Coming to you straight from France with Glow, a 12-track LP laced with intelligent dance music, Jackson and His Computerband chats about his “furious, tender and risky” sound with VIBE. Stream the album and meet its creator in the interview below.
VIBE: Is there one trademark sound or theme we can find in all your music?
Jackson: The drive of this record is about embracing the totality of musical energies. “Trademark” would sound like jumping from one pole to another, but keeping one specific emotional zone going.
What are you doing between major albums? It was seven years between Smash and Glow…
I brush my teeth, I go to parties, and I work in a studio.
What about a pop singer?
What’s the best advice you can give to budding producers?
To not expect any advice from anyone and keep the determination smooth and
Most humiliating thing to ever happen to you on stage? How’d you recover?
Getting on a stage means being ready for anything .You don’t want to know what happens when everything goes wrong, trust me.
Describe your sound at this moment in three words:
Furious, tender, risky.
What do you have planned for fall 2013?
Being on stage!
You sit down in the studio to make a track… Walk us through it.
I’ll start by taking my shoes off to play a baseline or a riff. I’ll look around. I know I could stick to any sort of motif, even the simplest three-note pattern could start something awesome. So when I’m fixed on that, I know I have to wash my hands. It’s ritual that means: “we’re moving to the next phase.”
Once this is sorted I’ll place a basic rhythmic element to keep the flow going quickly with the rest (depending on my motivation to complete that day or enjoying the making of a stock of beats and variations of the riffs and/or baselines), adding a few series of un-resolving chord progressions. My favorite chord progressions never end. I guess I don’t know how to make the ones that sound like a real MTV pop hit, so I keep spiraling into my obsessive fractal chord technique.
Will have to take off my shirt at this point and find a fruit or something to eat (I favor a banana for its rich nutritious qualities) as I’m chatting with a friend at the same time. I’m excited, I need some input so I press my iTunes randomly and I’m dancing to incoherent sound sources… I might hear something inspiring so I’ll drag and drop it in my song and eventually end up keeping one second of it or twist it back and forth to chop it up until it sounds like nothing it was in the first place.
Phone rings. Okay, I’m coming for that beer next door but before I leave the studio I’ll put some theme or some arpeggio and a break or two, maybe automate a reverb or some percussive pitch thing…will throw a theme on it, a gimmick always very open and lots of options to it …everything very quickly to avoid thinking and sticking to my instinct.
I’ll think of what I did the next day, or when I want to face what came at this specific moment, and eventually conceptualize the format of where it could be going.