Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hills”?
A.C. Hill: This song was a perfect closer for the record. “Hills” is all about going away; trying to hide from something inside yourself that you can’t control. I think the whole album really comes full circle here – starting with “Bad Man” and ending with this character not being able to come to terms with his life. It’s probably one of my favorite songs musically that we’ve done.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
ACH: Honestly, the story for this song came from an idea I had while watching “Breaking Bad” (one of my favorite tv shows). In the last couple of episodes the main character basically lives in exile in a some shack in the mountains, hiding from everyone he loves because of the things he’s done with his life. That idea of just escaping and leaving everything because you had screwed up was interesting to me. The main guitar riff in the song from that point on always sounded like the show’s theme song to me.
The single comes off your new album Badlands – what’s the story behind the title?
George Hage: The badlands themselves hold a sense of the unknown and adventure. If the place doesn’t swallow you, you will come out stronger and you’ll have a story to tell. That sentiment really matched where we are on our musical journey. It’s other worldly. It’s also a hell of setting for a sci-fi spaghetti-western, which was the underlying theme of the album.
How was the recording and writing process?
GH: It was long hours over three years. A lot of “life” happened to us individually over that time with marriages, kids, members quitting and coming back and the band growing regionally. The fact that we made it through to the end all together with the 12 songs that made the album means the process pushed us to new places.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
GH: Inspiration comes from all over. Some is based on personal experiences, some is based on friends or family experience and some of it is perhaps exaggerated reality. The overall theme is Side-1 of the record is about being a stranger in an unfamiliar place and longing or searching for the familiar. Side-2 is more about that return home to the familiar, especially it’s a musical return to the more americana, country-rock sound, where the first side is musically a little more experimental for us.
Any plans to hit the road?
GH: We will be doing regional shows mostly in the south east and hopefully north east later this year. In the meantime we are focusing on our live shows, new music videos and a few new songs.
What else is happening next in Jack The Radio’s world?
GH: Music videos, Jack the Radio Badlands Beer and a jack the radio poster in a comic book!