Well it seems like summer could be here, well for a few days at least, so what better place to talk to Jacques about his new album Bi-Polar Baby Strollers than up on the roof of my apartment. So we both braved our vertigo and headed up there to have a little chat. Here are the words he had to say about it:
Ryan: So hello there Jacques, please make sure you hold on as it wouldn’t be the ideal interview scenario if you had a little accident! Let’s crack on with this before it starts to rain ay. So having grown up in America how do you think it affected and influenced your musical style?
Jacques: Well to be honest I think it was more British music that had a bigger influence on me growing up, obviously I was/am a massive Beatles fan so their music obviously helped craft my song writing from an early age. But if I was to name an American musician then it would have to be Evan Dando of the Lemonheads, the way he wrote the songs that were coming out when I was growing up, and playing in bands from the age of 14 definitely had a massive impact on me. And American politics also had a big effect on me, both then and now, as you can imagine seeing the things that have been happening over the past 10 years can’t fail to have an effect!
R: Like the disaster in New Orleans, was that the basis for the song Old New Orleans on your new album?
J: To be honest, most of that song was written before I recorded the 1st album but I held it back as it didn’t fit in as seamlessly on that album, and of course after everything that has happened it was an obvious choice for this album, which has more of a political voice running through it. For example I Found You is a political song I wrote about the negligent government when dealing with the Hurricane Katrina disaster, which was written specifically for New Orleans, my mom and all of the people who live there.
R: So since you released your 1st album you have had the experience of bringing a new daughter in to the world, how do you think that has influenced this album?
J: Yes, that proud moment definitely influenced the album in a big way, there are a lot of questions about fatherhood on the album; how is it going to be? Am I going to cope? How will it influence me in the future? Those sorts of things, but ultimately it’s been the most amazing experience and I couldn’t be happier!
R: So is it still having an effect on any new songs you are writing?
J: To be honest it did for a while, but unfortunately my father passed away at the end of 2009 and that is undoubtedly going to change my song writing in the interim as well as everything else happening in my life. I think as I get older I place more of a focus on my lyrical content, trying to create a feeling thorough my songs so that they mean something to the people who listen to them, that I believe will be a big thing on the next record.
R: So, you have been a Göteborg local for a number of years now, and have been an important member of the music scene here, how do you think the scene is here? And how has it helped you to grow?
J: The music scene here is great, it’s more like a little society with many of the smaller bands helping each other along the way. I believe in supporting the community which is allowing you to thrive, and being a foreigner here I think it’s very important to help give something back, kind of as a way of saying: ‘thanks for all the help!’ When I first moved here I had a lot to do with Oholics, a band I have great respect for, and to be honest most of the up and coming bands here are very supportive of each other, which make for a very friendly and creative scene. And for me, Kim from Woody West has been a massive help to me throughout my career here. Unfortunately not too many of the larger bands are that supportive of the ‘up and comings’ but really I suppose that’s the way it is.
R: So then, top tips for the future?
J: Oj, that’s a toughie, there are so many that deserve to be successful, but if I was pressed to name a few!?
R: I’ll let you have 3.
J: Ok, that’s not easy!
R: Ok then, 5
J: Here goes then, I’ve already mentioned Oholics, so I’ll go for some others. The Fume, The Movements, Den Stora Vilan, The Isolation, Top Hawk, oh and Spiders.
R: 6 but I’ll let you off
R: Ok then, final question. The 1st single from your new album is Second Long Street, after Andralånggatan, why not First of Third Long Streets?
J: Ha-ha, I think it’s because it’s the place I used to hang out most when I first moved here, after a day’s busking I used to go to Kelly’s and have a beer and afterwork quite often and really it’s a place where I met a lot of the friends I have now, it’s kind of like an indie Avenyn! And I suppose for that fact, it’s kind of my reply to Håkan Hellströms: Kän Ingen Sorg för mig Göteborg, its more about ‘my Göteborg’ as I can’t ever remember driving down Avenyn with the roof down.
And on that note we unbuckle ourselves from our safety harnesses, climb back inside and head off out towards Andralång.