In a little more than two years, New York City expatriates Samuel Shea and Julien O’neill have gone from couch-surfing in Venice to helming a hard-charging debut album that’s ready for arenas. Their brash, soulful songs have earned comparisons to the likes of Primal Scream, Oasis, the Hives, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, the Verve and Kasabian, while the quartet’s skinny-jeaned swagger has serviced the appetites of those who think rock ’n’ roll matters, or should at least sound and act like it.
The release seemed to be the icing on the cake for a year that began with a residency at the Satellite. But better moments were still to come. Only days after celebrating the release of “Warbly Jets” with a sold-out show at the Moroccan Lounge, the band announced they would be supporting Liam Gallagher on an 11-date North American tour. We caught up with Shea as the band prepared for the tour to talk about pushing the momentum forward — and asked him share a little of the Warbly Jets’ “sounds of L.A.”
The band’s “Made in Los Angeles” playlist follows:
Buzz Bands LA: Is this what you and Julien envisioned when you moved from L.A. to New York? And how did L.A. inform the direction your music took?
Samuel Shea: Yes and no. Our vision is ever changing, we’re always trying to chase the next evolution of what we are. L.A. has had and still has a great effect on us. We always observe what’s happening around us. Our relationship to any L.A. scene mostly comes from our friendships with people that live in L.A.
What did you learn about yourselves during the writing and making of this album?
This album was recorded over such a long period of time that it makes it hard to pinpoint everything we learned. By the time we finished making these recordings (which was over a year ago) we had figured out a smooth process of writing, recording and playing songs.
Have you had any “f*ck LA” moments since you’ve been here? This can be an infuriating place for artists to negotiate …
I think the whole band thinks that way. Our frustration comes from that place mostly. There’s no terms to negotiate.
Your album revives a sound — and if not a sound, a feeling — of a certain time — the era before all the obituaries for rock ’n’ roll were written.
Great! We wanted the record to have moments that explode, and remind you of your favorite rock concert on a Friday night. We breathe off of that feeling. Hopefully, we can push what those before us have done further along.
Speaking of that era, you’re opening for a Gallagher. How stoked are you for that?
It’s an amazing homer and we are all unbelievably excited.
||| Stream: Warbly Jets’ Made in Los Angeles
||| Live: Warbly Jets open for Liam Gallagher on Tuesday at the Wiltern. Tickets.