Having just released his debut album, Jake Brett And The Boleen Modifier, Multi-Instrumentalist and Producer Jake Brett is steadily building his fanbase gaining coverage in Vibe, The Argus and The Music Site, whilst playing a variety of music/visual shows around the south east and hosting Art Exhibitions. We caught up with Jake for a quick chat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s the story behind Jake Brett and how would you describe your sound?
It is something I avoided for a while. I was always in bands; I was scared of being a solo artist as I felt it would a fairly lonely endeavor. But when I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of music in bands I decided to start my own project. Its become a highly collaborative experience, more so than in bands actually. I have a larger pool of musicians, filmmakers, producers and visual artists to collaborate with now, its really opened me up.
In terms of describing my sound, I change quite a lot so I have trouble pinning it down. The record I just put out is defiantly in the realm of art rock and was very rhythmically driven. But I couldn’t be further from that place now. The live show I put on, the tracks from the album are a lot more minimal and stripped back with more focus on ambiance.
What motivates you to create music and what inspires it, your aesthetic and vibe?
Most of the time I can switch the inspiration on, I treat it like a work out routine almost. I tend to work on records as a whole, so when I’m working on a song I’m usually thinking about how it interacts with the others, this gives me a grand goal to work at. I tend to do the Louis CK approach with his stand up. He used to put together a solid set then he would use his closing bit to open his future sets, then he would repeat that process so that way his set would get stronger.
In terms of subject matter I try to be clever and read William S Burroughs or George Orwell, or listen to music from country’s I have never heard (currently studying a lot of music from Honduras), but to be honest a large amount of my inspiration on what to write about comes from comedians like Louis CK, Bill Burr or Joe Rogan and podcasts as well, just fairly open discussions about the way we see each other as people. I feel balance is good, if you spend your time trying to be to deep, your just end up turning into that dude at an open mic night that thinks he’s Jack Kerouac, but I do want to say something I feel is important.
Musically the list is endless so I won’t try and name drop to much. Just came out of a big Ryuichi Sakamoto phase. But I kind of switched gears and have been listening to a lot of the new Childish Gambino record, and was listening to the new Bon Iver record on repeat, but since they canceled their UK tour dates I can’t listen to it now. It makes me sad.
You have a very strong visual aesthetic – is that important to you and for your music?
Yes, absolutely. I was always influenced by the likes of Bjork, The Flaming Lips and David Bowie. I love having consistent imagery that fits the music. Now days with so much focused on social media, you can turn your social media presence into a whole art form in itself, rather than just a document of what you do. There is a lot of little things I hide away in there, and just have fun with. I think the whole Vaporware movement is really the pinnacle of it, the music, and the visuals and even the fonts on the comment sections of it have become a whole interactive piece of art. I don’t really understand it, and I love that.
You’re a busy guy outside your musical career – could you tell us a bit about the creative other stuff you get up to besides music?
Outside of music I ran a Podcast with Jaime Knox (check him out), but that’s been on hold for a while as I’m working on a few other things. I record other artists and play for other artists.
Getting quite into making videos as well.
I love to cook.
I also do lots of stuff that I’m shit at, I Paint, I write stand up, film scripts.
I have no idea how to do any of that, and I like it that way. Its really expressive but doesn’t feel like something that I have to work at, it helps me switch of from music and I really think its important to have at least one hobby your shit at.
Also Minecraft is pretty important to me.
Tell to us about your most recent album – Jake Brett and the Boleen Modifier – what’s the story behind the album?
In short, the album is a learning curve for me. It took way to long, ran into a lot of road blocks making it and by the end of it, It was a battle to finish. It was my first time fully self-producing an album and handling a lot of the stuff behind the scenes. So I’m happy with the result and learnt a lot doing it. The album was actually finished quite a while ago, but doing all the other stuff was the hard part. It was a huge relief to have it out and the release show was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Just to have it in physical form was a huge victory.
Finally, what does the future have in store for Jake Brett – gigs, releases, new ventures?
Well, as I said the album took a while to put out after it was finished. I have already written the majority of the next record. I’m taking my time with It. Its coming along very fast though, so im making sure to take breaks from it and let it sit so I don’t loose myself in it to much. So I take breaks, listen to new music and let it influence the record organically. Right now a lot of gospel and Rnb has been making its way into the arrangements, but soon as it goes to far one way, I take a break and find something new to throw in there. But it will be a lot simpler than the last record, that’s the main focus. To let the songs stand up on their own two feet.
Other than that I have 2 smaller releases planned this year, a lot more gigs being announced (via facebook). Im also working with a whole bunch of other artists on a lot of projects this year. Most I have to keep on the DL right now, but I’m working soon with Jessica Murae on something soon – i’m really excited.
Got to say though I couldn’t do the album alone here was all the people involved:
- George Donoghue: Mixing, Engineering
- Charles Dixon: Mixing, Additional Production (Pulse), Engineering, Cameraman (White Guilt)
- Dan Earl: Mastering
- Ryan Bradley: Engineering (Don’t Wanna Stop, LU)
- Tommy Peach: Trumpet (Pulse, Don’t Wanna Stop, Wes Andersong)
- Tom Jordan: Backing Vocals (Pulse)
- Dexter Ash George: Video Director and Editor (Pulse, Don’t Wanna Stop), Video
- Sergej Novosad: Video Editor (White Guilt)
- Lottie Norton: Album Artwork
- Paul Hammond: Cameraman, Director (10 Short Pieces) and Photography
- Corrine Noel: Photography
- Helen Cheng: Hair and Make Up, Artistic Consultant (Music, Style and Life)
- Mum and Dad: Therapists
And also a huge thanks to The Watford Museum Staff for hosting my album launch and Josh, Alan, Faddy, Paul, Loyd, Lewis and Chris for being involved in the night.