Jackson Colt Interview

Jackson Colt Interview

Jackson Colt is the essence of 80’s Rock reimagined. Catchy chorus hooks, melodic riffs and shredding solos echo through from the Golden Era of the Guitar. Raised on "Old School Rock”, Jackson combines a retro-retake with a modern fresh sound that booms through the ages for all target markets. After receiving his first guitar at the age of 9 in a second-hand store, Jackson starting learning to play songs by bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad and more. Jackson cites his family as his biggest influence on his Classic Rock influenced sound. Growing up with bands like Deep Purple, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Guns n' Roses playing in the house, it was easy to see what music he would write.

Jackson's love for the guitar started when discovering Eddie Van Halen. Other inspirations for the guitar span from players such as David Gilmour and Slash to 80’s shredders like George Lynch and Yngie Malmsteen. Jackson also has a passion for Metal music. Alexi Laiho has been another big influence of his playing as well as Jeff Loomis.

For live shows, bassist Dean, drummer Matthew and rhythm guitarist Piet bring a high energy performance in reminiscence of those 80’s Arena Rock bands. Each member brings their own personality to the stage, all coming from different musical backgrounds. Grinding on the underground circuit, the band learned to hone their craft. The band has also enjoyed playing the Soweto Towers on Halloween, multiple Speedo-Fests and frequent gigs with friends Black Cat Bones and Jasper Dan.

After gigging relentlessly through the harsh lockdown and sharing the stage with several big names in South African Rock, Jackson Colt is currently recording his debut album with Dale Schnettler of Prime Circle. Jackson cites Dale as a big inspiration to his music career. The first concert Jackson ever attended was a Prime Circle show when he was young. There he met Dale who signed some drumsticks for Jackson and his brother. Many years later, they would meet again and work on the debut album together.

Jackson has achieved great success within the Mix FM SA Top 40, with Echoes reaching Number 1 for two consecutive weeks and number 2 for 3 weeks. Handpicked by Darren Scott, Jackson Colt was chosen to play at Darren's Farewell Party and reached number 2 for the end of the year Top 40 of 2022.

Currently, Jackson is working on a full-length debut album to be released in 2023. The 14-track album combines the Classic Rock sound with some modern influences.

Listen to Episode

Jackson:This is Jackson Colt and you're listening to Concerts That Made Us.

Brian: Jackson Colt, you're very welcome to Concerts That Made Us.

Jackson:Thank you so much for having me.

Brian:Yeah, it's great to have you. Now, first off, I have to say, what a name. I mean, you couldn't be anything other than a rock star with a name like that.

Jackson:Oh, yeah, either that or maybe a Western actor or just someone who's homeless. I'm glad I'm going for the rock star.

Brian:Right, right. Now we opened the show with your latest single Strangers. Would you like to tell us a bit about it?

Jackson:Yes, yes. Strangers is a song actually I wrote about a year ago. And it's a song that really, really captures the sound of my music and my band's music, which is the 80s rock. Strangers actually tells a story of, it's the idea of the twin flames, which are two souls that are destined to be together. Before you are born, basically, you are almost one soul. And when you come down to earth, your souls get split in two. And you spend your whole life looking for each other, where the soul is represented by a fire inside of you. And the darkness, which the song talks about, is your trauma and your past experiences. So these two people are basically in the dark the whole time, and all they can see is this flame in the distance, this light almost, and they're trying to just get to each other. So it's a song that I'm very, very proud of and the band's proud of. I'm very proud of my guitar solo. I worked hard on that one. And just the whole feel of it. I mean, it's got 80s rock and I love 80s rock.

Brian:It sure does. I love that idea though. It's something I've never heard of before. I feel like I'm going to have to delve deeper into that now after we wrap up and find out a bit more. I'm very intrigued by it. But you mentioned the 80s rock. You have this great sound. It's almost like Motley Crue meets Ghost. You know, you capture the great eighties rock sound, but you kind of put a modern twist on it. How do you go about capturing that sound?

Jackson:Oh, thank you very much. It's a big compliment to me. I love both Motley Crue and Ghost. Um, the thing with the style of music is it's a, it's a style of music that feels like home to me. Um, I've written many different genres. I've played in many different bands growing up and Something that always felt comfortable, felt right for me was the 80s rock. And I always kept coming back to it and that's where my love is. I grew up listening to the music, of course, but I also grew up listening to more modern bands. So I think it's my influences that got me there, listening to very 80s orientated rock from my parents, but also listening to my own music that I discovered myself. That's how the modern twist comes into it almost. I mean... I love the eighties, but I don't want to just be copying the eighties. I want that nostalgic feel, but something still new.

