An Interview with Neil Bailey of Local Band Pastel Jack
By Steve Rudd
Pastel Jack are a hard-living, fast-rising Metal band from Yorkshire in England. Loudly and proudly rising from the ashes of other bands, the PJ boys have been setting the music scene ablaze with their passionate vocals and streamlined melodies.
Here, in an exclusive interview with Steve Rudd, PJ ringleader Neil Bailey chats about the band's Metal influences, hot dates played in Yorkshire and beyond, and the eagerly anticipated release of their Ghost In The Machine EP.
Hey, how you doing?
Hi Steve, we're doing really well. We had a great Xmas and an even better New Year.
You are a Yorkshire based quintet. How would you best describe the brand of metal that you play?
This is a hard one to describe. We'd probably say Old-Skool Thrash Metal with a modern edge, melodic vocals and harmonies.
How much of an influence have bands such as Metallica and Guns 'n' Roses been on your music?
The Old-Skool Thrash scene has been a massive factor on our music. Pete, our guitarist, takes a lot of influence from Metallica, along with modern Thrash scene musicians such as Matt Heafy from Trivium, Mark Tramontti from Alter Bridge and John Pratucci from Dream Theatre.
Our drummer, Tom, takes massive influence from Ulrich, and Lombardo from Slayer.
He also takes a lot of influence from Steve Adler and Max Soran from Guns 'n' Roses. Dave, our bassist, takes a lot of influence from Rob Trujuilo, Victor Wuton and John Myung from Dream Theatre. I've taken a lot of influence from Freddie Mercury, Myles Kennedy and even Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind.
What do you think of the current rock and metal scene in and around Hull?
The scene really seems to be moving at the moment. There are still some of the long-running bands playing like Heat Ray, Clown Corpse, Innersylum and some amazing bands starting or continuing their careers such as XIII, Violent Deception and Incubated. We feel pretty lucky to be playing the scene at the moment as we always end up playing with some great bands.
You have already played in various other bands in the area before hooking up to perform Pastel Jack. Have you been surprised at how well you have worked as a band from the off?
Well, Dave and Tom are brothers and have been playing together since they were twelve (some pretty bad Green Day covers). They were in a band together called Above It All which Pete finally joined after Tom met him at school so they'd all been playing with each other for a few years.
By chance, I'd known Dave and Tom after playing in a band with their cousin for a number of years so everything just seemed to fall into place.
It was a little surprising, mainly for me, as I thought it would be difficult joining a band that had been so close for so long but it was really chilled and we all had the same drive and passion so everything else just fell into place.
Have you had chance to lay down any tunes in a recording studio as yet?
We've been in the process of recording since we met but everything seemed to go wrong, as always seems to be the case. After a few attempts, we went to Rob Hobson at Silent City Studios in Leeds and from there everything went smoothly.
We've just released a 6 track EP called 'Ghost In The Machine' and it's on sale now for £3. We're really pleased with it and have some great artwork from Adam Saunders, a local graphic designer in Hull.
Which are your favourite venues to play in the Hull area, and have you had the opportunity to venture out of Yorkshire to play any shows?
We love playing at 'Sharkeys' as the atmosphere in that place is great and the promoter, Darren, really looks after the bands. We also like playing 'The Sesh' at Linnet and Lark as the sound in that place is fantastic and it's a really busy venue.
We played our first out of town gig in Leeds which we followed up with dates in Sheffield, Leicester, York, Manchester and Grimsby.
What would you say is the best thing about being a band of Pastel Jack's nature?
It's fantastic being in a band like PJ as we have complete and total freedom to do what we like and move in any direction we want to. Pete is a great songwriter and makes smooth transitions between whatever he's listening to at the time.
Having clean vocals with lots of harmonies allows us to explore lots of different avenues, but I guess time will tell with what happens. I think that's the most exciting thing about this band.
What are your plane for 2010 from a band perspective?
We're going to book loads of out of town gigs and try and get our CD out to everywhere we can. We're also looking forward to writing new material and just getting our name out there.
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