Jake Bugg has been making big waves since releasing his self-titled debut album in October of 2012. Now the 19 year old singer-songwriter-guitarist has reeled in a couple of big fish for his second album: producer Rick Rubin and drummer Chad Smith were photographed working with Bugg last month.
Rick Rubin established himself as a sound engineer and producer in New York City as a co-founder of Def-Jam records during the '80s, and has one of the most impressive resumes of anyone that's ever worked in the music industry. After achieving huge commercial and critical success in recent years with Adele, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, and Lana Del Rey, he's become an almost mythical figure in the record industry with a magic touch, keen attention to detail, and godly beard.
In a recent interview with NME, Jake Bugg said of Rubin, "I didn't know how well renowned he was when I went in there, so I kind of met the guy at face value and we got on really well."
Chad Smith has been the only drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers since he joined the band over 20 years ago. Smith's first album with RHCP coincided with the beginning of a long relationship with Rubin, who has produced all 6 Red Hot Chili Peppers studio albums since being involved in Blood Sugar Sex Magik which helped them break through to huge commercial success in 1991. Over the years, Chad Smith has been involved in lots of cool projects, working with artists like Glenn Hughes, Joe Satriani and Sammy Hagar in Chickenfoot, and John Fogerty (among others).
Speaking with NME, Bugg said "I've been listening to a lot of Neil Young and Nick Drake and all that kind of stuff, and I think with these new songs you can kind of tell what I've been listening to. I want to emulate the first record - but better."
Neil Young is a very natural person to draw from, as Bugg is a young gun-slinging guitar player with the same folky country roots while embracing hard edged electric rock and roll. His vocal delivery is easy to compare to Nick Drake or even a young Bob Dylan. He has a great sense of timing and melody. Really fantastic stuff.
If you haven't heard Bugg's debut album yet, check it out on Spotify:
Photos courtesy of Ken Westerberg, via tonedeaf.com.au