Brian:Yeah. Yeah. You kind of have to put the fresh spin on it, so to speak. And your process for writing and recording then what's that like? I know you've been working with some legends from the South African rock scene.

Jackson:Yeah. Well, I've been very blessed to be working with a guy called Del Schnettler. He is. drummer of a band called Prime Circle. And for those of you who don't know South African Rock, they are our top band. They are the top of the pyramid, the biggest band. And it's actually a funny story. My first concert ever was a Prime Circle show with Dale Schnettler, some drumsticks for us when I met him. Yeah, about 15 years later, I'd never seen him again after that. I saw him again. think it was last year and we started working together in the studio and it was, he's always been a hero to me growing up. It's been one of my musical inspirations and to get to work with someone like that and to call him my friend, we've become very close friends outside the studio as well, has been such a blessing for me so it's incredible to work with a mentor like that. I mean even in the studio he has such a creative mind. He is a drummer but he's also a guitarist, he's a bass player, he's a songwriter, he's got perfect pitch. bound to ideas or for them and him to give you some input and say, no, that's not really working. What about try this? And I'm sitting there and I'm like, no, that sounds good. Sometimes I say it doesn't sound good. Sometimes it does. But I mean, he's the legend in our country. So most of the time he's right. And it's just, it's a lot of fun. That's what it comes down to being. A lot of people don't understand that it's, they think it's just got to be a job. They've got to be perfect with it, almost like a perfectionist. But Sometimes you just gotta sit back and relax and say, let me have fun with this, that's why I'm doing music, because I love it, and let me just make something I'm proud of.

Brian:Yeah, but it must have been very surreal working with a guy that you look up to like that, you know, how long was it before you got past the kind of awestruck, oh my God, I can't believe it?

Jackson:If I'm being honest, I feel like that every day that I've seen, every time that I've seen it. And we've been working together. It's almost a year now. We started last year, May, and every time that I see him, I mean, I've been to his house for dinners. He's been to my house for dinners. You know, the families know each other. So he's a very close friend. But every time I get out the car, the studio, wherever I see him, I'm like, oh, my word, it's Del. It's Del. Okay. Okay. Okay. Calm down. And I'll calm down. I'll go, okay, let's do it. And it's a surreal moment. I mean, here in South Africa. A lot of people look overseas to their inspirations. A lot of my inspirations come from overseas, from Britain and America and Europe and everywhere. But here in South Africa, I know there's a very small chance I'll meet the people overseas. But to have one of your inspirations here in South Africa, to be able to call your friend and to help you write songs, and to feature on some of your songs in the background, doing some harmonies and stuff, it's like a dream come true.

Brian:Yeah, definitely, definitely. And with your music, how has the reaction been from fans and listeners? And is it easy to get new fans?

Jackson:With rock and roll nowadays, it's sad almost that it seems like there's other genres like electronic music and hip hop and everything else trying to take over. And they have taken over, which is, it breaks my heart because I've grown up in rock and roll music, but they stole that. that fire, that flame inside people's heart, that just say, we love rock. The people who love rock, it was never a phase for them. It was never a trend. Like nowadays, there's so many trends going on that people forget about and they move on to the next style. Rock and roll music is something that people will listen to until they die. I mean, that's something that makes this music worth playing. That's where I meet a lot of fans who will listen, especially a lot of fans that are older, that are... from a different generation to me that grew up in the 70s and 80s and they listen to the music and they go, my word, you know, we haven't heard something like this in a long time. And it is the biggest compliment to me to hear someone who grew up in that generation of music that I love to enjoy my music. It means that I'm almost on the right path. And I mean, the fan growing, it's not overnight. I've been doing music for about 18, 19 years since I was a young kid. every day, whether it's a hundred new fans who like my music or even just one. That's a blessing. I'm happy for anyone who will enjoy my music.

