For Jack Rutter, reflecting on his self image has always been at the core of his band, Ritt Momney. “Justin Vernon—he has a thing. He’s like the folk-sad-winter guy. I guess in terms of wide-spread public perception, if you don’t have a thing then it’s hard to stay on people’s minds,” says Rutter. “If I’ve ever tried to do it, I haven’t done it well. If anything, I’m like the ex-Mormon guy and I could have really played into that if I wanted to—I could have made this whole next album about that. But I don’t really care about it anymore.” Instead of sealing himself into a box for the sake of recognizability, Rutter explores many shades of his personality both in his art and in life.
Ritt Momney began as a band between Rutter and some friends in high school. It was during this time that Rutter began to limit the reaches of his personality by obsessing over his public image. “I loved the feeling of showing someone something that they thought was too weird,” says Rutter. Beyond falling into the stereotypes of an obnoxious music nerd, Rutter was exhausted by keeping up the appearance of being someone he really wasn’t. “I’ve been bouncing back and forth between, ‘Okay I’m this super indie kid’ or I see myself as much. Then I’m like ‘trying to be indie is super dumb. I’m going to try and be aggressively not indie.” [So now] I’m just a pendulum that’s slowing down and I’m going to arrive in the middle and see everything objectively at some point.”
Reaching such a content mindset was helped in no small part by the very public display of his musical skill on Ritt Momney’s first album, Her and All My Friends. “Being bad at something and having fun at being bad at that thing is really often the best way to get better at it,” says Rutter of his experience creating the album. “I like all of the songs [on the album] as a representation of where I was at musically. I’ll say I like the ones I did later on [more] because it was a two year process during which I was on the early part of the learning curve of music. The ones I did later on definitely resonate with me a lot more.”
Continuing to learn and grow as a person, as well as an artist, is a huge driving force for Rutter as he continues to work towards his sophomore album. After gaining a new wave of followers after his cover of “Put Your Records On” went viral on TikTok (and sealing a record deal), the upcoming album is looking to represent an exciting and thriving evolution. “There needs to be balance in everything,” Rutter says. “The answer isn’t going to be the same answer for every single person. Whether that’s what sweatshirt you’re going to wear, your spirituality or how obscure your music taste is. I think you should just do it for yourself.”
Ritt Momney is going to be headlining the 13th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Fest Presented by Harmons on Friday Aug. 13. You can now buy VIP tickets for $30 in advance or $35 day of at 24tix.com. You can listen to Her and All My Friends and all of Ritt Momney’s previous releases wherever you stream music.