Posted On 30 Nov 2017
They recently released their video for “She’s A Mystery.” It’s taken from their debut EP out this past October. Heavily influenced by the British Invasion of the 1960s and 70s, The Jacks have developed a rare sound that is unruly, bold, and hard to be ignored.
The Jacks stand by their claim, “We are not a rock band, we are a rock n’ roll band.” With a heavy influence from the British Invasion of the 1960s and 70s, The Jacks have developed a rare sound that is unruly, bold, and hard to be ignored – they won’t settle for blending into the scene.
From their live shows to their recording techniques, they keep integrity to who they are and how they believe their music should sound. The 4-piece doesn’t hide behind auto-tune, click tracks, or backing tracks, what you hear is what you get.
Recently, The Jacks won the KLOS neXt2rock SoCal Regionals at LA’s Viper Room. They are in the running for the National Finals now.
Jonny Stanback – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Tom Hunter – Lead Guitar
Scott Stone – Bass Guitar
Josh Roossin – Drums & Percussion
Connect With The Jacks Here:
Learn more about The Jacks in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview you all today? Is there music playing in the background? What is it?
We’re all in our studio today going over some new songs for our upcoming shows.
We’re always listening to music, whether its peers of ours also in the local music scene or bands that are some our biggest inspirations. Right now we are listening to a lot of artists’ first albums. Cage the Elephant’s eponymous first album is currently being played, more specifically “Back Against the Wall.” We’ve found that this album perfectly showcases strong songwriting without being heavily produced. There’s a rawness to it that is honest, but doesn’t detract from how great the songs are.
What is one song that you are all loving right now?
We’re really into the Orwells. Their song “M.A.D.” off their new album is one of our favorites right now.
What is a song that you disagree about loving right now?
Jonny and myself (Scott) draw huge inspiration from all of Oasis’ catalogue, while Tom and Josh do like it, they aren’t as in love with it as we are. Their first album, “Definitely Maybe” has the same genuine quality of rock n’ roll that we strive for. Especially the song “Cigarettes and Alcohol” there is something about that song that Jonny and I believe encapsulates exactly what the rock genre should go for. Josh and Tom don’t see eye to eye about it… but they will come around to it.
How did this group first come to be?
The formation of this band is kind of a long story. Tom and myself (Scott) grew up together and have been best friends for as long as I can remember. We always shared the same taste in music and were obsessed with the Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin. I remember we went to see the Who at the Hollywood Bowl when we were 13 years old. We sat in the nosebleeds and after the concert I remember looking at Tom and just saying, “we have to start a band.” We formed a cover band called in middle school and continually played music together throughout high school and college. It wasn’t until we saw Jonny playing at an open mic night that we realized that we should seriously pursue the band as a career. We got Jonny to join and immediately started writing original music. We had been playing and writing all different types of music with a different drummer at the time, but it wasn’t until Josh joined that we truly found our image and sound. He brought a new passion and sense of direction that shaped us into who we are now.
Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together?
I guess there wasn’t an exact moment because we are all best friends. We get along so well that it has just been natural. That’s what I love about being in this band the most, even through the tough times, we still enjoy every moment of it.
Was it hard to come up with a name that you could all agree on? How did you come up with your band name?
We went through several band names before we settled on the Jacks, they were pretty bad so I don’t know if I even want to mention them… Anyways, we played a show at our local dive bar and after the show an older guy started talking to us and said “Y’all are bunch of Jack of all Trades.” And we thought that’s kinda cool. We wanted a name that’s easy to spell and has a classic sound to it so we just shortened it down to “The Jacks.”
How do you think this band has been influenced by the city you are from? How did that particular music scene affect you all?
We’re from a true beach town so you can hear that in most of the bands from our area. There’s a really cool psychedelic/surf rock revival going on in Southern California that was spearheaded by the Growlers. We use inspiration from that but we really try to differentiate ourselves by being a rock n’ roll band.
How does 2017 compare to last year? What all are you most excited about for 2018? Will any of you make New Year’s Resolutions?
2017 has been a huge growing period for our band. We started in 2016 so we used that year to really learn how to be a band. Now in 2017 we have finalized our lineup, honed in on more of a direct image and sound. Really exciting things have started to happen, such as having one of our songs on a major radio station. We’re really looking forward to 2018 and the future, we’re looking to book a spring tour in 2018 and spreading our music as much as possible. In terms of New Years Resolutions, we’re looking to be signed to a label and management company by the end of the Spring.
Let’s talk about your recently released EP. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
We actually haven’t released the EP yet, look for that to come out in early 2018. But putting this EP together was a really cool, collaborative experience for all of us. The biggest challenge was that we wrote all of the songs about 2 months before we recorded them. Josh had just joined and we knew we had the dates for the recording studio booked in late August. We went through some writers block because we had to make sure all the songs were cohesive and fit what we wanted to define as “our sound.” We’re really excited about this EP because we wrote, produced, and mixed it ourselves. It’s the most honest version of the songs that it could possibly be.
What was the inspiration for your single “She’s A Mystery”? How did you all about writing it?
Jonny initially came in with the idea for “She’s A Mystery.” He had a solid structure for it and we fully finished it together in the studio. The lyrics are about the thrill of uncertainty in relationships.
Generally, how do you go about putting a song together, from initial idea to full blown track?
Every song is different but usually, Jonny or Tom will come to the studio with an idea for a song, whether it’s a chord progression or more of a complete idea. We then will run with that idea and fully figure it out. Sometimes if there’s a song we are really excited about, we will perform it live even though it’s not totally finished and Jonny will have to freestyle lyrics.
I’d love to more about how this group has been heavily influenced by the British Invasion of the 60’s and 70’s?
Growing up, we all thought they were the coolest bands of all time. Honestly, there is no one cooler than the Rolling Stones. We also love that those bands have written such timeless music. If you played any of their music today, it still sounds contemporary and never gets old.
While this may be difficult to answer, where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording or elsewhere?
We’re all happiest on stage, for anyone who has ever performed, they know how addicting it is. A close second to that is whenever we are traveling in a car together and just hanging out. We’re able to find the most mundane moments the most entertaining.
Do you have any other touring plans to end the year with? Where can people see you perform live next?
Our next show show is in Los Angeles at Resident in the Arts District. We’re playing with some other awesome musicians that night (Trubdr. Adam Road and MOONZz). If you’re in the area, definitely come out, it will be a show you don’t want to miss. We are working on a tour for the springtime though so we can make it through all of America.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect this difficult time?
It is a really crazy and divisive time right now. Being in a band is an incredible way to use that frustration in a positive way. I know a ton of great musicians who are writing powerful music that uses their experiences as inspiration for their songs. Personally, we are trying to write upbeat and fun music that can be used for more of an escape. Although some of our songs have serious meanings behind them, we believe that rock n’ roll shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now? Who would you love to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
We have a lot of favorite contemporary artists, the Orwells, Cage the Elephant, Portugal. the Man are all incredible bands that somehow find ways to continue to be relevant and improve their music by expanding their sound. There’s also Warbly Jets who are a local LA band that has been killing it recently. If we could tour with any band now, Greta Van Fleet would be one of our top choices. They blowing up in the rock scene and share a similar taste and appreciation of music that we do.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Our music is mostly about being young and doing what we can to enjoy life. It’s about relationships, not just intimate ones, but also family and friend relationships we have experienced in life. We hope that people listen to our music and hear us, we do what we can to not hide behind auto-tune or backing tracks so that people get the most authentic versions of ourselves. It also helps with our live shows because we don’t add any extra flares live, we stay as true to the records as possible.