INTERVIEW: Jack The Radio

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

Kevin: Staying positive and trying to focus on our music.

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

George: The song talks about finding balance in the world. Musically it pulls a lot of influences from rock ‘n roll greats like the Rolling Stones, soul, Latin rhythms, and if you listen closely you can even hear some sitar sounds.

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

George: It was more the culmination of many events. It’s the idea that bad actions have a ripple effect on the world around them and the idea there is a force that restores balance.

How was the process and experience behind the video?

George: Since the world is on different levels of lockdown due to COVID-19 we’ve had to approach things a little differently. An animated music video using art from the companion comic book based on the new album seemed like a no brainer after I saw all the incredible artwork that came in for the book from some of the best comic artists from around the world. I had already worked with director Justin Zimmerman and team to create a trailer for the comic so it was a smooth process working together on the music video.

Why naming the record after this song in particular?

Kevin: We were hanging out at our local brewery (shout out to Big Boss) and discussing names for the record.  We all agreed that the name should either be the title of one of the songs or taken from lyrics on the record.  Although we were considering longer titles, Danny felt strongly that a one-word title would be appropriate as it would continue the tradition from the band’s previous albums.  At some point I suggested “Creatures” and everyone immediately agreed.  For me, having that song as the title track really sums up the general theme of the record.

With a comic book attached to the album – did you write all songs with this in mind or the comic come after?

George: The comic came along toward the latter half of making the record. We had most of the songs recorded and two specifically stuck out lyrically as something that might work as short comics. So I reached out to some artists I knew and put together rough scripts and they said yes. Then I reached out to a few more artists and before I knew it I had a book going.

How was the recording and writing process?

Kevin: I can’t speak to the writing process but recording was hard work and also a lot of fun.  I had the pleasure of working with bandmates and an engineer who pushed each other musically and artistically to make a record that we are all very proud of.

George: Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. We started tracking the record in 2017 so it took us over three years to complete and I started writing some of these songs earlier than that.

Was the approach to the writing less as an album and more like a score or soundtrack?

George: Lyrically and sonically I always had the goal that the individual songs would come together as a collective album. We wanted each song to work together as a whole. We actually recorded 18 tracks so we were able to be somewhat selective in how we put it all together. But like a score we wanted the album to have dynamics, ups and downs, in the tempos, feel, mood, etc.

How would you say your particular upbringing influenced the writing on this album?

George: Growing up in multiple parts of North Carolina I can’t help but be influenced by our state’s music. It’s home to bluegrass, country and blues legend Doc Watson who I was introduced to later in life. It’s also home to George Clinton who led Parliament Funkadelic. More recently we’re surrounded by talents of the Avett Brothers, Iron and Wine, Hiss Golden Messenger and so many other great singers and songwriters. We can’t help but absorb the folk and roots influences, with the country, blues, and groove oriented rock sounds.

What were some of the high and lows you get to explore on this record?

George: Chasing money, chasing dreams, feeling like an underdog, getting fired, losing someone, being stuck in a bad relationship, feeling like the world is ending, finding balance, finding value in failure, and finding your own path. I hope people listen and apply their own experiences to the lyrics and find connections.

Any plans to hit the road?

Kevin: With the pandemic ever-present, planning a tour is nearly impossible.  We are all eager to return to the stage and will get back out there as soon as it is safe!

What else is happening next in Jack The Radio’s world?

George: The debut comic book hits shows around the world Wednesday, 6/24 and the album will be out on vinyl, cd, and streaming services 7/10. We’ve had some great early support so we’ve got a lot of orders to pull together and ship. We’re also working some new live performance videos to roll out since shows are on hold indefinitely.

Watch the lyric video HERE.

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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