Music

Static Jacks Unplugged

Chock full of the drunk swagger you’d expect from your local karaoke night

Story by Matt Heidkamp - matt@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos by Raoul Beltrame Video by (collabo!)

STATIC JACKS @ Citizen Brooklyn from Citizen Brooklyn on Vimeo.
On set, it’s hard to take Static Jacks seriously. They feign awkward moments and couldn’t play it straight while posing for pictures. Mike did the tortured artist look. Henry did the “I AM NUMBER 1” pose. Nick went biblical and held the forbidden fruit (err, a pear-shaped maraca).

And Ian, well, here’s how the conversation went with the photographer: “Here, hold this!” – “The amp?” – “Yes, yes!” – “It’s kind of heavy…” – “Do something with the cord!” – “Uh…?” – “Put it in your mouth!”, jokes the other members of the band.

Photo © Raoul Beltrame

Static Jacks Photo © Raoul Beltrame

The room erupted in laughter. They have a contagious playfulness about them. It’s a product of playing together as long as they have, an inescapable closeness that allows them to mix business and pleasure. Ian counts up to three, and down goes the cord.

This September, the New Jersey-based band is releasing their second full-length album, In Blue. Recorded during the dark, dreary days during Hurricane Sandy, the release is set to make you uncomfortable in the best of ways.

Michael Sue-Poi, guitar Photo © Raoul Beltrame

Michael Sue-Poi, guitar Photo © Raoul Beltrame

“There is sort of like, a ‘creep’ vibe going through [the album]”, says singer Ian. “We realized that after we made it. A lot of songs just make me sound like a creep. But that’s cool, not everyone makes themselves into a weirdo.”

“There’s a desperate vibe on the album,” chimes Nick, who plays drums and writes songs for the band. “Whether it’s making Ian sound like he’s desperate for finding… stalking… somebody or desperation because you feel like your friends are moving away from home or the home you just left… There’s a lot of house imagery on the album.”

Henry Kaye, guitar Photo © Raoul Beltrame

Henry Kaye, guitar Photo © Raoul Beltrame

“Wallflowers” embodies these ideas—desperation and creepiness in the home setting. “I was drunk in my bathtub taking a bath when the melody kind of just came out,” says Nick, who wrote the lyrics to the song. It’s a “story about a crazy girl or girlfriend who breaks into your personal living space and your not really sure how you feel about it. You’re kind of down with it, but at the same time it’s scary that she did that.”

He maintains the song is not a true story, but is based on feelings of being frightened of something or somebody. “I feel a lot of people can think of people or events where they weren’t quite certain if it was a negative or a positive, but it affected them in some way.”

Nick Brennan, drums Photo © Raoul Beltrame

Nick Brennan, drums Photo © Raoul Beltrame

The band’s usual live show is a raucous mix of raw energy and guitar riffs. Their recent video for “I’ll Come Back” showcases that well. The super low-budget video is chock full of the drunk swagger you’d expect from your local karaoke night. It looked like one hell of a good time—filled with sweet guitar moves, cheap booze and penguin suits.

Today, they brought a different set up to the CBK studio. Armed with a kazoo, acoustic guitars, a xylophone and a pear-shaped maraca, the lads played a stripped down version of “Wallflowers” for us. Though the lyrics may reflect an uncomforting B&E from an ex, the band’s charisma seems to outweigh the underlying creepiness.

Ian Devaney, vox Photo © Raoul Beltrame

Ian Devaney, vox Photo © Raoul Beltrame

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