Jack Hinks is a singer-songwriter based in Edinburgh who plays in a few different projects. Influenced by the likes of John Mayer, John Butler Trio and Andy McKee he blends acoustic sounds with blues rock and jazz to create a diverse sound all his own and has received some impressive and well deserved feedback.
“Beautiful, heartfelt guitar playing and singing” – Vision Magazine
“A Scottish musician who’s talent knows no bounds” – Feroce Magazine
“Spellbinding!” – John Riley, Biggar Little Festival
“Jack Hinks isn’t just a musician, he’s a creative entity” – Bizzare Magazine
I quizzed Jack on his projects, new EP, recent endorsement and upcoming shows….
You play as part of several bands, you call them projects, tell me a bit about those
My main focus at the moment is my personal project, ‘Hinks’. It was originally a platform to experiment with my solo songs in a band context, which we summarised with our recent E.P, ‘Icarus’. When we come out the Fringe and get back to the practice room we’re hoping to try writing more collectively, instead of just using finished songs that I’d written beforehand.
I also play in folk-punk quartet, ‘Ekobirds‘, who play the backing ‘Loud Band’ for the Edinburgh based spoken word behemoths ‘Loud Poets‘. We’ve toured Brighton and Prague Fringes this year, and we’re about to start an extensive residency at The Scottish Storytelling Centre for the Edinburgh Fringe!
Alongside those I play lapslide and additional guitar in a Country / Americana band, ‘Coldsville‘, which is a great deal of fun and gives me a different format to play with! I’ve also been playing with the fantastic singer-songwriter Calum Baird for the past year and we’ve got a good few gigs together this Fringe, too!
Thank you so much! I’ve been playing pretty much non stop since I turned 13. I wrote that song when I was 15 (I’m now going on 21) and I’ve enjoyed singing for as long as I can remember! I play bass and I’ve picked up some drums and little bit of piano since then too, but I’m nowhere near as comfortable with them as I am behind a guitar.
Are you lucky enough to be able to do music full time?
That’s the real question nowadays! I feel like I put in enough hours to be full time, but like a lot of musicians I know, I still have to rely on a part time job at the moment, although I’m looking to get more in to session work and making my craft the main earner after the Fringe when the madness subsides slightly!
Was there ever another career choice before you decided on music?
When I was really young I thought I wanted to be an actor, but that swiftly took a seat after I started playing guitar and realised my passion for writing. Still to this day though I’d absolutely love to do voice acting.
You’ve recently been endorsed by Faith Guitars which is a make you’ve always used, how did that come about?
Yes, I remember I bought my Faith when I was 14, it was my first acoustic, and still to this day one of the best acoustics I’ve ever played. After filming my recent music video for ‘Nameless So Far’, I decided that I would love to be able to share the video with Faith, if even just to show them my appreciation and what an impact that one guitar had made and continues to make on me.
I brought up the potential for an endorsement if they liked the video and my music, and they responded very warmly! It felt like the right time and notion with releasing the video to be able to tie it back to the guitar-makers, and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I reviewed a lot of kind words and support on my social media, for which I’m extremely grateful!
You and your band ‘Hinks’ have just released EP, ‘Icarus’, tell me about the songs on it and the inspiration behind a few of them.
The idea behind the E.P (other than updating the band’s catalogue and giving a proper indication of what we can do) was to share one larger subject across all of the songs. I chose these songs for the E.P because they all share a common theme of descent. The first track, ‘No One’, was written about the seedy underbelly that society has, and how anonymity is virtually a myth now with social media and surveillance, but how the rules may apply differently under the blanket of the darker parts of the world, and the argument for whether we are safer under surveillance.
‘Scars’ is a classic break-up song. I wrote it to mirror the spirals that can engulf you after a long-term relationship ends.
‘Icarus’ is fairly self explanatory. I try to tell the story from Dadelus’ perspective to incorporate the feelings of loss, heartbreak and anger that would come from watching the descent of your own son. For me the real impact of that piece comes from ‘The Fall’, our outro to ‘Icarus’. In this instrumental we tried to mimic the melting of Icarus’ wings and his descent into the sea. I remember the song taking it’s true form in the studio with our engineer Garry Boyle, when he requested that our violin players (Hannah and Fiona) were not to look at each other for the final few bars, and make their playing “as unmusical as possible”. He ran to his Roland Space-Echo and created some incredibly eerie sounds over the top of the strings, and gave the track the almost horror-esque push that it needed.
What’s been your most rewarding experience as a band so far?
For me it was our E.P launch gig. We had all put in some much work, and because we had organised the night ourselves and put on local acts that we knew and loved, it made the night all the sweeter when it paid off and we saw people lining up to hear our latest work, and supporting the local music scene that desperately needs said support. The lead up to the launch was about a 6 month journey for me in terms of organising, recording and managing social media so it was a huge payoff when we played our best on the platform we had built ourselves.
My ultimate dream is being able to travel the world and see different cultures making my living through music, and to play bigger and bigger shows to more and more people that want to hear what the band and I create. I love the idea of playing a city that you’ve maybe never even been to before, but having people surface to hear your music; and hopefully getting to know what the music means to other people!
Best musical memory to date?
I’d have to say either the E.P launch, or just little pockets of rehearsal with the band, when something really clicks or we’re experimenting with an idea and someone chimes in with a fantastic idea or riff.
What upcoming music and shows do we have to look forward to from you in the next few months?
I’m going to be playing just over 50 gigs in the Edinburgh Fringe this year, with a good few impromptu ones I’ll bet, if last year has shown me anything. I’ve listed all of my dates on my Facebook page, and then after August the band will reconvene and we’ll be hitting the rehearsal rooms and writing more music together.
I’m also playing a show down in Manchester with a fantastic band called ‘Great Reckoning’. We recorded and filmed our E.P launch gig so we may have a few videos or live tracks surfacing very soon so keep your eyes peeled!
Thank you so much for your time, PR Owls!