Interview with the Artist of the Week: Jack Skuller

Jack Skuller is an American singer/songwriter who is currently a participant in Radio Disney’s N.B.T. (Next Big Thing) contest. He is also known for his hit song “Love Is A Drum.” In October he will be releasing “Love Is A Drum” and a new song entitled “S.U.R.E.” on Walt Disney Records. You can view his full feature here. Be sure to follow Jack on twitter, and read our interview with him below!
How did you originally get into music?

“All kinds of music was always played in our house. My dad used to sing and write songs. I was exposed early on by watching him perform. Writing and performing music feels very natural to me, really like I was meant to do this.”

Are you enjoying being a part of the Radio Disney N.B.T. competition? What is the experience like for you?

“For me, it’s all about the interaction, or the communication, really.  I’ve known since I first started singing publicly that the thrill of being on stage is like oxygen to me.  The crowds at the shows I’ve played at so far for NBT on Tour have been incredibly responsive which only feeds my adrenaline rush!!  I can’t wait for all else that is in store.”

Can you tell us a little bit about your Debut EP Driver’s Permit. Do you have a favorite song off of it?

“Actually, before NBT, I had plans to release that EP but being on this show changed those plans quite a bit.  Disney Music Group will release my song “S.U.R.E.” along with “Love is a Drum,” which was really fun to record because of the ‘orchestra’ of drums!!!”

You’re currently on Radio Disney’s N.B.T. On Tour and playing without a full band, do you prefer playing acoustic or with full band?

“I’ve had all sorts of stage dynamics, but I think it really depends on the venue and the audience.  Of course I have a lot of fun with a full band because then I can use my electric guitar and I have room to jam a little bit.  But if it’s an acoustic show, I want to be able to allow the audience to read into my songs and to see past the fact that it’s just me and my guitar up there.  That’s when the show is almost completely about the song rather than the visual of a four-piece rock machine.  Two very different dynamics, but both great for their own reasons.”

What has been your favorite city to tour to?

“Ahh it’s all been great!!!  Orlando was the kickoff for the tour, so I think that was probably the most exciting for me because I was being introduced to devoted crowds that stuck around in pouring rain waiting for the NBT artists to perform.  The feeling of playing my music out to a crowd was very familiar, of course, but this was different in a very good way.  It was all so new and quite magical.”

Which other N.B.T. contestant are you closest to?

“We’re all pretty close, actually.  We met in Orlando and immediately hit it off–we all had so much to talk about!  All my fellow contestants are great to be around–I’m glad we have each other to experience this with.”

Have you been a fan of the N.B.T. competition prior to being a participant? Is there a band or musician from the previous seasons that you would like to collaborate with (ie Allstar Weekend, Hollywood Ending, Shealeigh etc?)?

“I’ve met Shealeigh and Coco Jones and they are both extremely nice and fun to be with.  Who knows, maybe the three of us will form a group using the beginnings of our first names–JaCoShea.  I’ll ask them if they’re into it.”

Your song “Love Is A Drum” sort of reminds me of Jesse McCartney. Who are your musical inspirations?

“I’ve heard so many different comparisons to “Love is a Drum.”  I guess that’s because I have so many influences from all the different eras of rock&roll… Artists like Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran to The Beatles to Peter Frampton to the Ramones to The Black Keys.”

What is your favorite song to cover?

“I love doing The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.”  A lot of people know it, and I change the beat up a little bit and use my guitar as percussion as well as for the chords.  However I did cut my finger while playing it in Seattle… Guess that’s what I get for rocking an acoustic show too much?  Nahh, one can never rock anything too much.”

What has been the coolest/best part of being part of the N.B.T. season five for you?

“Definitely playing the shows!  Traveling to all these places across the country that I’ve never been to just to play my music, meeting new fans…. It brings the best out of me, it really does.  I’ve never felt more natural.”

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