When the Muse Calls: Jez Anderson

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Jez Anderson

Electric Guitarist in The Nightjar

I think that my surroundings and my life experience play a big part in inspiring me and when I’m in the right frame of mind I can get real excited about creating something.

The first beginnings of an idea come in different ways. Sometimes I find that when I am working on a piece of music I come up with something that may not fit the composition I am working on at the time. I try to shape this new idea quickly and record it really roughly before I forget it. I have many fragments like this that I have built up over the years. Other times I like to set quite limited parameters before I start composing by choosing a scale, tuning or a picking pattern and then working within that to see if I can come up with something.

I tend not to ‘hear’ ideas in my head, they come more through playing the instrument and trying things out and sort of digging around until I find something good. Once I’ve got the initial idea the process becomes more methodical in that I will be adding parts, taking parts away, playing with the structure and re-working lyrics. There are more moments of inspiration during this stage but it’s also just a lot of grafting.  So far I haven’t found a way to do this that doesn’t take a really long time.

I can spend hours working on a secondary part to an idea only to conclude that I don’t like the new part and then bin it. That can feel like you’re not moving forward at all, but then you just have to come back to it and take a different angle, keep chipping away.

The Nightjar will launch their debut album, Objects, on 15 March at Proud Camden in London, and on 17 March at The Cube Cinema in Bristol.

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