Jack Runaway have recently launched the new EP Drinking Alone. Chris Hoskin has banded together with drummer Kris Savy and bass player Jay Schell to give a new dynamic to the Jack Runaway sound. New single Dijonnaise is a very personal song covering the topic of mental illness with with full emotion.
Songwriter Hoskin says of Dijonnaise, “It’s actually the most personal to me lyrically as it’s about a very close friend of mine who was going through some pretty hard things and based on a time when everything came to a bit of a pivotal moment. Chris Hoskin took some time out to answer some questions for Hi-Fi Way.
You’ve recently released your EP Drinking Alone. How do you feel now that it’s out?
Honestly it’s a pretty big mix of emotions. I feel both relieved and sad, I’m stoked that it’s finally out in the big open world but I’m also sad that the journey leading up to the release of the EP is now over. But sad in a good kinda way, as if it will always be such a special and growing time in my life that I will always think on whenever listening to these songs. They are the soundtrack to that period of my life…. which was a hell of ride full of ups and downs.
Your new single is called Dijonnaise. What is that song about?
The track Dijonnaise, which ended up being quite the poppy upbeat number on the EP, is actually the most personal and was the most difficult song on the EP to write. Without going into specifics out of respect to the dear friend that the song is about. The track is about mental health and the way that people who suffer from mental health issues often struggle and struggle alone a lot of the time. But these struggles often have a ripple effect and trigger issues in those around them, thus creating some kind of mental health monster loop. But in all seriousness the song was just a way to let my best mate that I was there for him during his hard times and that I in some way understood what he was going through. The lyric “I’m a lonely soul like you” pretty much sums it up.
Drinking Alone is a very melancholic yet a bit of an anthemic kind of song. Tell us what that song is about and how you came to write it.
The track Drinking Alone is the song that kinda brought me back to where it all began for me. I had previously been gigging in Melbourne under the moniker Jack Runaway a few years earlier and released an EP. Around this time I had a brief appearance on a well-known reality TV show. The experience was mostly positive but it also showed me a big glimpse of the behind the scenes cogs of the music industry. I found it all pretty overwhelming at the time and decided to take a hiatus…. a three-year hiatus. But at the end of the three years I picked up a guitar and wrote a simple tune about sitting at home and drinking alone. So the song became pretty special to me as it kind of reinvigorated my love for music after a long time.
How do you go about the writing process? Is it a collective thing with the whole band or more of an individual process?
In the past it has been pretty much solely an individual thing. But I wanted to do it differently this time and so pretty much all the tracks on the EP were made on the spot just jamming with the boys. Not overthinking things, as I tend to do, just jamming and rocking out and singing whatever I felt needed to be sung in the moment. Of course after the bones of the tracks are there a lot of fine-tuning is done. But I think you can really hear the band element to these tracks as opposed to earlier Jack Runaway releases. This songwriting approach felt quite liberating and less controlled. I liked it, it was cool!
Your sound has a distinct rock feel. How would you describe it and who are your musical influences?
Yeah our “sound” has been a lot of things and still is. I get bored pretty easily so I make a conscious effort to not write the same song twice which is good and bad. I tend to take influence from multiple avenues and so I think for this EP I had a pretty strong intention to stick to just a few musical influences instead of convoluting the sound too much. I was pretty keen to channel the rawness of Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon. I wanted to incorporate the fire of Gang of Youths and also tried really hard to get some old 60’s vibes in there especially with the opening track Ready To Know You – bar room grooves and smooth tones with a heartfelt message. Still sounds pretty bloody convoluted if you ask me but I enjoy the result.
The Perth live scene seems to be really vibrant and pumping out some quality bands. Has that been a good thing for Jack Runaway and do you feel your sound reflects that?
I’ve been told by a few people that we have the Perth sound, which is cool especially considering none of us are from Perth. But I dig it and I really like the music scene here. It’s crazy talented but also super friendly and inviting, well at least that’s what I’ve found. We have made some great music buddies here and feel pretty supported by Perth.
Is playing live an important aspect to the band and do you enjoy it?
Live gigs is where it’s at for me. It has always been the main event that I work towards. To be able to get a live sound nailed and have that energy onstage is a pretty special feeling. Especially when you can see people in the crowd really vibing on it. That’s what music is all about, sharing the experience performer and audience alike.
Any plans to tour around Australia?
No tours on the horizon just yet, unfortunately. I seem to have entered back into reality now, and reality takes up a lot of your time. So it should, it is reality. I would like to tour someday but I’m mostly focused on a few big events happening in my personal life just now which is super awesome!
What’s in store for the future for jack Runaway?
More songs, more live shows, maybe another video clip. I’ve been hard at work writing enough material for another big batch of releases while the Drinking Alone EP was on its way to you guys. I’m super excited to get these new tracks out to folks too. But I’m happy to bask in “Drinking Alone” for a little longer.
Interview by Anastasia Lambis
Check out Jack Runaway on Spotify…