By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Talk about a page-turner.
2021 was an accomplished year for post-punksters Book Klub, as they signed to Disobedient Records in June and dropped their subsequent singles “Life Of Me” and “Siren Song.”
Influenced by genres like shoegaze and noise-pop, Book Klub’s signature craft of relatable songwriting and punchy guitars got them to make their name around the Scottish music scene since their 2019 formation, as they’ve played at venues like Sneaky Pete’s, The Caves and King Tut’s with acts such as Yak, Cheap Teeth and VLURE.
The quartet are made up of guitarist/vocalist Reece Robertson, drummer/vocalist Jack Martin, guitarist Ewen Kerr and bassist Ross Dowling.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with Martin about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide on the band name?
Jack Martin – Book Klub is the name we had for my shed back home in Edinburgh, where we’d go and hang out after a hard day’s practice. All the names we had before were pretty dreadful. Book Klub was the first one that felt right. It already felt like home.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “Siren Song”?
Jack Martin – “Siren Song” was totally spur-of-the-moment, with probably the least amount of pre-meditation we’ve ever had for a song. We knew we wanted it to be creepy and a bit more patient than what we’d done before. The chord sequence in the second half of the song used to be the basis of a different song altogether, but glueing them together worked pretty well. It’s quite a ride for a three-minute song.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Glasgow to someone who has never been there before?
Jack Martin – Authentic, mostly friendly, an abundance of great artists to be found if you’re in the right places. If you’re an artist living in London struggling to balance work and art, move to Glasgow and cut your rent in half, have some fun. Get a pizza crunch.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jack Martin – It has been good. It gave us time to write more songs and give the band proper thought without worrying about gigs. Obviously, for most people in music, it’s been terrible and a serious threat to their livelihood, but we’ve never profited from our work in the band, so cutting out live shows has been financially beneficial for us. Sad, but true. More than ready to get back into playing venues now, though.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Jack Martin – Back home in Edinburgh, although Book Klub – the shed – was removed some time ago…
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jack Martin – To name a few – Spellling, Sorry, Cheap Teeth, Scott Walker and Anna Meredith.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Jack Martin – “I think you should turn ’round at the end of the day and say, ‘I really like that piece of work,’ or “That piece of work sucked,’ not “Was it popular or wasn’t it popular,'” from David Bowie.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Jack Martin – I’ve always found music to be pretty affecting. When I was a child, I’d hear pretty or sad music and be in floods of tears within seconds. I always had it in my head that I’d make music someday. It wasn’t until my teens that I started actually learning instruments, but as soon as I knew four chords, I was writing songs.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about the band?
Jack Martin – We’re not nearly as miserable in person as we come across everywhere else.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Jack Martin – Out of the released songs, for me, it was probably “Life Of Me.” As a song, it came together pretty quickly, I thought a lot about the lyrics because I really wanted each line to have purpose. I just never really had much faith in it as a single, but the rest of the band and our manager were saying it’s one of our best songs. It wasn’t until we’d elevated it in the studio and created all the visuals that I felt it had become what I wanted it to be.