Interview: The Jacks are updating rock n’ roll for the next generation
First thing’s first: The Jacks aren’t a rock band. They’re a rock n’ roll band. And they’ll stand by that.
The four-piece, all in their early to mid 20s, hail from L.A. and just finished up a tour opening for Vista Kicks and Phoenix band Wyves, but this is just the beginning of what’s sure to be a busy year.
“We’re recording a lot in Hollywood at Sunset Sound with producer Matt Wallace. We’re working on our first set of singles that we’re releasing in the middle of May and then the full EP is coming out I think sometime maybe in July, not 100% sure about that. We’re just having a great time writing and recording, and we’re excited to share all this new music we’ve been waiting to release for awhile.”
The EP will be the band’s debut after releasing single after single since 2017, and even those records were a long time coming. Bassist Scott Stone and guitarist Tom Hunter picked up music at a young age and have been playing together since they were in middle school.
“Going to The Who concert in seventh grade was one of the things that made me really want to be in a band,” Stone remembers. Hunter was inspired by a friend who started playing the drums. The two met drummer Josh Roossin in high school and vocalist Jonny Stanback at an open mic night in college, and they solidified their lineup two years ago. It was a perfect fit. As Roossin puts it, “Ever since I could remember, I was always writing songs and melodies and stuff like that. So whenever I heard music, I always wanted to create something of my own.”
His creative tendencies lend themselves well to the band’s songwriting process. Stone describes, “Usually Johnny or Tom will come in with an idea for a song and then we’ll flesh it out from there and work on the arrangement and the structure. Typically then Johnny comes in with the chord progression and the melody.” The finished tracks are raw and gritty, bold and unabashedly fun, the kind of songs that don’t let you stand still.
The British Invasion influences are there, too. All the band members cite classic acts among their favorites, and they aspire to tour Europe and maybe even play Glastonbury someday. (“Give it a couple years, it’ll happen. You heard it here first.”)
The Jacks, named by a fan who called them jacks-of-all-trades, draw from their experiences, from being young, and from relatable aspects of life regardless of the generation you were born into. It makes their lyrics resonate, especially on stage where you can tell they’re all thriving. It’s their favorite place to be, they say, and they’re excited that the live scene is growing and getting better and better.
On stage, they embody the rock n’ roll attitude of having fun, letting loose, and not taking yourself too seriously. They may no longer split a fifth of tequila before performing—video from those shows deterred them from continuing the tradition—but their shows are a hell of a time anyway.
Spirited and energetic, The Jacks are proving rock n’ roll ain’t dead. It’s just been updated for a new generation.
The Jacks are:
Jonny Stanback – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Tom Hunter – Lead Guitar
Scott Stone – Bass Guitar
Josh Roossin – Drums & Percussion
Find them online:
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam