The Static Jacks

Elizabeth Harbaugh

When I talked to The Static Jacks it was the night before the biggest show of their career to date. The 18 and 19 year-old musicians, Ian Devaney (vocals), Nick Brennan (drums), Henry Kaye (guitar), Spencer Kimmins (bass) and Mike Sue-Poi (guitar) have covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time. They’ve released two EPs, Sonny Halliday and Bridges and Tunnels—both available on iTunes and through the band’s website (—and opened for bands like Tokyo Police Club. The night after our interview, the New Jersey natives took on a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge in New York City, opening for Blind Pilot.

“A lot of things could potentially come out of this show,” Kaye says.

Devaney nods. “Like a crying lead singer if he does a bad job.”

“Like a crying drummer for having to beat up the lead singer if he does a bad job,” adds Brennan.

The pressure is understandable. A couple months ago The Static Jacks dropped out of school to pursue their music, but, if their Mercury Lounge gig is any indication, the gamble is paying off.

“You can’t get by just playing one show a month in the city and expect a huge turnout from that. It was a reality check. We had to do something about it,” Kaye says.

So far the boys have been making good use of their time. There’s new music as well as a tour in place for this summer. While the band is hard at work, there are currently no concrete plans for a full length debut.

“We’re planning on recording this summer,” says Kaye, “either a longer EP or we could boost it up two songs more and make it a full length album.”

“Get a short album like Born To Run,” Devaney says with a smile.

While putting out EPs puts them in line with many Indie bands before them, there’s one influence they can’t seem to get away from. Read any bit of press written about The Static Jacks and you’re nearly guaranteed to find another band mentioned alongside them: The Strokes.

“Clearly we’re all influenced by them but I don’t think we sound so much specifically like them where everyone has to mention it,” Kaye says. “I just don’t want that to become like the easy, go-to thing for us.”

Perhaps The Static Jacks are more accurately compared to a more coherent The Cribs, an American Arctic Monkeys, and, according to Brennan, “first album Bloc Party.” But even then, the band is still difficult to pin down. When asked to describe their sound without evoking other bands, the group is pensive. Devaney sorts through several options (including “trapezoidal” and “like a polygon with not too many sides”) before he settles on one he likes.

“We sound like the Sydney Opera House!” he exclaims. “It’s got smooth parts but it’s also very pointy and edgy. It’s classically futuristic.” He pauses. “And it will make you pregnant.”

The entire band stares at Devaney until, finally, Brennan speaks:

“Why did you just say that?”