Jack’s debut EP ‘What You Saying?’ gathered critical support across the UK as well as gaining plays in American and Australia. A side ‘Me And You’ was featured on ITV1’s This Morning television programme, whilst well known arbiter of all things cool and Welsh, Dave Owens included another of the EP tracks, ‘Drunk And Stoned’ in his Wales Online ‘Top 100 welsh songs of 2016’ playlist. Jack capped off a successful 2016 when he was voted into the Final 6 of Project: Aloft Star. In the final Jack performed in front music industry professionals including BBC Radio DJ’s Huw Stephens and Sian Anderson and Spector frontman Fred Macpherson.
Jack was kind enough to take some time out to answer some questions we had, here’s what he had to say.
First of all, can you tell us a bit about your music? “I am a Indie singer/songwriter from Newport, South Wales. Started playing the guitar when I was 16 and writing songs not long after I could put a few chords together”
Growing up who were your musical infulances? “It hasn’t been easy at times. Being from Newport the main reason I think. It’s sort of like we are Cardiff’s little brother if you get what I mean. There’s not much of a music scene in Newport, I couldn’t find a band to join or anyone who wanted to start a band. That’s why I am a solo artist because I had to do it myself. But Cardiff has got a great music scene. There are loads of bands from Cardiff who are great. Houdini Dax were one of my main local influences for starting out really. They were a great band with great tunes and a band I looked up to when I was starting out”
Describe your music in 3 words. “Indie RocknRoll”
You have a new single out called ‘Going Nowhere’ can you tell us a bit about the single? “‘Going Nowhere’ was co-written with Rhys my bass player. I had the melody and lyrics for the verse and chorus. Rhys came up with the riff at the start and he had a chorus which we then used as the middle 8 of the song. ‘Going Nowhere’ is probably my favourite song that I have been involved with and I can’t wait for people to hear it. It is the most complex song I have been involved with. There is a great bassline, great guitar riff, interesting backing vocals. There is also a key change in there too”
Any plan for anymore new music to be released soon? “We are going into the studio in November to record a new song called ‘Midnight Dream’ with the hope to release it early 2020”
What would you say the music scene is like where you’re from/based? “As I mentioned earlier, not really. The only venue in Newport that puts on regular gigs for artists playing original music is Le Pub. It’s a great venue. It’s a shame that there isn’t really any other established music venues in Newport. There are a lot of pubs/bars that put on cover bands but there isn’t much for original music”
What is your favourite venue to play at? “There has been quite a few nice venues. I have been lucky enough to support From The Jam. They play at some great venues. A particular favourite of mine was Cheltenham Town Hall. Tramshed in Cardiff is great too”
What has been your best/worst gig? “Best gig is probably when I played at The Great Escape in Brighton. I played two gigs that weekend (1 acoustic, 1 with the band). Both gigs were packed. The 2nd time I played there was actually people queuing to get in which is crazy really. Worst gig has to be at Alleycat, London a couple of years ago”
Any funny/interesting gig stories you can share with us? “So as I mentioned above. Alleycat. We got there and the equipment wasn’t in great condition. There was a hole in the bass drum (that shouldn’t have been there), the hi-hat stand was broken, and there was about 50 extension leads plugged into one plug socket. 1 of the support bands actually refused to play when one of the monitors sparked up during soundcheck. Obviously the gig was a struggle but got through it. I haven’t been back since”
What are your plans for the rest of 2019? “I have got another headline gig at Le Pub in my hometown Newport on Saturday 16th November which I am looking forward too. Before that though I am playing Swn Fest (Cardiff), Off The Record (Manchester) and Bath”
If you could collaborate with any band or artist who would it be and why? “Miles Kane would be one I’d like to collaborate with. Really love his tunes and has been a big influence since I started playing the guitar”
By Siân Parker