Interview with

Jack Barnett from These New Puritans

These New Puritans are a London-based band from the Southend-on-Sea area. The group consists mainly of Jack Barnett (songwriter, producer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist), his twin brother George Barnett (drums, loops) and Thomas Hein (bass, sampler, keyboards, drums). Sophie Sleigh-Johnson (keyboards, sampler) was an active member of TNP between 2006 and 2010. They have recorded three albums,  Beat Pyramid, released in 2008,  Hidden, released in 2010, and  Field of Reeds, which was released on 10 June 2013.

Facts

1: A total of 64 musicians or singers played on our album, including the choir.

2: I am sitting in a van in Hamburg.

3: France and Germany probably get the best performances from UK artists because you’re always treated so much better here in mainland Europe, especially France and Germany.

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Wanting to do something that you’re good at, if not at all costs.

How and when did you get into making music?
I made a drumkit out of cardboard boxes when I was 7. I got guitar lessons when I was 8 – I got my first 4-track tape recorder when I was 12. Then it just continued.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Rock bottom by Robert Wyatt. a collection of William Byrd’s consort songs. Lachrymae by Benjamin Britten. I Care Because You Do by Aphex Twin. I don’t know – I’m struggling to think of another one, I haven’t been listening to very many albums.

What do you associate with Berlin?
Walking around a lot,  German expressionism, David Bowie, the Allied race for Berlin, Einsturzende Neubauten, Australians.

What’s your favourite place in your town?
I like the hill between the train station and my house, where there is a very good view of the Thames estuary, some island s, Kent, some ships, boats and factories.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Probably go into football coaching, with my inspirations being Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Arrigo Sacchi, Rinus Michels, Herbert Chapman and Sir Alf Ramsey.

What was the last record you bought?
mp4s of the original recording of A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by the composer, in preparation for going to see it in a few months time.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Collaborations are always better in theory than in practice. unless they are bad in practice – in which case they turn out well.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I really enjoyed when we played at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush in January. It was the first time we’d played with the woodwind / brass ensemble and it was very fun.

How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s important, but only as a tool. I wonder what kind of musician I would be in another time with different technologies? I’d like to imagine the harmonic language and musical hierarchies of renaissance England mixed with with c 1st studio technology. I wonder what Thomas Tallis would do in protools?

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
Yes , I do. one is in the band . I think they are proud, and I am of them.

Our Favourites: Field of reeds  | The light in your name |  Fragment two

Links: Soundcloud |  thesenewpuritans.com

You Might Also Like