We know there’s new bands everyone is throwing at you left and right but we’re going to stop you right now to recommend you to listen to THIS band first: The Jacks. The quartet is made up of Jonny Stanback (vocals & rhythm guitar), Tom Hunter (lead guitar), Scott Stone (bass guitar), and Josh Roossin (drums & percussion). They make it very clear for everyone: “We are not a rock band, we are a rock n’ roll band.”
Coming from Southern California, these four are ready to get out of the sunny area to pretty much takeover whatever we’re streaming now and blast their music instead. It’ll be their version of the British Invasion but in this case, it’ll be The Jacks invasion. Doesn’t sound as catchy, but hey it works! We’re on board with it. Check out our interview with bassist Scott Stone where we learn how they all came together, their British Invasion influence, and what it’s like to be a fly on the wall during one of their songwriting sessions.
The Young Folks: Absolutely love following a band’s musical journey and I’m so excited to follow yours! I was wondering, how did you all come together to form The Jacks? Did you guys know each other beforehand? Was it a Craiglist posting? I’ve heard some crazy stories before.
Scott Stone: The Jacks took a long time to form. Myself (Scott Stone) and Tom Hunter have been playing together since middle school. We started out just for fun covering all of our favorite artists (The Who, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix). It wasn’t until the end of college that we met Jonny Stanback at an open mic night and got him to join the band. We immediately started writing original music together and really liked where the sound was going. After our original drummer left the band, we got Josh to join. He happened to grow up in our same hometown and had some mutual friends. Since he has joined, we have really honed in on our sound and image. He brought a new sense of music that really shaped where we are today.
The Young Folks: Also – how did you come to the decision you’ll be called The Jacks?
Stone: Kind of a strange story but we used to play at our local dive bar, the Blue Beet. We would play four hour sets and had such a diverse catalogue of songs, including our originals and covers from almost every decade. After the set, we were told we are “a bunch of jacks of all trades” because we could play a lot of different styles of music. We shortened it down to ”The Jacks” and liked the classic sound of it. Haven’t looked back since.
The Young Folks: It’s been said The Jacks have been heavily influenced from the British Invasion of the 60s and 70s. Who is it exactly you look up to in terms of style of music to even stage presence?
Stone: We all grew up obsessed with those bands from that time. Mainly the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. Those aren’t our only influences though, we are inspired by the Strokes, Oasis, Cage The Elephant, and Portugal. The Man as well. All of those bands are incredibly innovative and have written timeless music like we strive to do. Also, in terms of live performances, those bands not only have great music but also interact and entertain every time they perform.
The Young Folks: If I were a fly on the wall during a songwriting session with The Jacks, what would that be like? What is the typical process like putting a song together?
Stone: Writing music for us is incredibly fun and natural. Usually, Jonny or Tom will come into the studio with a chord progression or melody line and we will fully structure it from there to make it fit in our sound. A lot of times, we won’t even have a song fully finished but will perform it live to see how the audience reacts and if it’s worth keeping.
The Young Folks: Jumping off the last question, how do you all come to a consensus of what lyrics works, what melody you want in the song, etc?
Stone: Jonny usually comes up with the melody lines. Lyrics are always different but a lot of times, Jonny will have to freestyle the lyrics live because the song isn’t fully finished. Luckily, he comes up with a lot of great lyrics on the spot and we finish the song from there.
The Young Folks: When you first all performed for the first time, what was that like? Over time, what has it been like performing to brand new audiences who have never heard of the band yet?
Stone: First time (two years ago) we performed together, we were terrible. I mean every band is. No one should expect to be able to start a band, walk on stage and play the greatest show ever. But, that’s the most fun part of starting a band, especially when the members of the band are your best friends. It’s all about growing, getting better, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Since then though, we work hard to make every show better than the last and it never gets stale. Our live shows have now become the strongest part of our band. Every chance we get to play for a new audience the feedback has been incredible.
The Young Folks: With your new EP in the works, what can our audience expect to hear? How long did it take to put together?
Stone: It’s five rock n’ roll songs that showcase our style of music. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we do take the music we release very seriously. Even though the songs, for the most part, are upbeat and lighthearted, we worked hard to make sure that we could connect with our audience through them. We wrote the EP over the course of 3 months right after Josh joined the band. It took us about 4 days to record and 4 days to mix. The process of making it was pretty fast.
The Young Folks: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned working with one another?
Stone: Never take anything too seriously. We are constantly making jokes at each others expense and that helps us get through the bad times but doesn’t let any of the big moments get away from us.
The Young Folks: Rock bands play almost anywhere and everywhere. What would be your dream venue or maybe even festival you’d love to perform at?
Stone: We will play anywhere that there are people there to listen to us. If we had to pick one festival, though, it would probably be Glastonbury. All of the greats have been there.