By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Inspired to write about his real struggles with autoimmune issues by way of Lyme disease, the result turned out to be “Autobiography,” the namesake of Washington, D.C.-based artist Jack Waugh’s debut single.
Already regarded as a “relatable anthem” given the nature of current events, the track was co-produced in Waugh’s home studio with his longtime friend and musical ally, Jack Gruber.
In his short time around, he has already been compared to acts like Oasis, Phoebe Bridgers and 3 Doors Down.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Waugh about “Autobiography” and more.
Music Bugle – Given its emotional background, how do you feel your debut single “Autobiography” came out?
Jack Waugh – I’m really happy with how the song turned out. I co-produced it with a close friend of mine, Jack Gruber, so having his input on the song as someone who knows me and really understands the meaning behind the song was great. We’ve played music together for years and have been great friends for years, so that combination is invaluable. The engineer, Cal Barter, did a fantastic job with the mix as well.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jack Waugh – My music tastes are really eclectic. That being said, given my background as a jazz musician, I listen to a lot of jazz – Brad Mehldau, Michael Brecker and Miles Davis have been in my “Most Played” list recently. As far as music in the more pop-sphere – I’ve been checking out a really cool band named Reignwolf, who’ve got a great sound. Phoebe Bridgers’ new album was also great and definitely inspired some ideas for the production of this song.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Washington, D.C. to someone who has never been there before?
Jack Waugh – D.C. is cool. It’s got one side, which is like the 9-to-5 government workers, but underneath that, it’s got this whole other hidden side of it with the arts scene. Punk is huge in the area, as well as hardcore music – especially as you head north toward Baltimore. I’m glad I grew up in this area. Despite having lived in Miami, New York City and Nashville, some of my biggest influences were formed in the D.C. area.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jack Waugh – I think all musicians have been impacted pretty significantly. Gigs are largely on hold, so you have to find other ways to get your music heard. Livestreams have definitely helped with that.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Jack Waugh – Practicing regularly and accomplishing musical goals with health issues can be a challenge. You have to budget your time carefully and focus on the right things, but i’ve been trending upward and I plan on continuing that!
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Jack Waugh – Simply put, I pick up a guitar. I also love cinema, which is another great way to give yourself a mental break.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Jack Waugh – I actually do some screenplay writing on the side. Recently, I wrote a screenplay about Bill Evans. I’ve done a lot of research on his life and had fun writing it, so I’m hoping to get it produced sometime in the near future.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Jack Waugh – I’d like to see a resurgence in rock and I think we will in the next few years. Even though this song is a ballad, I consider it part of my rock setlist and have plans with my band to start playing that setlist once live music starts coming back into the picture.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Jack Waugh – I have a song called “Your Experiment.” It’s an eight-minute epic rock anthem and it took me awhile to finish. I wanted to make it feel balanced and not feel like an eight-minute song, so that took some time. Definitely excited to release that one down the road.
Music Bugle – If you had to pick your own theme song, what would it be?
Jack Waugh – That theme song from “Kill Bill” by Hotei would be pretty awesome. Love the energy in it.