• Naomi Sanders

Interview with Jordan of Like Pacific

Camden Assembly has a very welcoming bar, similar to how the rest of Camden is. So when I was introduced to Jordan Black, vocalist for Like Pacific, I was very happy to see that he was just as welcoming as his surroundings. It’s not easy to perform in a country you’re not familiar with, but this Toronto native will show how much they love the UK, and all its...interesting places to eat, as well as their special plans for Slam Dunk Festival.

You’re currently, at the time of writing, on tour with Trophy Eyes, with this being your first show; you excited?

I’m excited, I’m ready, ‘cause we’ve heard such good things about the Trophy Eyes guys, and so far they’ve been super nice to us. I met John (Floreani, Trophy Eyes) a while ago too, so it was pretty cool too; I’m very excited to play the show tonight, and the next couple of days too.

You’re also performing at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival (Leeds, Birmingham, Hatfield) - how excited are you feeling about that?

Yeah, to my understanding, as we’ve only ever played here before once, on tour with ROAM. We haven’t played any festivals here yet, but my idea is that Slam Dunk is kinda like Warped Tour, in a sense; really condensing it into 3 days. So I’m ready, ‘cause I really like festival shows that are short; if it was a month or two long, I’d cry, but it’s only 3 days, so I’m ready for it.

Your first album, Distant Like You Asked, was released last year; how has it been since then?

It’s been, like, more than I could ask for, for sure. It’s been a crazy experience that we’ve got this far, and we’re in a different country right now, so it’s obviously doing somewhat well! And we’re also writing our new record now too, so it’s kinda like, as much as I like the record, I’m like “ok, I’m bored of it, let’s go”! I’m always bored of things I write, so I’m like, “Let’s go!” But it’s got so far; we got a lot of touring out of it, as much as you could ask for, if not more, out of reactions, so it’s been good.

Some have described your sound as “pop-punk” or “emo” - how would you personally describe it?

I would say pop-punk for sure, I mean it is flattering to see the emo side of things on blogs or websites or reviews, because it breaks it up a little bit. I don’t wanna think we’re just stuck in that pop-punk thing; if one person thinks we’re pop-punk, or just emo, or whatever, that’s fine, it doesn’t matter. Obviously everyone’s gonna have a different opinion. I think it’s kinda cool to have the emo thing under it, ‘cause I agree, and I don’t think we’re limited to just one genre. If I were to explain to any of my friends, I would just say pop-punk - if they knew what that was, some don’t! I think the whole emo thing is kinda flattering.

What was your process when it came to writing and recording that album, and how much has it changed from your EPs?

I think, for this new record, we’re very prepared, and we were prepared going into the first full length, but we were always so nervous cause our first full length, it has to be somewhat groundbreaking, or good, or plausible enough to get you somewhere, so we were all kinda nervous going into it. I think the EPs before were kinda more relaxed; we definitely weren’t rushed by any means doing the record, but it almost felt rushed because we wanted to make it sound good. Even though we had all the time in the world, it was kinda nervous all the time, but the EPs, it was just like, “Alright, this sounds good, we’ve been playing these songs not even recorded for 6 months, so let’s just do it!” It was kinda like a breeze! But I think the recording process is a little different now because you really had to put as much as you can into it, so you won’t get that much out of it if you don’t.

Your music video for “22A” was released a few months ago; what does that song mean to you?

Speaking of all of the time in the world, that song is about my grandmother. I lived with her for 6 years, and when we were recording, she passed away the last day of recording, and it was the last song to record, so I had the lyrics for that song, and I was like “Ok, fuck that, I’m not doing it anymore.”, so I wrote down in one day on a Subway ride, and we were playing Riot Festival in Toronto that weekend, and it was equally as awful as there was so much stuff going on, and we were recording, and then I have to do everything. So I wrote that song, and then kinda like release it. I don’t think it’s a bad song, by any means, I think it’s great, but at the time I was thinking “I don’t think we’re gonna play this live, I don’t really want to play it”, and then it got the most attention! We’d as people like “ What do you want to hear?”, and they’re like “22A!”, and I’m like “What the hell, why?”. It’s the more emotional, or emo or hard-hitting songs from the album, so it’s cool. It means a lot to me, so it’s cool that people can reflect on it too.

