What is your name and role within Handsome Jack?
Jamison Passuite. I play guitar and sing
How did you start?
I can recall wanting to be in a band ever since I was 9 or 10 and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world to do. When I was young my mother got my dad an acoustic guitar for Christmas which I commandeered and eventually I got my own electric guitar. In high school we got some buddies together and we would jam and learn covers in the basement after school. We needed a name for the high school talent show and someone wrote down “Handsome Jack” on the signup sheet and it’s stuck ever since. It’s pretty incredible to think this is the only band I’ve ever been in and it’s been on going for almost half of my life!
Where are you based?
Buffalo, New York
Please give an example of your music writing process?
It changes from song to song but generally, we’ll have a basic riff/ rhythm with a kind of vibe or feeling we’re trying to get across. Then it’s just a process of experimenting and letting the riff and the feeling take you to anywhere else it wants to go naturally. Usually my favorite songs we’ve written basically write themselves. In the early stages I’ll just be mumbling a couple phrases or syllables. Sometimes some of those first phrases and lines stick and end up in the final vocals, but usually the words come after.
What are you working on right now?
We’re currently recording demos for our next record. We have a quick and easy digital setup at our practice space so we can record rehearsals and make tweaks to songs. Then once we feel they’re ready we record to tape to get the right sound and a better glimpse of the songs full potential. We acquired a Tascam 388 8-track reel to reel about a year ago and it sounds amazing and it’s really easy to use. We followed the same type of process writing for our previous record which was put out by Alive Naturalsound records.
What is your gear setup?
I play a mid 60’s Tiesco ss-4l guitar. It’s the Hound Dog Taylor guitar and I specifically got it after I discovered Hound Dog and totally flipped my lid over the guitar tones on his records. My amp is a tweed deluxe clone with the classic 5e3 circuit. I play through a fuzz pedal which I usually leave on all the time and use my volume knob a lot within a song for when I want to clean up a bit or totally saturate the hell out of my tubes.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
Music is kind of all consuming for me but I also like reading and astronomy. I think everything in life has an effect on the music you make one way or another.
How would you describe your music genre?
First and foremost I’d call it rock and roll. More specifically I’d say it’s dirty-swampy-blues-soul. Patrick at Alive records coined the term “boogie-soul” for us which I think is pretty accurate too.
Do you know any music theory?
My only theory when it comes to music is if it feels good do it.
What are your plans for the future?
Finish writing our next album, figure out where we’re gonna record it, then bring it on the road to a town near you. Traveling and playing shows on the road is most fun I’ve ever had.
How did you get into music?
I think the music your parents play for you as a kid plays a big role. Luckily my folks were into the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys. I traced their influences back to the blues and found something that really spoke to me on the deepest level.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Jim Ford – Harlan County
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
John Lee Hooker
When are you playing next?
July 22nd – Nietzches – Buffalo, New York
July 28th- Bovine Sex Club – Toronto, Ontario