Jack Aisher, a.k.a. JackLNDN, is tearing up the deep house scene. Emerging from the UK, he has gained recognition from Ultra Records. This summer he has been touring all over the United States, playing festivals as large as Lollapalooza and Electric Forest. Last weekend at Lollapalooza, Bass Feeds The Soul’s journalist, Hanna Danecker, sat down with him to discuss life on tour, his roots in the European music scene, and the future direction of his deep house dynasty.
Bass Feeds The Soul: So I’m interested in knowing, how you think growing up in the UK influenced your sound and performance as an artist?
JackLNDN: I think, on the performance side, my approach to playing shows was influenced by the European and the UK club culture. There isn’t too much visual emphasis on the DJ, there’s more audio emphasis, you know? Fabric in London, for example, has a really small slit where you can look through and see the DJ, otherwise it’s not the focus of your attention. As a performer, that’s kind of where I came from. As I started playing over in America, I realized that on stage, people expect a certain level of showmanship, and movement. It’s been fun adapting and I’m still trying to do it in my own style without going totally unnecessarily nuts and, detracting from the music.
BFS: Definitely! That is what it should be about.
JL: Yeah! So I’m trying to get a balance of both, while pleasing the people who want that visual look, and also pleasing people who are there purely for the music. On the musical side of my influence, the music has had a great music output and scene for years and years. What makes the radio tends to be pretty decent; BBC is a great network for music discovery. I feel like anyone who spends time in the UK gets a little bit of an advantage over the rest of the world in terms of the tunes they hear and the stuff they listen to. It is kind of hard to place specifically what that is but it definitely helps.
BFS: It’s funny that you mention BBC - That is actually one of the first ways I discovered Bassnectar!
JL: Wow that’s awesome!
BFS: I know that you opened for him at Red Rocks recently; how was that experience?
JL: I mean, it’s Red Rocks isn’t it!?
BFS: Yeah! It’s one of the biggest, most beautiful venues in the world!
JL: Yeah, it’s crazy, I can’t believe that happened! I was there a year before; I went to see STS9. I was playing a show in Denver, and then a Beatport set, and I also had a show later that evening. I managed to nip to Red Rocks and back in between the two sets.
BFS: Ah wow, that’s impressive!
JL: Yeah, you know, I sat there just blown away by the venue, thinking one day… one day I will play here! And less than a year later I’m there, opening for Bassnectar, so that was pretty crazy. The hospitality is amazing there, the people that run the venue and everything about it is just on point. It’s a good notch on the belt, definitely a bucket list venue.
BFS: Yeah! It’s crazy that you’ve achieved that when you’re so young, too!
JL: Next time I want to go back and be headlining!
BFS: Yeah, ideally, that would be awesome!
JL: That’s the goal, right?
BFS: I would love to see you headline Red Rocks! On that note, how does it feel to be touring at festivals as large as Lollapalooza at such a young age?
JL: Um, oh it sucks, it sucks… No, it’s really fun! It’s a dream come true, you can’t knock it. It can be tiring and filled with a lack of sleep sometimes, but you can’t really complain about that. It’s fun. You also get to meet a lot of people that you admire and look up to, which is cool. I’ve gone up to them and been like, “I love your music!” And they actually respond to me as a peer, which is awesome, and that feels nice. So I’ve had a chance to speak to a lot of the guys I look up to, get a bit of their advice, their approaches on music, and learn a bit while I’ve been on the road, which has been an extra bonus.
BFS: Who would you say currently are your biggest musical influences?
JL: That’s a tricky one, because I try not to listen to too much electronic music. I do search for music to play in my sets and stuff like that. For my own pleasure, I tend to listen to jazz or funk, or disco records, that kind of stuff. I was raised on Earth Wind and Fire, I guess you could say maybe the biggest influence. I was a classical musician as well, so that side of things comes into play. If I had to narrow it down to one, it probably would be Earth, Wind, and Fire. Love ‘em.
BFS: Definitely, that’s classic! So what kind of music did you listen to growing up? Who were your favorite artists?
JL: So besides Earth, Wind, and Fire, I was raised on a lot of disco, a lot of classical music, and a lot of jazz as a family. Miles Davis, for example, we were pumping all the time. I guess in my teen years, you had people like Justice. I wasn’t even into electronic music, but that album crossed, it was huge.
BFS: For sure! One of my first years at Lollapalooza they were headlining, so that was awesome!
JL: The set up, with the Marshall amps stacked up, and all the lights, I actually still think that is the best stage design, probably I have ever seen. You know, with like the temple stage with all the synthesizers.
BFS: Yeah, totally! It’s simplistic but it draws your eye.
JL: I watched a video of their live set on that stage and I still have yet to see a better general package; looking amazing, sounding amazing, they’ve got that.
BFS: What drew you to producing house music in the first place?
JL: Well, I turned 18, and the day after my 18th birthday I went clubbing. I was young in my year in school, so I hadn’t really gone clubbing whereas the rest of my mates had already gone. I didn’t have an ID so I couldn’t sneak in at 17 to all these 18+ clubs. The times I did it was sort of bunk, kind of weird clubs… you know, that’s not clubbing as we know it now. So I sort of walked into space underneath the amps. It was supposed to be Carl Cox headlining, but he was ill, so instead it was Fatboy Slim filling in! At the time I was like, cool, that’s kind of cool! And now I know that’s wicked. So yeah, I saw that, and that was sort of my first real experience with any kind of clubbing. It was this mega club and I was just blown away.
