By: Shamus Hill
Wherever you find yourself in this current moment — close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Think about the moments in your life that have brought you tremendous amounts of joy and tranquility. Search for that peace that lies within you. Can you feel it yet? That overwhelming sensation of joy that seemingly seizes control of whatever negative emotion that surrounds you? It’s beautiful isn’t it? Let all of your problems and worries melt away. Even if you only close your eyes for five seconds, you’ll notice a tremendous amount of change in how you’re feeling.
This change in thought is what drives Plymouth’s Jack Karowak to make music. No matter who you are, or what you’re going through — we all need a break from the daily challenges that we endure throughout the course of our lives. The Myth of the Mechanical Universe serves as a sonic embodiment of this. Sitting at 9 songs and approximately 27 minutes in length, Jack Karowak’s latest release seeks to provide the listener with the motivation to be in full-control of their lives, and subsequently their destiny. Though this is only the second body of work to be released by Jack up through this point in time, it packs the depth of someone who’s had an incredibly long tenure in music.
I took some time to speak with the Plymouth native about what motivated The Myth of the Mechanical Universe, how Ricky Felix and Brad Feeney played a role in the project’s inception, and his path towards showcasing a free-range of emotion in his discography.
When starting your journey towards the creation of ‘The Myth of the Mechanical Universe’, what were some of your early goals with respect to how you envisioned this album?
Jack: Sonically, I wanted it to embody all the elements of music that I love the most. I wanted it to sound refreshing to the listener and provide an experience you wouldn’t really find on any other album. Another goal of mine was to show a side of me that wasn’t fully expressed in my first project. I wanted this one to really show the range in my music
What were some of your sources of inspiration when making this project?
Jack: I was listening to a lot of philosophical/spiritual lectures from Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Terrence McKenna, and Hunter Thompson. Musically, I was inspired by people like Lauryn Hill, Earl, John Mayer, and a lot of old blues and soul music. I also drew a lot of inspiration from horror movies, specifically A24.
There’s a long list of names attached with the creation of this album, however both Ricky Felix and Brad Feeney were staples throughout the entire project’s tracklist. How did they assist you in molding the sonic structure of ‘The Myth of the Mechanical Universe’?
Jack: This project wouldn’t exist without Ricky and Brad. I linked up with Ricky for the first time about a year ago, and right when he started playing me shit I knew our sounds would mix perfectly. Ricky is a great producer because he started off the session by asking questions, trying to get a clear picture of the idea in my head. He wanted to help me make my project, not *just* a project. Brad has been the homie, and my engineer, for about 4 years now. I recorded the both of my projects with him, slowly but surely finding my sound and figuring out how to execute ideas in the studio. I got nothing but love for that man, he’s been putting up with me calling his phone, waking him up for 9AM sessions every other day for the past 2.5 years hahaha
What’s music-making process typically like? Do you prefer any specific settings when writing?
Jack: Yeah I definitely like to be alone when I’m writing, I feel like the more people there are, the further my attention gets spread and pulled around. When I’m alone I can really settle into an idea and move freely inside that train of thought.
If you had to single out one song from this album as being your favorite, or the one that you want fans to listen to the most, which would you pick?
Jack: I’d have to say Playing in traffic. That song felt like it made itself. Writing it was very therapeutic and I had never articulated my feelings in lyrics so easily. It almost felt like I was singing along to it as I was writing it. Not to mention pfey laid down an incredible bass line on that track
Has it always been easy for you to pour your real life emotions and experiences into your music?
Jack: I think so because emotion has always been the thing that drew me to music. Regaurdless of the story I always looked for and admired authenticity in artists. Emotion is the thing that connects the artist and the listener and if your trying to cover up certain regions of your emotion then you cheat everyone involved
How would you say being from Plymouth, and Massachusetts in general, has effected you as a person, and subsequently the music you create?
Jack: I think it’s inspired me to just create the shit I’m into. Growing up in MA there wasn’t a huge music scene to look up to, so I pulled my inspirations from all over the place, their only consistency being that they resonated with me. Now the city is starting to get a little bigger on the map and it’s beautiful. There’s a big collaborative mentality, and one person’s success is celebrated by all. I think the main effect it had on me was teaching me to trust my ear.
What do you want your listeners to get from your musical catalog? What message do you want to relay on ‘The Myth of the Mechanical Universe’?
Jack: I hope the listeners get whatever they need, whether it’s just a three minute escape from their own head, or they end up walking away with new ideas about life. Listening to Ram Dass, I noticed that another person introducing new ways of thought provides you with the freedom to identify with it, and see yourself from a whole new perspective. The message behind TMOTMU, to put it simply, is don’t be Mechanical. Mechanical means you ain’t thinking about what your doing, you’re just bouncing around imaginary social structures and reacting to life as opposed to responding to it. You ain’t in the moment and using your full awareness. The Myth is that nature is the same way but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
What’s next for you?
Videos and merch otw ✌🏽
Listen to The Myth of The Mechanical Universe below: