Getting To Know Black Wolf Blues: Jake Storey
Thu 13 Apr 2023
Photo credit: Neil Hughes @concertinaphoto
It's that time of the week again, and over the next few weeks we'll be publishing a series of blogs about our band members, the "Getting To Know Black Wolf Blues" series.
This will be in the form of an interview about their musical career.
Today's band member is guitarist Jake Storey.
Jake Storey is a guitarist, bassist, producer and guitar teacher from London, UK.
He grew up listening to rock and metal music from a young age, being heavily inspired by bands such as AC/DC, Metallica and Guns n’ Roses.
He began teaching himself how to play the guitar from the age of 14, mixing his influences from blues musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa with his rock and metal background.
He graduated in music and guitar at BIMM London, where he honed his skills.
Shortly after finishing his music studies Jake would go on to meet frontman Rafael Miranda and join Black Wolf Blues as its lead guitar player.
He is a fan of vinyl and he loves talking about music, so if you see him at a show don't hesitate to approach him for a friendly chat.
How did you first get into music?
From a very young age around 5 years old I can remember being introduced to AC/DC by my Dad showing me their music videos. From then onwards I was hooked and I can remember that’s where my love for Rock and Metal music began. I was then introduced to more bands and I would always have an interest in Music throughout my younger years but never played an instrument. When I was 12, I remember starting on the ukulele at school and then moving onto bass and then joining my first band. I would then move onto guitar and the passion would continue from there.
What instruments can you play?
I can play the guitar, bass, ukulele and then I can mess around with other instruments if I have to or if I am coming up with ideas for productions or songs.
What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?
I think one of my strengths would be that I am very driven and committed to achieving the very best for not only myself but my band mates. I feel that sometimes I can take a lead to keep everyone focused as a team on the end goal and this helps us to keep moving forward. As an artist I am also really into production so when it comes to working on new ideas or songs I can start to picture them from a production view helping us to lift a piece from an idea to a finished song.
Who is your favourite musician?
In terms of a favourite musician the one person that stands out for me would have to be Stevie Ray Vaughan! Now I know Rafael also has a similar opinion but this is for a good reason! There is an intensity that is conveyed through the way he played uigtar and his style of playing really helped to shape the way that I am as a guitar player now. If I had to pick a favourite band it would have to be Metallica! Metallica has been my favourite band since I was a small child and their songs have always been a huge part of my life. In terms of their catalogue of songs, they are always striving to make something different and fresh coming up with new ideas and I personally like to do the same as it keeps pushing the boundaries of creativity you have as a musician.
What is your proudest accomplishment as a musician?
I would have to say where I am currently in terms of being a part of this band as well as my own ability and skills! I am always striving to continue improving and making things better! I have also won in the past a Jack Petchey Award for helping younger students to perform and work together in bands!
What interests or hobbies do you have outside of music?
This is a tough question! I will tell you why music was my hobby! It's become the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I am working on before I go to bed. Music consumes my life so I really have to try here. I could talk about my obsession with vinyl collecting! This started when I began looking through my dads record collection! I always found looking at the picture and colour discs awesome so once I got my first job I started to add to the collection myself.
What is your creative process when making music?
For me, if I am writing a song from scratch, it starts with a riff! The riff is pretty much the bread to the sandwich I am going to be making so it's important that I have a good riff to start with. I then record ideas into my phone and then begin to piece parts together. I really like working on song ideas together with my band mates in a room as we all feed off of each other's creative energy! Sometimes if someone else brings the idea to the band I will spend a lot of time listening to the ideas getting my head into the right place for coming up with ideas.
Tell me about your top performances.
It would have to be getting on stage and performing with Steel Panther at the London Roundhouse venue! I love that venue so one day I hope to play the venue with Black Wolf Blues but to say I have been on that stage is a proud moment for sure! I also feel that the last gig we played at The Fiddler’s Elbow on 8 April 2023 was a really great experience! I also once performed with a project at the Royal Festival Hall in London!
Who would you most like to collaborate with artistically?
I’ve not really thought about this question! I would love to collaborate with bands like Rival Sons, The Black Crowes, ZZ Top, AC/DC, Metallica, and Turnstile. It's hard to name them off the top of my head. There are loads more! In terms of specific musicians I would really like to work with would be people like John Mayer, Daniel Donato, Chris Stapleton, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons, James Hetfield, Jay Buchanan, Bob Rock, Butch Vig, Rick Beato, Chris and Rich Robinson, Russ Parrish (Satchel) just to name a few! It would be awesome to just pick their brains to absorb everything that I can learn from them!
