Jack Daniel Bennett
Guitarist in the band Balcony
Did you go to university?
I was what you call the classic ‘College Dropout’
Was it a clear-cut path after you left in terms of what you wanted to do?
My dad used to take me to see ‘The Stones’ a lot when I was a Kid, which had a huge influence on me. I fell very early on for those fairytale stories of rock n roll musicians back in the sixties and seventies.
What was your first job and did you like it? I worked as a barman-who wouldn’t love being a barkeep in London?
What pressures do you think many twenty-something’s are faced with? I think social media puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people. Everyone creates these picture perfect lives, which isn’t real and people can’t help but compare themselves to others and feel they should be achieving the same things and enjoying themselves to the same extent. .. It’s all a bit ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’
How did your band Balcony come about?
My last band had just fallen apart and I was looking to set something new up, serendipitously this girl I had met at a party messaged me asking me if I wanted to meet her Australian friend who was a singer and looking to meet fellow troubadours. The next day this dude from Perth turns up on my doorstep. We clicked and recruited Johno (drummer) who I’ve been in a few bands with previously and Dave was on the bass. We spent a few months writing and moulding our sound before playing our first show at the Hawley Arms at the beginning of 2015.
What genre of music are you?
We don’t like to GENRElize and constrict ourselves to one thing. We all have a very wide range of influences, which I think is reflected in our music. We listen to everything from ‘Fleetwood Mac’ to ‘Flume’.. As long as it has soul. That said there is a lot of shit out there. I think a lot of bands get locked into being one thing “we’re a rock band” or whatever and then have no realms to move out of it and the music just ends up sounding like a diluted version of the bands that have come before. It’s important to strive to create something new.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced as a band?
We record and produce all our own stuff. So it is a constant challenge transforming song ideas from how we write them into a decent recorded product. There are small intricacies and tricks that make recorded songs work, and we are on the eternal search to find them. It’s always interesting comparing our stuff to other records we admire, and see where we’re going right or WRONG! It’s a lot of fun.
Who did you seek advice from and who really helped you in the early stages?
Our managers Chris and James have been very helpful in developing us. We played them some tracks early on which they were into but they told us to go away and play fifteen gigs, hone in our sound, and then come back to them. This helped tremendously in building us as an act.
Did you ever doubt yourselves that you could do it?
I think self doubt is the driving force behind most things. I want my ambition to far exceeded my talent
How do you market yourselves?
London’s answer to Destiny’s Child.
What do you wish you had known then that you know now?
Be open to all ideas.
Any mishaps along the way for Balcony?
So far, so good.
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in this field?
Read Charles Bukowski’s poem ‘So you want to be a writer?’ …also Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Just Do It’ video
What do you think the next steps are for Balcony?
We have just had our debut release with the video for our track ‘Don’t Leave Me Blind’, which, fantastically, has picked up quite a lot of airplay on Radio 1, 6 music and a few others. It was the first song we really connected on together as a band and in the video we tried to visualise a sense of dreamlike ambience, something we strive for sonically in all of our music. Hopefuly the video embodies that. Right now we’re gearing up for our show at BIRTHDAYS on April 6th and working on new material.
What has been your best moment as a result of being a part of Balcony?
Playing a live session on John Kennedey’s show on Radio X. John has been a big supporter of us and played our single on his show a lot. It was great to be asked to come in, and be his first live studio guests of 2016. It’s a podcast on iTunes-check it out!
What’s the dream?
The peripheries keep changing, I used to dream of being able to play ‘Dreams’, on guitar. As a band we wanted to play BIRTHDAYS and get on the radio, both of which we’ve done now. The more we achieve the bigger they get….The World!
© photo of Jack by www.katewoodsphoto.com