Local Rockstars: King Jack at a mad tea party

Local Rockstars: King Jack at a mad tea party

Jul 9, 2011 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Sabrina (who is old as fuck) has more energy than a Duracell bunny, and uses it to dance in the newest clubs, eat too much junk food, play all the videogames, examine apps and shop - even though she has more than enough clothes. Sorry Earth.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

A rabbit hole to a world filled with rock ‘n roll

Just like every other girl I’ve always been a sucker for fairytales. Not so much the Beauty and the Beast kind (no offence Belle, but falling for something that hairy doesn’t make you a good person; just a little messed up) but more the ones that are a little weird, maybe even scary at times. That’s why I’ve always been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. And the fact that there’s a cat in the story, of course.

I’ve always wanted to fall down a rabbit hole and explore a completely different world. That’s what Amsterdam- based band King Jack made me do, in a way. Only this rabbit hole didn’t lead to a fantasy world but one filled with rock ‘n roll. So what better way to introduce you to these guys than a mad tea party? On a rooftop in Amsterdam, accompanied by ‘tea’ and cupcakes, we talked about their record, inspirations, and even marriage.

Growing up

Last couple of weeks these guys have been on the radio, playing our favourite hangouts and in my case, constantly on my laptop. But King Jack has been around for a while, since 2006. Three guys from Schagen -“Rockcity”-, and one from Nijmegen started playing together. While their name hails from a favourite game, their first song ‘Some Girls’ was based on Ferry’s (23, drums) love life.

“It’s based on the women I met throughout the years.” Doesn’t it hurt to write a song about it? “Yes, it did hurt, you invest a lot of time in someone and if it doesn’t work out, well that sucks”. Thijs (23, keyboard): “That’s why it says: You’re wasting my time and my money“. As you can see in the video, it features three girls from behind. Does a nice bum waste your time? Thijs: “Well, that’s what the video is about. Most of the time, following a girl because of a great ass will waste your time.” That’s deep.

So, let’s get back to the music, why did it take so long to get to the point you are now? Ferry: “We really had to take our time to get to know who we are but also who we are as group. Thijs: “I don’t agree and it sounds like we’re in love.”  Boaz (21, bass): “No, but we change, and the music we listen to changes with us. You are influenced by different things”. Ok, who are you influenced by then? Guido (24, guitar): “Old music, if you listen to it, you’ll know what we mean.” Boaz: “That’s a boring answer”  Thijs: “Well, We like T-Rex a lot”.

This band feels like a marriage with bad sex

Crying men and girlfriends

You all agree on T-Rex, perfect. Do you ever disagree? Have bitchfights a lot? Guido: “Yes”. Boaz: “This band feels like a marriage.” Thijs: “One with bad sex. A marriage where, if one persons sips a little too loud on their drink, the other one will get mad.” So, you all seem pretty negative about marriage, are you all still single of do you have multiple girlfriends – because you’re ‘in a band’? Boaz: “Depends”. Whether it will be online or not? “No, Ferry is single.”

Sorry girls, but I’ve since learned that fifty percent of this band is already taken. So, if you want to score with King Jack, either learn how to play the keyboard or drums to impress.

Have you ever written a song for that special someone? Ferry: “Not for a girl, but about them. Thijs wrote a personal song about a girl, maybe the best record on the album.” What is it about? Thijs: “Impossible love”. Ferry: “That’s why it hurts so much listening to it. You feel the pain. I can remember we had one of those Fishermen’s Friends nights.” Guido: “Did you cry?” Ferry: ‘Look at my hat..I’m a man!” Boaz: “I don’t have to cry about it. Most of the time when we’re in the studio we’ll all sing and whoever sounds best will sing the song. With this one Thijs really got the feeling across. You don’t have to cry, but you understand where he’s coming from.”

The best things are made with feeling.

Guido: “The best things are made with feeling.” Boaz: “When you write a song about it, you can it let it go.” Thijs: “I don’t have that.” Well I’m tone deaf and if there was an award for ‘Worst Singer Ever’ it would probably be in my closet but I can see why that would be hard to perform. Thijs: “I don’t know, I keep seeing the story” Ferry: “So basically, it’s just fucked up.” “Well no, but it’s the same way with irritations, you can butcher someone in a song and feel better. So no, it’s not fucked up.”


Guido: “That’s what the album is all about, you have the fun songs and the sensitive ones. It’s a bit of a contradiction but also authentic because of the text and the instruments. We use old ones, so it sounds really pure. We don’t take trends into consideration.” Thijs: “Yes, that’s a big deal with us. We’re not a band that says: ‘Oh last year that vibe from ’82 was hip, so now we’re moving on to ’83.” The guys are really precise about their sound, the atmosphere around it and their image. “We work on a number until it’s perfect, and because of that we ruined a couple in the process”, they all agree.

It seems they’ve got it all figured out. So what’s next for King Jack? Guido: “What would be awesome was if we would have a tour bus, while we walk around Amsterdam our roadies would set up our gear, when you’re on stage, somebody hands you your guitar. You play a great set, you go out afterwards until your manager says; “Ok guys, and now, back in the bus! You go to sleep in your little camping bed and the next night you do the same in Germany.” So it’s all about the fame? Boaz: “No, like yesterday, I was walking home and I thought: This is so great, tomorrow we have all kinds of things to do!” Thijs: “Yes. It’s just kinda nice having something to do.”

Pictures by Annelijn Hooij 

Hats courtesy of Louis Wittenburg
Raadhuisstraat 16, Amsterdam

Sharing is caring!