5 Minutes With: Jack R Reilly


Pretty sure there is nowhere that Jack Reilly can’t gig. From art spaces, to house shows to busking in open-air malls, he carries his soulful and delicate sounds to every pocket of the music scene. Bullsh!t caught up with the lovely gentleman, talked music and how he makes all the ladies (and fellas) weak at the knees.

BS: Your songs are simple; typically it’s just you and a guitar, yet they’re still able to give us all goosebumps. Take us through your processes of writing and creating music.

I spend a lot if time inside my head. I seem to be running my own constant commentary track inside my brain. Analyzing every corner of every angle of every word I say and every thought I think. I’m a habitual over-thinker.

Secondly, I spend a lot of time on public transport. The majority my lyrics are an extension of those two facts. I’m able to find an outlet to exercise some of these thoughts, and kill time on the train by writing things down in little notebooks.

The music is mainly just jamming on simple chords I like the sound of. My sense of rhythm and timing is pretty naive to say the least, so I just kind of spew out sounds without thinking too much about it. Then I sort of piece together the words from the notebooks with those sounds – and change things around to fit the theme or idea or story I’m trying to express.

BS: Who and what do you draw influence and inspiration from?

I get really inspired by lots of things, but it can all sort of be summed up with an umbrella term; ‘connectedness’. My love for Bright Eyes, Kevin Smith, Henry Rollins, Mike Kinsella, The National, Dev Hynes, Nirvana, Kurt Vonnegut, Ricky Gervais, and Minor Threat (to name a very small few) can all be kind of described with that feeling.

All of those artists have a common quality; where they’re all telling really personal stories, but it doesn’t feel exclusive or self indulgent – at least not to me. There’s this feeling of sharing and reaching out with their work. I love that.

BS: You’ve done busking in the past around the Wollongong area, how do you find people respond to your music in this raw environment? Are you usually fairly happy with the haul you get from your busking adventures?

People tend to respond fairly positively. I make usually make enough to buy some dinner and stuff. It’s lots of fun, though. That’s why I do it. I’m not really looking for monetary rewards. Occasionally I’ve had people come up and want to know more about me or have a chat and stuff. That’s an awesome feeling. It contributes to that feeling of connectedness I’m going for.

BS: What has been your favourite gig to date?

The Workers Club in Melbourne – June 2011. First interstate show, and first time I felt like I was playing to an audience was actually listening to me. It was just a cool time.

BS: What is in the future for Jack R Reilly?

At the moment, just recording and releasing my debut album, Middle Everything. I’ve started production and hoping for a release early next year.


To hear what Jack R Reilly has to offer your eardrums, check out his Unearthed profile, his Bandcamp or get your butt to Blackwire Records in Sydney on August 16.

Still not convinced? Here’s a photo of Jack snuggling a kitty.


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