Jack Bennett, also known as Grumble Bee, has been taking the UK music scene by storm lately. His smooth and yet rugged vocals placed perfectly over his arrangement of instrumental work are giving him high praise among music critics and his peers.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Jack to pick his brains a little bit and we have added two of his music videos for your viewing pleasure.
Adam - Tell us about yourself, how did you from, where did the name idea come from?
Jack - I'm Jack! I write and record music like a band would, and then just put that music out there under the project name 'Grumble Bee'. The name is partly from the kids at my mum's nursery & my brother's calling me J.B “Bee” and from just being super grumpy and cynical about everything.. “grumpy/grumble” - so trying to find the best balance between the two aspects really.
Adam - Who are your main influences and inspirations in music?
Jack - I'd probably have to say my parents, girlfriend & close relationships/team I work with. I thought I was doing it for myself at the beginning, but now I really enjoy the feedback from hearing how a song I wrote might have helped someone through something – so I think that actually seems to have more significance over what influences me at the minute anyway!
Adam - You have developed a unique sound as a solo artist, how hard was it for you to develop this sound and create your music?
Jack - Thanks a lot! I think if it is a unique sound, I'd have to put that down to my vocal tone or something like that? It's so easy to write music that's been done before – but I do take a bit of time employing my cynicism into “when something sounds like something else or not”. So hopefully having that sort of threshold over when I think something sounds “good” is the difference between two different song writers? But it's just preference at the end of the day!
Adam - Is there anything you want to experiment with musically that you haven't attempted yet?
Jack - I'd love to work more with strings, like double bass and cello etc. I'm pretty rubbish at Violin now, as it's incredibly hard to get perfect pitch on a fretless tiny instrument like that, but I love strings, so I'm really working on getting a string quartet sounding good, from layering myself in the studio! Just have to learn how to play the Cello first!
Adam - What is your musical writing process?
Jack - For the past couple years I've been recording little voice memo's wherever I am at that time, but usually out walking my Husky on the hills somewhere. I'll just sing or terribly beat box a rhythm or melody – with the intention of throwing that an instrument which might suit that part. But other times, I'll just sit down with an acoustic guitar or at the piano and write a song based around a more solid structure that way.
Adam - You have recently gained a lot of attention and praise from your music videos 'Red' and 'Heron' did you expect such great feedback?
Jack - I'm not just saying this, but I really didn't expect that AT ALL. Firstly because I was absolutely bricking it, and over-thinking how my first self-produced stuff would be received in the general public. But everything seems to be going really well so far, and even had more comments on production & the vast majority either didn't know or don't care, which is ace too!
Adam - You have been confirmed for a few festivals this year, what can fans expect from a festival set that may be different from a regular show?
Jack - Yeah, festivals are always a lot of fun and great for us, as we can get on, quickly make an impact and then quickly get off stage! So it's short and sweet, which means it's actually a choice of picking songs now. Because it's usually a shorter amount of time, it means full energy for a majority of the set too, which I absolutely love.
Adam - How soon can we expect new music?
Jack - I'm planning a new release every month so far! It's hard meeting all the deadlines, and I'm trying to throw in a acoustic/piano track in-between each main release, but I'm mid-way through recording the acoustic stuff too, so I need to crack on with that. It's exciting though and great to be pushed.
Adam - What has been your high point of this year so far?
Jack - Apart from announcing some great festivals, it just feels good to be putting out new music and getting TV/Radio plays regularly. But this year, I'm really looking to be more consistent with new music and not just one EP release, around a similar time frame, now I finally have my studio set up to record and release regularly!
Adam - If you could pick one band to support who would it be and why?
Jack - For acoustic stuff, I'd love to support City & Colour or even Craig David! – and for full band there's Brand New, Thrice, Biffy Clyro as some of my favourites alt/rock sort of bands.
Adam - What else can fans expect from you this year?
Jack - I'm hoping to put out a re-mastered/mixed double vinyl later this year with all my acoustics one-side and all my full band tracks on the other (double gate-fold), as well as a bunch of festivals, touring dates and some more headline shows around single releases.
Adam - What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on tour?
Jack - Nothing too embarrassing has happened during this project just yet, as I actually love the awkwardness of some situations and love that dry sense of humour type stuff, but in the past in a venue in Hull, I actually fell backwards over my amp & cab, knocking the amp off, and getting squashed between the cab and the wall.. I didn't know what to do, so just carried on playing guitar until the end of that song. Then when it'd finished, I could actually use my hands to get back up.
Adam - Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Jack - Usually listening to Beyoncé through a little plastic cup, where Zach has put his phone in.. top quality stuff. Or just headphones in general blasting out some Motown.
Adam - What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Jack - Question everything & be nice people – as you'd expect that for yourself! I realise that might sound initially “negative”, but ultimately, I really think it's a great thing to be able to stand up for yourself and not be pushed around in an industry such as this, and just being nice to people, seems like common sense to me – but believe it or not, I've actually been asked “why am I so nice to 'fans'?” hah! Definitely think band's underestimate how important it is to be kind, friendly and actually respond to friends who are into your music (and people in general), it seems to be massively over-looked for some weird reason.
Adam - What is your ultimate zombie survival plan?
Jack - Other than not dying? Definitely not just “walking around” like the every episodes in the last seasons of Walking Dead! I'd probably go mental for a bit, but in the end, just get tonnes of supplies and stay on high ground, where there's high visibility too. Probably learn how to get really accurate with long-range weapons, as there's no chance I'm doing any typical hand-to-hand (where the dude dies!!) type of stuff... Maybe I should have said something funny..
Thank you so much for your time, Jack! Be sure to check out the music videos for Heron and Red above and check out Grumble Bee online here: Facebook