It’s new album time again for boyish Nottingham troubadour Jake Bugg, and so Carl Marsh pinned him down for a quick chat about that, and this and that, including a healthy bout of football nostalgia.
I’ve been allowed to listen to five tracks of your new album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, and if I can compare it to your last offerings, it sounds like you’ve had a bit of fun with this one and being able to express yourself more?
Yeah, definitely. I did have a lot of fun making this record and working with loads of different people, types of writers and things. And it’s just been a great credit process, but a good learning one as well. I just wanted to incorporate a bit of energy into my sound, you know, going into the future and especially for the live shows and things like that – so I tried to make something a bit more fun, a little bit more uptempo and energetic.
One of the new tracks is Maybe It’s Today, and if ever there was a signature Jake Bugg song that could sit next to your 2012 track Lightning Bolt, it would be this one – would you agree?
It’s interesting that one because, to be honest, that was the one that kind of felt different from all the others on the record. And so we had to work a little bit harder on it to sort of blend that in with the other tracks we had on the production. So it was pretty different from what it is now. But I think in the end we’ve managed to get it a little bit dirtier and a bit edgy, just to fit in with the rest of the record, and I’m happy to have it on the album.
You mentioned earlier that you worked with different types of writers on this record – such as?
I started the process with a guy called Andrew Watt – he’s a brilliant producer, and he just won a Grammy for producer of the year. He’s got good energy and is brilliant to work with. I also worked with a guy called Jamie Hartman, a British guy who works in LA – he’s a good writer – and Steve Mac, who I did [new tracks] All I Need and Lost with. Then there is a guy called Andrew Wells, who did a fantastic job of coming in later during the process of the album and fitting the songs that we had into the record.
Besides all of the writing you’ve done for this record, I know you love your football – so what have you been doing while stuck at home this past 18 months?
Fortunately, I’ve had the pleasure of working on the score for a film about Ronaldinho, the Brazilian football player who was, when I was growing up, one of the best players in the world. To be able to do the music for his film and to have that creative outlet – obviously, football is something I’m very passionate about, and music as well, so the combination of the two has been a dream come true over the course of the pandemic for me, really. I’ve been very, very lucky to have that opportunity.
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Oh, so it’s a bit like that Diego Maradona film, maybe?
Yes, as I think it’s more about his time in Barcelona, not like his whole life – it’s kind of based around that part of his career. But what a fantastic player!
Did you ever see Ronaldinho playing live, as I did a couple of times?
No, I think I was too young to get the opportunity. I think he would have retired a while back?
I believe he stopped playing for the national team in 2013 and [I quickly fact-check] ended his career in 2015. So you’re not that young!
No, but I think it was more a thing of when I was younger, mate, where we couldn’t even afford a Notts County ticket! [Laughs]
words CARL MARSH photos JACK BRIDGELAND