Since the tragic dismantling of iconic Aussie pop outfit Bluejuice, their founding member Jake Stone has been quietly writing, producing, and continuing to be involved in music at a high level with a number of collaborators.
Unbeknownst to most, he’s also been writing his own tunes, and Trick Of The Light is one of them. The opening synth hook and vocal lines immediately feel like a greeting from an old friend, which is really what this track is, isn’t it?
You can listen to Trick Of The Light right here, and jump below to hear what Stone had to say about where the track came from, it’s recording process and how key collaborators brought it to life.
Trick Of The Light is a bright pop track that effortlessly recalls everything we always loved about the energetic Bluejuice frontman Jake Stone.
HAPPY: So can you start by telling us a bit about the song?
JAKE: Trick Of The Light is a phrase that usually means an illusion, and when I initially wrote the song I was talking about how all the people who doubted me before I was putting out music for the radio had continued to doubt me despite my having achieved that goal. After six years, coming back to revisit the music, I realised it was also about my own lack of good character, and how many of the good things I’d had over the past six years were just an illusion. It’s about having faith in yourself, and self-esteem’s twin – self loathing.
HAPPY: And why are you just releasing this now?
JAKE: Well I whittled down my reasons for wanting to get it out and that was it – I just wanted to get it out. I’ve actually been very active since the band ended, in terms of production anyway, so I just want to let people know I haven’t just been sitting on my ass. I just want to put it out, it doesn’t matter what happens.
HAPPY: And there’s some collaborators on this track aren’t there?
JAKE: Yeah heaps! It was produced by Alex Gooden and co-written by him as well. He’s the front of house engineer for Safia and Hermitude, mostly Safia at the moment but a bunch of other people. He was also the keyboard player in Bluejuice for a time, and our long term sound engineer. The guitar player, also another co-writer is Dan Farrugia, who was the touring guitarist in Bluejuice. He’s a really big part of my music writing life – super talented guy. The other person on the track is Dan Williams from Art vs. Science who played all the drums and chopped up the samples as well as doing some additional production. I played keys on the song.
HAPPY: And you’re all the vocals?
JAKE: I am but so is Dan Williams in fact. He wrote some lyrics too, he doesn’t really sing so this is actually his debut performance as a singer. He’s never really sung lead vocals before and we did another song called All We Get – that was a really good song and when we recorded it I wanted to take a back seat with the vocals so he stepped up and turns out he’s really great. He’s really musical, so anything you ask him to do pretty much he can handle.
HAPPY: You’ve been sitting on this track for a while right?
JAKE: It’s about five or six years old, yeah. I knew what it was called but I was kind of sitting on it. I had the keyboard hook, I had some other parts and eventually I showed it to those other guys while we were doing some additional recording on another song and they liked it and we decided to work on it. That’s when I knew it needed another voice, too.
HAPPY: Sounds like everyone really brought it to life together.
JAKE: Yeah! Well, if you’d left it with me, you’d have a double-time rhythm section, it was originally a rock rhythm section and not so hip-hoppy, and that was holding it back. It made it less commercial and it also made it less fun to dance to, and when Dan Farrugia said let’s do it half time, I thought – that’s perfect. If you have a solid, exciting idea I’m always very happy for other people to bring in their own ideas around that. With those guys, I’m always happy with how it turns out.
HAPPY: You came together to record this? Where was it recorded?
JAKE: It was in a place in Camperdown, they had this huge warehouse there. It was superbly large, it was incredible. They have a studio there and it was just the three of us – I use to go there a lot, just smoke weed and play music and one night we just started recording for no apparent reason. That’s how this track happened.
HAPPY: Are you sitting on a fair bit of other material?
JAKE: There’s All We Get, and there’s another, probably 12 songs we wrote in awkward stages, and plus I have multiple songs that could work for that band. We only really got the two through to master stage. The lack of momentum made it a bit hard for the band to work, they all work other jobs so unless I could drive the release of the music, it was very hard to make it happen.
HAPPY: Last thing I want to ask – is there a band name? Or will this be Jake Stone?
JAKE: Your guess is as good as mine! I just want to get it out. I haven’t thought about it. I just want the song out.
HAPPY: It’s just about the song?
JAKE: Absolutely, it’s consistently been just about the music. I just want people to know the music and like the music. There’s no strategy, I hope someone hears it and I hope someone likes it.
HAPPY: It’s a refreshing attitude to hear man.
JAKE: Haha, yeah.
HAPPY: Well we’re keen to share it. I know the people will like it.
JAKE: Thanks man.