Why I Agree with One Direction about Jake Bugg

If you’ve been immersed in the music press in the last couple of days you may have noticed possibly the most forced rivalry in music history being gradually eked out. Jake Bugg vs One Direction. For those who haven’t seen the quotes I’ll attempt to sum it all up.

Jake Bugg said this in this interview:

I vaguely mention that some people are saying One Direction are the closest thing to rock stars that we have these days. “Who the f*ck is saying that?” he splutters, sitting forward. Well, I say, among others, Paul McCartney called them “the next terrific band”, while Mick Jagger said they remind him of the Rolling Stones in their earliest, world-shaking incarnation. Plus, plenty of people have noted that, rather than anyone in an indie band, it’s Harry Styles that’s always being pictured staggering from one party to the next, daubed in lipstick, living the dream.

‘“Oh, I’m pretty sure they have a good laugh,” says Bugg dryly. “But it’s easy to, isn’t it? When you don’t have to write any songs. People [call them the new Beatles] because they broke America, but that don’t mean a thing. I mean, [One Direction] must know that they’re terrible. They must know… Calling them the new rock stars is a ridiculous statement. And people should stop making it.”

First of all just think how absolutely forced this statement is, and nothing to do with Jake Bugg at all, he’d been fed a question begging him to say something – anything – negative about a boy band. All for the reason that our pathetic press loves a good fued, and pushing Jake Bugg as the saviour of ‘real music’ against ‘manufactured pop’ is the easiest narrative to create and the best for getting page views and selling copies of the NME.

So when this response came out from One Direction member Louis Tomlinson on twitter:

Hi @JakeBugg do you think slagging off boy bands makes you more indie?

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, because the member of manufactured pop group 1D absolutely nailed it. And here’s why…Jake Bugg

Everything about Jake Bugg’s music and image has been very specifically chosen. His album sounds like it comes from the ’50s, and that is actually a really damn hard thing to do, far easier to record something closer to its real sound, so there must be a conscious decision to stylise the music like that. Furthermore his image, the mod working class hero, is another planned act. Just look at the other people doing the same thing, Miles Kane, young Paul Weller (anyone in The Good Mod Club).

Going even further, the main thing that is held up here as evidence of Jake Bugg being ‘real music’ is the fact that he writes his own songs. Great. But that alone isn’t actually a badge of honour. There are hundreds if not thousands of bands around England who can play sets of songs they wrote on their own, but we don’t care. The only thing that would make it important is if these songs are actually pretty good. The fact that Jake Bugg actually has his songs co-written by former Snow Patrol (snigger) member Iain Archer is obviously irrelevant. If a fantastic song was written by 5 people why should it matter? Is it not still a fantastic song?

The real reason that tweet from the 1D guy is so perfect is because he realises that Jake Bugg is just as manufactured as One Direction. The difference being where 1D go blatantly for pop and the hearts of teenage girls, Mr. Bugg is squarely targeted to appeal to the NME reading indie kids and mod men. I’ve never made any pretense that I like 1D, but I can live with the fact that they sure as hell aren’t pretending to anything other than what they are.

The cruelest slice of this all is that Jake himself probably didn’t even realise what was happening. As far as Jake Bugg the person goes, I have no problem, he’s a nice enough guy with good music taste who can write some pretty decent tunes. But Jake Bugg the artist is a hilarious product of manufacturing, record label execs worked out how to make his records sound old, because obviously the old days are when music was ‘real’. And of course none of the greatest songs ever made have been written with a team of writers, unless you count Motown’s brilliance or the old Jazz standards that still awe us.

So when a member of One Direction points out that ‘Jake Bugg slagging off One Direction’ is just another marketing tool to make Jake Bugg appeal more to the ‘indie’ crowd, it is a moment of pure poetic justice.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

12 thoughts on “Why I Agree with One Direction about Jake Bugg

  1. Charlie Gray says:

    surely it’s possible that jake’s image is actually just how he his? so what if he’s paying homage to the greats of the past by wearing harrington jacket and an mod haircut. doesn’t everyone emulate who they admire? … but on the other the 1D guys are obviously smart enough to know that being in a boy band and being hated by some and loved by others is worth it so they retire young with a tower of money, not a bad idea… but what needs to be understood is that 1D is a buisness and not a band.

