Interview: Q&A with The Static Jacks

17 Nov

Photo: Michael James Murray - The Calcutta Blog

The Static Jacks are holding the torch for the new wave of digital-embracing bands and artists. The band-of-CMJ 2010 easily! Check out their video for Defend Rosie to hear what all the fuss is about!

Video: Michael James Murray – The Calcutta Blog

Their music has this raw organic energy with the only comparison I can make is if Arctic Monkeys and Misfits collided for a musical big boom. I can’t stress how ace is this band is!

The Static Jacks | My Parents Lied


So what is the background story on The Static Jacks?

The Static Jacks are really just a bunch of kids that grew up together.  Ian, Nick and I are from the same town in New Jersey.  I met them when I was fourteen-years-old.  We started playing music together with two other guys throughout high school.  It was always this band.  I never played with anybody else.  And then after high school and one semester of college, the three of us realized at this time in our lives that we’d really be happier playing music together constantly.  So we recruited Mike from a local Sam Ash music store and got down to work.

And the name, Static Jacks comes from this line in the Die Antwoord song “Beat Boy.”  We hadn’t heard the song yet when we came up with the name…but that’s where it comes from.

Haha! You guys have an incredible energy live! Do you feel the live side of an artist is more important than ever given that albums lack any real revenue worth these days?

I don’t know if I believe a live show is more important than an album, if anything more people are listening to albums today because they just download anything and everything they want.  But I believe the idea of an actual entertaining show is important.  I don’t think we’re the kind of band that are going to have crazy stage theatrics, like vaudeville dancers coming out and following choreography to our songs or something…that’d be hysterical.  But I think it’s important for an audience to see that a band is actually enjoying what they’re doing and feeling passionate about it.  I like that intensity.  It’s a release for all of us.

It shows in your sets! Do you think the internet has been a blessing or a curse for up-and-coming musicians? There must be a fine balance between promotion and getting paid?

It’s a real love hate relationship.  I love it for giving us the possibility of reaching so many people from the comforts of my house, but I hate it for distracting me with an endless amount of videos from other artists and bands I like when I could be working on our own material!  I find most of my wasted time is spent on Youtube or some site watching interviews with other bands, tour videos they make or random trash.  I love it all.  So I try to put out as much material for us as possible, knowing from the other side how much it means to me when bands are connected.  I don’t like being too connected though.  Even as a user, I can safely say constant tweeting from bands ruins any sense of mystery.

I noticed on your site you’re offering free downloads! Is there a strategy/reason behind this? Do you plan to do this with Laces?

Yeah!  Free downloads are fantastic.  Especially when they’re encouraged.  It’s like that line from the Scorsese film The Departed.  Jack Nicholson’s character says something like “We’re all dying.  Act accordingly.”  The days of paying for an album are dead, so everyone has to adjust.  I don’t think we’re ever going to fully give Laces away for free, although we did give it out last holiday season, but all five songs from it are definitely floating around the web somewhere.  It would be easy to piece together if you tried.

What is your grasp on social media? Is there any platforms that really stand out and make a difference in your opinion?

Honestly, probably Facebook.  Between our personal pages and the band’s page it’s really the best way to reach the largest amount of people.  Myspace is pretty much dead.  I’d say they pushed the knife in a bit further with this new design. It’s pretty ugly.  But yeah, Facebook has practically taken over everything.  It’s taken over the lives of pretty much everyone I know.  I think more people get our band updates from Facebook than they do from our actual website.

What are your thoughts on Record Labels in this digital age!? Do you think they still hold any real value? What do you think is their role today!?

It seems like record labels are still valuable for certain genres.  I’d say they’re still important for what is mostly considered pop music or music that has the possibility of mass interest.  But for people making some avant garde jazz or something, it probably doesn’t matter too much.  I’d say if you’re trying to really reach a large audience labels are still important to back you and push you.  Young labels seem to get it.  They know what they’re doing in today’s world.  It’s the old one’s I’m skeptical of.  I’d say their role today is similar to that of a buyer in the visual art world.  They commission artists to make work they’d most likely never be able to make on their own dime.  And obviously there are always exceptions.  Some people get it right without anyone’s help.  But yeah, I think it’s all money for albums.  Music videos mean absolutely nothing today, unless you’re Lady Gaga.  And we’re not Lady Gaga.

Last question: Do you still buys physical albums or do you just download everything these days!?

Haha.  You caught me.  I definitely don’t download EVERYTHING, but I used to.  I’d say a year ago I rediscovered the importance of holding actual objects, whether it be CDs, DVDs or photographs.  I just realized that when the internet eventually dies or all computers combust or some shit that all documentation of my life and personal inventory of music, movies and artwork will completely be erased.   How scary is that?  I’d say a large majority of photos that either I’ve taken of friends and family or photos that have been taken of me in the last 5 or 6 years have never been printed.  What happened to photo albums?! They only exist on Facebook or iPhoto now.  That’s not very permanent.  But back to the point, I still enjoy buying albums.  It means something to me.

…but I am known to sample a few before shelling out hard earned cash!

Interview:

Henry – The Static Jacks

http://myspace.com/thestaticjacks

http://thestaticjacks.com

2 Responses to “Interview: Q&A with The Static Jacks”

  1. Rich November 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    love it dude, good shout x

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Q&A with The Static Jacks on Guerilla and Chalk « Fenway Recordings - November 18, 2010

    [...] The Static Jacks talk about growing up playing together as a band, the current state of the music industry and playing live in this Q&A with Guerilla and Chalk.  Read the full story, here. [...]

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