J.F.K is the rock-collab brainchild of Perth composer James Knox. Formed in 2016 with songs written + recorded and produced almost entirely by overlord Knox, the group draws its members from several local acts to craft a garage rock Frankenstein of sorts. With catchy Britpop beats and floating psychedelic melodies written after watching the Yellow Submarine movie too many times, these lads in suits lay down tunes so cool you’ll wish you brought a jumper.
After a recently successful launch of their single, Always, we caught up with James to see what they’ll be rocking out next!
If your music was a person, what would their personality be like? Do you have any character that comes to mind?
That’s a tough question. I can’t really speak for the other guys, but I guess when I chuck on my suit and rock out on stage, I attempt to channel this inner cool-dude character. Our music is pretty energetic and a little bit dark – maybe we’d be like one of those old-school Wall Street cartoon characters that has a tommy gun hidden in a violin case or something.
What’s the plan for 2017?
We’ve got quite a lot in store for this year. We’ve just launched a new single ‘Always’ and will be putting out a follow-up one in October with a stack of shows already booked up until then, and even shows booked afterwards. I’m also pretty set on getting back into the studio to record a few more tracks before the end of the year, so we can have heaps more material for the new year. I’m just keen to keep putting music out and playing awesome shows.
What’s on your music bucket list?
I like to dream pretty big, so I guess someday I’d love to play a big international festival. Glastonbury’s definitely on the top of my to-do list. That’s obviously a pretty long-term goal, so for the moment I’d love to get some national radio play for J.F.K and play one of the Aussie music festivals in the next few years.
If you had to choose an album title as a quote to live by, which one would it be and why?
I’ll go with ‘Puzzle’ by Biffy Clyro. I guess life’s a bit like a puzzle – we get caught up focusing on what’s in front of us but sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to see how far we’ve come and where we’re heading next.
What is the most bizarre moment you’ve experienced during a performance?
I think actually having people singing along to our songs is pretty bizarre. We had one show earlier in the year where we had so many mates belting the lyrics that I couldn’t actually hear what I was singing – it was such a strange feeling. Apart from that, I’ve been pretty lucky to avoid anything too weird so far.
If you could perform in a concert with three other musicians/bands of your choosing, who would they be?
Definitely Radiohead and Coldplay. They’re two bands that I’ve grown up with and draw a lot of influence from, and they’re also easily the best bands I’ve seen live. It’s really hard to narrow it down to just three acts because I listen to such a wide variety of music, but I guess a real pop icon, like Lady Gaga or Lana Del Rey, would be awesome to perform on the same bill with.
What’s on your Spotify playlist at the moment?
It’s quite a mixed bag at the moment. There’s a whole heap of pop stuff – acts like One Republic, Dua Lipa, Kesha and even Miley Cyrus’ new single. But there are also a few tracks from Bon Iver, Active Child, Oasis, Coldplay and The National. I’ve also been getting back into Mark Ronson’s old work and just vibing of HAIM’s stuff in general. I’m still using the free version of Spotify though, so I guess you could add the Subway advert about their new pulled pork sub to the list because I’ve heard it that many times over the last few weeks.
If you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give about the music industry?
I guess I’d just tell myself the same thing I do now – keep going, focus on your goals and work as hard as you can.
What’s in your gig bag?
Ah the usual muso stuff. A heap of different guitar picks, all of the cables I need to run my setup, my live mic (Shure Beta 57A) and vocal delay pedal + a couple guitar straps. I take at least 2 bottles of water to gigs as well and of course, my IEMs. I’ve also got a little trinket thing my partner made for me that I put in my jacket pocket before every show for a bit of good luck.
Why do you use Audiofly IEMs?
They’re just such a solid product. I’m running the AF1120s at the moment and the sound quality I get from them is insane. I actually even just use them at home to listen to music because the clarity is so good. The build quality itself is really nice and they feel super comfortable and really secure to wear once they’re in. I tend to rock out pretty hard with J.F.K and I haven’t had any issue with them moving while I’m playing, which is such a welcome change from having to scramble around the stage floor every 2 songs trying to find a stray earplug. I think it’s also just particularly nice to be able to work with an Aussie brand that’s open to collaborating and supporting local acts. We’re really looking forward to growing with Audiofly into the future.
Check out their new single, Always, below: