Interview with TAT

In issue 2 of Soundscape Magazine we reviewed London punk rock 3 piece TAT’s awesome debut album ‘Soho Lights’. We were lucky enough to catch up with drummer Jake Reed while he was in LA writing and recording for TAT’s second album. Here’s what he had to say about all things TAT and his solo material and being part Welsh.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Hello… I’m Jake, I play drums and sing in the band TAT (myspace.com/tat) and I also write and record material under the guise of Bruno Jenkins (myspace.com/brunojenkins).

2. How did you get started?

I was lucky enough to be born to 2 people who were completely obsessed with music and were also casual musicians themselves, so pretty much as soon as I was old enough to talk I have been pursuing music in one way or another. I started singing and playing guitar a lot as a little kid, then picked up drums a bit later on.

3. What have you got going on at the moment?

We have been in the states writing material for the second TAT full length which will be out sometime next year… and I’ve been putting together stuff for a new Bruno Jenkins EP. I also run a tiny vinyl label with my friend Ed called Lost London Records (lostlondonrecords.com) so we’re working on a new 7″ compilation right now.

4. Favourite music and why?

I’m into a lot of different shit, but Punk has always been a mainstay for me. My dad introduced me to the punk of the 70’s when I was about 5 or 6… everything about it just made so much sense to me. It was such an instant attraction. I love the speed and the aggression most of all, especially with some of the older US bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains. It’s so inspiring.

5. Favourite book and why?

I read a book recently called ‘Hurry Down Sunshine’ by a guy called Michael Greenberg. It’s a factual account of his daughters struggle with acute bi-polar disorder. Mental illness is something that has always interested me. The book itself is very well written and incredibly moving. I finished it in a day… couldn’t put the fucking thing down!

6. Favourite film and why?

Happiness by Todd Solondz. It’s such a bleak, dark film, but by the same token it’s really really funny. Solondz is good at that kinda thing. The characters and plot are so well developed and the performances are incredible. I would urge anyone to see it, it’s truly a work of genius.

7. Best experience in the business?

It’s a pretty standard answer, but just being able to travel with TAT and see a whole bunch of the world and meet all kinds of different people is pretty awesome. If nothing else, it has been totally worth it just for that.

8. Tell our readers an interesting fact about yourself/company/band?

I was named after my parents cat Jake (later named Jess) and the legendary actor/wino Oliver Reed.

9. Best thing about coming from/being/playing in Wales?

I am part Welsh so there’s always been a place in my heart for Wales. Cardiff is awesome.TAT has only played there a couple of times but I look forward to coming back soon.

10. Who are your role models/idols?

I look up to comedians more than anything. Zach Galifianakis, Stewart Lee, David Cross, Dave Chappelle, Dylan Moran, Maria Bamford… the list is endless, so I wont bore you!

11. Hardest thing about the current business?

Trying to find people to take a chance in you is always pretty hard. The business tends to play it very safe especially in the UK. If you don’t wear skinny jeans and a tight v-neck and play mediocre guitar-pop, you’re fucked! Even if you and everyone around you believes that the shit your doing is special and worth something, it’s often difficult to persuade the men upstairs.

Words: Paul Esp

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