Jack O’Rourke is on tour right now in support of his new album ‘Wild Place’. Photo: Miki Barlok

Jack O’Rourke Q+A

Now, busy touring the county with his new collection of songs, Jack took some time out of his hectic, post-Covid schedule for a quick Q&A with the Cork Independent.

Q. When is the first time you remember being moved to tears by music – do you remember the situation/artist?

A. I’ve been told I loved Pavarotti’s reading of ‘Nessum Dorma’ by Puccini as a baby. My parents would put him on and I’d stop crying!

The first time music made me cry, was probably Hanz Zimmer’s score in ‘The Lion King’, when Mufasa falls to his death. I remember being aware of the orchestra and choir and how it fit the visual when I was seven at the cinema.

Q. If you could go for a pint with any three musicians tomorrow night, who would they be and why?

A. 1. Charlie Watts because he was cool personified.

2. Kurt Cobain because he was beautiful.

3. Tchaikovsky - after some shots, I’d convince him to teach me how to write melodies like him.

Q. When you go to write a song, or a batch of songs, or an album, does the reason for doing so ever change? In other words, does the reason/motivation to create and perform evolve as time goes by for you?

A. I try to be like Nick Cave. He apparently writes every day, and one line or a particle of a tune will be saved from the wreckage! That takes discipline. Mostly, it’s a strong emotion or feeling or response that will motivate me, or a turn of phrase, or if someone attractive passes me! Sometimes, I think of an idea that’s off-centre but interesting, for example, a drone recording of a town on lockdown – that became ‘Strange Bird’ on my new album.

Q. What emotions does one go through in the build up to an album release?

A. It’s a dance with the devils of ego and expectancy. I am getting to the place where if I can stand over the work, I’m happy. If others like it and laud it, all the better. I’m proud of these new songs and that should be enough.

Q. What is your favourite venue in Cork and why?

A. That’s like picking your favourite child! I know I’ll insult one of my friends so I’ll be diplomatic. I wish I’d played The Lobby back in the day.

Jack O’Rourke plays the Triskel on 27 November but the gig is sold out.

The Corkman plays Levis in Ballydehob on 11 December. See jackorourkesongs.com for more information.