Jack Hutchinson didn’t kill me… New Interview and EP reviewed

I was just looking at the sky thinking, please do not piss it down. I'd got a brand-new white guitar... all I'm thinking is "do not rain on this guitar, you bastard."

With his new EP ‘WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU’ heading straight to the top of the Amazon Blues Rock chart on its day of release, Jack Hutchinson returns on the back of a stunning album, ‘The Hammer Falls’ which came out back in February. Our review of that rather excellent LP can be found at the bottom of the page 

To keep the ball rolling Jack has put together an EP that has been mixed by Kevin Shirley and features reworked versions of three tracks from the album, the title track for which, plus a new track ‘Days Of Thunder’ can both be heard \ seen below: 

The EP itself it a gritty affair, full of energy and, not to take anything away from the production and mixes on Jack’s previous work, shows what putting someone like Shirley in the chair can add to the finished product. These four tracks simply blast out of the speakers, filling the void between the ears and deliver 18 minutes of aural pleasure. 

Check out latest single ‘Days of  Thunder’ which according to Jack has no connection to the movie of the same name featuring pint sized Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise. 

We caught up with Jack recently to discuss the EP release and for those wanting something rather special, the box set that contains videos for the singles and also some behind the scenes material which gives some insight into just what the package can offer to the fans. 

An upcoming UK tour starts on October 5th in support of the release. It would have begun on September 9th with an appearance at the (now) sadly cancelled Rockin’ The Bowl Festival in Sheffield but thankfully whilst the poster remains untouched (bar our quick edit) Jack was able to make the changes to the tour shirts before they went to print. 

The EP comes, in physical form, with a bonus DVD. The contents of which give us some insight into the making of the tracks as well as the music videos for them as well. It acts as a great way of drawing the fans in to actually getting physical product instead of just streaming the music. 

JJH: When I was in lockdown, I went through this period of binge watching all of my Rolling Stones DVDs. They all come in a very similar package to this.

So I was wondering how much would it cost to get some of these manufactured? And then I started thinking about doing a DVD. One of the things I thought about with the DVD was that we stored so much of the album recording. It was just sitting there on a hard drive. Now there’s a lot of it that’s really fucking boring. I was sitting there watching this shit and there’s a bit where it’s like, someone eating his lunch or something or me talking absolute bollocks about money etc.. 

It’s just a snapshot of the recording process but also I thought you know, we film all these fucking music videos that just go on YouTube and they’re gone in an instant. In the late nineties and sort of through to the mid 2000’s, all these bands have these Deluxe versions of albums that have DVDs with the music videos, interviews and the like. I thought, fuck it. I always try and make releases that are a bit different to what other people are doing. No-one’s doing any DVDs at the moment so why not. I tried to get it done on Blu-ray but it was going to be astronomically expensive, so I got it done on DVD instead. So anyone can pick up a copy, pretend it’s 2003 [laughs].

The benefit of course of it being on DVD is that everyone has something in the house that can play it be it games console, Blu-ray player, PC or more. 

JJH: I was watching all the music videos as well. Thinking back and how they were shot and how much stress they cause. You get really stressed about doing music videos, I don’t really know why. I don’t get stressed about playing gig but….fucking music videos. They’re the most ridiculous thing. Honestly, there’s a lot of standing around and particularly outdoor shoots. Take the one we did for the video for Call Of The Wild. We were out for the whole day. I was just looking at the sky thinking, please do not piss it down. I’d got a brand-new white guitar… all I’m thinking is “do not rain on this guitar, you bastard.”

The tracks themselves though, the new song, Days of Thunder and reworked numbers by the magician that is Kevin Shirley came about as a result of fortuitous timing. 

JJH: When I got in touch with Kevin and this all came about, it was because Kevin basically put a thing out on social media. I think he’d been trapped in in Australia, he couldn’t travel to L.A. to do this work. I think he’d possibly been working with Joe Bonamassa. And then he had like a month free where he was just offering to do mixes for unsigned DIY artists. So I dropped him, a DM on Instagram and then he responded via email and then that was how we hooked up.

But it was really interesting that whole process and the different approaches that he brings to the music. I always find Kevin’s mixes sound like a real band playing together in a room. Whereas a lot of modern production I think sounds very similar to pop music these days. Modern rock sounds like pop. But I think Kevin sort of harks back to how records used to sound. More organic, a little bit warmer. So that’s how I would put it. There’s no kind of polish on it. Really. I think it makes it sound perhaps more live actually. Like human beings playing instruments rather than it being on a computer. 

Whilst three of the tracks may have been on the album from earlier this year, rest assured you are getting your monies worth with this music thanks to the changes Kevin has applied to them.

JJH: He used alternate takes on the vocals and guitar lines. Basically we sent him everything. He had everything from what we recorded for those songs. I think you can really hear it on Down by the River, where he’s used different guitar parts for example. And that for me is really interesting because it’s an exercise in stripping back something that’s already out there. I’ve always been interested in that kind thing. Take for example, Led Zeppelin and alternate takes of their tunes and the Beatles Anthology stuff, that kind of thing. The Shirley tracks sound very different to me to mixes that we got from Josiah Manning with The Hammer Falls and I loved Josiah’s mixes. It’s just Kevin’s giving them a different sort of vibe and the new track as well, Days of Thunder, is something that we actually recorded really quickly.

It was originally three tracks that Kevin was doing and then he offered to do another track. And I said, “Well, fuck it. I’ll write try and write a song”. I had a verse, a bit of the guitar solo worked out, but I didn’t have a chorus and it was literally a case of booking some studio time. So last October we went to Anchor Baby studios over in Ashford, Kent. We had this half-formed fucking song and we just recorded it. We recorded it live and that’s a very unusual way of doing it these days. The guy’s were in a room playing the song, we played it, maybe three or four times and then I was in this the vocal booth still writing lyrics whilst I was singing them.

It was really you know totally different to when we went in the studio to do The Hammer Falls. We’d done pre-production for about six weeks to get everything perfect before going into the studio. But this, this was a bit mad! It was a case of just sending the stuff to Kevin in Australia and then he mixed it. He sent me the mixes through about three days later at around three a.m. and that was it done and dusted. So it’s quite magical!

If you want a copy of the EP and DVD, head on to the link below and order it directly from Eyesore Merchandise. 


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Photo Credit: Josh Trotter

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