Musician Jack Skuller | Teen Ink

Musician Jack Skuller

January 7, 2012
By TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

After only releasing one EP, sixteen year old Jack Skuller is already being hailed the next Justin Bieber. It's true, with his fun, unique songs like “Love is a Drum” and “S.U.R.E,” there is no doubt that Skuller will be the next hit music sensation.

I was recently asked to interview this up and coming performer for Teen Ink.

Rachel- Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jack Skuller- Okay. I've always been around music. Ever since I was a toddler, I've been going to rock shows and just watching performers. I knew since I was that young that that's what I wanted to do. It's a very powerful aspect to be a performer, and I admired that all these performers could have the ability to take an audience somewhere they've never been. I was just in awe at what some of these people could do and I knew I wanted to do that.

So when I was 8 years old, I did my first performance in the school talent show. I sang “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.” Some people told me that the mothers were crying just because it was a school talent show; it was supposed to be fun. I sang this depressing song. And I was so shy that I got up and ran offstage.

I’ve been performing ever since; just more and more; writing. I’m really passionate about my music and I know that I want to do it forever. It’s just a lot of fun.

RH- What’s your favorite subject to write about?

JS- I think the easiest one to write about is love because there’s so many areas of love that you can write about, and you come by it so often. Or just emotions like that.

But I love writing about anything that really inspires me. It could really be anything; someone’s conversation on the street… I don’t think it’s necessarily a subject I like writing about. It’s the feeling I get when [I’ve got] something. {laughs} Which I think everybody has, you know?

Sometimes it’s the pen just seems to write by itself. {laughs} It’s a really, really creative and intense process that you go through and it’s something that no one else can affect. It’s just you and the paper.

RH- For people who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe it?

JS- My music is almost like vintage-pop. {laughs} It’s rock and roll. It’s fun and lively, yet at the same time it has some pop sensibilities in the lyrics.

Sometimes it’s complicated to tell because there’s so many different influences in my music. But if you had to put it simply, I would just say it’s rock and roll.

RH- Your EP was produced by two men who have worked with bands like The Ready Set and All Time Low; what was it like working with them knowing they have worked with such big name bands?

JS- Those guys are like my best friends! {laughs} I first met them at Atlanta and there was so much chemistry between us; they understood me and my music, and I was in love with the studio. I was locked in there for 12 days. We really just set it off! I was so excited to work with them because I had never gone somewhere that far [away] to do something music related.

The whole experience was a thrill. It was so exciting! We came out with 5 really, really, really solid tracks. It was just so new for me and it was really intense. I felt like I really became intimate with my music. I felt so fresh and liberated; like I could do anything [in the studio].

So, it was really fun.

RH- Why did you decide to name your EP, “Driver’s Permit”?

JS- I just turned sixteen, which is the age that people around here get their permits.

Everything that’s going on for me: Going to Atlanta; I just flew to LA to play my first gig over there; it’s almost like a renaissance in my life. [There’s] so many exciting, new things happening and I thought, Soon I’m gonna be starting to drive. I think that symbolizes me, basically, starting the rest of my life, continuing on and just doing what I love.

RH- Ok, so I have to know: What was the inspiration behind “Lost in Union Square Park”?

JS- I wrote that about a year ago and, at the time, I had been going to Union Square a lot for performing or meeting with friends; I was just going there a lot. I liked to hang out in that park. Even though it’s very small, it’s very, very peaceful, and I could sit there and write lyrics or sing. It’s a really nice place to just relax.

I compared [that] to getting lost inside my own head. I think everybody has their place where they’re at peace. At the time, I was really, truly at peace in Union Square Park. I could get lost there.

RH- What’s been your favorite song to write and record?

JS- Hm. That’s a hard one.

Well, of the five tracks I did in Atlanta, I think the most fun one to record was “Love is a Drum”. The producers and I each got our own big tom-tom drum. We were just banging away as hard as we could. It sounded like jungle music. It was very powerful and cool. I had never done anything like it.

And for the first time [on that track], I played my own guitar solo. Since I had done previous recordings, I had matured a lot on the guitar and it’s something that I really care about, as well.

I think, musically, I really matured. Recording “Love is a Drum,” I think it proved it to myself that I’m growing. That song in particular was just so exciting and had so much you could work on. Since it’s called “Love is a Drum,” you feel so liberated and feel like you could do anything in the world. I felt like a Beatle in Abbey Road Studios; I felt like I could put anything on that song.

That, by far, was the most fun!

RH- What’s your favorite to perform?

JS- I love playing my own music and sharing it with an audience, and it’s hard to say which one would be my favorite to perform.

But one, lately, that I do play, I cover a Kinks song, “Sunny Afternoon.” That one’s really fun because a lot of people know it and everyone really gets into it. That’s fun, because that’s when you really feel like they’re with you.

RH- You have been given rave reviews by pretty much anyone who has listened to your music; do you ever feel pressured to be better or to go further because of those?

JS- Always! There’s always room to grow. There’s always something that you can improve with yourself.

Since music is my life, it’s becoming, or it is, who I am, there’s just so much to do all the time; there’s always more you can do; there’s always another area you can visit in your head; there’s always places you can explore and try new things and mature and develop.

Reading those reviews, they make me feel really great about myself and my music. They make me wanna do more of it. I know already that it’s my life and that I’m gonna do it forever, no matter what. And reading those reviews, just make me really assured of myself; that I’m doing something right by doing what I love to do.

RH- Who do you count as your musical inspirations?

JS- Oh, I have so many!

I guess my biggest one would be my dad. He was a musician, and my first show ever was his when I was, like, two years old in my stroller. I think I even remember some of it. It was in the Sinatra Park in Hoboken. He was who got me hooked on rock n’ roll and just music in general; performing, being creative. He was always playing music around the house.

When I would see him on stage, I would realize, That’s a part of me! It really, really inspired me to start doing music.

RH- Are you working on a new album?

JS- I’m always writing songs. I don’t know for sure when I’ll be recording again, but I’m always writing. Right now, I’m just trying to perform as much as possible and just get out there!

RH- What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

JS- Don’t stop. Just do anything you can to just really be as creative and to do as much work as you can. Being a musician is a lot of work, but if you love it, the work is fun. It has to become your life and who you are. You have to love it all the way through. I think that’s the way that aspiring musicians will be happy with their music.

RH- Do you have a special message for your fans before we go?

JS- Well, thank you to all those who have been listening. I’m looking forward to seeing other people at the shows and meeting new fans and just growing as an artist.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.