Vancouverite Terence Jack sways with compelling story-telling and adventurous spirit. After an impressive debut Reckless Abandon, Terence continues to share his life experiences with a mighty new single Eastern Rise, taken from an upcoming EP Never Get Back.
Currently on 30-date cross Canada tour, Terence took time to speak to MGMB and introduce his music to new listeners.
Eva: Let’s start with an introduction and the so far musical journey of Terence Jack…
TJ: I started playing music around 10 or 11 years old picking up an ornamental guitar in my house. From then on I was basically in bands and writing music all the time.
Being a “solo” project now, I chose to go that route because in Vancouver everyone is in a million bands so I felt like members would come and go and it wouldn’t have to feel like a divorce. The members now have been on board for the past year and are great players and we get along swimmingly.
What’s the story behind your latest single Eastern Rise?
Eastern Rise is a mix between the history of my love life and the different personality traits that surface along the way, as well as my adult life living between Southeast Asia & Canada. The personification of each of those personalities are the characters that appear in the song and how each one of those characters takes a deep piece of you with them for life.
Your new EP Never Get Back is remarkable. How did this record come together and how do you think has your music evolved since Reckless Abandon?
It’s something that happened as I fall further down the rabbit hole. I imagine that the next record will be different as well just to keep things interesting. I co-produced the record with an old friend, Daniel Klenner (engineered on a Tourist Company record, and drummed/guitar for Hey Ocean for 5 years). We played in a band together when we were younger and have a history. I met with a lot of producers in the area, but sometimes you just have to trust your gut. Our history created a perfect safe vibe with no pressures which is the best area to create in. We played with a lot of sounds from an old drum machine, an omnichord and different muted piano sounds etc and ran it through tape. Other times it would take hours or days.
What’s your personal way of making music and what inspires you the most during song-writing?
I write music usually when I’m on the road and it just usually comes to me. Other than that I like to be put into deadline situations so I can just lock down, forget the world and do it. If I give myself a deadline then I can bang out songs. When songs get to the recording process I’m always open to change to whatever serves the song. I think not being to hard on yourself in the original layout/lyrics is key and always being open to changing. I really like to collaborate on songs as well and hope to do more of that for the next record.
Which musicians influenced your work the most?
I grew up on The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and Zeppelin. I feel my music has a more modern twist than that, but their ability to write great pop songs while taking the listener through crazy soundscapes and arrangements really resonated with me.
In a more recent sense, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bon Iver. I think Justin Vernon is a musical genius and if he comes to Vancouver I’ll be the bearded guy camping out overnight in front of ticketmaster to make sure I snag front row tickets.
You are currently on tour across Canada. What’s your favourite part of being on the road?
My favourite part about being on the road is seeing old faces that I haven’t seen in years. There’s no time for small talk so the fluff is cut and it’s straight to the point.
What’s your personal view on today’s music industry and what’s your own philosophy on being a part of it?
I think we’re in an interesting time where no one truly knows the direction the industry is headed. We’ve reluctantly given into the fact that the CD is dead, however vinyl is making a huge comeback, but yet most people listen to music through streaming. From an artists’ point of view, there’s just so much music so easily accessible to anyone at any given time, so how you stand out from everyone else is a creative process that many artists are starting to tap into.
Despite all that, I do feel my philosophy is that hard work will get you to where you need to go, in all aspects of the industry. For example, you need to put as much work into writing great songs as you do into making sure the business side of things are operating strongly.
Now let’s finish with a favourite quote of yours…
Shit. Well that’s tough without being terribly cliché. Ugh maybe something from Dylan.
“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” – Bob Dylan