It’s been a busy year for Jackson Jackson. The Melbourne duo of Harry Angus and Jan Skubiszewski released their second album Tools For Survival last year as well as touring the country several times over. In fact they’re still touring with more dates to be announced soon. They’ve also been lucky enough to be selected as one of the bands playing this year’s V Festival.
“Yeah well at V Fest this year they’ve got this new stage that they haven’t had before, which is for emerging Australian acts, and we’re headlining.” Says Jan, sounding just a little bit cheeky, “It should be really cool. They’ve got some really great bands playing and I want to see almost all of them, which is rare for me. We’re playing later on in the night so I’m hoping to be able to see most of them, which I’m really excited for.”
See, it’s lots of fun being a musician, but quite often you miss out on seeing the gigs you really want to: kind of a professional disadvantage. “Yeah, well you don’t often get to see the gigs you want to because you’re working, and even at festivals you’ll be backstage and you won’t really get too many chances to run out and see things. So as we’re doing four shows, I think I’ll get a bit of a chance to see the bands on the tour!”
I asked how Jan, who’s background is primarily working in the studio rather than on stage, about the whole live experience for him. “It’s been really fun. I’d been in the studio for ages, and even before we started doing shows I really liked the idea of getting out there and doing shows. It came at a really good time in my life and I almost felt like I’d been let out of a cage, so I’m loving being in a touring band. It’s an amazing feeling having such a good band. Even on a bad night we’re still playing pretty well, so I’m really loving it.”
The live Jackson Jackson experience took a little while to come together as the band started out with just one song. “I met Harry when I was assisting Andy Baldwin, who worked on the Cat Empire’s first album. After that I was working in different studios and doing some film score stuff. I didn’t do anything creative with Harry until a few years later when I bumped into him at this show and he said he wanted to work on this track. The track led to an album and then another.”
“But we weren’t really thinking ahead with the first album, so when we finished it we were like ‘hmm, so now we have to play the songs live?’. Ollie and Ryan, who play keys and bass with The Cat Empire, both played a little bit on the first album so both had an idea of where we were going, which helped. It took us a little while to figure it all out, but I think it works well, especially now with the electric guitar. It means we can be a lot more free.”