Belle & Sebastian‘s long-time guitarist and songwriter, Stevie Jackson, released his first solo album last year online, (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson. As the album officially hit stores in May, he’s been a busy man touring and promoting it. In fact, Bad Sounds had the chance to shoot over a few questions before he appears in Norway, and had him literally hammering away on a keyboard at an airport. Be sure to catch the Modern Lovers Club on July 27th with an acoustic + DJ set at Cafe Mono. Calling lo-fi aficionados: yr pop sweet tooth is in for a treat.
Cafe Mono, Pløens gate 4 0181 Oslo. Fredag 27. juli, 2012 | Inngang: 100,-| Konsertstart: kl. 22:00.
Well on the periphery for many years, started playing pubs when I was about 16 I guess, and done that for about 10 years in various incarnations before I joined Belle and Sebastian. I was still fairly young when I joined that band but I was the veteran, no question about that. There’s always been places to play in Glasgow, they’re everywhere.
Was there ever a clear moment when you knew you wanted to pursue music?
When I was 7 there was a season of Beatles movies on TV– I knew from that moment, I think, although I didn’t actually learn the guitar til I was about 14. But I always knew.
Have you played in Norway often, or looking forward to anything in particular on your trip here?
Well I’ve never been here on my own and that’s always a kick, being outside of the B&S machine, a bit like that Paul Simon song– suitcase and guitar in hand. I’m a very Northern European kind of guy, the Benelux Countries and Scandinavia are where I mostly feel comfortable, so yeah Oslo, Trondheim, Gothenburg– can’t wait. As for looking foreword to specific stuff, I like those waffles with the brown cheese, far out!
What an we expect from an acoustic-Stevie Jackson set? Will you be playing B&Ssongs– or more stuff from your upcoming solo record?
I’ll be doing new songs, songs from my record (which now feel like old songs) and maybe a couple of B&S songs, I’ll take requests!
Who are you closest with in the band? I know each member has their own different projects, how do deciding on gigs and festivals or, say album ideas, get initiated?
Well, we’re all very connected as we’ve been together so long, feels like a family, we don’t hang out with each other so much but I see them out at shows and the like. With B&S stuff, we more or less decide everything together. As for individual projects, I play a lot with Bob Kildea on my solo stuff and we also play in the Vaselines together. I’m very close to Stuart as well even though I don’t see him too much. I’ve been involved with his God Help the Girl project which is about to start filming in Glasgow ,exciting stuff. Actually I’m pretty close to all of them one way or another.
Do you get freaked out by crazy fans? Ever had a stalker of Morrissey-proportions?
Nah, the fans have always been fabulous. I’m not Morrissey, I’m just a guitar player in an Indie Band. The fans have grown with us, everybody’s older, although whenever we go out, there’s a fair amount of kids in the audience, every year there they are. As I predicted a few years ago, we actually are turning into the Rolling Stones. But I think I might be alone in thinking that.
What book is currently sitting by your bedside?
Well I’m travelling, writing this at an airport but anyway, the book in my bag is entitled “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow” by Peter Hoeg, totally ace!
Do you follow or use a lot of internet-music related technology, ie. podcasts, internet radio, Spotify?
Spotify for sure.
Please list up your 3 favorite words.
Beatles, Orbison, Sinatra.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations– any lesser known artists we might not have heard?
Roy Moller, who I work with a lot is a constant source of inspiration. He’s got a new record out called “The Singing’s getting better”. He’s amazing. Also the Wellgreen who back me up sometimes, they’re brilliant musicians and sing like the Everly Brothers. They write beautiful songs too.
Do you feel the older you get, the more jaded or more open, you become?
More open I think, everything is better in a way. I’ve been in B&S song for so long and I’m still sustaining a living from it after more than 16 years. That’s a really wonderful thing and realising how lucky I am, I try and keep my eyes bright and look for wonder in everything. I have a lot going on, people I play with and such like; I try and have a good time.
Are there any other artists you’re currently collaborating with?
Well theafore mentioned Roy Moller and the Wellgreen, in fact we all play in a band called “The Store Keys” as well, kinda garage punk sound. We’ve got a single out entitled “MyDaddy was a Mod in the RAF’ and we’ve also recently done some recordings with George Gallagher, legendary singer with the Poets, he’s the greatest singer I’ve ever been in a room with by some distance. I hope to do more stuff with Bill Wells who’s currently riding high through his work with Aidan Moffatt. We’ve played a lot during the years, I’ve learned a lot from Bill. However my favourite collaborator at the moment is Maggie MacDonald formerly of the Hidden Camera’s. I’ve written music for her play “Paper Laced with Gold”.
Can you tell us a song that affirms your mood today.
“You can’t wear suede in the rain” by Betty Burke.
What is your favorite guitar to play, and what guitar are you proudest of owning?
My Gretch 1973 Chet Atkins Tennessean, can’t beat it. I also love my Japanese Tele custom which I’ve played on all the B&S records
What was one of your happiest moments playing in B&S?
Playing the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic 2006, sold out show, highlight of my life probably, professionally anyway.
What do you think about black metal?
I like it.