Australian band Jacobs Run embraces a sound that’s semi-throwback insofar as it’s what you’d expect a rock band to sound like. At a time when rock is an endangered species (having been surpassed by hip-hop as the top US genre last year), it’s refreshing to hear a band that goes all-in on being a traditional rock band.
Today, I’m super stoked to premiere the band’s latest video for their track “Sleepwalking.” Before you take a listen at the bottom of this piece, get to know Jacobs Run and their sound via their vocalist and guitarist Michael Jacobs.
1. If you had to compare your sound to three artists or bands, what would they be?
That’s a tough question as I think our sound is the result of listening and being influenced by so much music and so many artists across the past few decades. If I had to choose three, I’d say early Church meets Snow Patrol at a 1990’s Eros Ramazzotti concert.
2. You’ve said that your debut album “just happened.” Did that spontaneity take the pressure off or change your usual music-making process?
We were initially only going to record two or three songs as demos. Once we began recording I just kept writing songs and we ended up recording an album’s worth of material.
So, we never really embarked on a mission to complete an entire album in a set period of time and so I never really felt pressure to write songs. I think without that pressure things just happened organically and it became a very creative time.
3. The video for “Sleepwalking” is really trippy. What was the inspiration behind it and how does it relate to the song?
The video was conceptualized by Scott Kingman who we’d met on a photo shoot. We loved his work and his vibe and asked if he would be interested in shooting a music video for the song. He presented the concept to us and we loved it.
As the songwriter, I think he really nailed the meaning and feel of the song — a person caught in a trance-like endless loop who can’t shake the feeling of lost opportunity but who is hanging on to that last thread of hope — and that’s what keeps them going.
The video seems to get inside that person’s head as it churns and turns. We love the end result.
4. Your sound has a distinct rock element that’s refreshingly different in the era of autotuned pop. How do you typically write and arrange these catchy tracks?
Thank you. It’s probably because we are influenced by so many artists across the past few decades, and each member brings their own influences into the fold.
I don’t have a typical method of writing songs although I can say that I write the majority of them on a 12-string acoustic. Sometimes a song starts as a guitar riff, hook or a melody and grows from there. Sometimes a song comes together very quickly where the chords, melody and lyrical theme occur simultaneously.
5. Can you talk a little bit about the Italian and European influence in your music?
Peter, Fabian and I come from Italian backgrounds. Growing up with that background, attending family functions etc we were exposed very early on to Italian and European music — both modern and traditional.
When I traveled there and I heard the local music, I fell in love with it — artists such as Eros Ramazzotti and Zucchero. Very orchestral and emotional with lush, beautiful production. It definitely has had a big influence.
6. Is there one song in history that you wish you’d written or recorded?
Wow, difficult to answer – so many great songs. I’ll pick two: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol and “Am I Wrong” from Love Spit Love.
7. What’s coming up next for you?
We’re planning a USA promo trip around March to support the release of “Sleepwalking,” and looking forward to hitting the road for some live shows mid year.
Check out the video for Jacobs Run’s “Sleepwalking” below!