I sat down with Jack Carty in Newtown, Sydney last month and had an awesome chat about his last year and the exciting new album he has just completed.

“I’ve been touring non-stop all year. I’m in the middle of a tour with Josh Pyke, and these shows have been really nice. It’s nice to be on the road with a friend. We’ve been playing a lot of theatre shows, although there have been a fair share of big pub shows.”

“I always prefer theatre shows, personally, but Josh seems to really like a good pub show – 500 people at a pub all singing along. It’s been a great tour for me in terms of learning, because I’ve always focused more on theatre style shows in terms of the craft of it. There is a real craft to playing a pub show too. There are definitely ways of doing things that are appropriate for different environments, I don’t feel like I’m putting on an act on stage but I’ve definitely learnt things on this tour.”

This tour alongside Pyke wrapped up at the beginning of August, just as Jack released his brand new   although he’s been based in Brisbane for the last year or so. Speaking from the pub in Sydney though, Jack reminisces, “I think musically this is where I cut my teeth. I played all over the city. It’s still my musical home.”

Before we got into the nitty-gritty of the new album and the interesting and novel way Jack produced and recorded it, I asked him about band versus solo shows. “It’s pretty rare to play with a band these days. Whenever I do it I want it to be great, but that takes time and money to rehearse. I don’t feel like the solo show is a lesser show, it’s just different. So if I’m going to bother taking a band I want to have time to do it well. There’s bands out there that are full time bands, and they spend all their time making sure they’re an awesome band. And that’s amazing, and I spend my time touring round solo and making sure that I’ve got that where I want it. So if I’m going to do a band then it has to be up to the standards of all the other bands and my solo show.”

Home State was recorded entirely in Jack’s house or someone else’s home, “It was a real learning curve, producing it myself. It started off as a real organic thing, I didn’t think I was making an album, just thought I was making some demos, working on some songs, and then it organically snowballed into this thing where I thought, ‘this could work, why don’t I do it.’”

Jack writes a lot, especially on the road, but finds he needs space these days to finish songs. “I think you can do some things on the road, but I think that space is important. It allows you to put a full stop on what you were doing, so you can start on what you are wanting to do. That doesn’t mean it has to be drastically different, but you need to see where you came from and where you are and where you want to go.”

“I write a lot on the road, but I don’t finish them. So I’ll go home and fine tune and finish them. I used to finish songs on the road, almost as I wrote them, but nowadays I like the craft of fine tuning and writing. Just because you wrote it a certain way doesn’t mean that is the best it is. I think I have changed a lot in that respect, for a while I’d write a song and be terrified that somehow it would vanish, so I’d just write it and that was it. Now I trust a lot more that it’s a process.”

We start talking about the album and how these changes to his creative style impacted these songs. “There are still some songs though, like ‘A Way With Me’, I recorded that the day after I wrote it. It’s the exact way I wrote it. While songs like ‘Instruments’ I worked on for so long, years. That was an idea I had two years ago – a verse, a kind of vague outline, of what it was about and the direction. Eventually I got it there and its one of my favourite songs on the record.”

Recording an album yourself isn’t easy but Jack decided it was the way he wanted to do it this time. “I wanted it to be this labour of love. I love making music with my friends, it’s my favourite thing in the world. But just the fact that I’d already got so far doing it myself, I wanted to roll with it. It’s a nice place to be and be on the eve of the release to look back and know every part of it, because I was physically in the room for every single thing that was recorded, except a bit of guitar that I dropped in from the files. And I’m proud of all of it! For the most part it doesn’t sound like a homemade record, but there are one or two bits that I hear that I’m like, that happened because of this, and I love that. It’s a record I made by myself, in my house, one summer.”

“When I really break it down, what I want to do is make honest music and share it with people.”

Catch Jack Carty at the Wine Cellar alongside Great North on Saturday 10th September! Tickets on sale here! 

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