Who is Jack Moss?
I'm a 19 year old from Ottawa, and I make music.
At what age did you start learning how to play instruments?
I think I started to take lessons and try to play guitar when I was 5 or 6, but my hands were way to small to do anything. I tried out other instruments for a couple years, got pretty sick of playing piano and whatever else I was taking lessons for and eventually picked up a guitar again when I was around 9. Since then I’ve been obsessed with playing everything needed to record a song and I’ve been slowly teaching myself for ten years.
How much of your own music do you produce?
I produce everything myself. I realized pretty early on that I didn’t like being in actual studios, but looking back I think I just didn’t like the idea of someone else producing what I’m working on. If I don’t do everything it almost feels like its not mine to release. I usually produce as I write too so it just feels like one process in the end.
When did you learn you could sing?
The first time I really tried to was when I started recording my EP "Warmer Weather"
in high school. I always kind of thought I could do it if I needed to, but never felt like I did because I was always getting other people to sing on my instrumentals. It wasn’t until I started hating relying on other people to finish my own songs that I decided to try.
How difficult is it for your band mates to learn the music that you write?
It’s usually no problem. All the guys I play with are so good at what they do that it rarely takes more than 2 or 3 rehearsals to lock down a set. The hard part is that the live lineup has endured so many changes. Most of the original bandmates moved away all at different times, which staggered all the replacements and made it kind of difficult. I like to bring the original guys back when they’re back home which adds to the confusion. Through all of that though, I’m lucky to have my brother Charlie still here playing bass for me. That spot has never opened up and I hope it never does.
What do you think a Jack Moss recording session would look like from a spectator perspective?
Probably pretty all over the place. I like to have my guitars, keyboards, pedals, and whatever else, all within arms reach so the room gets messy pretty fast. I also pace around the room a lot and stand on chairs and do weird shit when I write lyrics, so it would probably look pretty strange to an observer. Hopefully someone relates to that and it's not just me hahaha.
Other than music do you look at other mediums of art for inspiration?
Oh yeah 100%. I’ve always gotten new ideas from things like old movies, paintings, cool design, and architecture. I first started seeing visual art as a personal influence because of album art. Paula Scher and Patrick Nagel are two designers that influenced me before I even knew who they were, just because of the classic albums they’ve designed cover art for. Then I got into painters like Salvador Dali and Alex Colville just through books I’d find around the house. We always had classics by Picasso and Van Gogh hanging around the house as well. That was a contributor. Shoutout Mom and Dad. Movies from the 70s, 80s, and 90s have always influenced me as well. Movies like Dazed and Confused, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and every shitty John Hughes movie out there.
Do you find it difficult to live in Ottawa as an artist? How does Ottawa treat you in terms of being able to do what you want creatively?
It's definitely not difficult for me to be here. I feel like in such an internet-driven age of music and art you don’t have to live in a giant city like Toronto, or New York for people to be exposed to your work. I hear a lot of creative people from Ottawa talking about how they feel the need to relocate because there are less opportunities here than in some of the bigger cities. It’s definitely nice to be around thousands of people like you, but I feel like the smaller numbers here make the communities way tighter and more unique.
During your set you cover other bands, which are your favourite to play and why?
I’ve always covered The Smiths in my live sets. Other than being a pretty big influence on me, it's also because the songs are pretty simple and don't require that much work to play as a band. I really want to get into covering some more of my favourites when we put together a new set. Stuff by bands like Steely Dan, New Order, The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Honestly I just want to pay homage to some of the classics I grew up on.
How do you think the music you are preparing to release sounds compared to your latest single “The Look” ?
It’s along the same line for sure, but a little more thought out. At least to me. I’ve been heavily influenced by music from the 70s this past year, and I think the new stuff reflects it. I love how artists today bring those sounds back, but I want to do it in a way that doesn’t just sound like I’m just writing a revival song. The new stuff feels and sounds a little more natural.
Click the photo above to hear a demo of what Jack has been working on.