Vinyl's Jack Quaid Sets The Record Straight

...in the february 2016 issue of nylon

Photographed by Scott León.

Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter's Vinyl, the much-anticipated HBO show about the drug-fueled music scene in gritty 1970s New York, premieres on February 14. Think of it as a love letter to all things music, and a valentine to you. Here, series regular Jack Quaid—yes, the 23-year-old son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan—reveals what it’s like to have the most rockin’ gig (besides making videos with his sketch group Sasquatch, of course). 

How would you describe your character, Clark, a junior A&R exec?
Clark has a cool job, yet is the least cool person in that office. He probably shouldn’t be in the music world, but for whatever reason really does want to be, and is doing fairly well. Navigating him through the whole sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll thing was so fun.

You’re part of an awesome cast including Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, and Juno Temple, just to name a few. Who did you get along with the most off-camera?
Everyone, really. Absolutely no one in the cast is a jerk—which was surprising, and rare for most sets.  

How’d you like wearing the wide lapels and bell-bottoms?
As a tall, skinny person, I wish I could wear those clothes all the time because they fit me perfectly, and I liked that I looked like a real-life version of Woody from Toy Story.

Were you fanboying over getting to work with Scorsese (who directed the two-hour pilot and is also an executive producer of the show)?
I’m a complete Scorsese fanatic. Forget that I got the part, just the fact that I even auditioned for him was mind-blowing, nerve-racking, and amazing all at the same time.  

How did you psych yourself up for the audition?
I honestly don’t remember. I think I just blacked out! What put me at ease was the fact that he’s a really funny person, and he doesn’t do that “I’m Martin Scorsese, bow down to me” kind of thing. He’s a very humble, very nice guy—just a film nut whose passion leads to getting great work out of people.

You weren’t alive in the ’70s, so did you know much about the era’s music before doing the series?
Yes. Growing up, boy bands were the big thing, but I just couldn’t get into them. Instead, my dad introduced me to classic rock. For my first concert, he heard about this secret Rolling Stones show, so there I was at 11, in a bar—I’m not sure how I got into a bar, but I did—watching this legendary band play all of their hits. It was incredible.

Does your co-star James Jagger know his dad’s band was your very first concert?
No, but I should definitely tell him!