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INTERVIEW: A Band Called Jack

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi -We’ve had an amazing 12 months working on the new album and promoting it.  We have also started to work on some new tracks that we have been trialing at recent gigs.  They are unlikely to make it onto this album but its good to know that we already have some material for the next one.  We’ve also had some great gigs this year including playing at the Dot to Dot festival in Manchester which is an amazing event and we got to meet other bands from across the UK.  Catching the Fontaines DC was a highlight for us.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Voices”?

Voices has been a long time in the making.  It was originally a track that we did as a demo a few years ago.  We brought it back to life and started to play around with over the past year and it is now a firm favourite at our live gigs.

The track is about mental health and through it we are trying to raise some mental health issues which are difficult to talk about but we believe that they have to be.  It is hard for men to talk about these issues and we want to do all that we can to get people talking.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

We have all been closely exposed to mental health issues in recent times but one of the band had a close relative who is sadly no longer with us with a history of schizophrenia.  He used to hallucinate, hearing voices telling him what to do.  In the early days as the symptoms developed on the outside he appeared completely normal but on the inside there was turmoil.  This is what we are trying to portray in the lyrics and the music.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Funny you should ask that.  We are talking to producers about a video but we can’t say too much about that at the moment.

How was the recording and writing process?

We love talking a seed of a riff or a chord sequence and helping it to bloom into a full track between us and it can progress in some instances very quickly.  We usually play around with new music over a few weeks or months before settling on an arrangement that we are happy with and then trying it out live to see if we get a positive reaction from the crowd.  This gives a true feeling of what it means to be in a band and to create something. To put ourselves on the line and expose a little bit of our feelings to others.  The recording process is different because each part is laid down separately so we miss the band connection of playing live, but we love working with Matt and Isaac at MST and they get the best out of us.

What role does Manchester play in your writing?

We try to draw influences from all of the great Manchester bands that we love going back to bands like Joy Division but also new acts like Cabbage and taking in I am Kloot, Doves, Elbow and the Courteeners on the way.  We can’t get everything in every track but we can certainly hear bands that we love in many of our tracks.  We can hear that Voices has influences which come from 80’s post punk band the Chameleons.

Manchester as a city is progressing quickly at the moment.  The population of the city centre had been on a decline for many years until the start of this century.  It is now growing faster than any other city in the UK.  With more people living in the city centre, bars, restaurants and music venues are expanding massively to accommodate and this can create a bigger audience for up and coming bands which may not have been there in the past.  The trick for Manchester is going to be to retain the level of pride, passion and particularly the charisma for which Manchester is well known and that has produced some of the UK’s greatest bands.  We try to keep those elements running through our music by drawing on musical influences from Manchester’s past and present trying to push the boundaries to bring something new.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

We have been working hard in the studio over the past 18 months to bring new music.  We have another 7 or 8 tracks recorded which are almost ready to go and as we said earlier we are also working on new tracks.  With a busy recording and gigging schedule it becomes hard to find the time to work on new music but we have 3 or 4 brand new tracks that we are now regularly playing live and we are hoping to take a few weeks off over the summer to work on more new material.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

We should have at least one new single out fairly soon to follow up Voices.  It will probably be released before the end of the summer and then the plan is to release the rest of the album early in the Autumn.  We have been throwing around some ideas on the title for the album but nothing is firm yet but it has to pick up on the Manchester influences.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are always gigging locally across the North West but the next step after the release of the album is to look at booking some dates in other cities.  We are talking to people about possible dates and locations across the country taking in London and Glasgow.  Watch this space…

What else is happening next in A Band Called Jack’s world?

We have been gigging, playing festivals and promoting over the summer and are looking forward to a break in August before we get back on it in September.  Hopefully, the great weather we have had recently will stick around until then.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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