Who has been your most influential teacher or mentor?
I can answer this confidently! I have a few! I will name the first person that comes to mind and then I will also name my other teachers and mentors who have provided great support and help so far in my career as a musician. The first name that comes to mind would be Tom Calvert (Redhino).
While studying at Bimm it was Tom who would always push me to pursue what I enjoyed and loved! He would always give me feedback and never turned me away when it came to giving me advice or listening to anything I would ask him to listen to! I continue to stay in touch and he has really been a mentor to me at times when I needed it with my career and during my course at University. It was his lessons where I developed my passion for recording, mixing and production! Jim Clark, John Wheatcroft, Les Davidson, David Gerrish, Steve Allsworth & Sandy Buglass were all extremely helpful in helping me to develop my understanding on the Guitar!
They helped me throughout my time at Bimm where I began by struggling to understand basic theory concepts but they provided me with the tools and understanding to be able to get through and now I am teaching a lot of the topics I was struggling with! I learnt a lot from all of my teachers and I still keep in touch with them! Stuart and Louise Yeatesmy music teachers from my time at school have been there since the beginning helping me to grow and allowing me to be involved heavily in music at school.
Anita Tofts, who was also my music teacher, continues to be a huge mentor in my career. Anita is the reason I teach guitar today all from her spotting a passion for while I was at school and then giving me my first teaching opportunity! Finally my family who are extremely supportive and the albums and artists that have shaped me into the musician I am today.
What are your favourite venues to perform at?
I would have to say so far I have really enjoyed performing at all of our gigs so far so I don’t have many favourites yet but I know I have some venues that I would definitely like to play at some point in my life. I would have to say my biggest goal is to play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre! I would also love to play the London Roundhouse and The O2 which is in my home city!
What inspires you as an artist?
I find listening to the music I have grown up with and analysing what makes the songs what they are continues to really inspire me! No matter how many times I listen to certain artists or songs I can never get bored as I am always discovering something new! Seeing a live show from a band or artist I like, always gives me a massive boost of creativity and inspiration as well!
How do you nurture your own creativity?
Work, work, work and more work! Hard work pays off and it's perseverance that produces results! I have spent hours upon hours learning and practising not because I have to but because I enjoy what I do! I always say if you enjoy something it will never feel like work when you are working on that particular skill! The minute it starts to become fatigued or unenjoyable then you need to make a change or give it a break. I play guitar every day and I practically sit with one as much as I can! I like to learn songs that inspire me and then learn the techniques or skills to be able to implement them when I am creating music.
Do you have trouble with performance anxiety?
Sometimes! I have never not been nervous before playing a show however, the more I perform the better it has gotten! I have now started to look at performances like a job I have to do. My thought process is that I need to execute my job to the best of my ability and that helps me to keep a high standard but it also doesn't allow the small voice at the back of my head to interfere and win.
What are your favourite musical genres?
I love most things rock and metal! Rock and metal is where I feel most at home however I am also a huge fan of blues music! Playing guitar and working on my production skills have definitely helped expand my taste further and I will listen to pretty much anything if I think it’s good. I have even begun including a few country songs to help my guitar playing and even some pop songs to help when it comes to working with other artists.
How do you differ from most other artists?
I like to think that what makes me unique is the diet of music I have been fed growing up! Everyone has a completely unique experience when it comes to what they have listened to and what they like. My playing style stems from all of the sounds and techniques that I have absorbed and I feel that partnered with my passion for music it is always continuing to grow.
How do you think your bandmates would describe you?
I’d like to think that my band mates think of me as someone that is hardworking, reliable, driven and optimistic. I am not easily swayed by negativity so when it comes to being hopeful and optimistic that helps in creating a good atmosphere when working with others. I think they would say that I am also approachable and a good communicator. Most of all I think they would say that I am someone they can trust. I think trust is extremely important in friendships so this is something you would not find me breaking or sacrificing.
That's it guys, hope you enjoyed the interview!
The exchange we have with our supporters is one of the most important things for us as musicians, and that's why we want to share a little more of our personal history with you.
We're very proud to say that our next gig is on 22 April at The Hope Hoot, an anual charity fundarising event in connection with both Anaphylaxis UK and Allergy UK. This will take place at Blackheath Halls in Blackheath, Lonodon. Check out our website and social media for more details. Doors open at 7:15 PM, we would love to see you there!
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We also publish a new blog every Thursday, and next week's will be the next one on our "Getting To Know Black Wolf Blues" series, with an interview of another band member. So stay tuned, rock on and have an amazing weekend!
Black Wolf Blues
Rafael, Jake, Liam & Cam