By Kieran Webber
Jake Title‘s story is one of real intrigue. Born and raised in Perris, California into a strict Evangelical family, had no friends outside of the church until the age of 17 but broke free to follow his dreams of becoming a musician.
Jake began writing songs at the age of 12 on his parents rural farm or whilst on holiday with his parents in their mobile home, fast forward a decade later in early 2015, Tittle came together with producer Jon Joseph (BØRNS, Gungor) to record his full length debut record ‘Casual Lies’ released September 1st, 2015. His latest release ‘Different Languages’ is a shining example of his heartfelt and honest songwriting backed by his quivering voice and gentle guitar.
We were so fascinated by Tittle’s life that we had a chat with him about his unique upbringing, his music and life in America right now.
CLUNK: Let’s start at the basics, how did you initially start making music and why?
JT: I started making music when I was about 9. I just genuinely loved music and had visions of being a rockstar. It was when I was about 14 that I heard Bright Eyes for the first time, music became something completely different for me. Music became a way to express the way I felt. In the words of Conor Oberst, “All I know is I feel better when I sing. Burdens are lifted from me, that’s my voice rising.”
CLUNK: Were there any artists or people that influenced you and your music?
JT: My friend Alex and I we were in a lot of bands together, which mostly consisted of Alex and myself. My friend David (aka d.c.R. Pollock) and I send lyrics to each other to critique. He’s a great songwriter. As I also mentioned, I’m a huge Bright Eyes fan.
“I started making music when I was about 9. I just genuinely loved music and had visions of being a rockstar”
CLUNK: I hope you don’t mind but I would like to discuss your background as it is fascinating, If I’m not mistaken you were born into an Evangelical church what was life like in such an environment?
JT: It’s was actually pretty great in the early years. It was safe and consistent, kinda what you want as a kid. Everyone in my life believed the same thing so I thought most people just believed what I did. It’s easy to live in a bubble. I was taught that everyone that disagreed was crazy, lost, or a sinner. It wasn’t until I was older that I started having trouble with the Church and the way I was raised. I realized that life isn’t that simple and that my beliefs were isolating to others or could even cause harm.
CLUNK: You also didn’t have any friendships with non-Christians until the age of 17, what changed and why did you decide to break your mold?
JT: Really I just stop hanging out with just the group I went to school with. I was home schooled. I was getting really into music, skateboarding and water polo around then.
CLUNK: What did it feel like once you broke free of that lifestyle?
JT: It’s been very freeing. I feel free to love everyone. You know, like Jesus told us too. The church told me to love everyone but then taught me that people with other religious beliefs were against us.
CLUNK: Do you have any contact with any of your evangelic friends and family? What is their opinion of what you are doing?
JT: Of course. Yeah, a ton. My parents disagree with me but they are civil. The rest of the people I know don’t really talk to me about it. Mostly it’s been easier then I thought it would be. I’m not trying to talk shit on anyone. I’m just trying to love everyone and not be on a side. I only have a problem when people’s beliefs hurt others. I don’t think most religious people have bad intentions. We’re all just trying to figure it out.
CLUNK: Now, as you can imagine Europe has been watching America closely over the last year and I think a lot of people were shocked by the outcome. What was your opinion of the election run up? Did you expect to see Donald Trump as President? Do you accept it.
JT: I’m very shocked at the outcome. I’ve been really bummed ever since the poles came in. I think that Trump is perpetuating evil with the way he talks and acts. I also believe he has proven so far that he has no idea what he is doing. I do not accept the way he acts and I will continue to stand against him.
CLUNK: What do you think is the likely outcome of the next four years?
JT: I’m really not sure,but I worry that it’s very likely we could take a huge step backwards from equality to all people. Someone that doesn’t denounce the KKK as soon as he’s told that they support him is perpetuating racism and that worries me. As I said before Trump has also shown so far to know very little about what he is doing so I can’t imagine what kind of damage he’ll do.
“I think that Trump is perpetuating evil with the way he talks and acts. I also believe he has proven so far that he has no idea what he is doing. I do not accept the way he acts and I will continue to stand against him”
CLUNK: Do you feel your music may take a political turn (more so) now?
JT: Yeah, I’ve been working on some stuff that’s more political, but I think it’s going to a bit before I’m ready to release anything.
CLUNK: How do you think a man like Trump will affect the arts?
JT: I’m interested to see what art will come out of this time. So far I’ve seen some great art in protest of Trump. As long as he doesn’t somehow sensor artists, I think that art will be used more and more as protest.
CLUNK: Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2017?
JT: I’ll have some new music coming out in 2017. But I’ll mostly be working on a new record that should be out in 2018. I’m going to be taking my time with this one.