Stardom a learning experience for Jake Bugg
Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with England's 19-year-old Jake Bugg who recently played Vancouver in support of his new disc, Shangri La. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
Hailed as ‘the next Dylan,’ England’s Jake Bugg is quickly cultivating his own rich musical history. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the 19-year-old Nottingham native who recently played Vancouver in support of his new disc, Shangri La.
24: The last time you were in Vancouver you played The Vogue. This time you played The Orpheum. Does the setting or type of venue have any effect on your performance?
JB: It all depends. The atmosphere is kind of created by the audience and despite the size of the room, you can play in any capacity venue and it may be one of the best gigs you’ve ever played; or you could play a big venue or a small venue and neither have any atmosphere.
24: You’re ‘buzzing’ right now. When you’re getting the kind of praise that you are, does that intimidate or inspire you?
JB: I don’t read my press. When someone says ‘you’re great,’ all you can really do is smile and say ‘thank you.’ It’s kind of the same when someone says something bad about you. It’s very inspiring when someone tells you that you’ve helped them to do something or gotten them through something. That’s very inspiring thing to hear. All constructive criticism is good, but I don’t really look at my reviews. You can lose vision of what you really want to do by doing that.
24: You were inspired to play music by hearing Vincent by Don McLean on an episode of The Simpsons.
JB: It didn’t give me an aspiration to suddenly pick up the guitar, but it certainly made me think that there’s a bit more music out there that I could actually enjoy listening to because I didn’t enjoy much. I started to listen to a bit more of his stuff and looking into who influenced him and then traced it all back. Coincidentally, my uncle came round with the guitar and showed me a few chords and I just took it from there.
24: So in a weird sort of way The Simpsons helped you pursue music?
JB: Well, it was the first time I heard a piece of music that I actually would genuinely go out of my way to listen to.
24: You’re a big Jimi Hendrix fan. Who else inspired you early on?
JB: I’d say Donovan, Neil Young, The Beatles and Johnny (Cash) came later. My first time I didn’t get Johnny Cash; I was about 12 or 13 and started to listen to a bit more of his music and you listen to the words and then you get it.
24: And you had the luxury of working with producer Rick Rubin who worked with Johnny Cash in the 90s. That must have been a cool experience.
JB: Yeah, it was sweet. What was cool about it, and some people might find it hard to believe, but I didn’t really know who he was. At the same time I’m 19 and I’ve still got a lot to learn. It helped because he allowed me to do what I do and just play my songs. After travelling around so much it was nice to be in one environment and make music. It was like a holiday.
24: Being on the road at just 19, do you ever feel that you’re missing out being far from home and away from your friends?
JB: To be honest I’m kind of making up for all the things I didn’t get to do when I was younger. I couldn’t afford to go out with my mates or get the pair of shoes that I wanted. Now I have to do interviews and stuff but that’s part of the job. Just like my friends that are packing boxes, that’s their job. Now I can go and get the PlayStation game that I want, or the shoes, and go out when I want. I don’t feel like I’m missing out.