    • Vince says:

      Jake bugg wrote only 3 lame songs on his album, and he calls 1D fake. There’s no doubt that he enjoys the music that he listen, but the next Bob Dylan statement and all that press crap, made him even more fake than 1D, plus the greats of the past never needed someone sended by the label to write their songs, that is what a true artist is, not this Fake Bugg

  2. Carl shadey says:

    The sad thing is that it’s a whole lot worse than it appears to be. I recently found out through one of the biggest A&R guys in the industry that Jake bugg has a ghost writer, so actually writes near to none of his music. Furthermore, he would have been told exactly what to say in that interview, as the labels have painted a whole facade of jake bugg being a singer/songwriter and having musical credibility. This interview simply sells more jake bugg records and increases 1D’s fans protection of their band. One major difference though is that 1D’s music is very much apart from music that goes down in history, where as Jake’s music will most probably still be listened to in twenty odd years. But you are spot on that Jake has little more credibility than 1D do, and he is strongly pretending to be something he is not.

  3. Annie says:

    Jake Bugg ist the most overrated artist of the last few years. He can’t even write songs on his own, he needs professional co-writers. Talented songwriters don’t need that.

  4. kasherroth says:

    Although i do love a handful of his songs, I saw him at Hard Rock Calling before the Rolling Stones, definitely should’ve just been them on the Main Stage that night man, he is not a very good showman with not a lot of pizazz and when you’re meant to be gearing people up for the Stones it’s not a good call.

  5. Adam says:

    What a pile of fu**ing bullsh*t writing good music yourself is in fact a ‘badge of honour’ all pop music now is manufactured shite and the best and only good part of it is when the members of the girlbands are attractive. Boy bands should only exist to stop people who know nothing about music like yourself listen to good music, you don’t deserve to

  6. Why I agree with Jake Bugg: Write your own shit and try to release it to see how it’s hard to do. Being a pop star with one hundred guys behind you doing all the damn work is easy, isn’t it? You just have to sing. Being a “plastic popstar” makes you work only on your image. The hundred guys write the songs, the melodies, comes to the guys like One Direction, give’em the papers and say “well, just record it”. Greeaaat work, huh! Guys like Harry Styles don’t need to spend hours or days working on a guitar riff because he already have someone to make this for him. Nowadays popstar don’t deserve their fame. They don’t work a shit for it.

    • Vince says:

      I agree with you but Jake Bugg don’t write his songs either. We can say that they are both fake. There are thousands of bands and artists who work really hard every day, and make great music, and most of the time, these people are the ones who every day are sitting behind the desk, writing their new hit songs for people like Jake Bugg and One direction.

  7. Paul m says:

    Interesting article about jake bugg .
    You miss the point
    Jake bugg is a musician who writes and performs retro music with a twist like all those great bands have done in the past e.g the Beatles, the Who, the Jam etc ( performers with working class roots)
    1 direction are singers singing poorly written music manufactured for the pleasure of little girls ( pure and simple)
    Whether or not they remain popular in years to come remains a mystery . Who knows or cares whether they will transcend into a mainstream act performing as musicians writing and performing their own songs or fall by the wayside like many other boy bands

  8. fuck off says:

    Jake writes songs since he was 14 but professional writers helped him in ‘Jake Bugg’. He wrote every song in Shangri La. And Paul McCartney did not praised 1D, he said that they should not compare themselves with the Beatles. Cheers!

    • David says:

      All but three of Jake’s songs on Shangri La were co-written. Check the linear notes.

      On the other hand, One Direction co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on their last album. Which shouldn’t be so surprising when you consider that three of the five play instruments.

      My point being, if you’re going to slag One Direction for using co-writers, then it is hypocritical to say that Jake Bugg is authentic because of his song writing… that also uses co-writers.

      I’m actually a fan of both One Direction and Jake Bugg. However, much like One Direction is not the new Beatles, Jake Bugg is not the new Bob Dylan. Maybe the new Ryan Adams.

      And the Paul McCartney quote is accurate. I looked it up to make sure. He also said that One Direction can sing and make good records.

      And before I get slagged as a fan girl, I’m a man in my 30’s who writes music and has more instruments in his home than most people will play in a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: