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Jackal - Jackal Newsletter Interview

07 Sep 2012 // An interview by Shade

Jackal are a four piece band based in Auckland. With high energy shows and a unique progressive rock-meets-psychedelic sound, Jackal are a must-see band. They answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

What can we expect to see from Jackal over the next year?

We've already begun the writing process for our follow up to ‘Only Everything’ and it’s been going great. So hopefully we should be back in the studio before too long and have our fourth album out before the end of next year.

We’re also looking to spread our wings a bit and play more gigs outside of Auckland. The response to the new album has been great and we know there are lots of people outside of Auckland wanting to see us live, so hopefully we should be starting a tour pretty soon.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

The only advice we can really give is what’s worked for us: don’t try and follow the crowd or the scene or whatever. The only real trick for writing good songs is to use your imagination, just try and play whatever music feels natural to you and don’t worry about whether or not other people will like it. At the end of the day you’re going to spend a lot more time with your songs than anyone else- writing them, practicing them and recording them- so the goal should always be for you to be happy with them. If you’re only writing what you think other people want to hear, or your just imitating what you think will be popular then you’re never going to do anything good because your music won’t feel honest to the listener.

How do you come up with your lyrics?

Theo, our singer, writes all the lyrics. His approach has changed quite a lot throughout the history of the band. Originally his goal was to try and paint a picture with images through the words rather than trying to talk about a specific event or situations, but he’s tried to push himself a bit on the new album and has written a few songs that talk about specific characters. The main goal of his lyrics is just to drive the mood of the song that is established with the music.

How do you believe Jackal fits into the NZ music industry?

I don’t know and honestly, I don’t really care. Our goal is always just to make awesome music that people can enjoy. Big labels and stuff like that are never really interested in our music, I guess because it’s too weird or because we don’t try and sound like what’s popular, so we’ve never really had much contact with ‘industry professionals’. Anyway, nowadays it’s so easy for bands to communicate and release their music directly to their fans that you don’t have to have a whole ‘industry’ behind you to get heard. You just have to have passion and be interesting and unique enough that people sit up and take notice when they hear you.

How would you describe Jackal’s music?

This is the first question anyone asks you when they find out you’re in a band and honestly, even after six years I still don’t know how to answer it. When we started the band we never sat down and decided what we wanted to sound like, so anything goes really. Songs ideas are never ‘too heavy’ or ‘too soft’ or ‘too weird’ or anything- if it sounds good to us we’ll play it. I think that’s one of the reasons that people like our stuff so much: we’re unique and we don’t aim to be like anything, so all our different influences come together and make something interesting in the end.

What is the best part of being a musician?

I know this sounds a little lame but the best part of being a musician is just getting to do it. Writing songs, playing gigs, recording; we all really enjoy the process of creating music. We’ve never really cared about being ‘rock stars’ and living that lifestyle.

What is in your CD collection at home?

Short answer: anything good. We all try to listen to as much music as we can so it’s pretty much impossible to give you a list, but any music where you can hear that the people on the record are passionate and committed to what they do. To name check a few of the bands that have really influenced us on the new album: Pink Floyd, Melvins, Primus, Frank Zappa, Neil Young. This is the short list, I could really go on all day.

What inspired you to start Jackal?

Just loving music really. We started the band about 6 years ago and we were all at the age where we were really starting to listen to a lot of music. We had been playing instruments for a while and we decided that we should get together and try and write some songs. We’ve never had any grand goal outside of that which I think is what has kept the band going so long. We don’t need lots of record sales or airplay or anything to make us feel like being in the band is worthwhile; we know that our sound and our songs are unique so getting it out there for people to hear is a really fulfilling process.


About Jackal

Jackal are a four-piece band based in Auckland. With a wide range of influences, Jackal have created a unique progressive rock-meets-psychedelic sound that has captured an interest in Auckland's alternative scene. Jackal never fail to put on a high-energy show and are an absolute must-see live. Make sure to follow Jackal to stay updated with their frequent gigs and a new album which will undoubtedly impress.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jackal


Jumping Out The Window
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Castle In The Air
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Only Everything
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Furnace Creek
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Sleeping Life
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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