Still hitting high notes

THERE is nothing more that Jack L likes to do than to turn off his mobile phone and zone out.

As a musician/songwriter it can be difficult to get away from the day job.

“It’s pretty much 24/7 — you are the product. You can’t go anywhere without somebody talking to you about your product,” he says.

From Athy, Co Kildare, Jack L was originally called Sean Loughman. “Where I come from it is pronounced as Lukeman — but go ten miles up the road and it’s Loughman,” he says. His dad was also named Sean — “always a bad idea” — so he was given his grandfather’s name, Jack. And it stuck.

Now aged 40, he shares his home with his partner and four cats.

* Jack L appears in the Everyman Palace Theatre on Saturday, Mar 30. His most recent album is The 27 Club.

What shape are you in?

Not too bad. I am happy with my current weight. I do a lot of push ups and sit ups — I go to the gym every other day. I like to do yoga. I like to keep flexible because the way I perform is quite physical.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat a lot of salads — a lot of greenery. I have some mint plants at head height outside my door and I have been known to munch them — a la giraffe — when they are in full bloom. I find more and more I avoid meat, and it’s not because of the horses. I actually like a bit of horse — I had it once in Malta and I thought it was lovely.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I love cakes, eclairs, Snickers, you name them. I would be as addicted to sugar as the rest of the human race. Generally I try to avoid sugar.

What would keep you awake at night?

Too much sugar. I have that sleep app that wakes you up when you are in a light sleep pattern. It will wake you up within a half hour of the time you set your alarm. It’s called sleep cycle app.

How do you relax?

I go to the movies — I like the whole process of going to the big screen. Disappearing — just turning off the phone. I do try to meditate and do yoga — that helps also. Being out in nature — there is something about being plugged into it that is a very relaxing source of relaxation.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’m sure Elvis would be good fun. Philosophers Bill Hicks and Terrence McKenna and psychoanalyst Carl Jung would be very interesting. And Halle Berry — she can come too.

What is your favourite smell?

I quite like Californian white sage — it’s a thing you burn. I like good incense. I don’t really wear cologne.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

If I could trade my whole self in for the 1992 version — all the parts would be new. I have a dodgy knee now. If I do my gigs in a row the shock trauma means my knee swells up.

When did you last cry?

If there was a seriously poignant moment in a movie you would be trying not to get emotional. I think I cried during the Life of Pi — it may not have been tears of sadness but it may have been tears of joy. It was that kind of movie.

What trait do you least like in others?

Small mindedness, people who are clearly brain washed into a certain way of thinking — which is just about everybody really!

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Over analysing things. I am always amazed when people believe in something wholeheartedly without thinking about other perspectives. I find it hard to make up my mind about something.

Do you pray?

I always consider songs as modern-day prayers — a lot are positive aspirations or have some therapeutic quality. Singing and songs — a lot them are like prayers for me.

What would cheer up your day?

Animals, kids — not grown-ups. Kids are not jaded by the world and having pets is great. My cats are called Puss, Coco, Henry and Little Puss. Only Puss, the mammy, is allowed inside the house.


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