Jack J Hutchinson Talking To Wes About Paint No Fiction
BD: Very excited to be posting the first, of many planned interviews from Wes O’Neill who is working with Liz to get behind the music, albums and artists that Bluesdoodles loves to share. Wes based in Bristol will bring new angles and approaches and his enthusiasm and love for music that bends the Blues.
As Wes says: “Paint No Fiction” is the cracking new release from Jack J Hutchinson, an album full of quality songwriting, sludgy bluesy guitar and you can read our review here (insert link). We caught up with Jack for a talk through the album, breaking it down track by track ahead of his album launch party at Ain’t Nothin But Soho, London on December 8th, 2018…
Read on and find out Jack’s intriguing thoughts as Jack J Hutchinson Talking To Wes About Paint No Fiction
Deal with the Devil
This was actually the last song recorded. I had 12 songs ready to go but none of them felt like the opener in that you want a kick-ass rock tune to get the record in the right groove and then build from there. I wrote this riff at 2 AM in the morning in Moscow, Russia after I had played this great sold out show and been drinking whisky with the guys I was playing with. The lyrics are kind of political which is different for me as I usually write about falling in and out love! It was kind of strange being in Russia around the time of the US presidential election what with all the Trump and Putin nonsense going on so it felt right to address that in a kind of Black Crowes/Blackberry Smoke meets Rival Sons type jam. Actually, this is my favourite song on the record and I love playing it live.
Written In Stone
Written In Stone is supposed to sound like Crazy Horse as I was listening to a lot of Neil Young, I’m a massive fan of all his work solo and with various bands and have probably listened to his records more than any other band or artist. There’s a lot of tracks on his latest album which has all these slow and sludgy riffs so I took that idea with fuzz guitars but mixed it with the vocals with a bunch of harmonies and a really punchy chorus. Somebody told me that the melody in the chorus reminded them of Tina Turner, which I’m totally cool with, I’ll take that! It’s a personal song, there’s a lot of personal stuff on this record and that comes through. The guitar solo on this one is a bit of change for me in that I really focused on the melody instead of just fucking hammering at the guitar, which is fun but wasn’t the right approach for this album and really tried to write memorable solo’s like my hero’s Neil Young, George Harrison – his work was definitely a reference point for me along with Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. Again, it’s a cool song to play live.
I think this tune is really great in terms of the riffs, you say it has a swagger to it which is right as it’s about someone who is drinking too much and hasn’t got a handle on their life. The riffs really kind of represent the lyrics of someone who’s a bit too pissed in a bar, acting like a complete cock – we all know someone like that eh?
Hold Me Close
The thought with ‘Hold Me Close’, in terms of the track listing, is that I wanted 3 really in your face openers and then to change the vibe a little bit and take people to a different place. I thought a lot about the song sequencing on this album, I wanted to take the listener on a journey, really tell a story and let them pick out their moments in their lives with it. When I wrote this track it sounded a bit like Ryan Adams to me, like his records Heartbreaker and Gold, and that really inspired me as I make a lot of really loud blues rock records, but this just dials it back and is heartfelt. It has real melody, I had to actually sing the thing instead of banging the lyrics out. It was a tough one to record in that it had to be absolutely right as it’s very personal to me, it took a bunch of takes for the vocals, unlike some others.
Cut The Noose
Recorded late at night this was, with me drinking whisky tracking the vocals, as I wanted to capture that real smoky late night blues joint feel. I’m really into the Chicago blues thing and there’s a lot of references in this track to blues artists that I love – a bit of Peter Green feel in the solo, the keys were inspired by BB King Live at The Regal and it’s the closest to traditional blues you’ll get on the album. Like all of the tracks, I didn’t force anything out, it was all just what I was writing at the time as when creativity hits you, you keep at it. Yes, I’ve already got a bunch of songs for the next album!
Set Your Heart For The Sun
That’s a bit of a bizarre tune if I’m honest with you. I wrote that for another record with The Boom Boom Brotherhood which has the same title but it didn’t fit on that record, it just felt a bit too poppy for it so held it back and re-recorded it for this album. There was a point where I was a bit unsure about it like it sounded like The Magic Numbers or something, but the other guys in the band really dug it. It’s good having this at the midpoint as it really breaks the record up, telling the story of one half and setting up the next. It’s really a cool 2-minute track, light-hearted and has got a really cool psychedelic middle section…if I could change one thing about this album it would be that middle section in that it could have gone on for 15 minutes in a totally cool Pink Floyd kinda way.
I released this as the first single and people are really digging it. It’s a heavy fucker of a tune and to play it live is really cool where I can really let loose on the vocal. This one will definitely be in the set at my album launch party on Friday, December 5th at one of my favourite venues Ain’t Nothin’ But in Soho, London. It’s an early start at 6:30 PM so make sure you’re down for that. I wanted to have an early gig, with lots of my friends playing in a last waltz style so then I could hang out with my mates and celebrate drinking whisky – there was a lot of whisky drunk making this album! My mate Mike Ross came in and played on this song and there’s this dual guitar solo on it which is wicked. I love playing with Mike so being able to play off of each other and get it on a record is really special.
Skin And Bone
Do you know what? I didn’t even realise there’s a Foo Fighters song called that let alone a whole acoustic album! I’d like to say it’s an intentional tip of the hat to the Foo’s but it’s not and it certainly doesn’t sound like them! It’s a nice little acoustic blues ditty. There’s some that you write that are so personal, you’re thinking about stuff that has happened to you and you try to encapsulate that, but with Skin And Bone, I’m happy to admit that the lyrics are a bit throw-away. They sound cool though and their fun to sing – not every song has to be an In My Life by The Beatles, you just gotta have fun with songs sometimes, like you can also have your I Am The Walrus.
I Got Your Number
I recorded this for an album before and I hate the way it sounded, it didn’t come out right, not what I was looking for at all so I saw this as a good chance to put it right. One of my good pals Big Boy Bloater who I’ve played with, and drunk a lot with, over the years means a great deal to me and if I could describe this song as a tribute to anyone, it would be to him. It’s a re-recording of one of my songs in an acoustic style of Big Boy Bloater. He’s a great dude and been a massive influence on my career – I tell you what, my voice was fucked after trying to sing like him!
Send Me A Signal
Send Me A Signal is the EXACT opposite to my throwaway lyrics from Skin And Bone. This was written about a year ago when there was a lot of shit going on in my personal life that was very upsetting for me and those close to me, Send Me A Signal really addresses that and deals with it. Writing this over breakfast at 7:30 in the morning, just playing around on an acoustic where I found the melody line and the lyrics got really personal. It’s weird as I find this one quite hard to play live with the emotions it stirs up. Part of the idea for this record was bring a lot of my friends to guest on songs with a chap called Stuart Moore who played the violin on this. That really brought it to life and brought an extra emotional feel to it.
Hard Right In My Dreams
I referenced George Harrison earlier and this was very Beatles like in my head when I wrote it, particularly the guitar parts with a bit of a Bowie vibe mixed in. A bit like Set Your Heart For The Sun in that I was quite unsure about it, but everyone who’s heard the album keeps asking me why I didn’t track this at 2 or 3 as they’re really digging it. I love records that close on a really strong tune and this has a feel to it here it makes you want to hear more I think, a good bookend but leaves a bit of a question mark. It’ll be tricky to play live as there are 4 or 5 guitar harmonies in it… I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll put the CD on, press play and fuck off for 5 minutes to the bar for a drink as Neil Young doesn’t use a loop pedal, so why the fuck should I?!