You might have heard of Jack and Jack already. They are two of the world’s most popular people on Vine (which we’ve wrote about here) and on Saturday supported The Janoksians (which we’ve wrote about here). They’re more well known in America but expect to hear lots more about them here in Britain in the future – it was their first time ever here when we met them, and we’re sure it won’t be their last.
These boys have achieved so much at only 18 years old and honestly, we weren’t sure what to expect before meeting them – you know how child internet stars can be *cough cough*Bieber*cough*. Luckily for us, they were actually quite lovely, even if sometimes they spoke like grown-up businessmen with all their facts, figures and mentioning their lawyer (!).
Oh, and we’ve labelled Jack G as G and Jack J as J. Obvs. There was another person in the room and we’ve put him down as PR but he could have been their manager or one of their Dads. We don’t know.
Can you explain to UK fans how you become famous?
J: We started on a video sharing application called Vine, which is just a loop, six seconds over and over of whatever you post. Basically, we started comedy online a few summers ago.
G: Two summers ago in early July we started putting together these little six second comedic videos that we found funny, and eventually our friends found them funny and our friends cousins started to see them, and there cousins friends and it was all just a natural progression and it started spreading across the entire country. I think then it naturally spread to other countries, you know, you might have a friend in camp that you know and they live in Greece or they live in Germany or they live wherever they live.
J: The way the application worked was; if we had the top Vine of the day, everyone around the world could see that Vine. It was really cool because it was like wildfire, it allowed the fanbase to grow really rapidly, there was so much accessibility on there.
G: From Vine the major thing was we spread our follows throughout all our social media platforms; Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat… any way we can connect to our fans. That’s what social media is, it’s everywhere. With one Tweet I could be in Japan, it’s crazy.
J: So once we garnered our fanbase, we started to… we’d always been into music since we were young and we put out some originals that we worked on with some buddies in Nebraska where we’re from that produced as a hobby. And we were making music as a hobby, it wasn’t that serous. Then we were like ‘oh, we got a couple hundred thousands followers, let’s put a track on iTunes’. So we made a song, put it out and it got a good response from the fans and we noticed every time we put out a new song our fanbase would just double in size on Vine, and they would be better every single time on iTunes. So once we started getting really good quality – we moved to LA and started working with some producers out there – I really think that helped legitimise our music. I think it’s really hard to make people take you seriously when you’re from Vine but I don’t think that just because we come from this social media platform, it makes us less legit than anyone.
How did you end up working with Max Martin, that’s pretty legit! How was it?
G: He’s so legit! He’s written for the biggest stars around; Justin Bieber, One Direction, Ariana, and even the biggest stars ten years ago – literally everybody. So when we heard that he wanted to work with us it was very exciting but it was kind of random, almost. Our lawyer had a link with Savan Kotecha
J: Savan is one of the writers for One Direction and so we met with him and..
[PR interjects]: But tell them how you really got to be with him and what he said about your song on the charts.
PR: You were above one of has songs on the charts.
G: Oh right, we were above ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. He was like ‘if you’re able to sell more songs than those three artists combined, even if just for one day… we gotta collab!’ So we started working on a song and… I dunno, it’s a great song, I really like it but…
J: Max and his team have a niche which is kinda like pop music. We like pop music but it’s not something that we would jam out to in the car, it’s not really us. So we made some tracks with him and the vibe is very poppy, so we’re just sitting on those and figuring out if that’s the route we want to go with. Once you go pop, there’s no going back, we’re stuck in that lane. So we just gotta make sure that’s what we wanna do or we wanna go for something with them that’s more our sound. So as of right now we’ve done a little bit with him but we don’t know what’s gonna happen.
G: We really don’t know, we’re just excited to make new music.
J: We’re really grateful for the opportunity.
What music did you listen to growing up?
G: Growing up I’d say we were all over the spectrum. One thing that he introduced me to was hip-hop and rap, that’s the reason I know who Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G. are. Me personally, I was more into reggae, so he always brings the music to me, it seems. I’d say reggae and hip-hop were the two genres I listened to the most growing up.
J: I have to agree with that, definitely some RnB in there. We never listened to the Top 40 stuff really, maybe in Third Grade, Fourth Grade but in High school, definitely more underground hip-hop and reggae.
G: You know, once the iPod Touch and iPhone came out and you could plug in your aux cord and start driving, it just made it so much easer to listen to what you wanted rather than just listen to the radio. I find it kinda frustrating listening to the radio, it’s just the same ten songs. It’s not who we are so we just want to stay true to ourselves and create the kind of music we want to listen to.
You’ve sky rocketed to fame so quickly, how do you stay grounded?
J: I think it’s hard not to stay grounded when it happens so quick. it’s really impossible to get a big head when everything happens over the space of a year. I think it’s just we realise we’re the same kids we always were, we’re not gonna let this type of thing change us. Just because there’s a lot of people who will view us differently now, doesn’t mean we’re different people.
