Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Braw and The Brave Meet....Jack Jarvis Gouther

Photo by Robert Pereira-Hind

Meet Jack Jarvis Gouther a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Cumbernauld who is carving out a career for himself in the music world. First and foremost, I feel it important to say that Jack is a really nice guy-it’s not very rock n roll, I know (sorry Jack!) but he is and spending time with him you get the vibe that, although he is undeniably driven and passionate about his music, he is not arrogant nor self-absorbed-he’s just a good person trying to do something he loves.  And that kinda thing goes a long way in my book!

Jack has had a real thirst for music from a young age, encouraged from the outset by his family to give it a go and it’s clear that the support given,   which he values dearly, is a real driving force. Being part of tight-knit family who have always been behind him has allowed Jack to develop and nurture a natural talent and passion for playing, singing and writing songs. Ditching the keyboard aged 11 for what he thought was “more cool”, he learned a few chords on the guitar from a neighbour and continued to teach himself into his teenage years. A positive reaction to high school performances by his peers gave him the confidence to audition for Britain’s Got Talent and start busking on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. 
“My advice to anyone starting out is to make yourself uncomfortable! Get out there and play in front of people you don’t know, send your demo to everybody and anybody… it’s scary but just go for it”. Although Jack appreciated the admiration of his mates and family, he recognised that, in order to grow and develop, he had to seek out more opportunities to share his music.

As with any artist, Jack has various musical influences from all genres that inspire his writing. A massive Biffy Clyro fan, he’s avidly followed the band from their humble beginnings and although he likens his style to theirs, he assures it’s not in any way an imitation of his Scottish heroes’ sound.  His dad being involved in amateur theatre productions throughout his childhood also inspired Jack, seeing how confident he was on stage. “ My dad never sang in public until he was 30! That’s why I think, growing up, he’s always encouraged me to try new things”. After leaving school a natural progression for Jack was to form his own band and despite a few necessary hiatuses along the way Last Exit have remained together over the past few years writing, recording and gigging at a number of events and festivals. As with any band, their sound has changed over the course of their existence but as the front man, Jack has been able to develop his style by writing much of band’s material. “When we started out it was definitely alternative rock sound but now we've went a lot more electronic”. The creative process is a meeting of conscious and unconscious, where endless random voice memos on his phone and screeds of paper filled with melody lines, lyrics and ideas lie in waiting to be plucked and perfected into songs. “Sometimes I’ll think ‘I really want to write a song today’ and I’ll sit there for ages coming up with nothing.  Other times I’ll be messing around on the guitar and start to create something and just go with it. More recently I've realised I've written songs through my subconscious, not realising that they’re about something specific that I hadn't intended to write about”.

Photo by Paul Anderson

  Jack enjoys the comradery of being part of a band, relaying hilarious stories of their drummer falling off a tiny stage at one gig, as Jack and the guitar player tried desperately not to get electrocuted in the pouring rain. Each rehearsal and gig is another nugget of experience which he enjoys and thrives on, regardless of the potential pitfalls an up and coming band can encounter along the way. Although continuing to do solo gigs, he’s keen to see the band flourish and Jack’s appreciation of the opportunities and support they've received thus far is evident. Amidst all the positivity, he admits that self-doubt is a reality for him. Moments of writers block or periods where the offer of a gig isn't there, it’s near impossible to avoid questioning your ability or your chosen path. “ It’s hard not to compare yourself to others. I always try to support local bands and artists but when you see them doing well you sometimes start to think ‘Why is that not me?! What am I doing?’”. Reflecting on the success he has had to date helps him to realise that the inevitable roadblocks a creative mind present are just par of the course.

In addition to honing their style of music, the band have established and marketed themselves as a brand, from their clothing to merchandise. “It’s good that we all have the same style and dress similarly. I've always been conscious of what I wear-it’s not that I'm materialistic, it’s just another way of expressing myself”.  In trying to build a fan base and get more work, they know the impact marketing the band with a cohesive look in their styling and the promo material can have. Gigging in some well-known Glasgow venues, over the past few years, the band have enjoyed the experience of playing to captive audiences keen to hear fresh new talent. When you walk up the stairs at King Tuts and see all the posters of the bands that have played there, it’s amazing! To think that’s where they started too”.

Photo by Paul Anderson

As with many Creatives, Jack’s talent doesn't stop with music. About to embark on an Acting degree in Edinburgh, he hopes that his efforts in either medium will be fruitful. “The ultimate goal would be to be playing music and making money from it. Or acting! For me it’s not about being famous- it’s about doing something I love!”. Jack is always looking to stretch himself creatively and choosing to continue his studies after finishing his college course, he’s keen to make new connections, gain more experience and extend his knowledge of the performing arts. He’s a people person who values the input of his friends, family and fellow Creatives, who he also enjoys sharing his successes with but it’s notably his father’s backing and the respect he has for his dad’s own achievements that keep him plugging away. “It might sound cheesy but my dad has been a massive influence on me. He’s one of the best singers I know!”

First single/album you bought?
It was either a Gorillaz album or Eminem ‘Relapse’. 
I actually still like listening to rap.

Where’s your happy place?
When I’m with my family having a good time. I look back to Christmases and those happy times to inspire my writing.

Last book you read?
‘Mr Mercedes’ by Stephen King. I don’t read as much as I should but my girlfriend reads all the time and she’s always trying to get me to read more!

Biggest pet peeve?
I’ve got a thing about people making noises when they eat. Also, people talking when they’re eating! It really annoys me!

Life motto/mantra?
'You can achieve anything you want, if you want it badly enough!'. 
My mum drilled that in to me at a young age. 

Roasted or toasted cheese?
Toasted! (I subsequently corrected him!!)

Who dresses like a bad-ass?
I think any big rock star because they can get away with it!
 Mick Jagger-if I was to walk down the street dressed like him I’d get funny looks. I do love a funky shirt or suit though!

Favourite smell?
I really love the smell of petrol. Since I was wee I've just had a thing for it- I’d rolling down the car window at the petrol station!

What would you like people to say about you?
That I am ambitious!

Sing in the shower? If so, what song?
All the time! I don’t even realise I’m doing. The other day my girlfriend said I was singing Adele-I don’t even listen to her music!

If you could do one thing to help the world, what would you do?
I went to Kenya and helped build a school with my high school. After being there and spending time with the kids, I’d love to travel to other underprivileged places in the world and try to help make a difference.

The Vitals

Jack's Official Facebook page to keep up with his music and gig guide 

Jack's You Tube Channel 

Last Exit's  You Tube Channel 

See Jack play LIVE in September! 

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