Jack Carrack (The Paul Carrack Band/Elliott Morris/Tinlin)
Jack has been with SG Percussion since 2012 using Cajon No49 and an SG Bongo on tour with The Paul Carrack Band, Tinlin and Elliott Morris. We are so proud to have Jack as part of our musical family using our instruments alongside world class performers (check out the videos page to see him in action).
Below is a great interview with Jack by iDrum Magazine.
All about the feeling
As the son of Paul Carrack, 25-year old Jack Carrack has grown up under the watchful eye (and ear) of one of the UK’s finest singer/songwriters. His father’s musicianship and taste certainly seem to have rubbed off on Jack, who now plays double drums in Carrack Snr.’s touring band alongside Carrack’s regular drummer Dean Dukes. Jack delivers just what the song requires whether playing live in tandem with Dukes, or alone on Paul’s latest album Good Feeling. Drummer spoke to Jack while on tour recently to discover his percussive path thus far. Unsurprisingly, it was Paul that got him started as Jack explained.
“My dad tried me on all sorts of instruments including guitar and keyboards. I guess he was trying to get me to play something I could write songs on, but I got nowhere with them. Then one day, when I was about 7, he sat me on the kit and showed me a beat and that was it – I was away. He left me to it then and I began to get more serious about it when I was 14 or 15.
“I did the usual thing of listening to records and copying what I heard. I was listening to Oasis and Blur as my brother was a fan of both groups and his record collection was my main source of listening. I eventually joined a band with some schoolmates and I realised that I wasn’t doing too well learning drums on my own, so I decided to get some lessons. I began lessons at school, but that almost put me off completely. The teacher I had at the time sapped all of the excitement out of it for me. He showed me some rudiments and some basic beats, but I didn’t get on with his approach. I later found another teacher privately and he sparked my excitement again and I got right back into it. His whole thing was trying to help me to teach myself things. That left me in a good place to get on with things myself and figure out what I wanted to work on. I went to music college for a couple of years and that pretty much coincided with me stopping lessons. In college we were put into groups and there were only two drummers in my year so I was in as many bands
As they could possibly stick me in, which was great because everyone had different tastes. some were pop groups, but a lot were into rock and metal so, by default, I ended up playing a lot of that stuff. Towards the end of my time at college, a couple of college tutors who had set up a function band needed someone to cover one gig on drums so they asked me. I learned the songs and turned up and played the first set and in the interval the band leader asked me if I wanted to take the position and I ended up playing with them for about five years.”
Jack eventually joined a local band called Tinlin, and later when Paul saw them live he invited them to play support on his next tour. This led to Jack joining his dad’s band, playing double drums alongside regular drummer Dean Dukes. When asked what challenges playing with another drummer presented, it seems Jack just slotted in with ease.
“There weren’t too many challenges, really. It probably should have been a bit harder than it was. We play to a click so that simplifies things because we’re not following each other. We’ve got the click as a reference so we don’t have to battle it out for pocket. Also, Dean has been working with my dad for many years now so he already knew what kind of things my dad likes and what he would expect to be hearing. That made my job easier because, when I came in, I didn’t have to work that out the hard way. Dean gives me tips all of the time. He’s very encouraging and playing with him has really helped me.”
Any drummer who has played double drums may have experienced the scenario where both players go to play a fill, hear the other one going for a fill and then both stop, resulting in no fill and it seems that Jack has also experienced this.
“There was a bit of that at first, but we figured it out as we went along. Initially, I left Dean to do what he had already been doing and I was just sitting on the beats and not playing many fills, while figuring out where the spaces were and we built it from there. This is our third tour now so, as time has gone on, we’ve come up with different ideas and developed stuff song by song and section by section. We typically play the same kick and snare patterns, but will each vary the ghost notes or hi-hat part. Alternatively, one of us may play hi-hat while the other plays ride cymbal, but, predominantly, we are sitting on the same grooves. There are also a few places where we play completely different things, but we figured those out specifically.”
When asked what he had learned most from his dad, Jack’s answer was simple.
“Dad’s always emphasising the importance of feel and that’s an important factor to keep in mind when you are playing music. Dad has also been really helpful as he’s given me a lot of live and recording experience and he has given me the mindset that I’ve got. He must have got it in there subtly when I was young and reinforced it as I’ve got older and been working with him. He’s definitely had a big influence on my playing style.”
Although Jack is the sole drummer on Paul Carrack’s latest album Good Feeling, simply being a drummer didn’t give him a rite of passage into Paul’s band. Jack explained how solving a problem led to his first major album.
“Recording Good Feeling came about as dad was in the studio trying to put a drum track together for the title track. He was struggling trying to programme this shuffle beat and he wasn’t really getting there so I offered to pop in and have a little knock. There’s a kit already set up in the studio so I sat down and played through it a couple of times and kind of solved his problem for him! From there, I ended up playing on the rest of the album. ‘I Can Hear Ray’ is my favourite track and it’s probably my best recorded performance to date.”
Playing The Song
Throughout the entirety of the album, Jack’s playing is mature, delivering just what the songs need and, as he explained, it’s because it’s all about the song.
“When you are playing with a songwriter, you have got to be sympathetic to the song. It’s not about the drums. I think I enjoy songs more than I enjoy drums, so I try to just put a drum beat down that does the job, possibly emphasising a few bits here and there.”
In addition to working with his father Paul, Jack continues to work with Tinlin and freelance doing studio work. He recently recorded some tracks with producer Dave Mackay for scottish singer Frankie Miller and when asked if there are any artists he would particularly like to work with his answer was both direct and practical!
“Yeah, loads – Whoever has got the work for me, basically.”
SQ2 Birch Drums with rosewood inner ply
20” x 18” Bass drum
12”x9” Rack Tom
16” x 16” Floor Tom
Snare – either Sonor Benny Greb Signature or Ludwig Black Beauty
13″ AAX Hats
16″ HHX crash
19″ AXX crash
21″ old ride, unknown series
Bass Drum: Remo Powerstroke 3 clear (batter)/ Powerstroke 4 clear (front)
Rack Tom: Remo coated Emperor (top)/ clear Ambassador (bottom)
Floor Tom: Remo coated Emperor (top)/ clear Ambassador (bottom)
Sonor Benny Greb Signature snare: Remo Powerstroke 3 (top)/Evans 300 (snare) Ludwig Black
Beauty snare: Aquarian Super 2 (top)/Evans 300 (snare)
SG Percussion cajón and cajón bongo Premier student glockenspiel.
Pedal mounted tambourine and various shakers/ effects
Paul on Jack
“Jack joining my band kind of evolved, but having him playing drums with me is great, and he’s doing the job purely on merit. I went to see him playing with the group Tinlin.
He was playing percussion with them and I liked their songs and thought that they had something as a group, so I invited them on tour as the support band. The initial idea was that Jack would play percussion with them and towards the end of our set, he would join with my band and we would have two drummers, as in the Motown style. We had a knock through with the two drummers and we ended up playing the whole set and everybody in the band loved it. I had a word with Dean Dukes, who has been my drummer for several years, and he was all for Jack coming on board. I wouldn’t have taken Jack on without Dean’s blessing and it’s worked out really well.
“The main thing I need from a drummer is feel. That’s all. I’m not interested in chops. We play songs so I just want a drummer to play the songs with feel and taste, and I think Jack has a good sensitivity for playing songs. He listens and he plays the song and he played on pretty much all of my latest album, Good Feeling, and he did a damn good job.”
For more info, tour dates & tickets, hit the link below.