Jack West: More to the Story
When the stars collided, Jack West met Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) in a hotel lobby and asked if he could come on stage with him that night. At only 12 years old, Jack ended up playing in front of a crowd of 30,000 people that night alongside Pearl Jams’ frontman. Jack West is onto his own musical journey now and is slated to release an album this fall! The talented musician has performed at festivals with Neil Young and Imagine Dragons, and can’t wait to get back out in the touring circuit.
Today we are here with the very talented musician, Jack West. Thank you for being here today, Jack!
Thank you for having me. It’s super cool.
Of course. So, Jack, can you tell us where you are calling us from?
I’m from Rochester, New York, and that’s where I am right now. I’m in my house, so nothing really special, but just Western New York. You know?
Nice. How did you get into the music industry? When did your passion for music begin?
When I was eight I got my first guitar and I started taking lessons. I’d play open-mic nights around Rochester. Then when I was 12, I played with Eddie Vedder, from Pearl Jam in front of 30,000 people in Nashville, and that sort of did a little bit for me, you know what I mean?
Wow! How did that happen? How does a kid end up on stage with Eddie Vedder?
I met him about five hours before the show at his hotel. We were staying at the same hotel and I asked him for a picture. We started talking and I asked him if I could sing with him that night, and he said, “Yeah”. I was at the show and I practiced with him backstage, watched the whole thing from side-stage, and just went out there and played with him. It was super cool.
That’s amazing. Talk about right place right time!
Yeah, for sure, definitely.
That is such a cool experience! Did anything come from that?
All the Pearl Jam fans started to notice me, and then the following year I played right before Pearl Jam at Rock the Vote Festival in Montana. After that, I started traveling more. I’ve been playing big festivals with Neil Young and other festivals with groups like Imagine Dragons. To answer your question, I don’t know. A bunch of cool stuff came from that experience. It’s just evolved. That was definitely the turning point, the Eddie Vedder thing.
Incredible that at such a young age you decided to pick up a guitar and just go with it and follow your passion. Was your family taking you to a lot of concerts?
Yeah, my parents are big Pearl Jam fans. They bought me my first guitar. They’re, all about it.
Can you tell us about your most recent single?
Yeah, over the course of the pandemic, I released five singles, but the most recent one was in January. “A Little Shine” is out everywhere. Right now I’m in the process of recording an album, which will be out in the fall, so that’s pretty exciting. So stay tuned.
How do you write your music?
I can barely read music. I can barely do any of that stuff. I’ve never really read music in my life.
You just play by ear, then?
Yeah, pretty much, and I write on my music by ear.
That is so cool. What do you do to pull those emotions out of yourself and put them into a song?
Lately, in the past year and a half, I’ve been writing with two of my band members who live in New York City. I go down there and we write stuff on the spot and record it, but this upcoming album I’ve been writing most of it by myself in my room for the past six months or whatever. It just starts with chords and I usually write it on the piano, and then the lyrics just come. After that I send it to my band and we go to New York and record it.
Where do you want to be performing that things are starting to open back up? Is there any venue on your bucket list?
I’ve played shows since things have opened back up. One was in Maryland and then in New York and Philadelphia. The New York show was super cool because it was at the Bowery Electric Room. I don’t know if you ever heard of it, it’s a pretty famous venue, I guess. I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming up, and bucketlist wise I would love to play at big festivals again because I did those in the past, but I don’t know about it now with COVID.
When can we be looking for your album to be released?
I’m sure it’ll be out by September or October, for sure.
Thank you so much for being here today, Jack. How can people find you to follow you and your music?
You can find me on Facebook and Instagram at JackWest32, and then I’m on Spotify, Apple Music, and all that good stuff. Just lookup Jack West and I’m sure it’ll pop right up.