Interview & Session with Jack Athey…
On a cold and rainy afternoon sometime in early February, two men got together to interrogate one man over a series of bike thefts that occurred in the Commonside area. After the inquisition, the trio moved onto more light-hearted subjects, mainly the life and times of one Sir. Jack Cornelius Dave Nice Hair Athey the 3rd. Here’s a savagely edited transcription of what words were whispered on that day…
Chris Arnold (CA): In front of me I have the extremely talented and good looking Jack Athey. For those reading who haven’t heard of you, tell us a bit about yourself, tell us what you’re all about.
Jack Athey (JA): Well I’m from the woods in Sheffield. Not much there, lots of pubs and fields.
CA: Did you ever frequent these pubs?
JA: Not the pubs no, I’d frequent the woods.
Dom Kidson (DK): Would you be one of them people sat up a tree with a guitar, asking passers-by riddles?
JA: Yeah, I’ve done that before.
CA: Now you’ve been playing the Sheffield circuit since you were 16, playing the bars and pubs and such. You do know it’s illegal to enter these establishments after 8PM if you’re under 18?
DK: 7PM depending on licensing.
CA: Thanks Dom. Jack, how does it feel to be a criminal?
JA: It gives me a thrill. I love it.
At this point Jack smokes his third heroin cigarette in 20 minutes.
CA: Let’s talk about Jack’s positive traits. You make music? Who are some of your influences?
JA: There’s a group of people that I’d class as people who make me want to make music. Marvin Gaye, he’s the main one. Kurt Cobain, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron, Bob Marley, Hendrix, just cool guys.
CA: Have you ever considered venturing out into other musical realms? Such as dubstep, death metal or pigfunk?
JA: Yes. But none of those ones.
Chris looks Jack up and down before pulling out a pocket mirror and gazing into his haggard, withered eyes. He turns to Dom, a shadow of a human being, and finally turns back to Jack.
CA: You’re quite young Jack, how old are you?
JA: I’m 21.
CA: I’m 24, how old are you Dom? 30-something?
DK: I’m 23.
CA: Really? Seriously? Wow. Anyway, we’re all getting to that point of our lives where we’re thinking about stuff. How do you feel about the stuff Jack? How do you feel about the stuff?
JA: Pretty damn awful.
CA: I consider you the Jimi Hendrix of our generation.
DK: Chris Arnold’s the Fatty Arbuckle of our generation.
At this point Chris storms out of the room in floods of tears. He returns three days later in order to finish the interview. He’s gained 2 stone in ‘Ben & Jerry’s weight’, Dom and Jack haven’t moved.
CA: Have you got any gigs coming up?
JA: All the ladies and beautiful females in the world need to come to Dada Bar on Valentines Day where I will be your valentine. And my band, they’re all single. Four single pirates. Lonely soul singles club. Find me on Facebook and I might post statuses about my gigs in between all the sarcasm.
CA: If that’s not an invitation then I don’t know what is. Anything else to add?
JA: I’d like to shout out everyone. And to my guardian angel Samantha.
CA: Thanks Jack.
DK: Yeah, thanks. Can we be friends?
Jack Athey is performing here on the 14th of February.
The Cool Beans Podcast: Episode II is available here.
Here is a video of Jack performing My Place/Children of The Night at the Bowery, Sheffield. Bye.