The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here, you guys. That’s right, Jack & Jack‘s new album, A Good Friend Is Nice, is finally out! You might want to grab your headphones because it’s filled with bops. We’ve seriously had it on repeat all morning! But what was the inspiration behind the album? What was the writing process like for Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky? Well guys, lucky for you, we talked to the boys exclusively, and they answered all of your burning questions about the album.
J-14: What can fans expect from A Good Friend Is Nice?
Jack Johnson: Not everything is necessarily an upbeat, pop attempt at radio. A lot of it’s very somber and quite the opposite mood. And then there’s everything in between. There’s a song called “Day Dreaming” that we’re really excited about that’s like kind of acoustic — and then it flips at a certain point into a non-acoustic song. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I think there’s something for everybody. I’m really excited for the world to see the true variability of Jack & Jack because I think we could really fit all over the spectrum. We were inspired by genres all over the spectrum, and I think it really shows.
J-14: What was your personal inspiration behind the album?
Jack Johnson: That’s tough because I think it varies from song to song. So “Day Dreaming,” for example, we were inspired by a song by Jeremiah called “Paradise” that has this beautiful guitar intro. We were just like, ‘Let’s make something that’s really, really beautiful that kind of emulates this song.’
There’s a song called “Pose” that’s all about a girl being lost out in LA and being caught up in the club scene and the night life — kind of feeling like she’s past the point of no return. She’s caught up in this cycle.
There’s a song called “Used To You Now” which is about somebody becoming so familiar that they’re not just like a one night stand anymore. They end up becoming this person that you are falling in love with. I think each song comes from a very different place but they all come from [our] hearts and souls. We have our own personal attachment to each one.
Jack Gilinsky: Definitely. Writing from personal experiences is amazing. It’s probably like the best way to write in my opinion. But I love — we both love — writing from the perspective of someone else. If we observe people, and we see that they’re going through something that we’ve never been through, it’s fun to kind of take yourself out of your own position and put yourself in someone else’s.
Jack Johnson: A bird’s eye view, kind of.
Jack Gilinsky: Yeah, just a different point of view. It’s definitely all over the place when it comes to the album. There’s tons of inspiration but musically, I would say the inspiration is just anybody who’s doing anything that’s different. Anybody who’s doing anything not just in a certain lane. I feel like we’re kind of all over the place and we have all kinds of types of music genres within our album, so anybody who’s doing just a bunch of different things we love.
Sometimes that doesn’t all happen in one artist, like we might listen to like a Chris Stapleton, who’s totally country. And then we listen to someone who’s like totally R&B. And then we go to Anderson Paak, who’s a little bit like us — all over the spectrum.
And then you go to like Ariana Grande, who’s just like an amazing pop singer and an amazing pop artist, a pop star, and I feel like we aspire to be like each and everyone one of those people that we just named. And there’s so many more too.
J-14: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Jack Johnson: We love to start from scratch. You know, there’s been times where the beat will already be made, we’ll like go through a producer’s beats and be like, ‘Oh we like this one, this one sounds cool.’ But we usually like to start from scratch. Either we’ll come with some sort of idea or we all just get together in the room and once something starts feeling right, we’re like, ‘Alright, let’s take this train of approach.’
Jack and I love to go in the studio and just freestyle melodies. And something will just stick. Usually something does, usually something in those freestyle takes is like a really natural melody that you gravitate towards and it feels like it’ll work for either a verse or a pre-hook or a hook.
Regardless of who’s in the room, it’s always a very collaborative project. It’s always a no judgement zone because you’ve got to be able to try any idea, as stupid as it may be, because then, if you don’t get the stupid ones out of your system then where are the great ones going to come from? Not every idea can be great instantly, you know? We love going back and forth and just kind of nitpicking melodies. Like, ‘Maybe we can change this, and make this melody go up instead of down on the second repeat or something.’ So yeah, it’s very collaborative and very synergetic.
Jack Gilinsky: I like to get in right when I get to the studio, go into the booth and completely just vibe out for like 5-10 minutes and just sing everything that comes to my mind. Sometimes it doesn’t even have words to it, you know, I like to find the melody first. It’s always interesting to see what comes out of your mouth when you’re just not thinking about anything. So that’s the way we like to do it, because that just kind of shows — at least, the way I look at it — what’s really going on in your mind.
This interview has been slightly condensed for the purposes of this article.
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