We’re loving the new album from The Bastard Sons at Soundscape – check out our review of it here! We caught up with frontman JJ Jackson for an insight into the creation of the album and also got a track by track run-through of the piece. Check it all out below!
Can you describe your writing process? How do you go about constructing a new song?
The writing process is relatively easy for me. We all get together in a room with one of us bringing an idea and we just build it all up from there. We work together really well and it’s usually very easy.
Can you describe the recording process?
Recording with Joe and Mike at Innersound Studios was great! We had most of the songs that are on the album ready to roll, Joe and Mike just brought the best out of the songs and made them more than we could have ever hoped for.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to get down?
There were a few songs we had riffs for but no structure, which we eventually dialled in after a bit of time playing with different styles. Stay True was a tough one for me with it being more of a personal one and I just needed it to be a song that described all I was feeling without being so direct. It was hard but we got there
Which one are you most proud of?
Exist – Distance is probably my favourite song on the album. I was just having a little play with melody and I started sort of singing and Mike was like “Yeah, man do it just like that!!! Rock and roll!” It was scary cos the singing was completely out of my comfort zone but I’m so glad he pushed me to do that, it turned out great!
Any interesting stories from the studio?
There’s loads! Drunken nights, losing my voice 2 songs in, ancient aliens, potential album and song names, Fergie the dog, farts, numerous double cheeseburgers in a session and me and Ollie throwing ourselves off cliffs on Skate 2 for 6 hours straight…… the combination of all those things is just one huge interesting story in our history now…. mind melting.
Track by track insight into Smoke
Release The Hounds
Out on the town with your boys or girls? Bang this on, get wild and show the town what you got. It’s just about getting shit faced with your best buds and getting into trouble/getting yourself out of trouble.
A Lie Is A Lie
TV, newspapers, and now Facebook. Ignore all that shit. Go out and see what state our world’s in with your own eyes, cause it ain’t what we’re spoon fed through the media.
Sobre La Muerte II
This sing-a-long questions our own thoughts of existence and the reality of today. Are we alone in the universe? Looking around is it that hard to believe that we’re not?
Bottom Of The Ladder
This song is about experiences I had before I started tattooing, working in shitty jobs with power mad managers who don’t give a shit about you and would do anything to work their way to the top, regardless of thought or feeling for anyone else.
I’m Only A Call Away
Stuck in the back of the band van. No money. No family around you. Yeah it’s about that…. depressing when I look at it… ha.
U.S. Against Them
When we toured the West coast of America we were really lucky to have people looking after us. Our first real tour experience was definitely eye opening and this song is all about it…well, what I can remember from it (not a lot).
Speaking to my Grandad once in his local pub, he was pretty drunk and he just reminded me to keep my head straight, don’t take shit from anyone and make life work for me. Wise words.
When I’m out and about, I try and make time to at least help out the homeless, whether it be a smile and a couple of quid or sit and have a chat. I chatted to one dude on a shitty cold night and it inspired me to write this song.
One of my favourites on the album, it’s about the struggles you go through being in a band making no money and looking at the record labels raking it in. It’s a tough cookie to chew but sadly it’s the way it is.
This quieter one on the album is about a friend of mine who took his own life. It’s kinda what runs through my head every time I think about him. He would probably just call me a big wuss if he heard the song!
And the finale. The last few years have been a bit of a soul searching time for me, questioning religion, the universe and all the usual mysteries of life. This is about my final steps into leaving behind the idea of a God, a universe where we are the only inhabitants and looking into alternative theories and proof of conventional beliefs.