Complex: There are artists who take the safe route out of fear of alienating the people who loved their previous work.
Jack: Yeah, that's true and it's something to think about, but I don't get the feeling that I would alienate anyone by trying to change stuff up. If anything I would hope people would interested and psyched about that.
Complex: How has the transition to regularly performing live been?
Jack: It's been weird. I have a specific sound. You know, really hazy at times and really layered, and there are a lot of tracks happening at once. You can't possibly produce that live unless you're going to be a laptop band, which is something I didn't want to do. I've heard a lot of people call my music synth-pop but I think live it's definitely more guitar-driven and it has live drums and it's really becoming a band with a straightforward, honest rock set-up.
Complex: Did you play everything on the album?
Jack: Yes, I played guitar, bass, and synthesizer. And all the synthesizer stuff wasn't programs. It was like an actual vintage synthesizer.
Complex: So the drums were programmed?
Jack: Yeah, the drums are the only things that are programmed. I didn't really have time to record drums because I had these ideas coming quick and just wanted to get them out. And recording drums is kind of hard to do, especially if you're working with a limited budget and set-up. It just wasn't something I could realistically do. At the same time, it kind of helps give it the feel that it has.
Complex: How do you feel about playing live now that you have more experience? Which one do you prefer between recording and playing live?
Jack: I definitely prefer recording. It's just what I feel most comfortable with. Songwriting and producing are also the most rewarding for me creatively. You don't have as much room to do what you want to do when you're playing live, but I'm getting used to it. At first, I honestly hated playing live, but recently, over the last tour, I finally started to realize, "This is fun and this is something I can get excited about."
Complex: What makes live shows more tolerable now?
Jack: Just getting used to playing together. We've gotten a lot tighter. Being able to see people react more positively. Now that the album is out, people know the songs and kind of know what to expect. Before, it was just like we were playing to crowds and no one knew who we were and it didn't help that I'm pretty shy. Being in front of an audience has never been something that I'm super-comfortable with. It's still kind of overwhelming for me to deal with.
Complex: Yeah, I saw a show and you seem comfortable performing from an artist perspective, but that shyness does come through. Do you go out or anything when you're on the road?
Jack: I'm not totally reserved in all aspects of my personality and my social interactions. When I'm touring, I'm just hanging out with my friends because the guys in the band are good friends of mine, so we're all sort of still stuck in that college mentality. We drink and try to have a good time while we're in these different places, but a lot of times it's a necessity because you're in a new place every night, around people that you don't know, and it's one way to loosen up and not be so freaked out. Sometimes I would get super-overwhelmed or stressed out or something. Like, if I'm thinking about the big picture and everything that is going on and the scope of things. I party, but there are also the nights I don't and don't really feel like talking to anyone.
Complex: I know you're heading to Europe soon. Have you been there before?
Jack: No, I've never been overseas at all. So it'll be interesting. [Laughs]
Complex: How long are you there?
Jack: About a month. I think it's like 27 or 28 shows we end up doing all together.
Complex: Does your girl have a problem with you traveling so much now?
Jack: She's super-supportive, but at the same time I can tell that she's kind of bummed about it. And I'm kind of bummed about it, too. I mean, it's hard to be super-upset about touring Europe and stuff, because it's still crazy to me. I can't even believe I'm getting the opportunity to do all this stuff. It's hard being away from her, but I think she'll be fine. I know she wishes she could come with us.
Complex: What's your label situation? Captured Tracks released Gemini, but then I just saw this new Warmest Chord label released Evertide.
Jack: I'm on Captured Tracks. They put out the record and I'm going to be putting out the next record through them as well. The Warmest Chord thing is just like a one-off. They asked me if I wanted to do an online single EP a little while back, so I agreed to it. That'll probably be the only thing I do with them. I honestly do not know that much about them as a label.
Complex: Do you have a target date for when the next record or at least some new material will surface?
Jack: I really don't know about the next record. It probably won't be for a while, to be honest. I hope to do another EP, at the very least another single, in the fall or winter. I'm actually going to move up to New York in the fall and I really doubt I'll start working on the new album until I'm settled up there.
Complex: It's easy to assume, but why the move?
Jack: It's something that I've been thinking about for a while. I don't want to say I'm sick of Virginia, but I'm definitely ready to get out for a while and live somewhere a little more fast-paced. [Laughs.] My girlfriend has been wanting to live there for a long time too. It just makes sense. The label is up there and I've already met so many people and made a lot of connections there. It just seems like a natural decision.
Complex: How do you like New York from the times you've visited?
Jack: I mean, I love it, honestly. It's a great place. I've been up there many times before and I have a good amount of friends from Virginia that live up there. It's cool. I've definitely started feeling way more comfortable there as far as getting around and getting to know places in Brooklyn. I haven't really explored Manhattan too much.
Complex: That's funny. It's usually the other way around.
Jack: Yeah, basically. We still haven't played a show in Manhattan and I don't think we will until like August, at Bowery [Ballroom]. All the shows we've played have been in Brooklyn, so that's where I've spent the most time.
Complex: After touring with a band, do you feel like that's an element you'd like to bring into the studio?
Jack: That's something I haven't really decided yet. It's been strange because the album was entirely me, but we have been playing together and we mesh well, so I've thought about trying to get them into the studio with me and stuff. At the same time, I'm kind of a control freak about my songs. I'm just so used to recording by myself. It's comfortable and how I work best. It kind of sucks because you don't have anyone to check your bad ideas, but because of that you have free range to creatively do whatever you want. But I definitely want to have live drums, at the very least, on the next album.
Complex: Since there's no one to check your bad ideas, do you freak out when you see criticism online?
Jack: I don't take it to heart. It was kind of hard at first, but at a certain point you just don't give a shit anymore. Some people are going to say good things, some people are going to say bad things. Sometimes the bad things are good because they make you aware of something, but for the most part I don't take it too seriously.