G: Exactly. Something that I say a lot is people’s perspective’s change more than the actual person. It’s easy to stay grounded when I think I was in math class a year ago. We still have our buddies and we can be like ‘hey guys, wanna come to LA and go to this weekend?’, it’s awesome to show our hometown friends this awesome life that we’re long.
Conversely, what’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
G: In the past year so many crazy things have happened but the wildest thing… we stole a car by accident.
G: We thought it was the security guard’s car. We were in Nashville for an event and
J: We were in the valet right outside the front of the hotel and the security guard was like ‘your car’s waiting right there, go hop in’ and we were gonna get in and drive right to the venue, we didn’t feel security was necessary. So we drove the car off and we look and there’s this guy sprinting and waving at us. So we look in the back and there’s like children’s seats, so we ended up taking it around the block. It wasn’t like true Grand Theft Auto but it was still scary and it was so funny.
You’ve already had a documentary movie out, would you guys move into comedy movies properly?
G: Something that we love to do, if it’s not obvious already, is we love to act. We honestly write the things that we say so what we would love to do is produce, direct and act in a movie. I think that’s where our future’s going but now I think music’s definitely the main focus.
What will you do to celebrate 1 million YouTube subscribers?
G: You know what, I don’t know if we can because honestly I think we should be a lot higher. We’ve been slacking on our YouTube game so we’re really gonna try and bring that up. Once we hit two million, then we’ll celebrate.
How are you going to hit two million? Steal cars properly?
J: More music, weekly videos we think would really help, sketch comedy, collaborative videos; we really like collaborating with others and we haven’t done too many on YouTube but that’s something we’d like to get involved with. it’s really beneficial n growing your fanbase, growing your numbers.
G: I think the biggest thing is consistency though. We’re definitely gonna try and nail that down.
What’s the best thing about being in Britain?
G: Meeting everybody.
J: The accents!
G: I wanna go home with a permanent British accent.
Which one? There’s so many.
J: I know there’s different dialects, as an American it’s hard to distinguish. I know cockney, that’s like ‘ello mate. We don’t know really them to a T.
G: Once we get the geography down, we can go ‘where does this guy sound like?’ and ‘what does that guy sound like?’
So the accents, and not being able to drink then?
G: We haven’t experienced that yet.
J: Saturday night we will.
Who is the messy one?
J: Me, Jack J. For sure.
Most expensive thing you’ve bought?
J: That trip to Disneyland, honestly.
G: We took a day trip to Disneyland and we wanted to get VIP because we didn’t know if there were gonna be people at the park who knew us and we just wanted to go secretly and skip the lines and stuff. It was an outrageous amount of money but it was a good time.
Where is the worst place you’ve farted – or as we in Britain say, fluffed?
Both: Fluffed?! Fluffed!
PR: Probably in the elevator (he means lift) on the way up.
J: I don’t know of a specific incident but there was probably a time in an elevator (LIFT!)
G: Or kissing a girl.
J: I try not to if I’m around a girl, you gotta hold it in.
Who will be the first to leave One Direction?
G: Well Zayn already has, hasn’t he?
He’s ‘off sick’ for a bit.
J: I think they’re all going to break at the same time ’cause they’re all under contract and I know some of them are working on some solo stuff.
G: Once that contract’s up, that’s a done deal. I think Harry and Zayn are going to be to the two breakout artists.
J: They’re the best singers, they got the chops. But I think they’ll all be successful.
Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes?
Both: Ze-bras, zebras. Zeeeebras.
G: I believe they are white with black stripes.
J: That’s what I see too.
Favourite smartphone game that’s not your own?
J: Pancake. It’s a game where you just flip a pancake, over and over.
That sounds really boring.
J: You need a lot of skill, you’ve gotta stop the pancake falling off the pan, and it’s not a curved pan, it’s a flat pan. It’s really lame but…
Can you make real pancakes then?
G: He’s really good at making pancakes!
J: In real life? Yeah. I like to add a few blueberries and stuff. Pancake connoisseur.
G: I’m not much of a gamer but in like eighth grade, Doodle Jump was really good fun.
Best thing on the menu at McDonalds?
G: Probably the McGriddle.
J: Shamrock Shake!
Woah woah, we don’t have these! What are they?
G: You don’t have McGriddles?! It’s a breakfast sandwich
J: Instead of bread on either side its a pancake with syrup infused. You get bacon or sausage, egg and cheese within these syrup infused patties. It’s really good.
It sounds like the best thing ever
Both: But the worst for you.
J: And the Shamrock Shake, they have those in the St. Paddie’s Day season so they got that going on. It’s sort of minty.
G: We’re trying to eat healthier.