My Inspiration: Jack Fox – Hello Everybody | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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When someone came up with the saying ‘jack of all trades’ they surely must have been thinking of the multi-talented Jack Fox. The South Shields based artist is a well-established rapper, multi-instrumentalist, stand up comedian and, of course, drummer in Hivemind. He’s recently been taking advantage of the current lockdown situation to be as prolific as ever and follows up his recent single, Stay Indoors With Your Hands Washed (a reworking of his song Drive A Car With Your Eyes Closed) with a six-track EP called Hello Everybody. 

Here, Jack tells us the inspiration behind his latest work…

I’ve wanted to do a half and half project for quite a while, in fact, since I released 1 EP per month in 2018. So what better time when we’re all legally bound to stay indoors and have to actively find things to do? I’ve also wanted to make some songs just for the sake of making them, and make songs that I would enjoy listening to in the current environment that we’re in. There’s nothing too deep about these songs (especially the rap tracks) and I tried not to overthink the production too much. 

The instrumentals for the first 3 songs I’ve had on my laptop for over a year, but I was yet to find a place for them on any project I’ve put out. Practice Makes Perfect and The Big Leagues are heavily influenced by New York rapper/chef/renaissance man Action Bronson. The Big Leagues was made and sent to me by fellow South Shields artist Garl, who is also a big AB fan. I made the beat for Practice Makes Perfect and wanted it to sound like the feeling you’d get walking into a sit down with a mafia boss to conduct business that would either lead to you being financially stable for the rest of your life or result in you dying. Just with some really hard bars and old school football references. Scumbag is a track that my good friend Sam Thomas sent me and it gives off strong Eminem vibes, especially early Eminem. I loved the way Sam was sounding on the hook and in the bridge, so I just felt like I had to come with really silly and obnoxious lyrics to match the playful feeling of the beat. We recorded at his house at 2 am, just before his neighbour came banging on the door asking us to turn it down – sorry about that! (Not sorry)

I’ve had the radio-separating-the-genres idea since I’ve had the half and half album idea, I’m still unsure if it turns people off (bad radio-based pun) looking at the tracklist and seeing 9 ‘songs’ but 3 of them being 10 second long intervals, but I wanted to make it clear that when you’re listening to this you’re getting half rap and half rock. Plus, if it’s good enough for Queens of the Stone Age on their Songs for the Deaf album then it’s good enough for me.

Cult Hero is a song I wrote when I was trying to figure out (I’m still trying) how to make synth-wave music, mostly inspired by Miami artist Kitty and New York duo Party Supplies. I really really enjoy playing that style of funk guitar that comes in halfway through the track, it’s so much fun to play around with. As I was building the song I was having a load of fun experimenting with different sounds, I hope that comes across with the extra percussion and heavy, distorted guitars towards the end.

Step Away From Me and The 16th Second are 2 guitar riffs that I’ve had saved as voice notes on my phone for a wee while. Step Away From Me is inspired by the theme song from The Stand Up Sketch Show on ITV2, proving that I truly do need to get out the house as soon as possible. The lyrics are inspired by our current social distancing lifestyle we’re all leading, and the feeling I get listening to this song, because it makes me want to jump around and start a mosh pit, and in order to do that everyone needs to move out of my way. Immediately. It’s for your own safety. Trust me.

In all, this EP took about a week to piece together but has been in the works for a long time. I’m pleased I finally had the opportunity to make something I’ve been wanting to make for a couple of years. I had a lot of fun making this and I think that’s down to the nature of creating the songs without overthinking it, not trying to find a through-line to connect them all together with a theme, and just taking the songs for face value. I hope you enjoy listening to it and it brings a smile to your face in this weird time. It’s something a bit different! Hello Everybody.

You can listen to Hello Everybody here.

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