As both a principal member of the Johnson County-based band Tall Tales and as a newly-minted solo act, seventeen year-old Blue Valley West student Jack Ingram has had a very productive and creative year. His new solo EP, Uniform, is an impressive display of his songwriting, instrumentation and production skills. (He plays all the drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and vocals himself, and serves as co-producer.) We are excited to share Jack's new music with you and give you a glimpse into how he balances his musical and academic pursuits.
Tell us about your new solo EP, Uniform. What inspired it? What songs are you most proud of?
I decided to release "Uniform" because there were a lot of songs that I have written over the course of this year that don't necessarily fit Tall Tales' vibe. However, I wanted these songs to be heard, and I wanted to launch a new project different from what I've already done with the band. I am especially proud of "Wrong or Right", the first track on the album because it was actually one of the first songs I've ever written. I had dozens of songs to choose from for the record, but after all these years I don't think any of them could beat the catchy melodies in "Wrong or Right". So I decided to include it.
Uniform’s sound is super-polished and obviously the result of a lot of hard studio work. How did the recording for Uniform come together?
I recorded all drums, bass, guitar, keys, and vocals myself. I co-produced the tracks with my good friend Christian Horton who also recorded "It's Just a Game" for Tall Tales. Christian and I have been working together for a long time now which makes the process really easy. Although, the EP took a long time to record because I had to pause halfway through the process to record "It's Just a Game" for Tall Tales.
What are your plans as a solo artist while Tall Tales is still an active band? What distinguishes Jack Ingram, solo artist, material from Tall Tales material?
While I will definitely promote this album and use it as a marketing platform for myself, Tall Tales is my focus and my main songwriting/performance outlet. I will continue to play shows with Tall Tales and would rather do that in the first place because I love being in a band. The thing that is most different about this EP is that it is so diverse in its musical styles. Everything from bright dance pop to a folk rock ballad. That's why I ironically titled this EP "Uniform" as everything on it is so different. Tall Tales definitely has its own style, which again, is why I thought doing this EP was so important.
Who or what currently inspires you?
I've been influenced by a lot of different sources throughout the years. I grew up listening to bands like The Police and Boston with my dad and really got introduced to 80s pop-rock at an early age. I think this definitely comes out in my music today and inspires other great alternative artists/bands of today like The 1975, Walk The Moon, Brandon Flowers, etc. I also draw inspiration from up and coming bands, most notably Hippo Campus. I just love their sound and how they craft their songwriting.
1. Worlds On Fire by Zerbin
2. Dollar Bill by Hippo Campus
3. Set It On Fire by Knox Hamilton
4. No Place Like Home by HONNE
5. Killer Whales by Smallpools
6. The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala
7. Brother by Gerard Way
8. Lonely Town by Brandon Flowers
9. Honolulu by Last Dinosaurs
10. Cigarettes by Noah Gunderson