Alex Kluft: How are the Wallflowers shows going?
Jack Irons: Its going great. We really enjoy playing together and that’s the main thing.
AK: How did you become a drummer?
JI: I was about 9 years old and we were moving from one part of Los Angeles to another, and I saw a music store with a drumset in the window, and said to my father I want that, I didn’t know why I wanted it, but he thought I was too young. When I was 13 years old I became good friends with Hillel Slovak, and we formed a band.
CMM: How did you join the Wallflowers?
JI: The guy who builds my drums knew Greg Richling the bassist for the Wallflowers. Greg and I had never met, but we knew of each other, and he hooked us up, we had lunch one day, and basically started a project that was to be released from that meeting, we were playing in a side band, when Wallflowers weren’t kicking back up yet. Then it was this last fall I believe, the Wallflowers were talking about getting back together. I wasn’t part of the songs at all, but it turned out they were looking for drummers.
AK: Who were you playing with between the Pearl Jam and The Wallflowers?
JI: Not that many, I did some solo stuff, a lot of studio work, but I wasn’t really jamming with any band. When I left Pearl Jam, it was about taking time off , they were a lot of things going on in my life, the age, and having children. 10 years had passed by real quick, so it was more of a being away time between that and the Wallflowers. It was really just working on music more artistically.
AK: What was it like recording with Neil Young?
JI: I did “Mirror Ball,” that was great. It was very short lived, but it was a great experience. We probably did the record in a week, and went on a 2 or 3 week tour in Europe. I’m a huge fan of Neils, and it was a great opportunity to play with him. Im saying everythings great today aren’t I?
AK: Do you have a favorite memory of playing with Joe Strummer ?
JI: Joe was great. Its hard to remember a lot of the little details. I remember that I loved getting to play “Pressure Drop” “Trash City” and “Straight to Hell” It was a blast. Joe was great, that was a very difficult time for me and he kind of saved me, brought me back to playing music a bit. That wasn’t the intention, it was just the timing of where I was at post Peppers. It was really significant for me to play with Joe
AK Have you talked to anyone from Pearl Jam lately?
JI: Its funny, Jakob [Dylan], Greg the bass player, and I with Mike McCready just did a acoustic benefit that was a total impromptu thing. Mike and Jakob were doing a benefit for Crohns Disease at a small venue in Los Angeles, and Jakob asked if Greg and I would play, so I got to be onstage with Mike again and that was great. It was just a couple months ago. Eddie [Vedder] and I are friends still, we keep in touch. I speak with them here and there. I don’t speak to the guys too regularly, but when we do its all great.
AK: What was the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction like for you?
JI: That was great. It was a really great weekend. I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it was a really nice ceremony, and I was pretty thrilled to be there, and be part of it. It meant a lot actually. It was great to play with Chili Peppers again. I think Its one of those things where everyone was heartfelt about it.
AK: Do you think there could be another RHCP reunion like that again?
JI: I doubt. That was probably a one time thing. There was some talk about. It was so long ago, the Chili Peppers and I. We were boys, but none the less there were a lot of old friendships there.
AK: Do you have a favorite RHCP song you played on?
JI: I never thought about that before. There wouldn’t be one song that felt like that.
AK: Are there going to be more Wallflowers shows added?
JI: This is just sort of a preliminary run a sense. The singles coming out tomorrow, and theres a preview of it, but the record doesn’t come out until October. Were just getting out there touring, and preparing to do more touring .
AK: Do you plan on doing another solo record?
JI: I’ve done three, the first one probably got more attention, and I did more work. Now in today’s world, I do it, I put it out. My solo music is me in my room just wanting to be artistically guided down the road. That’s an artsy thing, I just put it out now, and don’t make a big deal out of it, social media or whatever.
AK: Do you have a favorite memory of Chicago?
JI: My most vivid memory of Chicago was when Pearl Jam started working on “No Code.” We were in Chicago starting that process. It was really hot. I remember when we began working on the album, a lot of inspiration came from the Chicago studio.
AK: What are you using for a drum set up on the Wallflowers tour?
JI: I use masters of Maple, it’s a 5 piece kit, 1 rack, two floors, its pretty much the same set up I’ve been using since the 90s in terms of the drum sizes.
AK: What was it like making the new album with The Wallflowers?
JI: That was great. We went to Nashville, and I had not played with Jakob. Greg and I played in my bedroom one time just to see how It felt, but it was very open ended. Then we went into the studio, we jammed and it felt good. We went to Nashville just to put ourselves in the studio and see what happens. Were all really happy and proud of what we did, and we definitely can’t wait for people to hear the whole record.