Solo singer/songwriter Jason Lake uses his guitar and piano to connect with people on an emotional level. Taking influence from Chris Cornell and Glen Hansard, Jason shares a soulful and soothing sound for listeners. We took a moment to chat with the man himself about his new album Adventure28, discovering new music and much more!
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
I first started playing guitar with my brother at the age of 14. He would play electric guitar and I would play bass. We’d play along to The Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind’ pretty much on repeat. Over the next few years, I started writing my own songs influenced by bands like Muse, Green Day and Radiohead. I was in a few different bands, but we didn’t play live or perform anywhere apart from our bedrooms. After moving to London in 2006 to study at university, I saw Jack Savoretti supporting another artist at the Astoria; just him and his guitar. Jack wiped the floor of the main act! So powerful! That’s when I thought “I can do this”, so that’s what I did.
What can you tell us about your latest release Adventure28?
Adventure28 has been in the works for around four years and tells a story of change. I hit a period where life felt like it had come crashing down; however, amongst the rubble, I had some really helpful realisations. So, I took those and made them into songs.
The message behind the album is that life changes. We can resent that or we can embrace it. The latter is the best way forwards. Songs like ‘Somewhere Sunny’ are quite on the nose about it; however, you’ll find deeper truths in the song ‘If Truth Must Be Told’ which questions like “should we hold on to what we know is hurting us”?
What was the recording and writing process like?
It was a really interesting album to write and holds a lot of emotion from actual life events. Each song holds a special connection to me. The song ‘Battle Cry’ was written back in 2016, whereas ’28’ was written in between recording sessions. It really was a constant flow of songs over the past four years. Some made it, some didn’t. I really enjoyed writing ‘The Machine’ – stick it to the man.
I took my band (James Stevens on lead and Colin Smith on bass) to Brighton Road Studios in Sussex to record this, my third album, with Jake Skinner. The studio was an old converted barn. This was important to me as I felt it would reflect the message of the album – that even something old can create new stories. We spent three days recording and mixing the seven songs. Once the basics of the songs were recorded, we could then play and mix new things. Most notably in ‘Reform’ where the piano delays to the point in which it folds back into itself.
What do you hope people take from the album?
It’s an album with messages of growth and change. Hopefully, when times are tough, especially with everything happening right now, people are encouraged to keep moving forwards. Behind the clouds and gloom, the sun is still there shining and waiting for us. I also hope they can sing along full blast in the car if that helps them feel better.
Which is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
I’ve always found the music the hardest part to write, however, that’s usually where I start. When songwriting, I usually spend the majority of the time singing random melodies over different chord progressions until I find something that feels right. Once I have an idea for the lyrics, they are normally written pretty quickly; however, I do have a tendency to change them over years of playing a song live and forgetting what the original lyrics were.
Describe your music in three words.
Passionate, raw and loud.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
I believe the best way of finding new music is going to live gigs. I’ve found some of my favourite bands and artists when they are supporting someone else. You get to see the music performed closer to how the artist has envisioned it.
What does the future hold for Jason Lake?
I’ll be back on stage as soon as I can to promote Adventure28, hopefully with a band. Whilst locked down, I’ll be performing on Instagram to keep my followers entertained and try out anything new I write. I’ve been working on a few different things including a film soundtrack, an RnB track for 4Star and a few new songs of my own.
What advice do you have for any person planning to become a musician?
Do it for the love of it. Write and perform how you want to. It’s never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if it’s yours then you’re going to enjoy every moment of it.