Jack O’Connell has been an avid music lover since he was in diapers and was burning mixes at age 7, ripping a personal Beach Boys hits anthology. He has been listening constantly since. From hearing Fastball’s All the Pain Money Can Buy on cassette in the car to elementary school, to The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack on the Walkman, he discovered music early and was hooked. Along the way he endured the zeitgeist of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, dancing along to their performances at Madison Square Garden on VHS. Eventually his babysitter introduced him to the local alternative rock station–99.1 WHFS (R.I.P.)–where he could finally hear pop-punk icons like Blink-182 and Good Charlotte, Jack’s first exposure to the combination of raw rock and catchy pop. Blink also influenced him toward the drums. During a drive past the Baltimore School for Drumming while listening to Enema of the State at age 10, Travis Barker unwittingly set events in motion that led Jack toward devotion to the kit. During his eight years of private drum lessons with virtuoso and now long-time friend John Coale, Jack practiced his craft with Kidz Rock bands at The Music Workshop, instructed by singer/guitarist Fred Moss in the ways of performing and band dynamics. Eventually he played drums with his middle school’s jazz ensemble, taking him out of his head-bashing comfort zone and into more complex and elegant styles.
Since playing in liturgical and theatre bands in high school, he has played countless shows at venues in and around Baltimore, as well as major cities around the east coast on tour with surf rockers Trunkweed, honing an understanding for the politics of booking and the challenges of creating good live sound. Jack attended a summer program on music industry at Drexel University, which cemented his decision to attend Towson University. While working on his audio degree, doing audio/visual work for Towson event services, and teaching drum lessons from home, he began buying recording gear, building a studio, and producing on his own. Jack played virtually every venue in Baltimore and published a full-length record, Anything But Ordinary, which Jack co-wrote and produced, with his former band, pop-rockers The Chance.
Jack has more recently been making music with his brother, Danny, as Backyard Games, and is currently working on their first full-length album, all recorded and produced at O'Connell Sound. He also recently migrated from periodically playing around Fells Point on the weekends playing cover gigs to playing on Broadway in Nashville.