INTERVIEW: Jack Klatt

Pic by Nate Ryan

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

Good!

Can you talk to us more about your single “Prove My Love”?

What do you wanna know?

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

Not really… I tend to fall in love with the sad songs more than the optimistic variety.  Looking back, Prove My Love was a deliberate attempt to compose something upbeat to fit into this group of songs that became “It Ain’t the Same”

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We filmed it on the night of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  The location is a fabrication shop that I work at while I’m not on the road.  I cleaned it up real nice, the crew came in and lit it tastefully, filled it with a hazer.  It felt like a strange dream to me.

The single comes off your new album It Ain’t The Same – what’s the story behind the title?

I like double meanings….  In some ways it alludes to the cultural change that has been happening the past several years as well as a change in my own musical direction.  I also like that it’s the only song I DIDN’T write on the record.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the songs mostly by myself.  I always test drive them with my friends, solicit some opinions, maybe change a few words here and there, lose a bridge or something along the way.  I was working on the lyrics up until I recorded the vocals for this record.  Tweaking little words and syllables here and there.  The recording process was very old school.  I had sent out demos to the band ahead of the sessions, but we really worked the arrangements of the songs as we were recording.  I would start playing the song by myself, while Alex would set up the mics in the studio for whatever particular configuration we were going for.  Pretty soon we would all fall together in a particular groove that just seemed to feel right for everyone.  Some songs we tried a variety of different approaches, some songs we stuck with the first thought.  Really, I wanted to keep it fun and easy, so I made sure we had plenty of time, and I refused to think about money.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

Most definitely.  My last record had all been recorded live with a band that I had been working with regularly for a couple of years  There was no overdubbing whatsoever save for a little harmonica solo.  On “It Ain’t the Same” I recorded with a band that had never existed before.  It was kind of a crazy gamble thinking back on it.

How do you go on balancing all your different influences together?

I don’t think of it as balancing anything.  Sometimes when I hear something I love, whether it’s a singer, a guitar player, or a song, I take some time to learn why I love it, and kind of internalize it, putting it through my own weird filter.  It all goes into this well that I’ve got inside of me that I dip into during my own creative process.

What role did Chicago play in the making of your album?

First of all, I recorded the album in Chicago at Reliable Recorders, Alex Hall’s studio.  Casey McDonough who played bass on the record also lives in Chicago.  The city feels like a second home to me after having spent so much time there.  I would take a lot of walks around bucktown, drink some malort, play some pool, catch some music.  There is some amazing live music in Chicago!  Alex and Casey were doing a gig with their country band The Western Elstons while me and John James were in town for the sessions and they completely floored me.

You brought some great folks to lend you a hand – did you handpick them or how did they come on board? 

I picked em.  John James Tourville is an old friend of mine and one of the best guitar pickers and pedal steel players I know.  I always had a hunch that we would make a good collaborative team.  I had seen Casey play with a band called the Flat Five.  He can play pretty much anything and he is real fun to hang out with.  Alex Hall had recorded the Cactus Blossoms “You’re Dreaming” record and played with them occasionally.  After I met him, I knew I wanted to work with him.

What did they bring to the table? 

It was like the four directions.  The production on this record was very anarchistic.  We all brought ideas to the table.  There was enough space and time in the studio to allow for it.  If anyone had an idea we would try it out.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

I think that’s inevitable.  A good musician is going to bring themselves into the song. There is no other way to go about it.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?  

My answer would vary from song to song I suppose.  You can make up a song about pretty much anything, you don’t even have to be emotionally attached to it.  In a funny I way, I often come to understand what inspired a particular song long after I wrote it.  Usually I’m not sure what it’s about or where it came from, it’s more of a feeling.

Any plans to hit the road?

Oh yeah, I’ll be doing my first headlining tour this coming November, including 20 dates on the east coast, with plans in the works to get out west as well.

What else is happening next in Jack Klatt’s world?

Now that this record is out in the world I feel like I can get to work on the next thing.  I’m excited to get back to writing again.  Winter time in Minnesota is pretty good for that.

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.

Check Also

Interview: The Opposite of Sad

Vents Magazine Interviews The Opposite of Sad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.