I recently had the chance to sit down with pop-rock luminaries Piqued Jacks. In our twenty minute interview I found these young Italians to be fun rock and rollers who really know what they’re on about. In the interview we discuss their lives and music in depth, getting a better grasp at what defines the band.
So what’s going on in the world of Piqued Jacks?
Andrea (A): Right now we are in Italy in the studio we are working on new stuff. We’re recording the next album and we are very excited about it. Right now we’re very very busy, we’re in the middle of recording vocal and piano sessions. We are very focused. It’s strange because spending every single day in the studio can get hard. We also released two new singles in May which are a connection between Just the Machine, our previous EP which we released in 2013 to the new album we’re working on. We have a lot of ideas for the new cycle. We’re very busy right now.
Are the singles not going to be on the album?
A: No they will not be on the album. We just wanted to release those two songs because we wrote them before starting writing the new songs and the new album. So we just wanted to respect the time they were born in.
You guys actually flew back to Italy to record the record right?
A: It’s a long story. We moved to Austin last fall and we toured for 5-6 months around Texas with our records. After SXSW this year we had to fly back to Italy because we had some visa issues. It’s not fair I think for a band who are working hard every day. So we had to fly back to Italy and the tour had ended in March so we just got the opportunity to be in Italy and to stay at home and think only of the new record.
What I noticed with the output from before you lived in America versus after you lived in America, there’s almost an American twist to the music now?
A: Well, even before coming to America we felt that our sound wasn’t Italian at all. We felt that it was more American, that’s why we tried to reach someone from America. Working in America and playing there and being in the middle of the American music and sound inspired us in some ways. We can say that we had a stronger American twist to our music. We like to keep the things we grew up with in the music, our roots.
We always listened to American music, so we’ve always been influenced by American bands. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mars Volta, The Killers, The Foo Fighters… Moving to Austin wasn’t the beginning of the American twist.
So are you planning on moving back to America soon?
A: We hope so. We’re working on the bureaucratic elements. As soon as we finish the album and the recording session, we want to come back, so we’ll find a way.
Does your work with the band pay for all of this? Is it your full time job?
A: Kind of. Being an independent band is only an investment. But I mean for us, we’re working on it everyday. It is our full time job. We don’t get paid yet, but it is our full time job. We’re trying to do part-time jobs too, so we can keep on investing money in the project. We hope to get to the next level soon. Getting paid…we would like to be able to live with our music.
Do you want a record label or do you want to keep it independent?
A: I don’t know. It depends on the opportunities we’ll get. They are completely different worlds, the independent world and the record labels. Until now we didn’t have the chance to talk with record labels. That’s why we want to be in the US, to get a label. Right now we’re searching for a smaller label or management group who can help us get to the next level, and then we’ll see. We don’t want to skip any steps. We just want to climb over the rest. So we’ll see!
When is the album due?
A: We hope it will be out this fall. We also have to shoot a video, we have a lot of work to do.
What song will the video be for?
A: It’s a new song. You don’t know it yet. It’s called Romantic Soldier.
Finish this sentence for me, “I’ve never told this story before and probably shouldn’t but…”
A: We started playing together when we were 16 years old, the drummer was 14. We were just boys playing with instruments. It was the summer and during the summer it was the first time we were going to play in Rome.
Francesco (F): For an independent band it was a pretty big deal.
A: They called us to play a pretty good venue. We decided to go, and we did a three hour trip to Rome. Right when we arrived to the venue we went on the stage and there was a big hole in the middle of the stage. It was a really dark venue. We were still young, and it wasn’t our city, so we were really scared.
F: We moved all of our stuff inside the venue, then we took a look around and saw some photos on the wall…
A: It’s a venue in Italy where fascists and Nazi’s go. It was so weird. We don’t really know about that kind of stuff. We saw this whole in the stage and we asked the bartender what it was. And he said yes, the night before they didn’t like the singer so they did something with him…
We got more and more scared, we went out of the venue trying to figure out what we were going to do. So we decided to run away. It was funny because we had already loaded in. So we just went back in, took all our instruments and we just walked in front of the bartender, with all of the instruments. And it was like “Hey guys where are you going” and we were like “We’ll be back in a minute” then we ran away.
F: Another funny thing was that the name of the venue was “Jailbreak” it was appropriate for the scenario.
What do you guys love so much about music?
A: I think because we grew up together playing music it’s special. We’ve known each other since Kindergarten. We’re from the same little town in Tuscany. We really grew up together playing music and we learned so many things from this. We knew each other better as a result. I think without music we wouldn’t be friends as we are. We’re trying to make this friendship our strength. A band is a relationship, and in every relationship there are bad moments, so we’re trying to make this friendship our strength and livelihood so we can keep on doing what we love.