Artist Spotlight: Nat & Jack
Last year, they were Lair of the Golden Bear staffers. This year, they’re on the lineup. All told, Nat and Jack are on quite the musical journey together...
“It’s a testament to your music if you’re playing in a really loud room and the place just shuts up 30 seconds into a song. And it’s like, ‘Ohhh. I’m doing something right.’” — Jack
How did you meet and start playing music together?
Jack: “Nat and I met while working as music directors at Lair of the Bear, where Bear Music Fest is gonna be. We played a bunch of shows around Berkeley, and then this past winter, went on tour together. We just kinda bummed around in a 2000 Honda Odyssey for probably a little too long.”
On their individual singer-songwriter sounds:
Jack: “I’ve always been a fan of electric guitar singer-songwriters. Guys like Mason Jennings, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney.”
Nat: “When I’m writing songs, I’m focusing on what it means to be a songwriter, and the process of really crafting a song. Everything else sort of just falls into place. I’ve always admired people like Neil Young or John Prine who can kinda captivate an audience with just an acoustic guitar and their voice.”
Jack: “It’s a testament to your music if you’re playing in a really loud room and the place just shuts up 30 seconds into a song. And it’s like, ‘Ohhh. I’m doing something right.'"
On their impromptu set at BMF last year:
Jack: “Everyone was so nice, and really enjoyed it. A lot of our friends were there too. It was a nice bonus, you know? Nothing better than playing your own songs for a bunch of friends who, if you’re singing a song about a girl, they know the girl you’re singing about. Which is, you know, kinda awkward sometimes…”
Nat: “Speak for yourself. All my girls are secret.”
What was it like to see a music fest pop up in the middle of the Lair?
Jack: “So cool. Just so rad. Everyone gets to stay in cabins, everyone eats together. And then you just walk around this little family camp with all these pop up stages. It was the coolest thing. And it was obviously just another bonus, seeing all these acts. I didn’t know anyone going into it. Everyone just totally kicked ass, it was really incredible.”
Nat: “It really was so cool watching the whole camp transform like that and become something totally different that was focused on art and music.”
How does BMF compare to other music festivals?
Nat: “I’ve always been more of a low key person. I really love spaces that are smaller, and it’s cool to be able to throw a festival out in nature. BMF is awesome because it keeps everyone tight, and I think the musicians get a lot out of that… it’s a job for a lot of people, but they do it for the people they perform for. So it’s really cool to have the opportunity to have audience members come up to you and tell you how much they liked what you did.”
Jack: “At BMF, you can be right in the lunch line behind some you just saw rock a crowd for three hours, and you’re like, ‘Oh my god. I’m gonna talk to this person…'"
What does the future look like for you as a duo?
Jack: “We haven’t really talked about it, but what I would like is to go on tour again sometime in the next year, year and-a-half.”
Nat: “Wherever I end up more permanently, I wanna be able to be a force in that musical community. And more than that, I wanna have great people that I enjoy playing with. Because it’s a pretty great joy to share the stage with someone. So yeah, Jack, I would love to go on tour with you again. I accept your proposal. I do.”
Jack: “It’s happening! Oh my god!”