Jake Bugg @ Coachella

By Tom Aylott

Punktastic caught up with Jake Bugg pre-performance at Coachella (spoiler alert- his set had so many people flocking to the stage the tent was literally spilling over with from all sides- and it was totally worth suffering through the intense desert/body heat combo to witness it all!) and chatted about being an old soul, what essentials he needs on the road with him, and his intense ping pong tournaments at every fest he hits up. He’s undefeated (apparently).

LN: Hey I’m sitting backstage at Coachella in this amazingly air-conditioned trailer with the awesome Jake Bugg- how are you today?
JB: Well, I’m very hot- and you?
LN: Well compared to outside this is like the arctic so I’m literally chillin’ right now!

LN: This is your first Coachella- how’s weekend 2 comparing to weekend 1 so far?
JB: Well- it’s even hotter. I haven’t played yet, I’ve only just got here. I’m really just looking forward to seeing how the crowd’s going to be this week! Last week I was quite surprised at how many people turned up- I wasn’t expecting it!
LN: Well you’re kind of the talk of the festival right now and not just for your music- apparently in the competitive sports arena as well- how was the Ping Pong tournament outside?!
JB: Oh, well, I beat everyone.
LN: I hope you were given a trophy for that.

LN: Craziest thing to happen at Coachella thus far?
JB: I guess the craziest thing is the heat! I really can’t take it- it’s too much. And, I’ve only just got here so I plan on playin’ the gig and then just hanging about. Seems like a pretty cool festival- much better than a lot of other ones I’ve been to.
LN: Have those been UK ones primarily?
JB: Yeah.
LN: So you’re missing the cooler weather right now- but not the fest scene there.
JB: Well- I don’t enjoy the mud, that’s for sure.

LN: If you could only play one of your songs for people, what would it be and why?
JB: That’s a tough question you see- a good question. I don’t have favorite songs of mine because I listen to it when I’m writing or recording it- but once it’s out there, it’s not mine anymore. So, I guess the song that I’d play would be the song that most people like!

LN: Well it’s no secret that you’re very in demand right now musically- which other fests/shows are you looking forward to most this summer?
JB: Lollapalooza in Chicago should be cool. Personally, I don’t like festivals, but I like Chicago so that should be cool. Oh, and T in the Park in Scotland- that’s a cool festival.
LN: So do you like playing smaller venues more than big fests?
JB: Well, it depends really. You could play an 80 capacity venue and it could be the most exciting show ever. Then, you could play 80,000 cap arena and there’s just no vibe. Sometimes there can be in a place like that, but it’s very rare. It’s really just about the vibe and how people react I guess.
LN: What’s been the best show you’ve played so far?
JB: That’s a tough one as well- I haven’t got a ‘best show’ but I have got a couple of favorites. T in the Park last year was great because it was the first time I’d seen a lot of people in a tent waiting for me, and I wasn’t expecting it. It felt like a real stepping stone. Then there was a show in Nashville when I was lucky enough to support Noel Gallagher & Snow Patrol and that was just me and an acoustic guitar in a 2,000 cap venue but people like Johnny Cash have played there! It was really amazing.

LN: First CD you ever bought yourself?
JB: I think it was a Buddy Holly CD actually
LN: Love it, pretty old school!

LN: Speaking of old school- people are often shocked to find out that you’re 19, and I’ve heard a lot of people describe you as an old soul- what’s your reaction to that?
JB: You know- I don’t really read a lot of my own press! I guess in the last year I’ve gotten to see a lot of the world, so I’ve had a lot of growing up to do- so maybe that’s got something to do with it.

LN: Ok- favorite guilty pleasure song to rock out to?
JB: See now I’ll tell you why that’s a tough question! A song that I really like, I might just really like it and not see it as a guilty a pleasure. Someone else may see it that way but I’m just sat thinking it sounds fantastic!

LN: Currently on your playlist?
JB: I’ve actually just downloaded an albun called ‘Stormbringer!’ by John Martyn. Apparentyl he was a guitarist for his girlfriend and when they got in the studio she choked and he recorded the whole thing.

LN: What’s up next for you after Coachella? I know you’re looking forward to Lollapalooza- but anything in between that?
JB: Well, there’s quite a lot. Currently, just chilling in the studio. I’ve been writing & working on some stuff so that’s really cool. Then there’s Japan after I leave the states- never been to Japan before.
LN: That’s awesome- are nervous? Excited?
JB: I’m interested actually- I want to see some of this culture that everybody talks about.
LN: Anything from home you have to bring with you while you’re abroad?
JB: Probably just teabags if there’s anything.
LN: Of course, an essential.

LN: Well we’re stoked to catch you at some other summer fests! Any closing remarks to your friends & fans?
JB: Wow, just thank you for all of your support and I hope you enjoy the festival if you’re there!



Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]