Exposure: Paper Planes
- Kelly Smith
- 29 April 2009
Paper Planes - Permanent Marker
New Jersey girl and vocal stunner Jennifer Paley fronts the Glasgow-based Paper Planes, otherwise composed of "the boys": Craig, Fraser and Christopher. Together PP make what they describe as "updated surf sounds with post punk beats, raw trashy rock and roll, American yelps and drawls," while citing the easily understable influences of Modern Lovers and Velvet Underground and additionally sounding a little like Siouxsie, a little like Hole. Not at all a bad cocktail, my friends. Jen and Fraser tell The List what's up.
I've read that Jennifer was here, then she went home, then came back. Is she here to stay?
Fraser: Jen came here for a term of study abroad at the Glasgow School of Art from a university in Pennsylvania. She decided she liked it too much to leave so she put through a transfer. She graduated from GSA this past June and is now on a "fresh talent" visa which allows her to stay and do fresh and talented things for the next year and a half. Hopefully by then there will be some other kind of obscure visa she can acquire to stay a bit longer. We'll see.
How did everyone meet and work out that you should be making music together?
Fraser: The boys were previously in male-fronted Glasgow bands without much success. Jen really liked these bands and was at most of the gigs, she had a love for music but had never really had an opportunity to create any. When the latest of these bands disintegrated, Jen was there. The boys had always wanted a female front lady and in the words of Chad, "You can always put an American girl talking over some noise and it'll sound amazing." So that was it, Jen started talking over the boys' noise and songs were made.
This April will be your one year live performance anniversary. That's mighty speedy - how'd you put yourself on the map that quickly?
Fraser: We take our time, come out of hiding when it's appropriate and go back into the cave when necessary. Only playing the songs we love to play and not trying to mould ourselves to anyone else's standards... and quick sharp sets, no chat, no frills, always leave 'em wanting more.
What do you hope to accomplish by this time next year?
Fraser: We'd like to expand in every which way, more ears, bigger venues, t-shirts perhaps. Yeah t-shirts, that's what we want.
Which one of you is the most lyrically responsible and what kind of things are you writing about now?
Fraser: Jen solely writes the lyrics and leaves the music up to the boys.
Jen:The lyrics are completely spontaneous, I don't sit down and say I'm going to write a song about this... they just happen.. and sometimes they don't. I've written about personal experience, dreams, places, and on one occasion, just listed off the words I played in a game of scrabble. Whatever works, but as a whole, the more vague the better. As with most things, you need to let people use their imaginations and find what they want in things.
Anyone else on the Glasgow scene to look out for?
Fraser and Jen: French Wives. Phantom Band. Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers. We are the Physics.
Paper Planes play Glasgow's Hinterland Festival at The Classic Grande on May 1.