BFS: Wow, that sounds like a great first experience!
JL: Yeah! And I was like “Wow, what is this?” I knew house through disco, and my mom had a bunch of 90’s house knocking around, she used to play it in the car. So I was aware of it before, but I hadn’t really put two and two together and realized that this was the club culture, and the two sort of met in the most awesome and beautiful way. So as soon as I saw that, and picked up that everyone around me was just, the energy was incredible, so I said, “I have to be a part of this, I have to try and do something.” So then I started to DJ.
BFS: Find a way to immerse yourself… and you did it! So here you are!
JL: Yeah! It’s really cool actually.
BFS: I guess that just goes to show, if you have a passion for something and you put the effort in, you can really go anywhere!
JL: And if you decide to stop everything else and quit university, and have no job and make no money, you can do it!
BFS: [Laughs] Definitely! So, how do the crowds in the UK and Europe differ from the United States?
JL: Well, I’m not dissing my friends in the UK and the people there… I love the UK and the crowds are amazing, but dance music has been in the mainstream and been accepted for a longer time there than it has here. So I guess in the UK, people are less impressed or, I hesitate to use the word snobby, but…
BFS: They just have higher expectations?
JL: Yes, exactly, like, “I’ve heard this song before, therefore, I’m not going to enjoy it.”
BFS: I understand where you’re coming from. You can find those people anywhere!
JL: Definitely, but they seem to be less frequent here, which is lovely. Wherever it comes from, and wherever it may have been released or whenever it came out, people are still going to listen and enjoy it without judging, which is nice. And, actually, people here know how to appreciate that they haven’t seen certain things in a particular way before. The best crowds I have ever seen have been in America, for sure.
BFS: What has been your favorite performance that you have had in the United States so far?
JL: That’s tricky, I guess there are two that stand out so far, which are Lightning in a Bottle…
BFS: Oh my god, that festival!
JL: [Laughs] Right? Yeah, that festival is amazing. People were great, the setup was great, the stage was lovely, and people were just going bananas. They were going crazy, it was awesome to see. I played a whole bunch of my music, it was wicked. The other one was probably Electric Forest. This year was my first time there, and I played four sets in four days, which was really fun. I played different stages, sort of all around; I did a silent disco, and then the Forest stage, and then Tripolee stage. It was great. The fourth set specifically, the last day, I played all original music from start to finish. I brought out a ton of unreleased stuff I’ve never tried before, and it was the best reaction of the weekend, the best crowd. That felt cool.
BFS: I bet! So, do you ever get homesick for the UK?
JL: Not really, I actually went to boarding school for a few years, so I’m used to being away from my family for bits of time. Plus they’re very supportive, they’re happy about what I’m doing. I get to go home every now and then and visit them. Keep tabs. The UK itself in general I miss; London is obviously a very cool city. I was born and raised there, so I definitely feel the London-shaped hole in my life. But, it’s been filled with the discovery of a completely new country and all these amazing festivals, the people, and the parties. You know, don’t cry for me!
BFS: That’s a very positive outlook! How has your latest release, Summer Never Ends, impacted your live performances?
JL: I’ve been playing everywhere, and I’ve seen people actually singing along. That’s really cool, because it’s one of the first tracks I actually put vocals in. That’s kind of cool, just to see people singing it back at you. That was a new experience. It’s funny you mention “live set,” because I’m actually working on this whole new thing, a whole live set as in keyboards, drums, Ableton, and singing, all that stuff. “Fooled Around,” I actually sang on. And “All I See,” the one I just put out with Ultra last week, I’m singing on as well. It’s going to be interesting to debut the live show. I’m still working on the format of how it’s going to be, and I’m really enjoying working on it. It’s going to be really fun to play live, not just DJing, but also using physical instruments and to sing live, and showcase what I sing on my records. I also have a whole bunch of new things I’ve produced that are lined up to come out soon, and I’ll be able to sing live on those as well, and I think it will be really interesting to just add to that.
BFS: Yeah! Live instrumentation just takes that live performance to a whole new level, so I’m really excited to hear you say that.
JL: Given it doesn’t suck! That’s important.
BFS: Yeah! But it seems like you’ve really been putting the work in, so I think you’ve got this!
JL: I hope so, yeah! I don’t want it to be a mega crash-and-burn, but I feel like if I take the right time and set it up in the right way it should be really cool, should be fun, and I think people will respond really well to it.
BFS: So can we expect volume II of Summer Never Ends anytime soon?
JL: Yeah! You can actually. I just signed with Ultra, we’ve got the EP all lined up, and it’s just a question of selecting from our overall list of songs that I have. There’s a lot to choose from, but there’s a lot of music we’re trying to get out in the right way. We don’t want to overload people with too much music at once, so we have to be quite selective, but I think we’re getting there.
BFS: Well we’re very excited for that! It was so great talking to you, I’m out of questions at this point but I really enjoyed this interview.
JL: Thank you!
Check out more of JackLNDN's signature deep house sound on his SoundCloud below:
JackLNDN wraps up his tour around the United States at Dancefestopia, TomorrowWorld, and more. Catch him at these locations:
Aug. 28th @ The Fox Theater - Boulder, CO
Aug. 29th @ Audio SF - San Francisco, CA
Sep. 11th-13th @ Dancefestopia - Kansas City, MO
Sep. 18th @ Mishawaka Amphitheatre - Bellvue, CO
Sep. 19th @ Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
Sep. 25th @ TomorrowWorld - Atlanta, GA
Interview by: Hanna Danecker