What’s your band called? It’s a folk/rock band named Jack Pout and The Dirt Level. We’re all from Norwich but have the correct number of fingers and toes, so you wouldn’t be able to tell.
What’s your role within the band? I suppose I’d call myself the frontman, but I’m the singer and guitarist more specifically.
What does that entail? I write and perform all of the material for the band; I also book all of the gigs and usually design a lot of our promotional art, including CD’s. I also do the ‘talking on stage’ bit and speak for the band in interviews, so I’m the face of the band, which is a bit scary.
What’s the best bit? Having all of us working really hard on a song and then playing to a receptive audience and just feeling a kind of explainable energy going around the room because of it all. It doesn’t matter that thousands of other people had gigs that night, that moment was ours.
And the worst? Trying to get through to new promoters in new cities, just finding contact info for someone who can really help you can take hours.
How did you get where you are today? I started writing songs 5-6 years ago and gigged solo for a couple of years, then one day started slowly forming a band which people can step in and out of as I own all of the songs. Because of this we’ve had a lot of people come in and out of the line-up, which makes it all the more interesting, as even when people leave they put their own influence on the song forever.
What qualifications/experience do you need? I don’t think music needs qualifications but I do have a distinction in Performing Music which I loved studying for. Experience-wise, I think you just need to understand people, such as when getting the measure of a live audience or writing something that you hope will affect them.
What advice would you give someone who would like to be a band frontman? Only write songs that really express your feelings, and never just pen something for the sake of writing. Don’t worry about writer’s block, even if it goes on for months, it’s necessary. Make friends with everyone – you’ll need the help.