NewTracks New Artist: Jack Berry

NewTracks New Artist: Jack Berry

NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks December compilation includes quirky indie pop song Psycho by Dunedin’s Damin McCabe, aka Jack Berry. Of all places to start a musical career, Damin performed in front of people for the first time at OUSA‘s Battle Of The Bands in 2017. Despite using autotune as back up for potentially bad singing he won the whole thing that year, and has come a long way since. This latest single is a collaboration with Leisure‘s Djeisan Suskov.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Damin McCabe. I play the guitar, bass, and a wee bit of drums and keys.

What other projects might we know you from?

This is my first proper project, aside from bands in high school.

Was any high school or other music training important to you?

I think the freedom from music teachers at school allowed me to figure out how to do things myself, especially in terms of instruments.

How has your music evolve from your beginnings in songwriting?

I was writing a few songs throughout high school on my guitar, but it wasn’t until I started producing for other people that I thought about translating my own songs through production.

What makes Psycho stand out for you as a single?

I think the timing was a big thing behind putting it out, and having Djeisan Suskov co-writing and co-producing with me was amazing!

What is the story behind Psycho?

It came about during a writing session with Djeisan and, I guess, lyrically it deals with feeling frustrated in a situation where you view yourself as the victim too often.

What’s your favourite moment of the single?

The drum / bass groove for sure!

Who did you produce the single with and where? 

It was written, recorded and produced with Djeisan Suskov at Saiko Studios – it was our first time working together. We were listening to punk and hardcore before we started writing to try and get some inspiration, and ended up with something sounding completely different!

What would you like listeners to take away from the song?

Anything they want!

How do you work out what would make a good single?

It depends on what I have on my laptop at the time. I’m always trying to make at least a few songs or beats every day, and sometimes the odd one sticks and I put it out! For Psycho it was my first collaborative song, and I thought it sounded great so I put it out!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

I do some production work for other artists, mostly the ones on my label Garbage Records. Those include Wax Mustang & Hot Laps. I also play guitar in the band Three Quarter Marathon and play bass live for Nic & Reuben!

Can you please tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

Wax MustangBones
Soaked OatsDriftworld

Have any of your previous applications not been funded or included on NewTracks? Got any advice?

This was my first time applying for NewTracks! If you’ve got something you think is great, give it a go!

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I find myself listening to a lot of Joe Rogan, and Pitchfork pops up quite a lot on Facebook!

How can we find you on social media?


Any last words?

Thanks, NZ Musician!!

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