“If people want to compare me they can.
But for me, no one will ever compare to him.
Not me, not anyone” – Jack Moore on his father Gary
The face may not be familiar, but for lovers of electric guitar the surname certainly will be. Jack Moore, son of the late, great, Thin Lizzy Bluesrock legend Gary Moore, took time after his show with Cassie Taylor at the Yardclub in Cologne to talk with 3SONGSBONN about carrying on the family trade of ‘Guitarman’.
First of all Jack, When I spoke to you in Cologne I expected an Irish accent – instead it was distinctly southern UK. Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Windsor in the UK. I’ve lived all over though, from Connecticut in America to Henley and London and finally Brighton where I have been living the last 12 years.
I believe you also studied music in Brighton? As did Dani and Will Wilde and also I believe, another excellent British guitarist, Ben Poole. Is Brighton the British Blues answer to Chicago?
Yeah I went to the music college BIMM which is quite highly regarded. I wasn’t aware those two were there at the same time as me if they were but they’re certainly talented musicians and a good example of the talent coming out of Brighton. It’s hard to compare Brighton to any place in particular, it has it’s own unique vibe. It’s a very liberal and diverse place and it’s good to see so much talent coming through, although I don’t plan on sticking around much longer.
Who were, and indeed are, your main musical influences?
I picked up guitar pretty late, when I was about 15 and around that time I was listening to a lot of Metallica actually! I learned a load of their solos. My group of friends at the time were competitive guitarists so there was a lot of trying to out do each other…
Then I discovered Jimi Hendrix which taught me a lot about developing the feel side of playing, and as my Dad said, there’s not many better to learn from.
I also love George Harrison, he’s a big influence on me.
What styles of music do you most enjoy listening to?
At the moment I listen to a lot of indie. I love The Strokes, and bands like The Maccabees, Foals and Alt J.
Your biggest influence as a guitarist must have been your father. The one thing everyone will know about you is who raised you of course. Was there a stage when you thought of making a living away from music where you could avoid the comparisons?
He was, although I’d say on a more subconscious level, in the way that he very much left me to my devices with regards to my playing. In hindsight it was the best way to develop my own style. Of course I took tips from him, I’d have been stupid not to. Whilst I was listening to completely different music to him we share a few influences, the common denominator being Jimi Hendrix. And of course whilst my Dad was on a whole different level of playing you could say on an inherent level we are quite similar. Certainly a lot of people have commented on the similarity in tone.
In the end you not only became a musician, but a guitarist – even playing a Les Paul. You’ve even played live with Thin Lizzy as well as with Deep Purple and Joe Bonamassa. So you decided to embrace comparisons with your father rather than run away from them?
It really doesn’t bother me the comparisons with my Dad, I simply don’t think about it. I just play how I play and I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunities that I have had. If people want to compare me they can but for me no one will ever compare to him. Not me, not anyone.
Yet you also told me that full time with Lizzy would not be your thing. I believe your father didn’t approve of Thin Lizzy without Phil. What’s your view?
I’ll only say that they’re a great bunch of guys. I enjoy playing with them and I’d do it again. Phil was obviously a unique talent. I’ll leave it at that.
So you’re not planning on becoming the guitarman for a rock group?
Right now no but in the future who knows.
Tell me what you have up your sleeve for the future. I believe there is a debut solo disc in the planning with MITA Records?
Yes I’m now signed with MITA records, and developing the album for release next year. It’s guitar based, with a pop kind of feel. It’s shaping up nicely.
Do you have anyone in mind to form a band with or just to play on the record?
I do have people in mind to record the record, there are plenty of options which I’m looking at.
Right now you’re touring with Cassie Taylor of course. How did you meet and was her also being the daughter of a celebrated musician part of the reason the two of you hit it off do you think?
We met after I had been touring as guitarist for her father Otis. Yeah we have a lot in common. It’s been fun working together.
I described the two of you as ‘chalk and cheese’ in my review of the show. Is that a fair comment do you think? She’s very outgoing and direct (she had the audience get onstage at one point) whereas you’re very laid back, even seemingly shy onstage. Maybe she’s ideal to bring you out of yourself in time for heading your own shows?
Yeah I guess I can be quite shy onstage, it’s good being with Cassie she has a great attitude onstage and is always mixing things up and keeping it fresh which makes for a good live show.
Ideally, where do you want to be musically five years down the line?
I would have liked to have made a name for myself as a solo artist, selling records and playing shows. That’s a long way away though. Who knows what will happen!
Finally, Knowing that you were going down the same guitarist musical path, did your father give you any advice to help you out?
He told me to stick to what I was good at. He thought I had the Hendrix thing down and encouraged me to play like that. He also wanted me to front my own band as at the time I was just playing guitar. He was so hard working though, and driven. I can take my own inspiration from that.
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