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Sam McKie caught up with Jack Parker at the Ship Inn Acoustic Club to chat about his new album, gigs and the meaning of song writing...

Congratulations on the debut album, 'Love Lke Her'.  Obvious but pressing questions; how and where did you record it and was it enjoyable?

It was very enjoyable; it was a lot of fun, quite stressful as well really. I recorded at school, so it was quite raw, and it was a case of whether the computer would work when I turned up. Like, there was a moment when the back of it fell off... Times when you just don’t know if it’s going to work... It was tiring, but rewarding.

What’s the story behind the title track?

Well the whole album - bar a few songs - was written about one person, and it just seemed right to sort of name it after them.

In the album, you come across as a bit of a romantic, there are a few references in there... Would you agree with that description?

Hahaha... I wouldn’t say I’m a romantic person. It’s more - song writing is a good way to vent emotions; saying what you wouldn’t say to someone’s face; just saying it in a song, it’s easier; which is weird, really.

[I guess] it kind of abstracts it... Allows you to express ideas in a public way and yet its kind of private.  I’ve had a good listen to the album and there’s lots of piano and guitar, and fiddle. And is it a Trumpet in it to?

It’s a Cornet; he (Daryl Dexter) gets annoyed when I call it a trumpet!  I did the piano which was a slow process, because I didn’t know how to play it.

I like the violin and what it adds to the track; was it a synth one?

No, actually, it's played by a girl called Emma Wright (who’s now gone to Huddersfield to study music); amazing violinist, just amazing. She’s a good friend - I asked her really last minute, I realised I wanted some violin, we just managed to get it in.

Did you write the songs during the recording process or did you have them all set up and have a concept beforehand?

A lot of them were written before I was recording, I’d say probably 80% of the songs. But then there were songs that I’d planned to be on the album but then didn’t make it; because I wrote another one I preferred.  I guess my process is quite random. Sometimes it’s the title that comes first, or the idea, or a riff, it’s completely random.

Was there anyone [musicians] you were listening to while doing it, any influences or favourites just to listen to?

Well, I’d probably say Ed Sheeran, cause he’s the first artist that really got me in to music. I hated singing, all of it, before I started listening to [him]. But I listen to a lot of Passenger too and a lot of his influences really just sort of open the doors to other artists...  Also, I have to mention Seafret! It’s very inspiring to know they’ve built something, from the place you've grown up yourself, it's mad and great!

How long ago did you start playing, and how long have you been writing?

I started singing, playing guitar, writing songs all at the same time - so it’s kind of about 5 years ago I’d say, it would have been when I was 13 [years old]... When I was 15, I released an EP, that was fun. That was another cool recording experience; except that time we didn’t have any kind of studio, just a class room!  Well, it was a storage room, that had been converted, we just went to town on it, said we need to turn this into a studio - so we did.  It was really hard, because I was doing my A levels at the same time, so it was like ‘do I jeopardize all my A levels to make the perfect product?’ and I managed to get enough sleep and just do it.  I think I managed to balance it.  I’m still amazed I managed to get that many tracks done, in what must have been about 6 month, it was crazy!

Quite intense! And a fairly intense question now but one I'm really interested to know the answer to - what does music mean to you?

I think song writing’s like an emotional stamp, in a way; you feel something, you might be angry, upset, really happy, energetic or whatever, and you write a song and it stamps how you felt in that moment, it just makes really good things come out of it. So like the worst thing that could have happened to you, write a song and it makes new, great things come out of it. It’s about remembering things, moving on, and all the good mushy things music gives.  Sometimes you write a song about just going out and having a good time and that’s alright to do as well!

Tell us what's coming up for you.

I’ve got a gig at the Bridlington Real Ale Festival on 14th November. And on the 28th November I’ve got a gig of my own with Amanda Cbm, an acoustic artist from Driffield (she played Tribfest this year) and that’s at the Red Lion, Driffied - it's going to be really exciting. Beyond that, at the moment, lots of song writing, because I’ve spent two years making this, and now it’s out I’m like ‘now I need more stuff!’ so I’m planning more material and the plan is to just gig and gig and gig and release sometime in the summer...

We'll keep an eye out for that.  In the meantime, check out links for more info on Jack, below:

Love Like her on iTunes 

Jacks upcoming gigs

Jack's recent video 

Facebook - Soundcloud