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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Jack Ladder

By: Amanda Joy Robb

Jack Ladder is known to his mum, dad and friends as Tim Rogers, How unfortunate, as it is the same as an Australian music stalwart who leads the band You Am I. Despite that, interest in Jack is growing steadily. He is regularly played on Triple J radio and he is one of those artists that has been ‘bubbling under’ for a few years now. His latest album is “Love Is Gone”, a unique album to come out of Australia in that it references 1960’s American music but still retains some element of connection to an Australian indie sensibility. I spoke to Jack on the eve of his first national tour.

So you are about to kick off your first national headline tour with Love Is Gone. How are you finding the public receiving your new music so far?

Some people said they like the record. Some said they prefer other types of music. Some people said they like deep voices and they like my music because I have a deep voice. They said that deep voices are the best but that I don't have the best deep voice. Young kids seem to like it and their Dads too. So many people, so many opinions.

How do you prepare being on the road and touring for a couple of months?

Firstly we book the flights and accommodation. Then I do a lot of underwater training, holding my breath. Sometimes I sit at the bottom of the pool for days trying to get into the “correct” mental state.

You spent most of 2008 living and performing in New York and Europe. How different is the audience overseas compared to your fans here on home soil?

I did some shows while I was away. Playing to the sound guy at a Monday Midnight slot in New York's Rockwood Music Hall was a career highlight. I like playing to strangers with no expectations. I think audiences would gain more by expecting less.

Congratulations on the 2009 Red Bull Australian music prize. How do you think this award will impact your recognition?

Thank you. I think this award has created a lot of jealousy and could lead to a potential assassination. I'm such a sitting duck.

This August we will see you at Splendour in the Grass and QLD Arts Festival. Are their any bands you are looking forward to checking out yourself?

I'll watch as many bands as I can. I generally don't go to festivals so I'll try and make the most of it.

As a musician, is their a preference in playing at a festival and having your own shows? Is one more enjoyable then the other?

I'm pretty inexperienced on the festival circuit. I imagine that just as sometimes your own shows don't go according to plan, neither do festivals. But things can work out for the best too. It's nice to see friends from other bands at festivals. Make some memories.

We all have our most loved pubs, clubs and paddocks to enjoy live music…Do you have an all time favourite NSW venue that you love to perform at, and also to see live music?

I like going to shows where shows aren't supposed to be. I saw a show at the Sydney Theatre Company last week. That was a good place to see music. On the pier. Anywhere with air conditioning, and a backstage area.

After this tour you’re spending September recording, can you give us any hints on what we can expect with your next album?

The next record won't sound a bit like reggae. There will be much longer gaps between the songs. The songs will be much longer. I want to take my time.

Good luck for your trip to the USA to showcase for labels. Do you have any other plans whilst you’re over there?

Thank you. Just try and stay alive. I've heard it's a dangerous place.

"Love Is Gone" album is out now.

Tour dates
July 3 - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
July 4 - Karova Lounge, Ballarat
July 9 - The Harp Hotel, Wollongong
July 10 - Brass Monkey, Cronulla
July 11 - Front Gallery, Lyneham, ACT
July 17 - Jive Bar, Adelaide
July 18 - Hyde Park Hotel, Perth
July 19 - Norfolk Hotel, Fremantle
July 25 - Splendour In The Grass Festival
July 31 - Bon Amici Cafe, Toowoomba
August 1 - Loud In The Valley, QLD MUSIC FESTIVAL