Congratulations to River Jumpers on beating the competition in London. O2 Academy caught up with them ahead of the Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour to talk about Anti-Flag's influence, the inspiring Laura Jane Grace and celebrating the good ol' Fireball way.
First things first; where’d the name come from?
"It’s kind of a weird one, isn’t it? Basically, when we named the band, there were two main ideas floating around – rivers and jumpers. We couldn’t decide on one, so we combined the two. It’s really as simple as that."
Talk us through your songwriting process – do you have any strange rituals like picking song themes out of a hat or from fortune cookies?
"Process may be a rather grandiose term for it. Usually, someone will just come into practice with an idea and we’ll hash it out for a few hours until we have something resembling a song. Meanwhile, Nick is listening intently and thinking of ideas for what the song should be about, before going away to write the lyrics. We don’t really have any strange rituals, although that sounds like a great way of doing it! We might have to try that sometime."
We know it’s a tough decision, but who’s your favourite band on the bill?
"That’s a really tough one since we’re big fans of all the bands. I guess being a punk band, the closest to our sound is Anti-Flag, so I’d have to say they’re my favourite. The Terror State and For Blood and Empire were pretty massive albums for me when I was first discovering punk rock and becoming politicized and they’re still a big influence to this day."
If you were to win Fireball’s Hottest Band 2018, how would you celebrate it?
"With a round of Fireball of course!"
If you could knock back a Fireball shot with any three people (dead or alive), who would it be?
"Since The Clash are my favourite band of all time, I’d have to say Joe Strummer first of all. I’d also have to say Laura Jane Grace; she’s just such a badass and a real inspiration to me in the way that she embodies the real spirit of punk. Finally, I’d love to knock back a shot with Jeremy Corbyn (does he even drink?). Say what you like about him, but he’s managed to engage a lot of young people in politics - some for the first time in their lives - and I think that’s a real achievement."
The Fireball Fuelling The Fire tour hits the O2 Forum Kentish Town on two nights, tickets for Monday 16 October here and Tuesday 17 October here.