Brian:I completely agree, though. It's kind of like, well, I hate that rock music nowadays isn't at the forefront. You know, it's more so, like you said, rap and hip hop and electronic dance music. It's it's kind of sad, but at the same time, I feel like it always kind of it's always been like the outsider genre, you know, even in the 80s when It was at the start of the eighties, you had like the hair metal, then pop kind of overtook it. But then it kind of it always stays there in background and then comes around and is at the forefront for a while and goes back. So I feel like it will come back around, you know?

Jackson:Yeah, well, of course. I mean, look at it. So many genres have come and gone. So many genres have died. But. Rock stayed alive. Why do you think Keith Richards is still alive? He will never die and these are all Aussies. So, you know, rock and roll is keeping us all going and rock and roll has always been there and it will always be here. I have a good feeling about that. 

Brian:Right. At this point we'll give the listeners a sense of where you come from when it comes to music. So if you can, can you remember your earliest musical memory?

Jackson:My earliest musical memory? I don't have the best memories, I'm honest, but I do have memories of actually my parents playing a lot of records in the house growing up. It wasn't necessarily 80s rock, it was more 60s and 70s. They were big fans of bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Who. I think that was actually my first introduction to it. My parents are such... They're not musicians at all, but they love music. So me and my brother growing up... We were just in the south where this rock and roll music was playing and everyone was happy. We were sitting there going, wow, look at this. That's what we started out on. I remember we're listening and it was when I heard Eddie Van Halen, the very first song. That's when I wanted to actually play the guitar. I asked my friends, I'd really like a guitar. I think it was my eighth or ninth birthday. I cannot really remember. But we bought probably a third or fourth hand, beaten down. bearing just strapped for luck. It was next to nothing in a thrift store somewhere here in South Africa. And I mean, I loved that guitar. As soon as I picked it up, I never put it down. I was just obsessed with it. And it was my parents, if I'm being honest. It was them who got me into loving music and rock and roll. And to seeing them being happy listening to music, that I think really got something in my heart. ignited a flame to make want to make people happy with my music, you know.

Brian:And once you had the guitar, then what were the first steps you took to, you know, becoming a musician, learning to play the guitar and playing gigs?

Jackson:So if I'm honest, when we got the guitar, there was a very cheap book. This book was I think it was maybe about five pages. It was a tiny little book and it was Beginner Chords for Guitar. And I got this little book. and I sat down and I learned the chords and I think there was maybe the pentatonic scale and maybe just the major scale slash minor scale. And it was this little book that I carried around for, I don't know, a few years in the beginning of my career and that's what started me on the guitar. I mean, this was back in, I must have been 2004 or 2005. So I mean, YouTube was maybe just starting. Back in those days, my family didn't have a computer, so all I had was this book, and I'd listen to the chords and try to listen to a song and think, is it this chord or is it that chord? And it was self-taught. Everything was completely self-taught, listening to other musicians and reading from a little book. So that was my story of how it started. And also writing songs. I mean, I never learned to cover songs. I didn't know how to read tabs or anything, so. Most of the time it was me just taking these chords and trying to write a song about something stupid. So I think the first song I ever wrote, I was eight years old and it was a song called the, I think it was called Red Dragon or Black Dragon. Something like that, something to do with a dragon. And it was the worst lyrics ever. I can only remember two lines. It was something like, do not fear the wizard because I'm a giant lizard. It's terrible and I was just in there going, okay, what rhymes with lizard? 

Brian: In fairness, now I could actually see someone like Led Zeppelin singing those lyrics. So it's not too bad.

Jackson:If I was born a couple of generations before, I could have been selling to Led Zeppelin.

Brian:Exactly. Exactly. And during your teenage years then, I always say, you know, When you become a teenager, it's such an important time for music. I feel like you find your style and through music, you almost find your community then and your identity. So what kind of music were you exposed to as a teenager and how do you think it molded you into the musician you are today?

Jackson:Well, I mean, during my teenage years, I loved classic rock, but a few friends in school, they were listening to a lot of metal music and more modern rock. I started getting excited by that because it was something I hadn't heard before. There were a lot of bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Children of Bodom, Bullet for My Valentine. I really got into the whole metal scene. I was an emo kid in high school and stuff. I had the emo haircut and everything. I really got into that more guitar-orientated metal. I love all metal, but it was the guitarists like Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold and Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom, you know, that really stuck out to me because they were doing these crazy guitar solos and melodic lines. I've always loved the lead guitar solos and stuff. These guys were doing some crazy stuff that I'd never even heard of. I think during my teenage years, that's when I really got into the whole shredding side and metal side. I feel like that really influenced my... my side of the modern side to the 80s rock, you know?

