them. Music got in the way and put a big ol’ full stop at the end of that though. Still nerd out over them whenever someone gives me the opportunity to though.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Probably the one I actually did take before I was releasing my own music. I always knew I was going to work in the industry, so I made it happen for myself. Started off selling merch for my good friends in the band Dinosaur Pile-Up, then became their tour manager and the rest is history.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
I would say that the thing to get over initially is just to have the confidence and faith in yourself to start putting your music out there in the first place. A lot of people will be put off from even making the first step, because they’re afraid of failure or being judged, but fuck what other people think, you do you. If it’s something you enjoy doing and that you want to do, you just have to go for it.
Jaws The Shark's debut single 'Mission Impossible' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.