We warned that this would be the beardiest issue of Toast to date, we weren’t kidding. A man with a huge beard and an even huger future in front of him, alternative and atmospheric music maestro Jack Garrett chats to us on’t blower for a while…until we got cut off for talking too much. Whoops. We discussed regional differences in words and their meanings, musical opportunities and the way of the beard comb.
Hey! How’s it going?
‘I am all good! I’ve got a crazy busy day ahead and you’ve just caught me coming outta the shower so i’m currently combing my beard – wow, that’s possible the most hipster beardy thing I’ve ever said.’
What’s going on for you right now?
‘Things have really kicked off [apparently where he’s from that doesn’t mean someone got beat up so there’s no reason to be alarmed] for me as of late, it’s been crazy. I’m actually just really fortunate and it’s been a very fortunate and productive year so I guess i’m just trying to maintain what I’ve already achieved. I still can’t quite believe this is my job, I don’t think ‘grown up life’ is a feasible thing for me to achieve but this is like, my real job now. It’s mental.’
The last couple of years have been crazy busy for you, can you tell us more about what went down?
‘It’s been really strange, 2014 just kind of happened and at the end I had everyone coming up to me like: “Woah! that was mental for you” and I didn’t really notice, I guess cause I was so involved in it all that it was a gradual process for me on the inside, 2015 has so far been the same. I don’t think I’ve hit the pinnacle of craziness yet, I still have 2017 and 2018 to live – I haven’t even been to Australia yet…or Yorkshire! Everyone enjoying what I’ve been putting out has just seen the highlights come about overnight but for me it’s been really systematic and I’ve dealt with all the crazy in pieces, they don’t realize that it’s actually been crazy for a long time but it’s my job to deal with that so they can enjoy the stuff i’m putting out. If I went back in time right now to see 13 year old me and told him in 10 years he’ll be where I am, he’d have called me a crazy person in boxer shorts and never have believed me.’
Where does your sound come from?
‘It came from a lifetime of music appreciation. I had really varied music made available to me in my childhood, my dad’s record collection was absolutely ridiculous and as a kid i’d just delve right into it. There was no record wasted in our house, nothing was there for the sake of being there, every single one was loved or wanted by someone. I remember the way the music playing made me feel and being fascinated by these huge CD’s and how they worked and the fact music came out of them. My parents never told me “you’ll love this, THIS is music and should be known as such”, they always let me listen to whatever I wanted. Nowadays I can pick and choose genres when I need and when I want to use them and it all came from the illustrious back catalogue of music that I had at my disposal as a kid.’
You’re a multi-instrumentalist, is there a particular one you prefer to play?
‘I don’t play as many instruments as I used to, my mum was a primary school music teacher so she’d come home with her arms full of exotic instruments that i’d pick up and decide to have a go at, she’d be teaching lessons with a djembe drum one term so i’d take it into my room and try it. We had a violin, a double bass, even a harp at one point – I never had any lessons, my mum would put it in my hands, tell me how to move them and my feet and just leave me to make some stuff up. My dad was the same when it came to playing guitar, I used to sit for hours making my own shit up once I knew the chords. There were just instruments everywhere! My mind works well with instruments, my hands and my ears are able to talk to each other, it’s always been a thing I’m able to do.’
What does the rest of 2015 hold for you?
‘LOADS OF CRAZY SHIT. I’m supporting Mumford and Sons in November as well as doing my own tour in October, so i’m gonna be up and down the country a lot, i’m totally jam packed but it’s gonna be awesome.
I come straight off the back of my headline tour to go with them but it’ll be great
cause we’ll be stopping off at a lot of the same places.’
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be and why?
‘I’d be sad ‘cause I wouldn’t be a musician!’
If you could perform with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
‘Stevie Wonder! He’s an absolute legend and I firmly believe that everything he touches turns to gold, sometimes you have to really look for the gold but it’s always there, trust me. I fell in love with his music as a kid, my mum was a superfan and I just adored every piece of music he worked on.’
What’s your favourite track of yours and why?
‘It’s gotta be ‘The Love You’re Given’, just because we got to use Lisa Fischer allowed us to use a sample of her, she has an incredible voice that is, in my opinion, the greatest female voice to be heard in the last 20-30 years, we were incredibly fortunate she let us use it and it works so well.’
Go see Jack when he steps onto Yorkshire soil for the first time and enters Leadmill on October 31st, show him what we’re made of and if you ask nicely, he might let you touch his beard (probably not though).