On March 16th, The Jacks came strolling into our lives like old, familiar friends on the street. We were set to meet them at 6th and San Jacinto in downtown Austin, right outside of San Jac Saloon. We knew we were looking for four musicians – Johnny Stanback, Thomas Hunter, Scott Stone, and Josh Roossin make up this collaborative indie quartet – but we didn’t realize just HOW rock n’ roll the experience would be.
For example, Scott made it to the corner several minutes before the rest of them came meandering up, but every single one of them was donning dark wash jeans and black shirts, often layered with a black jacket. But let me put this into context for you: It was 88 degrees outside.
But that’s just how these guys handle it. They deal with the heat. They’re comfortable in tight spaces together, and they’re excited about expanding their reach and their audience, bringing their music to the masses. So let me leave you with a sweet little ditty by them, and the transcription of our time together in interview form!
Introduce yourselves please. Tell me your name and what you do with the band.
Johnny: We’re The Jack’s. I’m Johnny, and I sing and play guitar, rhythm.
Tom: I’m Tom Hunter and I play lead guitar.
Josh: I’m Josh and I play drums.
Scott: I’m Scott Stone and I play lead bass guitar.
And mother. We hear you’re mother of the band.
Scott: Yes, Momager.
I guess that is because of the fact that he was on time and we were already late.
He’s like ‘hey it’s me – the band’. So guys, how’s South By been for you? Is it your first South By?
Yeah. We got in Monday night… So we’ve been here for three full days now, three and a half. We’re headed off to Dallas tonight… Very excited. That will be a great crowd. We played two [shows] at South By and we’re playing one in Dallas, then heading back.
Awesome. That’s good – pace it a little bit. What have you guys seen here that you liked?
Lots of awesome fans. Lots of great food too. We just had breakfast at Moonshine and it was unreal. You learn not to use Yelp, you ask people. All our local Austin friends gave us good food suggestions.
What was your favorite aspect of South by Southwest as a band?
Both shows we played were really awesome, we had a great time. Obviously, it’s just hanging out, we have a lot of friends here performing, bands that we’ve played with before. It’s so good to see them and see how well they do and spend time. It’s just an amazing environment – it’s all artists and a great time. It’s like adult summer camp!
I like that! That metaphor makes sense! What’s coming up next that you want to tell people about?
Our next show is March 27th at the Peppermint Club in L.A. We’re excited about that one. Then we booked a Pacific Northwest tour for the end of May we’re really excited about. What else… We play Brick and Mortar in San Francisco on the 23rd of May… All the way up to Portland and Seattle so far. That’s what we have in store for the next month or two. And obviously a bunch of great new music hopefully coming.
It’s not up to us anymore, but we get to release it, hopefully in October… We recorded a new single, got a new music video for that.. Hopefully tour on that in the fall.
Fingers crossed it all pans out! Alright, you guys have really committed to the dark jeans, the boots, how are you faring today, although the weather has changed slightly and it’s at least breezy?
We took them off…the day was a little long…yeah…
Here’s a question I have – aesthetically, you guys tend to go toward the black and the jeans, how’s that going to happen when you’re in Florida? (laughter)
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it .. We haven’t had that issue…Maybe Mexico? The Jack’s booty shorts… Make that our summer line.
How do you guys calm down or pump up before a show? Do you get nervous or do you have to rev yourself up?
It depends on the show. Like the Troubadour, the one we did that sold out – that was obviously a big one for us. It’s just kind of like we’re just so comfortable with each other, we’ve grown up together and we’re all best friends. When you get on stage, you kind of just into that element, you don’t really think about those things I guess.
We usually have one or two beers before a show, but that’s about it. OK. Eighteen. Maybe eight hundred.
That’s fair. Favorites?
Coors Light… Coors Light… Coors Light (laughter) That’s Southern California.
We have a fancy palate. Actually, there’s this new beer coming out called Tower Park that they just opened in Anaheim, California. Really, really good.