Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Interview with Just Jack - Noize Makes Enemies



“So, do want me to call you, Just Jack or just…Jack?”

Perhaps not the most professional way to begin an early telephone interview on a Monday morning with one of pop music’s most astute artists, but it soon becomes clear that Jack Allsop is as down to earth as he is musically talented. Even after the success of his previous album, Jack seems to have remained rather humbled by his whole career:

“I never really expected to be in pop music so to be in this position, even beyond selling 10 albums is quite amazing. It was all quite accidental and I had never really planned to do this and so everything is a highlight for me.”

But after almost two years out of the spotlight, Just Jack is, well…back and newly inspired by the likes of Passion Pit and MSTRKRFT, as well as a range of Dance and Electro bands from Sinden and Diplo (“and that sort of ghetto house live music or whatever the fuck they call it!”), something that undoubtedly enriches the diversity of his new album:

“A bit of an electronic thing, an orchestral thing, a folky thing and a disco thing. A bit all over the place and more of the same experimenting with different types of music really and writing about stuff that you don’t normally hear about.”

You might not believe that these are the rather nonsense descriptive ramblings of one music’s most perceptive social commentators but explaining the foundations of his new album, All Night Cinema, it seems once again, Jack has used his winning formula to enhance his music with a variety of genres, styles and character fused narratives.

And new single, ‘The Day I Died’ is no exception. Out Monday, with lyrics like: /The day I died was the best day of my life/ Tell my friends and my kids and my wife/ Everything will be alright/, Jack has characteristically embodied all the dissatisfaction that people so often feel with life and combined it with his innate overarching ability to create a sort of soberness that is almost reassuring in it’s accuracy:

“’The Day I Died’ is probably my favourite track on the album because of a combination of things. It’s the one I’m most excited by. I’m just happy to have a tune out that’s so unlike everything else that’s out there. It’s sort of sad, but all the radio stations are still playing it.”

And Jack has even enlisted the help of James Nesbitt (of Cold Feet fame) to play a family man who, in a sort of ode to Bruce Willis in ‘The Sixth Sense’, spends the duration of the video going about an unusually good day, before realising he is already dead; having been hit by a London cab earlier on:

“It’s mad! I had a friend who knows him [James Nesbitt] and I just kind of asked if he would be around and interested in doing it and he was. It was mental filming it though on the day and just seeing how a high calibre actor works and seeing people in the street just double taking. You forget just how massively famous he is”

Based on the feedback that websites like YouTube demonstrate, it would seem that Jack has struck gold with his pairing of an excellent video with a uniquely poignant summer release. Something that is perhaps also demonstrated his jam-packed next few months:

“I’m doing Bestival in September, I’m going to Switzerland the day after tomorrow, The Electric Picnic in Ireland. I’ve been doing new music in my studio just for fun and a festival in France, as well as a European tour in October and hopefully a UK tour in November. It feels good to be doing stuff”

For an artist that struggled to find his way into the limelight, it seems that London-born Jack has finally found the footing he deserves. Bridging genres and musical styles in a way that is quite welcome in an industry that thrives on pigeonholing everything about artists from hairstyles to jeans, Just Jack looks set to finally enjoy the success and recognition he’s worked so hard for.

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