HOW PUNK’S COMMUNITY SPIRIT LED OUT OF LOVE FRONTMAN JACK ROGERS TO RECORD A ‘PUNK NURSERY RHYME’ FOR AN ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER NETFLIX SERIES
The vocalist for the Venn Records prospects, details his love for Green Day, getting signed to a record label during a pandemic and the Uber encounter that led to a big opportunity.
You can make all the correct calculations, tick all the right boxes, and take all necessary precautions, but sometimes the world just isn’t on your side.
It’s an unfortunate reality that life loves to throw its curveballs when you least expect them, and that was certainly the case for London’s Out Of Love – a band formed by vocalist Jack Rogers and guitarist Dan Marsh out of sheer boredom in 2019.
Having both played in punk and hardcore bands throughout their teenage years and into their early twenties, after a year recruiting bandmates, reshuffling their line-up, and playing around with fresh ideas, the five-piece arrived at their debut single ‘S.L.U.M.P’ in February 2020, but just one month later – the UK entered a national lockdown.
As news of the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world, the irony of their origin story wasn’t lost on Jack and his bandmates.
“We started playing music together because we were bored. That was before I was having an existential crisis on an hourly basis for two whole years!” Jack laughs.
An undoubtedly cruel fate, with no live shows happening and little to do but endlessly scroll through social media to pass the monotony of each day, Out Of Love had two options – accept defeat, or hit the ground running.
“We had songs ready to go, and we had shows sorted for whenever they could happen,” the vocalist explains.
“We tried to focus our creative energy on other areas that were within our control like making videos and writing more music. We could do those things; we just couldn’t physically present them to people in a room. Instead of sitting around not doing anything and being more bored, we started growing the band in other areas.”
Refusing to let momentum drop, the five-piece set their creative minds to overdrive, churning out vibrant music videos and engaging digital content. Whilst maintaining a steady job designing merch for artists ranging from Bring Me The Horizon to Type O Negative, Jack collaborated with his bandmates to develop a package around their band, one which soon caught the attention of Gallows’ Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard.
Following a simple Instagram message exchange, Out Of Love were signed to his label Venn Records before they’d even played their first show.
“I was terrified, because obviously we couldn’t practice through lockdown either. He was essentially putting all his trust on one track that he had heard,” Jack explains.
“I remember him coming to band practice when the world opened up again, and I was so nervous. I was like, ‘What if he thinks we suck?’ Luckily though, he liked us. He put a lot of faith in us though, which was incredible because Gallows were such a big influence on me growing up. It was nice to have someone like that fight our corner straight off the bat.”
It’s an endorsement that Jack and his bandmates don’t take lightly, but truth be told they never intended to be signed to a record label – let alone one belonging to a childhood hero.
Forming Out Of Love purely as a vessel to experience the joy of creating music with his friends, the frontman has been guided by the visceral energy of punk since falling in love with Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ at a young age. Gifted the CD by an older cousin, it had similar foundations to songs by The Clash and The Beatles his parents had raised him on, but ripping through each note was a raw energy he’d never heard before – soon enough, he was hooked.
Playing the album on repeat whilst looking at the liner notes, a deep dive into the East Bay punk scene led him to his first ever show in 2005 – Green Day’s famed ‘Bullet in a Bible’ performance at the 65,000-capacity Milton Keynes National Bowl. At 12 years old, it was Jack’s first taste of the community that exists within punk rock, and that spirit now sits at the centre of everything Out Of Love does.
“There’s a whole connective scene out there that can help you with almost anything. Especially in punk and hardcore, you’ll meet people at shows who will become friends for life,” he smiles.
“There are people who are willing to help with anything from booking a show to doing artwork to having a sofa for you to stay on and giving you food recommendations. It’s so much more than just music and having that backbone of a community behind it is really fucking cool.”
It’s those connections that have unlocked a number of doors for Out Of Love so far, from touring with Californian hardcore trailblazers Scowl to opening for Tigers Jaw, but one particular opportunity stands out as a little more unconventional.
Pitched to him whilst getting an Uber back to his hotel following Manchester’s Outbreak Festival last year, Jack received a message from Lags saying that Alexisonfire’s Wade MacNeil was keen to talk to him about something.
“I hit Wade up and he was like, ‘Hey dude, got a weird one here. I’m writing a punk version of ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ for a new Netflix series, and they need a British person to sing on it’,” the frontman laughs.
“He sent me the demo and a rough idea of what he wanted, but I didn’t even ask what it was for. I did it, then didn’t hear anything back for around five months so just presumed they hated it. One day though, I got a random email from Wade saying, ‘They love it. It’s gonna be in a new Arnold Schwarzenegger series playing over a shoot-out’. I was like, ‘What the fuck!’”
“I was talking to Wade recently and we were laughing about how that song will be heard by more people than any band we’re ever a part of. It was the number one series on Netflix all over the world, and it’s funny that a punk nursery rhyme will reach more people than our projects combined!”
For the curious amongst you, you can hear the track at around the three-minute mark of the fifth episode of ‘FUBAR’, which is now available on Netflix.
When Jack isn’t lending his vocal chords to movie star endeavours though, he’s making good old fashioned punk rock. Bold, brash, and distinctly honest – Out Of Love’s upcoming EP ‘Welcome to the Luv’ follows on from their 2020 debut album ‘So Far, So Good’ and poses a question that everyone likely ponders at some point in their lives – does anyone really have their shit together?
“For good and for worse, I’m quite a pessimistic person. I have a very self-deprecating sense of humour, and I try not to take things too seriously,” Jack explains.
“When I do think about things seriously, there are a lot of internal arguments that come up which I like to express through songs. That will always be a continuing theme through whatever we do, and it just spills out of me.”
“With Green Day and all the punk bands I grew up listening to, it always seemed very honest and from the heart. There was no bullshit behind it, and it’s easy to digest, rather than all these complicated metaphors that a lot of other bands use. You can hear what they mean, and you can use that to fit the story of your life. I try to make music that anybody can apply to any situation.”
Drawing upon the anxieties of modern-day existence and untangling the wires of his brain along the way, Out Of Love has become a vessel of honest expression for Jack. Channelling his personal stories and emotions into fuzzed-up tracks packed full of self-deprecating singalongs, each song is a timestamp of a unique moment in his life, but he hopes that others can find their own solace within them.
No stranger to feeling like the odd one out in a room, Jack is looking to foster a community centred on understanding and inclusion. Having struggled with imposter syndrome, often feeling out of place in his scene, he makes an important observation: “A lot of people feel as though they don’t fit in, but if we were all in the same room – we would.”
It’s that precise feeling that permeates through Out Of Love’s music, echoed in Jack’s ambitions for the future. Driven by an insatiable need to create, and bound by a powerful community spirit, they’re here to offer a safe space to anyone who may need it.
“I’ve always wanted my art to touch people in a way where they’ll hear it and think, ‘I know what this person is going through because I’m going through the same thing’,” Jack finishes.
“The music can go from something self-centred to something that people can take their own pieces away from and apply it to their own experiences. All I ever want to do is make people realise that the crazy psychopathic thoughts we have are normal. It’s fine, everyone’s a fucking psychopath. It’s okay to feel these things. You can come to our shows and express that with other people in the room who all feel exactly the same way as you.”
Welcome to the Luv, the latest EP from Out of Love is now available on Venn Records. Get it – HERE