Interview: Jack and Jack

From the interview archives.

It’s not too often we hear about rappers from Nebraska. When did you first get interested in the genre and what artists inspired you to try it out yourselves?

Jack J: I would say I couldn’t put a name to who inspired me, but I loved listening to people get words out as fast as they could and hearing the punchlines that would come out of it. It was the creativity of rap and what you could do with it that was inspiring. There weren’t really any rappers from Nebraska, so if anything it made me want to get into hip hop.

G: It’s also bit more mature. As we started grow up, our older siblings were were listening to hip hop and that’s how we got introduced to it. 

Your big breakthrough didn’t come until you began to use VINE. What was it about that platform versus YouTube do you think enabled you to reach a wider audience and grow your following?

I think Vine was special because it allowed you to get creative in a short amount of time. It wasn’t that time consuming and it was all about the moment, that’s why it was so awesome, it was quick. We can’t really tell you why we caught traction. We look at ourselves as normal dudes and it still blows our minds. It all stemmed out of being bored so It’s still confusing to us. 

About how much time would you spend brainstorming skits and ideas then? 

It varied from video to video. One day it could be 10 minutes, and then one day it could be 3 hours. Once it started letting you edit and update vines, that’s when it became more time consuming. But in the beginning, they all started in about 10 minutes and then they because masterpieces that had to be worked on. 

In addition to your videos, you’re touring musicians as well. What’s one thing you won’t leave for tour without?

J&G: Each other…This is very millennial, but definitely our phones. I like to talk to my friends or family. It’s a blessing, because rock stars back in the day wouldn’t see their friends or families for months at a time. It allows you to stay in touch. 

What is the most challenging part about being on tour for each of you? 

J: Avoiding being sick in the biggest thing for me. Being on a bus with a bunch of other people and meeting hundreds of girls in a meet and greet every night makes you need to be extra careful with your health. 

G: I would have to agree, it’s really easy to get sick.

For those who haven’t heard your music before, who might you compare yourselves to, to describe your sound?

J: I really feel like no one has had a dynamic like Jack and I. There may have been people like us before but I can’t think of them. You don’t really hear two people going in on every track that has singing and rapping without fail. At a duo standpoint, sort of Outkast, but Jack and Jack are trying to be 1 of 1s. 

G: The goal is to look like U2 on stage. We want it to be a real band experience. It was my first concert and it was so amazing and it made me want it to be like that. 

What’s one city/country you haven’t performed in yet that you’re looking forward to?

J: I would say Japan. I just hear the city and culture is very cool. 

G: I would have to say Japan too, that would be dope. I would also love to go to a 40 person club in an Island called Anguilla, Bankie Banx is the venue name. I saw this show there with my family and it was so chill. I would love to play there. 

What’s your musical process like? Do you start with lyrics, a chord based arrangement, melody?

It’s usually different if it’s just Me, Jack and a producer. We always do the same thing. We make the beat first, a few chords, and a kick or snare that we like, and then maybe an 808 under the hook. Kick, snare and chord usually. Then we’ll go in and freestyle for 30 minutes. After that, go back and listen and find the golden moments. From there, Jack J will go in and do the same thing. It’s a very collaborative process, we go in and work together and see what has to be done. We have two completely different minds, but. It’s very even and equal the way we do it. 

What’s one instrument you’d both like to learn at some point? (or are currently learning.)

J: The drums, and then I want to get better at guitar before I get old and grey. 

G: I want to become a shredder on guitar.

What producer would be a dream come true to work with on an album?

J: Jon Bellion would be mine. 

G: For me it would be 40, he’s Drake’s guy. Sounds generic because he works with Drake, but the production is insane. I could only imagine what I could do with it. I would love to see what we could create. 

On a similar note, what’s one artist you’d love to tour with? 

We would love to tour with our hommie Bazzi. I think we could do a cray tour together one day. 

How do you think your Nebraska roots have helped you as you grow your careers in L.A?

I mean definitely I just think people have really good family values in Nebraska. I credit us growing up there to staying close with our families and grounded. It plays a big part in the fact that were still who we are and haven’t lost ourselves. We still talk to our moms every day, and still see our families often. 

If you were both born a couple years earlier or later, missing the explosion of Vine, but still met each other in Kindergarten, how do you think your life might be different today?

G: I mean shit. We would probably be in college. We would definitely not be here. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Johnson probably could have been a doctor if he wanted to be, he was so smart before this. If this didn’t happen, I would have no clue. I’m so thankful for all this happening to us. 

J: Same as G said honestly. I got good grades, but I didn’t find my passion until this happened. There really no telling, but I’m assuming I would be finishing up college and in a frat. 

What are your big goals for the future, say, 10 years from now, what do you hope to have accomplished?

J: I would say there’s no physical goals or things that could be validated through objects. We just hope to get our message out there to as many people in the world. Self-belief and our inspirational messages, we just want to make sure that the world hears that.. Let’s say that one day this all went back to square one and it was just 2 people that we inspired or helped, it would all be worth it to us. 

G: Grammys and other awards are all just extra. We just want to inspire people.

What’s the plan for 2018, will we see some new singles released? 

Beg going to radio…that is the first thing. 

All we can say is a lot of new music is coming. I don’t know what format it will come out in, but we’ve been working really hard. The GONE ep was mature for us in terms of what we had previously released, but this new stuff is really maturing for us. Keep your eyes peeled. 

On your most recent fall tour, what’s one city that completely blew you away? 

I would say Los Angeles, it was the final show it was just crazy. It was fully packed with fans, friends and family and the energy was an awesome feeling. Something about it being the final show made the fans go extra wild. We definitely ended the tour on a high note. 

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