Yesterday, we premiered the cute new video for singer/songwriter Jack Gray's Friends Like These and we were quickly obsessed with the furry little friends starring alongside Jack in it.
It seems the long-necked creatures in the camelid family have been in the spotlight recently - Thelma Plum's Better In Blak album artwork also features the llama relative, the alpaca - so we had to sit Jack down and ask him about why he wanted to work with them, the songwriting process behind this song, who he's influenced by and about that time Maisie Peters almost choked on tour.
Congrats on Friends Like These! Tell us about the writing process for this one. Did it happen quickly, did you write with anyone, where did you start first?
I wrote this song at a caravan park just outside of the Gold Coast where I made my first EP. I wrote it with a good friend of mine, Robert Conley. We like to make beats for other artists and we were going through some of our old demos and found a beat we started for The Veronicas. We ended up writing Friends Like These to it that day.
The video was your idea I hear! Why did you want to feature llamas so heavily on this clip? What were the real llamas like?
I just wanted something weird in the artwork for Friends Like These and Robert Conley suggested llamas while we were in the studio and I kinda became obsessed with the idea of making a music video centered around these crazy looking creatures. Because they’re so visually interesting to look at, I couldn’t help myself.
The llamas were great to shoot with! One of them really liked me and gave me all the attention I needed and the rest kinda did their own thing. Oh, and one spat on my chest while I was singing to it which was quite the laugh.
What was the best part of filming this video?
It was definitely dragging the boys along a dirt road in the full llama suit for 3 hours in the middle of the day. That shit would have been hot. Props to them for pulling through!
What have you been up to in the US and what are you working on at the moment?
I just finished a North American tour supporting the lovely Maisie Peters, we had such a great time. My band and I drove to each city in a mini van so I guess you could say we got the full experience. I’m back in LA now writing new music and getting ready to get back on the road.
How was the Maisie Peters tour? What’s your fondest memory from it?
It was amazing! It would have to be when we were in the van and I offered Maisie some Vitamin C tablets (the enormous chewable ones) and she thought she was supposed to swallow them. Basically she had two massive tablets stuck in her throat for the following 24 hours. Honestly looking back I’m just glad that she’s okay and there were no fatalities.
Aus Music T-Shirt Day is today – you might not be in Australia for it, but what t-shirt are you rocking?
I'm gonna have to rock my Boy & Bear tee. I'm just stoked that they’re back in action.
Name five musicians who influence you that we might not expect.
Busby Marou, Ball Park Music, Mumford & Sons, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Ocean
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Touring to places I’ve never been before and to release the new music that I’ve been working on lately! I can’t wait for 2020!