Jake Dulln, who frequently uses Jackson Hole as a home base, is an artist whose unique style showcases his strong songwriting and contemplative spirit. Since 2018, Dulln has independently written, produced and recorded four releases.
Recorded locally in a Yurt in Victor, Idaho last winter, his latest release, “Jungfrau,” features nine tracks complete with drums and bass accompanying him on guitar. The sonic composition is a change of pace for Dulln, as his previous releases have primarily been solo material.
In celebration of the new album and an upcoming trip to Europe for the winter, Jake Dulln joined us recently in the KHOL Studio.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Monday, Nov. 21.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: Your last release, “Rubble,” was the first to feature additional musicians, especially on the standout track “Grunge Gods.” This time around on “Jungfrau” you employed the services of local musicians and good friends of KHOL, drummer Peter Henderson and bassist Pearson Beasley from the band Strumbucket. Can you tell us about the concept of the record and how it came to be?
JAKE DULLN: There wasn’t really a concept. I approach everything from a writing standpoint, so there were all these songs I was working on and I just knew I wanted to play with other musicians. Once I wrote the first couple of songs I was like, ‘Alright, well, this is happening again. Let me find the guys that I really want to [work with].’ And that actually took months. For stuff like that, you’ve got to see who people are and if they’re interested.
KHOL: And how did you know that you wanted to definitively have other musicians with you?
DULLN: I’ve kind of just been living my own little dream for the last four or five years. And I’ll start by saying it’s been really rewarding personally and creatively, but it’s the other things that start lacking. It’s always been what I’ve wanted to do. You mentioned “Grunge Gods.” That song on the last record talks about going over a bridge and listening to 101 Alternative, which is actually a station in Maryland that we used to listen to. That’s when grunge was kind of blowing up in the late nineties. I was just a kid, but [I knew] that’s what I want[ed] to do. I want to play in a band and I want it to be frickin’ sick, you know what I mean? So I just kind of took a long way to get there.
KHOL: So you’re basically following a songwriting trail where the songs are leading you to the final bulk of work?
DULLN: Yeah, it has always been about writing for me. When I started, [I was] really influenced by [Bob] Dylan. It’s like if you can write your own songs and perform them, that’s the best. That really excites me, to be the writer and the performer. It’s all this other stuff that I didn’t really sign up for.
KHOL: A lot of your work is [based on your experiences] on the road, and I love the track on the new album, “People Be Drifting.” To me, it’s like classic Jake Dulln. Can you tell us what the songwriting process was for that one?
DULLN: Yeah, that’s like the other side of it, you know? When I’m doing this interview where you’re asking these questions, there’s kind of a subtext that I’m like a successful musician or something, and creatively I am, but viably, feasibly, fiscally I am not. It’s a sad state of affairs on that side of things as far as a musician that wants to go about it, the way I’m going about it, which is like the long, hard road or something like that. There are only so many things you can actually do to gain some type of exposure. And so reflecting on that, that’s what “People Be Drifting” is. It’s that feeling when I’m done with the tour. That song probably came when I was done with the tour last summer after “Rubble” and I’m like chilling in this campsite and it’s like, ‘Alright, I’m basically broke again and I’m [living] in my car. It’s like, you know, ‘what is this?’ So that’s basically what “People Be Drifting” is. It’s all in the song, you know?
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Jake Dulln.