What almost started like a joke ended up being his full time job. Reflecting on his early years, Jacob Field, lead singer of British band The One Hundred (that we already introduced HERE) underlines how the “music scene” where he’s currently evolving isn’t the one he matured with.
“I never grew up with it, so I just don’t understand it”
Even though he admits missing a lot on the rock spectrum, since he mostly listened to Soul music, hip hop, and R’n’B and dislikes Metallica and Led Zeppelin, Field does however underline that his bandmates bring what’s necessary in terms of rock’n’roll influences within the band.
What came next is nothing but a whirlwind of events that succeeded to the quartet’s clear ambition “to be something different.” In fact, that’s what ‘Subculture’ (debut EP, 2014) is all about. The One Hundred do have a point, musically and lyrically and the key for them is to bring something new to the table that doesn’t already exist one million times. “We’re doing it because we feel like there needs to be something like us. If I wasn’t in this band, I would want to hear something similar to this.” Not so many bands can be proud of playing Reading and Leeds Festivals, or Download shortly after releasing a debut EP, let alone play massive arena shows, with some rock’n’roll legends.
If Jacob changed his name to “Jacoby” at some point in his childhood, it probably has something to do with Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix, with whom he eventually got to tour last year. “Papa Roach for me was incredible, It’s just because on my 8th birthday I got ‘Infest’ and it was like my favorite album ever.” Although they think it should never have happened, The One Hundred even played with Mötley Crüe to a crowd of 20,000 people. As weird as it got, it has –without any doubt- given them much exposure. The same attention they’d been given since the beginning, which took them to “all these cool places”, to play all of these shows. Even in Australia, popular record label UNFD decided to license ‘Subculture’. I t has surely contributed widely to putting them forward to thousands and thousands of rock / metal enthusiasts on their different networks. So in addition to all these things, “instantly our tracks got more hits than we ever expected to get.”
The One Hundred are not afraid to say that they’ve been extremely lucky in the process: “It’s not arrogance, we were given so much – whether we deserved it or not.” It has led them to live up to quite high expectations for such a young band, which can be explained by the fact that everything that happened to them happened so quickly. “We take for granted everything that we’ve done. Before we were even a year old, we went to Maida Vale, for BBC and recorded a session for Dan Carter…That was incredible. And it shouldn’t have happened as early as it did. And it did; I think we wanted more. Because we had this thing that was so early on, the next step was Download, Reading, Motley Crue. We need to go to Wembley now!” says Jacob, bursting out laughing.
Clearly The One Hundred have a lot of ambition and they’re definitely proud to claim it as it is. What can be mistaken for arrogance is just their confidence, coupled with pragmatism. “We want to be the next big thing”, repeats the frontman. The guys joke about the fact that they are the One Direction of Metal. But reading between the lines fully displays the way they thrive for this. “We wanna be on the front of Kerrang. We want to be the band everyone buys.” Their hard work, their short, however intense experience allow them to live up such dreams. The One Hundred know where they want to go, they know how to get things done and they take all the time they need to settle for good, now.
“Starting fresh is the challenge. Not just with music. Because people just get bored, unfortunately.”
What it takes to achieve this is a lot of time spent writing and recording songs, as well as shaping them for the live experiences everyone is going to be waiting for. Everyone knows their duty, which happens quite naturally within the band. While Jacob and Tim handle most of the writing process, The One Hundred, collectively describe themselves as “perfectionists” and take all the time they need to record the most satisfying material they aspire for. The singer confides that often, they would record a track only to realize they hate it and have to (re)do everything from scratch. “Sometimes, it takes three months to record one song and most bands work full albums in that time. We’re not doing what everyone is doing, so it does take longer. And I do have a point so, it takes a while for lyrics.”
It is thus hardly surprising to see that these guys have the reputation of causing madness on stage. Something they learnt to do over the time, thanks to many experiences performing to different types of crowds and mostly crowds that are not theirs. Bands like The One Hundred understand their luck and tend to leverage the opportunity that is given to them intelligently: “It’s such a visual thing live. There are bands out there who aren’t necessarily good live. If you listen to them, they kind of are all over the place but if they put on a show, you remember it. You have to put on a show and if you can put on a show and sound great at the same time, you’re 65% or 70% ahead of the other bands that are doing it. It helps touring with bands like Crossfaith that are really professionals as well, cause you learn little things from them all the time. We’ve been so lucky and so grateful to tour with bands like Papa Roach and Mötley Crüe. You see how it’s done. We learn thirty years of their experience in three days. You do learn things a lot quicker.”
You would think they are now used to facing people, but as it happens, performers never get completely over the pre-show nerves. In this case, Jacob thinks that “It varies, sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t […] I actually got more nervous for our headline show in London. The people had to buy tickets to see us, so obviously we gotta impress them more. Sometimes you do get nervous, sometimes you can’t wait to go, I’m eager.”
With this knowledge, it feels like The One Hundred are strong enough to get to the next level. In fact, two years after ‘Subculture’ was released, questions regarding a follow up started to emerge. While there were many things in the pipeline, for the band, album #1 was obviously the priority. But as every important step in a career, nothing is left to chance. The album is written and done and the band is waiting for the “final tweaks”, as they refer to it.
Last month, The One Hundred have announced that they have signed with Spinefarm Records (UMG) and confirmed the release of this much awaited debut for next year. “Obviously we [didn’t] want to push it too early and that’s why we have no time frame. Just to give us enough time to fully promote it, make sure it’s sorted out. We will release singles and tracks before and we will play tracks from the album live.”
“Everything went really well so far, so fingers crossed it continues and people still dig it and don’t get bored”, confides Jacob Field. “But that’s also why it all happens so quickly because if it doesn’t, nothing happens at all.”
The next few months are probably going to go really fast for The One Hundred, as they have announced that they will be supporting Don Broco on their European headliner starting this week. They will probably be busy gearing up for the release of their full length upon their return. If you haven’t heard about The One Hundred yet, just go give their debut EP ‘Subculture’ a spin and catch them somewhere on the road. You’re welcome.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.