- Wed, 2008-11-26 10:39
Jay Jay Pistolet is the solo project of 21 year old Justin Hayward Young. He has just released his Happy Birthday You EP, which was produced by Charlie Fink of Noah And The Whale. Charlie Fink was also the mastermind producer behind the 2008 Mercury Music Prize nominated album of Laura Marling. Jay Jay Pistolet was personally chosen by Laura as support on her November tour, and though his music references the modern folk that has led to the success of both Charlie Fink and Laura Marling, his clear style and talent ensures that the mark it leaves upon the listener is clearly his own.
His song writing is mature and touching, with references to young love that are personal and timeless all in the same breath. Yet to release a full album, we caught up with Justin for a quick chat about working with Charlie Fink, inspiration, writing songs and his plans for the future.
"I Like Music because…it's capable of invoking every conceivable emotion.” Jay Jay Pistolet
ILM: The Happy Birthday You EP is your latest release. Can you give us your own personal description of the vibe of the EP?
Justin: It's very hard to be objective about something so subjective. I think it is the job of the listener to make their own mind up. I like to think of it as a modern pop record with a strong archaic sentiment. I think the EP references a number of genres and numerous eras.
ILM: It was produced by Charlie Fink. How did you find that experience? How did you work together in the studio and what did you learn?
Justin: Charlie is a fantastic producer. I loved working with him. It was really refreshing to work with someone that understood what I was trying to achieve. I've heard it said that a good producer should be able to finish your musical sentences. Adam Beach produced one of the tracks on there too and I feel the same about his input. These guys took my ideas and brought them out of their shells. This EP has been really important for my musical development.
ILM: You have played numerous live dates and support slots. Out of all the gigs you have done, is there one that stands out for you?
Justin: I think playing the O2 arena. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would play a venue that size. It's not that I lack ambition, it's just that playing to 20,000 people at one gig has never been part of the game plan!
ILM: Is there a track you like to play live the most?
Justin: I love to play Always On My Way Back Home. For me, it feels complete when I play it.
ILM: What do you look forward to about playing live?
Justin: I love playing live. It's your opportunity to connect with people. I think if you are experiencing the same emotions as the audience when you are playing then it's job done.
ILM: Can you describe the Jay Jay Pistolet process of writing and recording music?
Justin: For me, writing is about melodies and lyrics. If I'm happy with the lyrics and the melody then the song is complete. Recording is completely different. I think recording is the most exciting part of making music. I feel most creative in the studio. It's the place where the songs really come alive.
ILM: Loads of people are using the internet these days and getting their music out there before even getting a record deal. How has the internet affected you and your music?
Justin: I owe a lot to the internet. I think it's a fantastic medium for aspiring musicians. Myspace is a great place to test the water with new songs and meet other musicians.
ILM: Where do you get your inspirations from?
Justin: I'm inspired by what I know; the people around me, places I visit, stories I hear. I also write about things I don't really understand. I'm a romantic in that sense.
ILM: What are the future plans for Jay Jay Pistolet?
Justin: I'd like to do another EP in the new year. I'm not ready for an album yet. I'm not good enough. I'm going to keep on writing and try to get better!
ILM: What’s in your CD player right now?
Justin: I just bought a load of new CDs. Right now M.I.A is playing. I'm finding it hard to concentrate.
ILM: What is one of the best live gigs you have seen as a punter?
Justin: Ryan Adams at Colston Hall was pretty special. It made me want to be a solo artist.
ILM: What is your earliest musical memory?
Justin: Impersonating Elvis and Buddy Holly from as pretty much as early as I can remember.