Brian:Yeah, yeah, I get you. And what's the local music scene like where you live now for gigs and, you know, having a show to actually go to?

Jackson:If I'm being honest, South Africa is a very small country. We do get shows every now and then with big artists from overseas to come over and play, but they maybe only come to South Africa once or twice. I'm really bad with technology and phones. I personally don't have any knowledge of it. So I usually miss when they're coming over. I don't know how to book tickets. So I've never had the opportunity to see an international live band. I've only seen South African live bands. It's one of my dreams, if I'm being honest. I mean, I'd love to go watch a Guns and Roses concert. I missed them when they came to South Africa. Basically, all I've known is live music. There are venues here in South Africa, but there's a lot less than there used to be, especially after COVID, a lot of rock venues were closing down. There's a lot of dance and EDM venues, but it's actually sad. I mean, there's a few options to go and play at, and I mean, they're great venues. I love to go watch other bands play, but it's tough, man. I always think... you know, if Rock was still there, there'd be a hundred clubs to play. But all the Rockers go to these clubs and that's what I'm actually grateful for. It's not saturated. It's not dispersed. It's the whole community is going to these few places and that's where you go and meet other like-minded people. So it is a bit frustrating that there's not many venues, but it's a little bit of a blessing, I guess, to get to meet all the community.

Brian:Yeah, true, true. And as a gig goer then, the local gigs, is there any that you would say have made you?

Jackson:Yes. Um, the one I spoke about earlier, it was my very first concert. It was the band Prime Circle. Um, I'd never been to a concert before. I just started playing the guitar. I must've been nine or ten, and Prime Circle was playing and we'd heard the music on the radio and everything. So my parents took me and my brother and we went through to watch this band, which is the biggest band in the country. It was absolutely incredible to see these guys on stage playing as a band, playing the music that we hear on the radio. Especially like I said afterwards to have met Dale, the whole band was absolutely incredible. But Dale really stood out. If you ever see a picture of Dale Schnettler, he's full of tattoos. He looks like a proper rock star. I was just in awe. I mean, I'm a guitarist. He's a drummer. So usually, it's a different instrument. But I just felt like... the stars that put to me of a rock star here in our country. And I still remember that exact concert as if it was yesterday. I think that set the course for me to want to make music here in South Africa. If I didn't see that concert, I would have probably said, you know, it's difficult here in this country and everything. But to see those guys do it, they gave me hope. So that was a very big concert. And there was also a second concert. There's another band here in South Africa. They're called the Black Cat Bones. They're a blues band, blues rock band, phenomenal band.

Brian:I've actually interviewed them before. They're a great band.

Jackson:Have you?

Brian:I have, yeah. They're outstanding. Incredible band, great group of guys.

Jackson:And I'd spent years listening to their music. And last year in April, I got a chance to be their opening act for a concert. We had become great friends. And then... had done, I think about four or five concerts with them last year. And the end of the year, which was actually a very special moment for me, our song "Echoes" was on the local music charts, rock music charts. It was number one for a while. And they do this end of the year, top 40, which is like the best songs of the year. And our song actually came second for the best songs of the year. And Black Cat Bones came first. And we got invited to a place called Bailey's in December for the radio station and to play our songs live on the radio in the final countdown. And they got number one and I got number two and I'd never been on radio. It's been like three or four months that my song was first time on radio and it was surreal. I mean some of your heroes, to be sharing the stage with them while you're both on the radio thinking, you know, it's coming down to the top two who's going to be number one. And I knew in my heart it was them. They're a big band here. But hey, I'm not complaining for second place. Few months before that, I was playing in bars for no money and no one knew my song. So I'm very grateful to them for that.

Brian:Yeah, that's an amazing achievement. Geez. And I can't wait to hear about this now. And I'm sure the listeners are the same, for any listeners that haven't caught one of your shows. What can they expect?

