The exceptionally talented Jesca Hoop has released her latest album, entitled The House That Jack Built. The Manchester dwelling, Californian born singer songwriter has seen her reputation growing over the last few years. Jesca has toured with the likes of Tom Waits, Polyphonic Spree, Elbow, Andrew Bird, Eels and Peter Gabriel. Jesca is currently touring and was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions.
Firstly congratulations on the new album ‘The House that Jack
Built’. Can you tell me a little about how it came about?
Thank you. Well…. it was a pretty intense writing process
and I was quite isolated the whole while writing it. I wrote the songs
here in Manchester, England and they represent the very first of my
writings since my move from Los Angeles to Manchester. I brought the
rain-soaked songs to Zeitgeist Studio in LA and more specifically the
studio owner and producer of my first two full length records, Tony
Berg. Tony (his studio) comes equipped with a genius sound engineer
named Shawn Everett. Also regularly working at Zeitgeist is guitar
playing wonder Blake Mills. All three of these fellows worked with me
on my past two records in their respective roles. With “Jack” we
decided to divide the producer role between all four of ourselves
evenly. This made for a very exciting creative process. All that you
hear on the record is generated by the four of us.
How did you find the recording process?
The recording process was intense, very exciting at first with all
of the ideas whirling around and the initial rush. Then the reality
of the work set in and the weight of the task at hand given the
timeframe we were working within. It would feel heavy at times.
Very long long days. Songs can wear any arrangement… some
arrangements could classify as fashion crimes. With some of the
songs we had to try out different looks… different arrangements
before the song was “funky fresh dressed to impress ready to
party”. Other songs came together seamlessly and without any
negotiation. The recording process was fun and emotional, tense at
times but true. It was a real exploration and learning process.
You’ve toured with some big names in the last while. What was it
like to go on tour with Peter Gabriel?
Touring with Peter was a real delight. It was a real honour to sing
these songs that I have been humming along to for years. Musically
it was a very rich experience. His voice is very rich and to support him vocally and duet with him was like enjoying the most delicious wholesome meal. A wonderful tactile experience in other
words. The New Blood Orchestra as well… what a set of immensely skilled players. That was my first time ever singing with an orchestra and I hope it’s not my last. The crew was lovely as well
and touring through South America with the Gabriel camp was a real pleasure.
What have you been listening to lately?
Queens of the Stone Age and the Beatles…. we have been driving
from city to city and gig to gig and this is very ‘keep you awake’
What would you say distinguishes the new album from your
I would say the writing style. I chose to speak more directly in
these songs. They come with all the blood, sweat and tears from
where they were sourced. There is no hesitation or apology in these
The new album is a particularly personal affair. DNR and the
titular track are written about your father, were they difficult
songs to write?
They were the easiest (although painful ) to write. I had more than
enough experience to draw from and enormous amounts of emotional
fuel to deliver what i think are two of my best songs.
Thanks for your time Jesca, one last question. What else in store
I am touring till the end of 2012 as you may expect… amidst the travel I am writing my next record and keeping fit. In order to write I must enjoy life so there will be plenty of adventures and
trouble to get up to.
Thanks a million Jesca, her new album ‘The House That Jack Built’ is now available on i-tunes and from all good record stores. Tour dates are available on her website http://www.jescahoop.com/news