Interview with Jack Edwards of Piston
Words: Anne Estella | Photos: Rob Blackman
Ahead of their upcoming UK dates with brothers in crime Collateral, closely followed by the Planet Rock Roadstars tour, we talk to Piston axeman Jack Edwards about the band’s recent appearance at Ramblin’ Man Fair and their eponymous debut album, which is slated for release this Autumn!
You won the Planet Rock Radio public vote to play at this year’s Ramblin’ Man Fair - how did it feel when you found out you’d won?
Well, none of us have quite gotten over Ramblin Man’ just yet. That day was one of the best days of our lives, both as a band and as best friends. We absolutely slayed the Rising Stage! When I found out that we had won the vote I was actually on holiday. I remember reading the email and calling the boys up to tell them the news. I didn’t realise the time difference so they all had a surprise wake up call that day!
How was the experience of playing at Ramblin’ Man? What stands out the most about it for you?
Ramblin’ Man was the best gig that we have ever played. We were invited to play at the festival as a result of public demand and that alone meant the world to us! We literally could not have asked for a better gig — we walked out to a packed audience, everybody sang their hearts out with us and the sun was shining! I get so nervous for outdoor shows — they can come with so many sound issues but the Ramblin’ Man team were great! They had us sounding amazing from the get-go and I tip my hat to those boys and girls!
You seem to be on fire at the moment – what would you say is the key to success in the Rock music industry?
Perseverance. You have to be grounded, respectful and ruthless! We are always working on our craft and improving as a band. We consistently deliver value to our audience and that is why they continue to support us in everything we do!
You’re touring with Collateral in September, how did the pairing come about?
We share the same press agent. The Collateral boys are killing it right now and they also have a new record coming out. The tour was a no brainer!
You’re also going to be appearing on the Planet Rock Roadstars tour this October, who will you be sharing the stage with and where are you most looking forward to playing?
We will be touring with Hannah Wicklund and Gorilla Riot. We are so excited to be venturing out into new Cities — Newcastle, Leeds and Norwich! Personally, I am looking forward to playing at the O2 Academy in Islington. I haven’t played that venue since I was 18 years old so I am looking forward to making some noise again there!
Can you tell us about the endorsement deal you recently signed with Gretsch Guitars?
Of course! It was a lifetime achievement in itself for me to finally own my White Falcon and anybody who knows me knows its importance — so to be welcomed into the Gretsch artist family as a professional player leaves me completely speechless! On 18th September 2006, my Mother took me to my first ever gig to see The Cult at the Carling Academy. I was 11 years old and I had only ever watched guitar players live on TV. Billy Duffy left me completely speechless after seeing someone rip on a guitar that big. After The Cult finished their set one of their crew came out and said, “Billy wants you to have these” and handed me two of Billy’s Herco guitar picks that he had just used. I still have them and that night inspired me to play guitar professionally for a living. I swore blind to myself that one day, I would own that very guitar and would bring that huge, rockabilly guitar into the world of new Rock - with cranked up amplifiers, effects and aggressive playing - unlike anyone has done since Duffy. I recently received an email from Duffy himself — he recognised the Falcon and admired the fact that we both play such a unique, different guitar. I made Billy a promise, that from old school to new school, I would carry the inspiration he gave me that night and help pioneer Gretsch into the Rock world for young players.
You’re soon to release your debut album – what’s the launch date and how can people pre-order the record?
Our debut album is released on September 13th. The album can be pre-ordered through our website www.pistonuk.com (we have lots of goodies on there for you) and it will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all other mainstream music platforms.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest single, Rainmaker?
Rainmaker is actually my favourite track on the record. It was the first song that we recorded for the album. I am particularly proud of the solo on the track — that tone could take down a grizzly! The whole song is a giant melting pot of Rock n’ Roll bands — AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Rival Sons. I love playing it live as well - it packs a punch!
Which other bands do you get compared to the most?
Damn, that’s a tough question! Our live show is full of energy and that is often compared to bands like Airbourne. Our latest single Rainmaker was dubbed “the lovechild of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC” so I guess that kind of answers your question!
Given the UK’s incredibly vibrant Rock scene right now, how does Piston stand out from the rest?
We are a true, no frills Rock n’ Roll band. We have developed a new sound of Rock n’ Roll. Our audience is growing with us and as long as they are by our side, our foothold in the Rock n’ Roll arena will continue to get deeper!
You can watch the official music video for Rainmaker here:
Piston will be playing TWO Manchester dates this Autumn: on 22nd September with Collateral at Jimmy’s, and on 4th October with Gorilla Riot and Hannah Wicklun And The Steppin Stones at Rebellion!
UK Tour dates:
10th Aug Farmer Phils Festival, Ratlinghope
12th Sept The Musician, Leicester
13th Sept The Station, Cannock
14th Sept EBGBS, Liverpool
20th Sept The Asylum, Birmingham
21st Sept Rock City, Nottingham
22nd Sept Jimmy’s, Manchester
26th Sept The Joiners, Southampton
27th Sept The Boulevard, Wigan
28th Sept The Big Red, London
3rd Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, The Live Rooms, Chester
4th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, Rebellion, Manchester
5th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, The Flapper, Birmingham
6th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, The Waterfront, Norwich
8th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, The Cluny 2, Newcastle
9th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, The Lending Room, Leeds
10th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, Exchange, Bristol
11th Oct Planet Rock Roadstars, O2 Academy 2, Islington
29th Feb 2020 Planet Rock Winters End Festival, Sandford Holiday Park, Poole, Dorset