Jackson:So. It's actually... I'm actually excited to talk about this. We've got a show next week here in South Africa. And it's going to be on Saturday, the 22nd of April at the Radium Beer Hall. And our shows, we've always strived to be different. I mean, the hair metal bands were very big showmen. We do not want to just go into a club and play like almost a recital of the songs or play through. Just play the songs and walk off stage. We want it to be big. Our shows are full on bandanas, eyeliners, ripped jeans. The whole thing, we've got smoke machines that light, shoot smoke and lights going everywhere. We're very energetic. We almost want to bring a stadium show into the club. I know Motley Crue said that. But that's actually not where we got the idea, but that's where we sort of got the idea. But we want that stadium. feel inside a club because here in South Africa, there are very few stadium shows unless the international show comes out. And every band playing at a venue is standing there under normal room lights just playing their songs and they get off. And we don't want that. We want the lights, the smoke machines, the energy. That's what we want for a live performance. It's chaotic, but it's fun. It's a rock and roll show. There's no rules. The audience just has fun. And that's what we've always wanted it to be.

Brian:Sounds like absolute perfection now for rock lovers. And how do you go about perfecting your stage show? You know, your stage presence, being the front man, how do you go about, you know, practicing and perfecting it?

Jackson:I mean, being a front man, if I'm honest, is, it's a bit of a tough job because if the crowd's enjoying it, you're having the best night of your life. If the crowd's not into it, it is the worst experience ever. The crowd doesn't care, no one's just talking. There's none of your fans there. It's all unknown faces. They're not interested and you are feeling it. You feel almost in like a bubble, but it's something you got to get over. A lot of musicians I've met through the industry in South Africa said you almost have to not. You can't let anything else effect you when you get on that stage, whether it's one person or one million people, or if it's people loving you or people hating you, you gotta get up there and give it a show. And I've seen so many bands who have absolutely great bands played in front of a small room where people are just talking and eating and not caring, but they gave it 100%. And the people eventually came into it. They got into the groove. And that's the thing. You almost have to put down your insecurities, the little voice in your head saying, this is not gonna work, this is gonna work. You have to... have to get on that stage and be the person that you were meant to be. If you want to be a musician, a rocker, I don't like the word rock star. I prefer musician. But if you want to be a rock star or a front man, you got to get up there. No matter what's happening, you got to get those people grooving to your music. And that I think is the toughest thing. A shot or two of whiskey is great. Irish whiskey is always good. So shout out to you guys in Ireland. Very, very good whiskey. And that always gets you a bit loose in that. So shot of Irish whiskey and just forget about the voice in your head and just love your music. That's the way I do it.

Brian:Some perfect advice there. Yeah, I like it. And out of the gigs you've played in, is there one that you would say was, I know there's no such thing as the perfect gig, but as close to it as you can get? Is there one you revisit over and over again in your head?

Jackson:If I'm honest, yes, there is. Um, it was actually the one I mentioned earlier for the radio session with Black Cat Bones. Um, after we each played our songs, we did a set and I was opening up for them. Why it was perfect was it wasn't note for note perfect, but the whole year the band. We had a few, we had a couple of lineup changes, so it was always difficult to start from the bottom and have to bring a new member in, and then we'll go do a show, and the show was a bit rocky, and everything at a small club, and then we were worried and we're thinking, you know, then another member would join, members were changing in on art. But when we got to that show for the radio station, my guys, Matt, Dean, and Pete, They stood up to the table. I'm so proud to call them my members. I mean, I feel like this is the band that finally I juggle with. I mean, we got there and everyone knew their parts. They knew what they wanted to do. They knew how to get the crowd into it. And after a whole year of having ups and downs and worrying and everything, the biggest gig of the year for us, the most important gig we'd done at that time, live on the radio, my boys nailed it, you know? And... I feel like I nailed it as well. We were just on the end. We were having fun. And I think about it often. I think about how everything at the end of the year, everything worked out in the end. That's a weird cliche saying, but everything did work out in the end. We got there. We did the show of our lives and the most important show and we had fun. And that was, that's burnt into my memory. That one. Yeah.

Brian:I'm not surprised. It almost sounds like it's too good to be true, like the end of a movie or something, you know, it sounds perfect. Not to get too negative now, but I usually switch it around. Is there a gig, without naming names, is there a gig you would say was the worst experience you've had and how did you overcome it?

