Pale Green Things
I have been chatting with Pale Green Things...
about the new single, Fairy Lights in Albert Square, and what its tale is. He (Jack) tells me about upcoming plans and the importance of music in his life; which artists and records are inspiring him and what advice approaching artists should take to heart.
I ask whether there is any Christmas present he wants and has not asked for; if he gets time to unwind away from music and what the scene is like in Manchester right now – he selects an awesome song to end the interview with.
Hi, Jack. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I’m good, thanks. It’s been busy with releasing Fairy Lights in Albert Square on Friday.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name’s Jack, but I go by the name ‘Pale Green Things’. I play Alt-Indie with a slight Folk influence. I’ve been recording music since I was a kid so I write and play everything myself.
Fairy Lights in Albert Square is your latest track. Is there a story behind it?
Like a lot of places, we get the Christmas markets taking over the city centre in December, here in Manchester. The song is about feeling low, whilst being in the centre of the forced Christmas-ness. In winter, you get the weird feeling when it’s dark, cold and being surrounded by all the fairytale-style stalls and lights; I wanted the song to be dark and ambient to capture that.
How did Pale Green Things start? Is there a reason behind the moniker?
The reason is to copy my heroes and influences; The Mountain Goats, Bright Eyes; Iron and Wine, The Eels. Pale Green Things is a song by The Mountain Goats. I love the song and I just thought it was a good name that people could create their own imagery for.
Is there going to be more material next year?
Yep. Going to be a busy year coming up. I have an E.P. out early next year, plus I’m always releasing fan club-only E.P.s.
Are there particular artists that inspired you to get into music?
The first band I got obsessed by when I was a kid was the Manic Street Preachers. The Holy Bible is still one of my all-time favourite albums. After that, it was Belle and Sebastian, Conor Oberst; The Mountain Goats and The National. The list could go on but those are the ones that really influenced my writing.
What is the scene like in Manchester like right now?
Really good, actually. There’s loads of great venues here of all sizes. It feels like more bands are starting to get noticed here also, but Manchester will always have a bit of an underground feel to it which I love!
Do you already have plans for 2019?
I’ve got the E.P. to release and an album to work on. I’ll create more plans to play live once the E.P. is ready to go. I’m looking forward to playing the new songs live!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I’ve had lots but, recently, it was pretty cool when Francis from Teenage Fan Club turned up to the studio to play piano on a track from my old E.P. I love playing my Alt-Indie songs live as that’s where my heart is musically, but nothing quite beats when you first start gigging as a teenager and just go and tear the place apart. Haha!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Way too hard! But, top-three right at this moment I’ll say…
The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee; Belle and Sebastian - If You’re Feeling Sinister and Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band - One of My Kind. I’m always searching for music that paints a picture of life as I see and feel it and those albums capture something.
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
Haha. The only thing I’ve asked for is a new capo which is a bit depressing. It always feels weird asking for things when you just wanna record and play music!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Can’t do it. Haha. It’s Conor Oberst or John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats). So, I guess my rider would be a game of Connect 4 and the winner gets to headline the show - and I can chill back stage with the other.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just make the music you wanna make because, at the end, that’s what you’re left with.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I need to sort out my live shows for 2019 but there will be plenty of U.K. shows.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
There’s a guy called John Dahli from the North West that’s making some awesome music. Defo recommend his new E.P., Perfect Heart.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Nope. Not really! I work as a guitar teacher, and then play music the rest of the time. I live near Old Trafford so I get to the football when I can. When I need a break, I watch an episode of People Just Do Nothing. I am loving that show at the minute.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
One of My Kind - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
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