Australian singer-songwriter Jack Anderson (known on stage as The Passage North) spent some time last year in New York playing open mic sessions and café shows, it was great to have a chat with the talented acoustic solo-artist and find out more about his inspirational journey to The Big Apple and to find out his plans the rest of the year.
Story-telling is an art that seems to be fading away in modern-day music, yet every song you’ll hear from The Passage North seems to have his very own personal tales behind the lyrics.
Check out the interview below:
You recently released your track ‘For Now’ on SoundCloud which is such an incredible single completely jam-packed with emotion, what’s the meaning behind it?
Thanks so much that really means a lot. It’s actually quite a long story, but at the end of the day I think it’s mainly about optimism. So often if someone comes into your life and then leaves it, there’s a lot of bitterness or regret or whatever else. Now that the song’s existed for a while, I think it’s about meeting someone, growing from it then eventually moving on and feeling grateful for the experience.
How did you first get into music?
I started playing the drums when I was only 8. I used to hit pencils on one of our rugs at home when I was really young, imagining I had a massive, Mike Portnoy style kit. Eventually my folks (whether they knew what they were getting themselves into or not) bought me a kit for Christmas. When I was around 13 or 14 I picked up my old man’s Fender “Stratacoustic” and started teaching myself Beatles and Dylan songs, writing came a little while after that.
Who inspires you?
Right now, Chance the Rapper. We’re pretty much the same age and I have all the respect in the world for him. To do as much as he has for his city, family and friends through his music and activism takes something special. Plus he’s entirely independent, all his material is coming out for free when people would pay double for it, it’s so selfless. His entire approach to music is a huge deal and it’s liberating to see as a musician.
What was it like spending some time in New York last year?
It changed my life. It really did. It’s hard to be concise about it because of what it meant to me. I just met a lot of people who were like minded, supportive and extremely talented. There were points where I was poor or homesick or depressed, but I got to play my songs almost every night to people who wanted to listen to them, be it at open mics or shows. That’s a really fortunate situation to be in, and I’m lucky to have had the chance to be there when I was. I miss it a lot, and since I left I’d imagine business has been tough for the dollar pizza store on the street I lived on, so I’ll have to head back soon.
Have you got any plans for the rest of 2016?
I’ve got another single on the way very soon, and I’m aiming to release an EP in the next couple of months. I’ll be moving down to Melbourne once that’s released, where a lot of Aussie artists have started out (Chet Faker, Courtney Barnett, Vance Joy). I’ve got to fix my car first though, it’s making some sounds it definitely shouldn’t be. That’s the most immediate plan for 2016.
If you could perform live at absolutely anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado hands down. That place is amazing. I think it was an Incubus DVD when I first saw it and was like “is this place real?”
And finally, if you could have one superpower what would it be?
I just saw the new X-Men movie the other day so I’ve been thinking hard on this already. Anyone with the hardcore powers ends up with a lot of angst, right? Like Jean Grey has a lot to cope with despite having arguably the coolest powers and could potentially destroy the whole world which would definitely bum you out. There’s a minor character who can control animals, and I think that would be a solid choice. My dog died last year so I’d probably just use the power to get other dogs to come kick it at my place when their owners aren’t home.