Jackson:Yes. And I'll be honest, I'm not going to be like, no, no, no, we were all perfect and everything. I'll be straight up and honest about it. I did a show in 2021, yes. I won't mention venues or anything like that, but we were playing, but before the show, I think someone spiked my drink. So I got on stage and I do not remember that show. It was the first time I learned to always keep your drink on you. People were telling me that for years and I was like, no, I'm sure it's fine. And I saw videos of it afterwards and I think it was one spot where I was just, I was sitting on the, there's like almost like a platform that the drums on just as we were switching songs, we're going into the last song and I was sitting there with the microphone and I was like, what are we doing again? And I think I said it in the microphone, but it was an underground gig at an unknown club and I'd have no memory of it, but the way we overcame it was, I think I just got like a fright and I was like, oh yeah, we're doing it. My drummer was like, get up, play, play. And I was like, okay, let's do it. And I went onto the railing and I jumped onto the lighting rail and I stayed there for the last song and I was singing the last chorus, getting the crowd to sing along, and I was swinging on there and everything I climbed up and swung on there, and I have no memory of it. It was a horrible experience. I mean, a few hours later, I was like, did we do the show? And one of my friends is like, yeah, look at the videos. And my friends were scared. My band was scared. They were like, we were scared you were gonna fall. And I thought, oh my word. So I learned a very valuable lesson, which is always good with a mistake in life. Always keep your drink on you. And I mean, yeah, it wasn't as bad as it could be, but I was sloppy in my guitar solos and vocals. I don't like being sloppy and I know for a fact I want to get on stage, know what I'm doing, being right man for it. Not drunk, but my two shots of Irish whiskey and I'm sorted. 

Brian:As bad as it was, I suppose it does make for a good kind of rock and roll story down the line, you know?

Jackson:Yeah. Well, I'm just glad I didn't take my clothes off or maybe I did on this whole video, but it's a story to tell. I'm excited that I've gone past that. That's a funny memory to look on.

Brian:Yeah, true, true. Now I've spoke to many South African musicians at this stage and something I've noticed is there seems to be much more barriers in South Africa than in other countries when it comes to making it as a musician, you know, and getting your music out there and heard by people. Personally, what has your experience been like and how do you plan on you know, actually overcoming what's against you?

Jackson:So I do agree with that. Um, the thing with South African music, which is sad is everyone is always looking over the great sea. They are looking at the overseas musicians. They're looking and I give it to them. The overseas musicians are absolutely incredible. They will class, but there are so many talented South African musicians and people. A lot of the bands get overlooked because everyone's more worried about overseas musicians releasing the new album. And when you release your new album, everyone's just like, okay, you're a South African band. We don't listen to much South African radio or follow South African music scene. We follow the overseas scene. And it's sad. I mean, I've been guilty of sometimes looking at overseas as being the heroes, but I've always put my heart into bands like Black Cat Bones but I think that's the thing with the music here in South Africa. Why the bands like Prime Circle and Black Cat Bones got so big is because there is still that group of people, especially rock and roll musicians, rock and roll lovers here in South Africa. They still support the live industry and the South African music. A lot of the pop people look overseas for the pop stuff, but the rock guys look here for South Africa and we are blessed with that. But If I'm being honest, I would love to make it here in South Africa, but I'd love to make it everywhere else that I possibly can. There's not a single place on this planet that I wouldn't put a tick next to if you had to say make it here. So I'd love if I had the opportunity to play in Britain, in Ireland or England or over there in America or in Japan or wherever it is. But at the end of the day, you can make it in South Africa and not make it around the world. America, you can make it in America and make it basically all around the world, which is sad.

Brian:True it is. But when you strip it all the way as well, I think as long as you're making a living, doing what you love, you know, that's enough to kind of not settle for it, but you know, you don't really need to conquer the world as long as you can make a living doing what you love.

Jackson:Well, yeah, I completely agree with that. My goal has never been to be famous. I've never chased fame or money. I've just chased music. As much as I'd love to make a lot of money playing all around the world, if I'm being honest, and I've said it since I was a kid, even if my destiny is to become a certain job and maybe, I wouldn't even mind being a bartender who sings in the bar every night, as long as I get to play my music, you know? It's one of those things where the music will fulfill your soul. It's good to have big dreams, but if those dreams don't come true, cause it's one in a million, I'm just as happy if I just get to play my music and have a day job and no one knows who I am. If I can just sing a few songs in a pub, I'll be happy.

Brain:Yeah, exactly and you know, when it comes to gigging then, how do you approach finding gigs and, you know, possibly setting up tours?

