These New Puritans are a band from Essex, England, comprised of brothers Jack Barnett and George Barnett, Thomas Hein and many collaborators.
Jack is a songwriter, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist.
1.) WHICH RECORD HAS HAD THE MOST PROFOUND INFLUENCE ON YOU?
Doc at the Radar Station – greatest effect over the longest period of time, or maybe the Richard D James album; got me into producing stuff on computers when I was 15 or 16.
2.) HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU SPEND A WEEK RECORDING/PLAYING/CREATING?
It varies. If I’m arranging, then 11 or 12 hours a day, and maybe a day off. So, what’s that – 69. If I’m in the studio then I prefer more like 7 or 8. Writing music, there isn’t really a clear delineation between when I’m ‘on’ or ‘off’. I have a lot of ideas when I’m sleeping, so if I count times when I’m asleep that brings up my total nicely. It’s strange, you can spend 5 mins on something and produce something great, or work long hours and produce rubbish. There’s no obvious correlation between work-time and results, unlike e.g. being a builder, where it’s quite clear. Also, turning things over in my head, when I’m not strictly working on something – waiting for a train, something like that – can be the key that unlocks things, or a piece of music will start to produce iterations of itself or refine itself. It’s a parallel world that’s running lots of the time. Maybe part of making things is it being automatic, to be on the look out for anything to become music, rather than forgetting it or not associating it with music.
3.) WHICH OF YOUR OWN CREATIONS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
I listened back to 5 from Hidden the other day – I like that, good job all round. I’ve got a very good memory associated with it. You can’t beat playing something you’re totally proud of to someone you totally love. Also the introduction to the Light in Your Name. It captures exactly the right feeling – I’m not even sure what that feeling is, but it has it.
4.) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST REGRET?
Nothing I’d tell the internet.
5.) WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
I’m relaxed when I’m doing music.
6.) OTHER THAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION?
Probably a folder containing things people have given me, pieces of paper etc.
7.) TELL ME THREE OF YOUR HEROES/HEROINES?
Don van Vliet. That’s more of a ‘musical hero’. William Byrd? Struggling to think of another. I don’t know… I tend to admire people I know, more than anything.
8.) WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
One of: Tokyo, Essex, Lisbon, The Antelope Valley. Places I want to go to: Nan Madol, Teotihuacan, Patagonia, Tblisi.
9.) IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE YOUR ART WHAT OCCUPATION DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING?
I’d probably be a really crap builder – my dad’s a builder so maybe I’d have followed him into that, but I’m terrible at anything practical – I’d be one of those bodger / rogue trader ones.
10.) IF THERE IS ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT YOU HAVE NEVER CONVEYED IN AN INTERVIEW BEFORE WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
I don’t know, but the best question I was asked recently (in a Mexican interview): “Why did you decide to work with Jack Barnett?”. I said I had no choice.