Guitars recorded in Toronto, bass recorded in Calgary, and vocals and drums recorded in Dublin. That’s the recording process for the latest EP by the four member band We Know Jack, originally from Clane, Kildare, Ireland. Today band members Ronan Connolly (guitar) and Dave Walsh (vocalist) joined us to discuss how the band formed, the recording process behind their upcoming EP, and the meaning behind one of their songs.
Members of the band first met in school in a small town in Ireland outside of Dublin. They jammed for a year or two and decided they wanted to take it to the next step by getting a vocalist, which they did in 2011.
“There was no one locally who we thought would work so we put an advert on a music forum and got a lot of replies and a lot of interest from places all over Ireland, which was crazy!” said Ronan. “So we scheduled an audition with one of the first guys to reply. He was from Dublin and came down and nailed it. He showed up with melodies and lyrics for our demos already worked out! Pretty much walked in with the attitude of ‘When do I start?’ which we all thought was cool!”
The name “We Know Jack” was decided upon when the band members realized they didn’t know jack about naming bands. The name stuck and they’ve been using it ever since.
The unique attribute of We Know Jack is its current international appeal – two of its members, Ronan and Colin, currently live in Canada while the other two, Dave and Ger, are living in Ireland. For their latest EP, the drums and vocals are recorded in Ireland, bass is recorded in Calgary, and guitars, mixing and mastering are done in Toronto. Recording music when members are different parts of the world would naturally seem to be a troubling process, but they make it work. The resulting music from their collaborative work falls under the metal, punk and alternative rock genre.
Because of the band members living in different countries, touring is not an option for them. They are instead focusing on their upcoming EP. One of the upcoming tracks has already been released, titled “Stay Ruined.” Vocalist Dave said the song is about staying ruined because when you’re in rock bottom, the only place to look is up.
“The song is about being at your worst and being OK with it, knowing you have the strength to deal with it at the bottom and leaving the worst of yourself down their whilst trying to better yourself,” Dave said. “So stay ruined, it’s all good, ‘cause your gonna get better!”
Their debut EP “Snakes and Fables,” which was released May 14, 2014, is a must listen for anyone down for some progressive, hardcore metal. Check out the tracks below:
“I mix all the songs,” Ronan said. “I recorded the first EP ‘Snakes and Fables’ myself, but since I have been in Toronto, the drummer records the drums and vocals and sends me the files, I record my guitar tracks and then the bassist records the bass and sends it to me. I then mix and master them.”
For guitars, Ronan uses a Jim Root Fender Telecaster and Peavey XXX head through a 4×12 cab with V30’s. Colin uses a Squier Jazz bass. The drums are constantly changing because Ger likes to buy and sell different sets all the time, though rumor has it he’s been rocking a Tama Starclassic kit with a Chad Smith Snare lately.
Like most bands, We Know Jack occasionally faces writer’s block. Ronan said they sometimes play riffs that may sound like a rehash of something they have done before.
“Sometimes a song just flows and others you gotta walk away from it and come back to it with a fresh head,” said Ronan.
Despite the hardships of writing new music and recording across the seas, We Know Jack is doing what they love and we can’t wait to hear their upcoming EP.