- Fri, 2008-04-04 16:24
24 year old Jack Savoretti needs little more than the open road and a guitar to keep him happy. Having just released an unplugged version of 5 songs from his album 'Between The Minds' along with 4 new acoustic songs, Jack is off to a great start. Having gained praise across the board, with a string of comparisons to many established singer/songwriters including Nick Drake and Damien Rice, Jack looks set to embark on a blossoming career.
Having just completed a spontaneous busking tour around Cafe Nero venues and having toured with Corrine Bailey-Rae, I Like Music caught up with Jack to chat about the first song he ever wrote, what makes a good festival and treading the fine line between the music industry and passion.
"I Like Music because… It is free in every sense of the word. Whoever is selling it, it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, to the individual, it is free.” Jack Savoretti
ILM: Your double a-side single Gypsy Love/One Man Band is out now. Please describe the track and its whole vibe?
Jack: One Man Band is a song for anyone you see out there on the streets. People walking around trying to make a living with a guitar. Anyone who is trying to find their way. It's about what you have got to do and just being out there.
Gypsy Love I will leave open to interpretation. I was fortunate to be able to get Dawn Kinnard, whose single is also out now, to sing on the recording. We play with a fantastic band, The Suppliers. They created that sound and that vibe and they worked on most of the album with us. It was great being able to give the song life. I wrote it a while back, so it was really nice.
ILM: Your Between The Minds Deluxe Unplugged Edition album is also out now. Which track did you have the most fun laying down in the studio?
Jack: They were all fun. Some of them were hair pulling. A lot of people asked us on the road, Do you have an accoustic album, do you have a live album? So we thought, let's just go in the studio and try and recreate these songs in the most raw way possible: how they sound when they are written. I didn't want to go into the studio and just re-create a live gig. It was a way of getting in the studio and recreating the songs in a way that will never be done again; something special, rather than just a remake of a live gig. We got a few recordings and we chose the ones that were the most unique.
I don't know if I can pick favourites. But 'Black Rain' was interesting. I don't know if I will ever be able to play it again because I had my guitar tuned in a very strange way. I don't remember how I tuned it! I was laying it down and was just like check this out, this sounds like Black Rain! It ended up sounding so good so we just went with it.
ILM: You love playing acoustically and traveling around playing your music, what’s been the best moment and most bizarre moment when it comes to touring/gigging?
Jack: The whole thing is pretty bizarre. You meet people who feel closer to you than you expect because they have lived with your music and allowed it to become part of their life. When they meet you they are very familiar with you. They approach you as if you know them. It puts you in very bizarre circumstances, because you are meeting people that you really don't know and they talk and share things with you as if you do know them. Sometimes they ask of you and it is hard to reciprocate because you don't know them! It is hard because it is a sensitive place. You don't want to be cold, but you do want to keep your feet on the ground, you don't want to get lost in it.
ILM: You’ve been writing, both poetry and songs, for a long time. Can you remember the first song you wrote?
Jack: I don't remember what it was called, but I remember what it was about. It was about Autumn. It was a school assignment and I was asked to write a poem. I couldn't really do it so I wrote a song. I was messing around on a guitar and it kinda happened. Autumn used to be my favourite month when I lived in Switzerland. Autumn is pretty nuts in the Alps. There is such an intensity of wildness. There is a carpet of leaves and I remember it being about that.
ILM: You did a Café Nero busking tour during February and March, how was that? Any highlights/comical moments?
Jack: The whole thing was pretty comical. I was lucky that my tour manager is a good friend of mine. We went along and it was just pretty bizarre. We were busking, which is an interesting way of approaching it! By nature people in England keep to themselves. To be sitting in a cafe and to have someone walk in and start shouting at you... I think freaked a lot of people out to begin with. A lot of people thought this is illegal, this guy is going to get kicked out or we are going to have to give him money. The looks we got at the beginnning were always a bit dodgy. We weren't selling anything, we were actually going around giving out free singles and flyers. When people realised that we weren't there to take, we were only there to give, their reception was amazing.
ILM: What’s your best festival moment?
Jack: We just came back from SXSW. That was incredible. It was tough because it was hard work. The whole climate is really intense, really intimidating. There is so much music. So many amazing musicians, a lot of songs, a lot of song writers, a lot of goodness. It can be a bit intimidating. You are amongst people that take what they do really seriosuly. The kind of talent and quality of music is overwhelming.
ILM: What makes a good festival?
Jack: For me a good festival is a laid back festival. Where people aren't too quick to judge or too quick to put down. People are there to take everything for what it is. If you go to an accoustic tent then you are there because you want to hear songs. If you go and see a band you are there because you wnat to see them, rather than going to see something expecting something else and then just criticising. That always creates a bad situation for musicians and the audience.
ILM: You’re living your dream, career wise, what’s your advice to young people on pursuing their dream career?
Jack: What I learn every day is that in something like the music industry, as an example, there is industry and then there is music. I think there is that with all industry. You have to get your head around the fact that there is business and there is passion. They do go hand in hand for some people, but some people would rather get lost in passion and others would rather get lost in business. I personally try to find as much walking space as there is on that thin line that goes between the two. Without losing sight of either. You have to make a living but if you can make a living doing what you love then you will be much happier than if you are trying to make a living doing what somebody is making you do.
ILM: You’ve supported the incredible Corinne Bailey Rae and Christopher Cross? How were those tours? Any highlights/anecdotes?
Jack: Corrine is the personification of humanity. It was a perfect time for me to go on the road with her because I had never played in front of a crowd like that and I was put in the deep end playing in fornt of pretty large crowds. Those people weren't necessarily there to listen to a guy playing on a guitar. Her audiences were amazing. They were so kind. They gave the time to listen to the song. She has a work ethic that is admirable. There is a lot more that goes into a tour than I have ever imagined. It is a lot of hard work. What you see on stage is the easiest part. It is when whoever you see on stage is happy. It is during the other 22 hours that it can be a bit intense and tricky.
ILM: You’ve been invited by VisitBritain to be the ‘ambassador’ for Britain in America and will be touring US colleges in spring and early summer. What are you looking forward to most about that?
Jack: A chance to get out there and play. A lot of the music I grew up with is American. I like going out to the States. I like the music scene in the states. There are a lot more avenues. They are not too wrapped around pop culture. They have a huge pop culture but they have a lot of space and time for a lot of different types of music. They have time to sit and listen to songs. They are always really polite.
ILM: What do you like most about Britain?
Jack: The pace. It is fast. It is ever-changing. I like trying to find my bearings here. I was born here. I don't identify with a single culture. But while I am here, I like finding the things that I identify with. I also like finding the things I really dislike and really don't connect with!