Who would you say are you biggest influences musically?

Oh, it’s so tough, oh God! Honestly my friends’ bands; I could say Adam Lazarra (vocalist, Taking Back Sunday), Davey Havok (vocalist, AFI). I don’t actively listen to those bands anymore - I still do, but my favourite band changes every month, ‘cause I’m a psychopath! But back in the day, [AFI and Taking Back Sunday] were my favourite bands, so it’s like I feel like that carried on to the music writing process, but I think even just watching my friends, like Safe To Say, Peroxide, State Champs; I watch them, and I’m like “Oh shit!”, they’re doing this. I’m not stealing things from them, or anything, but that’s what influenced me to keep going, to go in a certain direction, or to try new things.

We have a few questions from your fans - Will Jewson asks “What’s the most positive and negative reactions you’ve had from being openly gay in the pop punk community”?

Most positive thing is that people come out to me, that’s really cool. It’s not super often, but when it does happen, it’s definitely shocking, and I’m like super happy about it. It’s a very positive thing, like someone’s opened up to you in that way, and it’s great. I haven’t had anything negative with that at all honestly. I can knock on wood; I haven’t had anything bad, so I can’t say anything. That I know of anyway - someone’s probably talking shit about me. I’m not gonna go looking, so it’s fine!

Luke Ingle-Simpson asks “Can me and Jordan be best friends?”

I guess so, if he wants, that’s fine! I already have a best friend, you might have to kick his ass first! Yeah, kick his ass first, and then we can become best friends!

Adam McCarter asks “What was it like coming to the UK for the first time with ROAM? Also, please play “Stay Pissed”!”

ROAM was our first UK tour, and that was fucking insane, ‘cause I’ve never been here on my own, let alone as a band! So it was definitely eye-opening, and it’s such a culture shock here, and it’s also really cool I get to play in a different country, and everyone knows all the words to the songs, it’s like “Fuck, you’re a 7 hour flight away, and you know the stuff!”. It’s sick, it’s cool. I don’t know what’s happening yet, so it might be even better; you never know.

He also asks “Tell me about your love for Greggs!”

I’m obsessed with Greggs, I’ve had it 2 times in the last 24 hours. Also, my new love is Wetherspoons! I’m obsessed with Wetherspoons! Greggs will never disappoint, but Wetherspoons...holly shit! It’s the best food in the entire world! Only because it’s so cheap, it’s actually not that good, sorry Wetherspoons! Don’t “@” me, please! But it’s just cheap. I love Greggs!

Sophie Coupe asks “What can we expect from the Slam Dunk performances this weekend?”

For me, I find it when I sing live, I kinda do my own thing, and I don’t really involve a lot of people. There’s not a load of crowd-involvement from me, just because I’m bad at it, you know, I’m always going “Jump with me!”, but I just feel like it’s not me. I’m having a lot more fun getting people involved now. If you’re gonna come and watch us, and not gonna dance around, do something dumb, or sing along, which is fine, but you paid money, and I want you to have fun! I want this to be the highlight of your day. I think the cool thing about us opening is that it’s gonna be a lot of hectic fun, right at the beginning of the day - that’s what you can expect: me probably swearing a bunch, laughing at nothing, saying some weird inside joke, and then singing stuff!

Yep, so after this tour, this summer, we’re recording; we’ve done most of the writing, doing a little bit more when we get home, then we’re recording over the summer, and it should be out sometime...I can’t say when, but sooner than later, that’s all I can say. But yeah, there’s definitely gonna be a second album coming out soon, and lots more touring this year! We’re already got a bunch of tours lined up as well; a bunch of shows, some one-offs. We’re not slowing down anytime soon; this is really only the beginning of our career right now!