Jackson: So, the way we have done it recently is it's actually quite messy, if I'm honest. Sometimes people will send a message on our Facebook or Instagram or there's the email or the phone number and say, we'd like to book you for a gig. Sometimes we have to do cold calls, which is basically just calling up a venue who's never heard of you or you've never spoken to them. You hope that they've heard your song on the radio and say, can we come play? It's one of those things where, especially now, we're not... the biggest band in the country, we're still aspiring musicians and everything. We take what we can get and we just, whatever gets offered or whatever we ask for, we take that gig. Cause I mean, it's also like you said, the love of playing music live with your friends. It's one of those things where we don't have the resources to do a worldwide tour. But I mean, if our songs... getting played in Cape Town, for example, or even if it's not, we can call up a couple of venues. Maybe there's local, regional bands there that are playing that have a name. Maybe we could be one of the opening acts. And they're usually very accommodating. They say, yeah, band from Joburg comes through. They'll be exciting. You know, they will write on the poster band from Joburg. And one's like, oh, Joburg people. We do the same for the Cape Town people, but I have no idea how to tour overseas. I'm sure... Dale from Prime Circle if we were to get to that stage would help us. But ours is just basically we get asked for a gig or any gig gets presented to us and we're just like, yeah man, let's do it. Let's get up there, let's play some music. So right now we are not picky, we just love playing music. We'll play every night if we have to.

Brian:And what kind of antics do you get up to backstage? Do you party like the bands from the 80s as well?

Jackson:Not as hectic as them, if I'm honest. They did some crazy things, especially Motley Crue. Even Keith Moon back in the 60s, 70s, he drove his car off the motel second story into a pool. We can't do that. We don't have the money to do that. But yeah, it's a lot of fun. We usually get backstage. Some of the band members are introverted, so they'll just relax with a beer. other band members are more extroverted. I'm usually very loud and run around and have my drinks and I meet as many people as I can. But nothing crazy. I mean, got my whiskey, meet some people, talk about music and that's how the parties go. So it's not as lavishing and rock star like yet. But I kind of like it. I just love meeting people who love music. I'll sit and chat with someone and have a drink with them for like two hours talking about... I don't know, like the Led Zeppelin concert at the O2 Arena and Wembley and how they missed out on Woodstock to play at Madison Square Garden. I just love meeting people who know the history of music, so we're not too wild, I guess.

Brian:It's not too bad. It's not too bad. And how do you measure success when it comes to your career?

Jackson:If I'm honest, I'd measure success by happiness. I know it sounds a bit weird, but... I've seen some musicians who are just playing the acoustic at a small bar in front of a few people, but they are the happiest people I've ever seen. They just sing a couple of songs and they seem like they're happy and laugh. I've heard of musicians who have made it big and stardom and they are depressed and they hate it and they start actually hating the music. It's almost like you see... these people that are so happy, I think they're the most successful people because they're not sitting there and doing it because they have to, they just love it. I mean, you get musicians who make it big and love it and they're so blessed to have that opportunity. But as long as I'm happy, I know that's where my success is. I don't have to have a billion streams. I just want to be playing music when I'm in my 80s and people thinking. Oh my word, he's playing music from 2020. That's so old school. And I'm like, Oh no, I'm playing music from 1960. That's even more old school. You know, it's better than your stuff nowadays and being a grumpy old man. But as long as I'm out there doing something with the guitar, I know I'm going to be almost successful, you know, cause that's, I'll be happy.

Brian:I like that. I like that a lot now. And here's one for you. If you weren't a musician, what do you think you'd be doing?

Jackson:If I'm honest, uh, before I wanted to be a musician if I'm being quite frank, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I love animals. I have many rescue animals and animals have always been a very big passion of mine. But going through school, I was better at English and understanding literature than science and biology. But if I wanted it, I think maybe I could have tried my best to squeeze in there. That would have been the dream job to help animals. And if I didn't have the brains, scientific brains to do it, I think maybe, I actually don't know. If it's not music or animals, I don't know what I'd be. That's my love, man.

Brian:Well, it just goes to show you're in the right place, doing the right thing, so.

Jackson:Yeah, well, I hope so.

Brian:Before we dive into the last couple of questions then, tell us about your future plans. I know there's an album down the line and... Is there any big gigs or tours?

