Hi Jack, I first heard of you through a mutual friend Ilan who shared your music video for Sky Writer. After a minute of listening I was captured by the pure genius of your sound. You wrote Sky Writer on your own and played all the instruments is that correct?
Yeah, that’s right! I originally wrote all the pre-production for the EP at my home in Walsden, West Yorkshire (UK) – then flew out to work with Kris Crummett (Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Issues, Night Verses etc) to perform all of the parts at Interlace Audio in Portland, USA. The whole process was over 10 days and then Kris mixed and mastered the whole thing afterwards!
Was this the same as the video? I had to laugh at a comment on your YouTube clip that you needed to tie up your shoe laces as you seemed to fall over a lot. Readers can watch the video here
I wrote all the music for the video yes, but it was produced by the awesome Shot By Sodium (based in Leeds, UK). And yeah! That’s a fair comment which made me laugh too 😉 – it actually took more effort than maybe seems apparent in the video, as I had to fake fall as “convincingly” as possible, which is much harder than I thought. I even had a few minor injuries, but all-in-all in was a great 2 day shoot.
Have you had mainly positive feedback from this music video?
Yes, a lot of great feedback and new friends/fans getting on board which was unexpected but a nice surprise to see people support me in this new project. 🙂
If you have had any negative feedback how do you personally cope with that?
I’d definitely take it all on board if I felt it was constructive! Fingers crossed I don’t get too much negative feedback, but in music, it’s all subjective anyway, so I’m not expecting it to be everyone’s favourite thing – I’m just lucky to have had quite a decent reaction to my small project already.
You used to be part of PaperPlane. You seemed to break up amicably and I notice that they shared your video on their page, does it mean a lot to you that you have their support?
Yes, in the end we just had differences in the way we dealt with certain things, but I’m happy to say that we’ve all recently been in touch and we couldn’t be happier for each other, so there’s only positivity towards each other.
Callum from PaperPlane is playing drums at your gig coming up at Pepp Fest, apparently one handed; do you not use many drums on your songs? ( I realise that was a joke ?)
Yeah, there’s actually a full drum section in all of the songs, the joke made, was purely to point to Callum’s talent on drums! I’m not a self-proclaimed “drummer” as many musicians are, but I’ve just had the opportunity over the years to play them frequently, so I just don’t think my “drum parts” are too much like what an actual drummer would come up with – as they’re quite obscure and sometimes massively minimalistic, hence how I belive Callum won’t have too many problems with the tracks at all!
How different was it working by yourself that working collaborating with others? Did you find it easier or did not having someone else to discuss things a bit harder?
I found it easier surprisingly, but I think that had a lot to do with the experience I gained from being with PaperPlane in the first place. I also had time constraints to work towards, which actually pushed me more to focus on the writing style and how I worked with instrumentation. I definitely value the input of others, especially those I look up to or are close to me, so I try to make my “solo” decisions, without first hearing out-side opinions as well. At the end of the day, I’m only looking to experiment with the music I make so I don’t really see that I can go too far wrong with what I release. And based on initial reactions, a lot of what I was aiming to achieve has been re-iterated back to me in feedback from both friend’s and people who might not particularly like me, but who like the music, so it’s great to take on all those thoughts and continue that way.
Can you share with us the sound that we can expect from your EP? Will the songs have a similar sound to Sky Writer?
I actually don’t think the other tracks sound much like Sky Writer at all. I think Sky Writer had the sort of “cross-over” from PaperPlane to my Grumble Bee stuff set in place, but I feel the rest of the tracks are massively diverse in their own rite too. I try to work very hard on vocal melodies, as that’s what I feel plays a massive part in whether a song is “successful”or not – which in my mind just means whether it’s accepted in lots of different age-groups and demographics purely because of a “hummable”melody. So I’m happy a lot of the people engaging with “Sky Writer” have commented on that too! So, to answer your question (sort of), I think all 4 other tracks are different to each other and to “Sky Writer. Everything will hopefully come across a little heavier live, as that’s the way I seem to like to perform personally, but on the EP, I just wanted to hopefully get across, “strong vocal melodies”, “solid production”and a sort of mix of Alt/Rock chords and rhythm’s with Pop and R’n’b melodies to keep those familiarities associated with widely “accepted”music.
Here readers can see the preview here
Do you have preorders options?
My pre-orders finished on Sunday night 8th February, but I have all my products, including current and previous recordings available at http://grumblebee.bigcartel.com
You have your first gig at Pepp Fest in Sweden, how did that gig come about?
Pepp Fest is and has been run by some of the kindest/caring people in Sweden. The people, both friends, fans & local bands there, are massively influential to my music and how I approach gigging in general. We’ve played a few shows as part of Pepp Fest’s previous festival’s, with PaperPlane and I’m happy to say the team involved with this year’s festival were just as supportive of my new project. So that show will be going ahead on March 14th at Haninge, (Stockholm) Kulturhuset, Sweden. Check out the event here – https://www.facebook.com/events/1576159119265210
After Pepp Festival what is next for Grumble Bee?
I’m actually looking to release a 2nd EP in the next couple of months, as a much smaller project online, produced at home in my studio. I’m planning to fix up a bunch of shows in the UK, much closer to home! With a string of dates across England & Scotland likely, including launch dates, to give friends over here in the UK a chance to watch the music live. There’s lots more in the pipeline, but nothing 100% confirmed, so I’ll be putting up updates regularly to keep everyone in the loop with that!
It is a great name did you think that one up yourself?
Thanks!! Yep. 🙂 It has a lot to do with certain family members and also to do with my personality growing up. Hopefully counter-acting the moaning/grumpy “Grumble” with the more positive, animal loving side of my personality with “Bee”. And it’s a villain in a power rangers episode… but that’s got nothing to do with it.
Yeah I saw that when I was doing my research. Thanks Jack for your time, I wish you all the best for the future.
Thanks for taking the time to ask me things Jen! Likewise, have a great year 🙂
You too, I wish you all the best for your solo career.
Debut solo E.P, ‘Disconnect’ 16th February 2014
available here As well as some great Merch
Like Grumble Bee on Facebook here