Under the name Jack Adamant, our today’s guest carries on an alternative rock solo project which currently has three albums and some singles under its belt, including some covers. Fresh off his win a punk-rock contest organised by Punk Rock Radar, and his appearance on the Moan Barrow Show, Jack joins us today to discuss his backgrounds, his recent release “Obscure Places & Cupboards” and give us his track by track breakdown for each and every song.
“I like to see myself more as an entertainer than a musician itself, perhaps I keep picturing the role of musician as someone skilled, highly educated and impressively committed to the craft.” – comments Jack.
He was born in Italy, but moved to Sweden about 10 years ago. His solo career began around 2012 when he started writing songs that were heavily influenced by American artists such as Dinosaur Jr, The Lemonheads, Bob Mould, Superchunk, Guided By Voices, Daniel Johnston and others from the same music scene.
“Learning to play guitar at twelve years old I couldn’t wait to start writing music, learning to mix with an old tape recorder won in a street raffle.” – he admits. “I found myself experimenting with different styles of music simply because I do not feel comfortable repeating myself. My signature sound leans towards alternative folk/rock but heavily influenced by the punk scene.”
When he signed to AR Recordings in July 2017, the work began with releasing his debut EP “Lunch at 12 since ’82”.
The EP consists of five songs which tell the story of a couple navigating the obstacles and hardships of life together.
His first full record “Unkind” was released in 2019, a big change in sound which was more representative of what he was actually looking for my musical identity. “It was written between Stockholm, Liverpool, Rome and God knows where else.” – comments Jack.
Since 2020, Jack has been working on a slightly different music genre more towards punk-rock. A new batch of songs were produced together with his historic drummer Ged at home mainly during lockdown. A new record titled “Obscure Places & Cupboards” was recently released on AR Recordings.
“In fairness, I truly believe this record saved my life!” – says Jack.
“Talking about COVID, these years of alienation, social isolation, not being able to play shows, meet people or even going out. Too much to stomach. My mood was constantly changing, I am not sure if there was something wrong with me or if I was simply depressed. To be honest I felt the only way to come around was to make another record; to write new ideas, something slightly different from the past, more rough and a bit more edgy. I needed to react and get out of my head. I was looking for a new beginning.”
Asked about its meaning, he continues: “Obscure Places & Cupboards is very picturesque.”
“The title can be assigned to a variety of meanings. First off, the isolation and segregation caused by the lockdown. Second, the way it was recorded in atypical places like bathrooms, living rooms, old cupboards, corridors, closets, basements and more.
Lastly, the urge of hiding somewhere when whatever surrounds us seems too dark to confront; everything is hostile and we are passively taking all sort of things.
Lyrically this record comes from a very personal state of mind and it has a darker undertone which I haven’t deeply analysed yet!”
Track by track commentary:
Itchy Memories: It felt like a great tune to kick off the record. Me and Ged liked the melody and the guitar riff. The plot for this story: certain words feel hard to get out when we are so used to prevent any sort of confrontation but this is not always doable. This song is a bit like “get a grip and say what you have to say!”
You First: Explosive! It was the first single we put out. Its driving rhythm grabs you and hooks you up. Lyrically is about coming out of this period of isolation and being able to listen silently to anyone who needs to get something out of its chest.
A Plan To Stay: Upbeat, the drums is surely complex on this one but it is definitely my fav of the record. Every time I get asked about the lyrics I zone out. I am still uncertain if releasing this song was the right thing to do. Honestly, if there’s a song that I do not like to talk about it’s likely this.
Brush Your Teeth With A Smile: At this point of the record we wanted to have something impactful, not only about the music but some strong language too. As the lyrics talks about you want to scream and punch someone in the face but you need to stay self-composed and not embarrassing yourself. I hope people will resonate with the anger of the song.
In My Lie: I was listening to “In Utero” on repeat when I wrote this song. The mixing was reviewed a few times simply to make both the drums and guitars huge. I usually do not care about vocals so much; I like guitar and drums better. “I was the captain of this vessel” describes that pleasing sensation of being in control of something but then the unpredictable strikes in and makes you utterly stranded.
Leaves: Catchy chorus and relatively simple to listen to. This song was written and forgotten, I tried to swap things around to rearrange it but I could never beat the original version. Essentially inspired by the struggle to be accepted for who we really are.
Astray: This song set the groove for the whole album. Every time I was uncertain about something in a specific song I was coming back to this one for comparison. I love the energy, the raspy vocal and grungy guitars. I also encourage to check the music video for Astray.
Space Frame: This track makes you feel like ”time for a break”, get your coffee or a cup of tea, take a deep breath and suddenly you are somewhere else. The tremolo on the main guitar helps to drift away. When I wrote the lyrics I was thinking about meeting my family in a different life and circumstances. I expect that whoever listen to this song can find some inner peace.
Faithless Universe: It was re-written too many times until the point I gave up and decided to leave it there for a bit. So unreal that it made it so far. This song has literally 10 years. I was looking for something very experimental, ambiguously odd that could remind me of those fairy tales you tell your kids before falling asleep.
Here and Still: The perfect finale for this whole journey. I love the piano at the beginning and the harmonies. It incorporates all of the various sounds used throughout the album. When I started assembling the tracklisting, one thing I was sure of how to start and how to finish this record.