Interview: Singing Drummer Jake Huffman Speaks on New Single “Martyr” & Upcoming EP ‘Younger’

Jake Huffman © 2023
Jake Huffman © 2023
Connecticut singer/songwriter Jake Huffman opens up about his smoldering new single “Martyr,” his time with viral band McLovins, and his upcoming EP, ‘Younger’!
Stream: “Martyr” – Jake Huffman

Connecticut artist Jake Huffman originally made a name for himself from his time in viral band McLovins. At just 14 years old, a video of the band doing a cover in Huffman’s basement took to storm on Youtube, with audiences around the world quickly becoming devoted fans. This then led McLovins to take to stages alongside artists including Blink-182, Foster The People, BB King and The Flaming Lips. After receiving some incredible accolades with McLovins, Huffman decided to go solo, allowing him to take complete creative control over his music and direction.

Martyr - Jake Huffman
Martyr – Jake Huffman

His most recent single from his solo project is “Martyr,” released on January 6. Taken off his upcoming EP Younger, the track narrates an observation of the people that make up our world, and more specifically the way social media has a huge influence on their beliefs and opinions. With the accessibility of social media, it’s easy for people to blast their thoughts to audiences without hesitation and often that can be detrimental. Huffman digs into this deeply within “Martyr,” giving his own notion on the topic.

Atwood Magazine spoke with Jake Huffman about the new single, his time with McLovins and his upcoming EP.

High hopes and Namastes
Tips from technology
Is automatic Happiness
For crystal loving hypocrites
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Stream: “Martyr” – Jake Huffman


Martyr - Jake Huffman

Hi Jake! Firstly, congratulations on the new single “Martyr”! The story behind the single comes from the idiom of ‘the hill you want to die on’. Can you tell us more about where this came from and the inspiration behind it?

Jake Huffman: Thanks so much, this release has been incredible and the response to the song has helped me understand just how many people are actually paying attention. Lyrically this song is describing my observation of our opinion driven world. Any experienced artist understands the importance of creative flexibility and imagination. It’s our job to view the world from many different lenses to break and shift our current paradigms. Martyr was a way for me to dive into the mindset of social media argumentative hypocrisy. It seems that people have forgotten that opinions change and as humans we should embrace that growth, not fight tooth and nail to be “right.”

“Martyr” is off of your upcoming EP. Can you give us an idea of what we can expect from it?

Jake Huffman: My upcoming EP Younger is anthemic, dark, and rhythm based. It feels like a true representation of the sound I’ve always strived to create.  Each of the four tracks differ sonically but live together like a collection of short stories. I’m incredibly proud of the work and love listening to this music.

Drakes cool Kanye’s the best
But my mama told me
God was nothing but a fairytale
A muzzle on a dog for sale
Jake Huffman © 2023
Jake Huffman © 2023

Your new music was written, performed, and produced by yourself. If you could only do one of those for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

Jake Huffman: That’s an interesting question and one that is difficult to answer. One of the reasons that I write, perform and produce is because of my creative process. In my mind I need all three to create my art. It would be like asking a chef to only conceptualize, cook or eat. For me it’s all or nothing. If I couldn’t do all three I would probably leave music and become a race car driver and do some sort of RedBull adrenaline based sport.

You are both a drummer and a vocalist, which is a bit of a rarity. Are there any artists that inspired you to take up both the drums and sing?

Jake Huffman: I originally became a singing drummer out of necessity. McLovins never had a designated vocalist but we wanted to write songs with lyrics and vocal melody. The first song I sang and played was Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge”.  As I fell in love with singing I learned about Levon Helm, Don Henly, Phil Collins and became a big fan of Grand Funk Railroad. Although singing drummers are a rarity I do think it’s easier to do than play guitar/bass and sing at the same time.

He sounds like Bon Iver
Soft-spoken tragedy
With hell a lot of sound effects
An anthem for the love regrets

You are Connecticut born and bred - do you believe that the state has had an influence on your sound and are there any local artists that you think we should check out?

Jake Huffman: Growing up in CT has without a doubt influenced me as an artist. I’ve lived all over the state and from Hartford to New Haven to Bridgeport there are countless local bands. Deep Banana Blackout is one of the best funk groups in the US and local New Haven acts like Wolf Harbor and Samsara really capture the sound of the city.

You were previously part of the band McLovins. How do you find creating music as a solo artist in comparison to a band? What are the pros and cons?

Jake Huffman: The process of collaboration is drastically different now.  In a band everyone is involved.  Sometimes it’s idea based and other times it’s ego based. I now collaborate with myself, my experiences, and through my mind’s lens by assuming full control. It’s my opinion that bands are an outdated and antiquated way of making music. I believe more in musical eco systems between like-minded and hard working musicians. The Hip/Hop and R&B world has been doing this for years.  Employing this same structure within my own projects has made for a very positive and rewarding experience.

The city too
Stepped on in two
Hidden like a Martyr
Of what’s true
Of what’s true to you
Jake Huffman © 2023
Jake Huffman © 2023

You have shared the stage with some big names including Blink-182, Foster The People, BB King and The Flaming Lips. Do you have any favorite memorable moments from these occasions?

Jake Huffman: All of the interactions with my heroes have left me humbled and inspired. It’s clearly a long and winding road, each artist had to struggle and work hard to get to where they are. The journey was different for everyone but the mindset of each of them always appeared similar to me. One of the most memorable conversations was with Wayne Coin of the Flaming Lips. I was 16 and he talked to me as if I was one of his peers, asking about what was going on with the band and the business.  At the time McDonalds had put a hold on our trademark logo copyright and I wanted to get Wayne’s advice. It was one of the first times I “talked shop” and I realized that in this ever changing musical world, we were all in this together.

If you could perform on stage with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Jake Huffman: I would actually faint if I was able to perform with Bon Iver. He is the epitome of an artist that followed his own path. I admire just how honest and creative he is.

Speaking of performing, do you have any upcoming gigs?

Jake Huffman: I have an upcoming EP release show in CT… To be announced very soon!

Apart from the upcoming EP release, what else can we expect this year from Jake Huffman?

Jake Huffman: Even though this year has just begun it feels like my team and I have been breaking personal records. I’ve been charting on top 40 radio, I’ll be back in the studio in the next few months recording more music and we have some very cool performance announcements coming very soon.

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Stream: “Martyr” – Jake Huffman

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Martyr - Jake Huffman

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