Jack McEwan: A Day in The Life
An insight into the life and sounds of a British-born psychedelic rocker
The Psychadelic Porn Crumpets are a psychedelic grunge band from Perth, who have gained a strong following locally and are well known around the country. I had the pleasure of reviewing their second album High Visceral Part 2, which was laced in all sorts of intricate riffs and lyrics. Now I’m lucky enough to have a chat with singer/songwriter/guitarist Jack McEwan and learn a little more about the British-born psychedelic rocker and his band.
Jack, as you know I’m a big fan of your music, but before we get to that, a little about yourself? Where in the UK are you from and how long have you been living in Aus?
I’m from Woburn Sands (MK17 represent), a nice little woodland village fifty miles north of London. I moved over with my family when I was thirteen so I’ve been here nearly 11 years. I’d say I’m Australian now, a Perth loyal.
The PPC’s have gained a strong following not just in Perth but also around Australia. Tell us where it all began?
It began in my bedroom around 3 years ago, I used to play my mates the songs I recorded at Hector Street and they would usually dictate what genre I wrote. I was doing a lot of production stuff as Harbinger Lilts beforehand and then when Will bought a drum kit we all used to jam round his. Rish heard Cornflake and then it all spiraled together from there.
Having had the pleasure of reviewing the porn crumpets second album High Visceral Part 2, I picked up a range of influences from Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Tame Impala. Who are your biggest influences? Is there anyone in music you idolise most?
You can’t beat The Beatles; they’re the pioneers, timeless music that hasn’t aged a day in fifty years. Transitioning into modern times and Flying Lotus, Mars Volta, Tool, Gizzard, Tame, Floating Points, I can go on. I like anything with substance - something that exceeds its predecessors and gives you a new listening experience.
Most of your songs are pretty intricate, plenty of great riffs and chord progressions. How does the songwriting work within the band? Do you write yourself the skeleton of a song and get other members to stamp their parts on it, or is it a collective effort where you all sit down together and strum guitars until inspiration hits (or something else entirely)?
There’s a couple of tracks like Gurzle, Ergophobia, Dependent on Mary where we will write as a band. It takes a while, like a couple of months, but it’s a fully collective effort and everyone can work out a part. Then there are tracks like High Visceral, Denmark, November, Buzz and a few others where I’ll just lock myself away and work alone then force feed parts to people. It’s probably a bit more selfish but I enjoy recording, as does the rest of the band, so I’m open to ideas for changes as they are with their tracks but most of the time I’ll fight to the death to keep bits in.
Of course you’re going on tour soon with the new album, but I’ve seen you’re working on some new material to take along? What should we expect? Similar stuff to High Visceral or are you throwing some spanners in the works and making some different stuff entirely?
We’ve been working on some stoner rock tunes cause I’ve been going through a massive Sleep phase. Next week I’ll probably be into Aphex Twin again and we’ll be writing completely different material. I can’t really pick a genre to say what we’re writing but there’s a theme, an idea about how it should all come together. There’s going to be riffs anyway.
Can you give us some of the details for the tour? Where are you playing and how long will Perth be missing you?
Wednesday, 23rd August: Adelaide - Winterfest with The Murlocs
Thursday, 24th August: Brisbane - The Brighside.
Friday, 25th August: Sydney - The Chippo
Saturday, 26th August: Melbourne - The Curtin
Friday 22nd, September: Perth - Amplifier
Saturday 23rd, September: Margaret River - Settler Tavern
Sunday 24th, September: Mandurah - Rollercoaster (Players Bar)
Is there anything in store beyond the horizons of the tour? Should we be expecting yet another album in the near future or do you plan on reaping the fruits of your labour from High Visceral Part 2 for a while?
We’re planning on having an Album out in 2018 so not for a while. We want to make it better than the last two and keep pushing ourselves so we don’t want to rush things.
At Perth Underground, we love to know where our musicians hang out. Where abouts in Perth do you knock about and where was your first Perth gig?”
We’re based around Leederville. Our first gig was at Mojos on a Thursday night with Apollos Son and then the next night we played at the Corner Gallery with Apollos Son again.
As I can see through both your lyrics and your words on Facebook, you’re a man of many words, often using interesting words a little off the beaten track (Spangladestic). Is there any formal education behind those words and lyrics, or are you just a natural?
I went to school if that’s what you mean haha, nothing really to brag about, just public schools that I spent the majority of time stood outside ‘thinking about what I’ve done’. My friends were all pretty intelligent, they’d have some good topics of conversation then I’d be too drunk and ramble about weird things. I usually just think about what I’m going to say now before it projectiles from my mouth and offends people, maybe that’s intelligence?
Finally, more of a question out of my own interests but as a fellow Englishman now living in Australia, I’m sure you still have an allegiance to an English football club? How about for the AFL? Dockers or Eagles?
Newcastle United, Toon forever. We’re awful but I feel like my years of supporting a shite club has rounded me out to an optimistic chap.