Jackson:Yes, so we are releasing a few singles from the album prior to its launch. We're gonna be releasing an album which is about 14 songs. Might be 15, depends on if the one I wrote last night was a banger or not, but I think it could be 14. We will release the album at the end of the year. But in the meantime, we're gonna be releasing another few more singles. My PR guy Devo. He's absolutely fantastic. A big shout out to Devo for organizing the interview and everything. He's very good with knowing when to release songs, how many. So he's the master of that. I have no idea. I just know how to play the guitar. And yeah, we're going to release some songs towards the end of this year. And the album definitely at the end of this year. And we'll just see where it takes us. We'll grab every gig that we can grab. Maybe with fingers crossed, we can come play overseas, you know, I can come do a gig or two in some pubs there in Ireland and have some proper, proper fresh Irish whiskey. And, you know, I'd love that.

Brian:That'd be, that'd be epic now. Absolutely epic. Fingers crossed.

Jackson:Yes, please.

Brian:Right, we'll dive into the last couple of questions. So if you could see any performer from history in concert for one night only, who would it be?

Jackson:Eddie Van Halen. We never had the chance to see him because I don't think he ever came to South Africa or maybe he did. I was just maybe too young or something, but if they were here, I probably would have heard about it. He is the biggest inspiration on my music and sadly he passed away. When he passed away, it was the saddest thing for me, losing such a great icon, but knowing that I will never have that chance to ever see him because always deep down in my heart, I thought, you know, I'd save up some money someday, go overseas, you know, see a Van Halen concert or see him doing something and if I could ever have one to see would be Eddie Van Halen.

Brian:Yeah. A Van Halen concert. I don't blame you, actually. They'd be on my list as well. That would be one hell of a concert to see, you know, especially if it was when they were in their heyday, when they were young.

Jackson:Oh man. Yes. That would have been incredible. Yeah.

Brian:Yeah. Without a doubt. Right. The next one, if you had to spend 24 hours locked inside a room with any musician from history, who would it be?

Jackson:Can I say Eddie?


Jackson:I will say Eddie Van Halen, but I'll give a second option just so it's not too monotonous. First option, of course, Eddie Van Halen. But second would actually be, oh, there's so many good ones to choose. But I think maybe. John Lennon, if I'm honest. John Lennon was such an incredible songwriter and imagine was a masterpiece, a piece of art. And just to figure out how his brain worked. I've always wondered being a musician or a songwriter, do our brains work the same way? Maybe they don't, maybe they do. And just to pick his brain and see how he sees the world, you know, does he see it in colors or does he see it in sounds or words or maybe he's just like, no man, I just write songs. You never know. But I just love to know what's going on in his head.

Brian:Yeah. I've often thought that as well, even take the music away. He was very complicated as a person. And I'd love to just, like you said, see how his personality works, you know, see what sort of person he is behind the cameras when people aren't looking.

Brian:Exactly. I mean, fame, you have to be on a certain level of behavior in front of the cameras in the press. But what was going on in his own mind, his own private thoughts, I'd love to know what he was thinking. Yeah, like you said, he was complex. What was happening? Was he sad, happy, angry, excited that he loved music, they started hating it, you know, what was he? What was he like as a person? Because I think he was one of the greatest songwriters ever.

Brian:Yeah, definitely, definitely. And the final one so, What song would appear on the soundtrack to your life?

Jackson:Oh, that's a hard one. That's a hard question, but that's a good question. You know, if I'm being honest, I would have to say, um, has to be Panama. Um, I'm such, I'm, I'm the big Eddie Van Halen fan and the 1984 album. One of my favorite albums, I actually got a tattoo about two weeks ago with the two angel wings and 1984 tattooed on it. And yeah, a lot of people are like, are you 39? And I'm like, no, that's for Van Halen. And they're like, Van Halen were born in 84? And I was like, no, that's when 1984, the album came out. But Panama, man, I love it. I mean, I've got it tattooed on my body. The album's got to be Panama. My favorite song from the album. Has to be that one.

Brian:So listen Jackson, genuinely. I've really enjoyed chatting with you now for the last bit. It's been an absolute blast. Thanks a million.

Jackson:Thank you so much. I've got to say this has been the most fun interview I've had. So thank you so much for having me on your show. 

Brian: Hey guys, I really hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please rate and review us on iTunes and Spotify. And if you're interested in signing up to Band Builder Academy, use the link in the show notes and enter the code "concerts" and you'll receive 10% off. So until next time, keep rockin'!