Photos + Story/Kristy Benjamin
Hair + Makeup/Megan Thompson @ AMAX Agency
Hi Jade! Thanks for taking the time to talk to LADYGUNN! First, I have to say your album is such a gem. It’s beautiful, and absurdly well written. It draws from a few sub genres within country and rock in a really cool way. It seems to be very auto-biographical. How was it for you making this album, writing about personal life events?
Thank you so much! I’d say nine times out of ten my songs are stories I make up. I get a lot of inspiration by watching and observing people around me and putting myself in their shoes. But every so often I’ll write one that’s really true to me. A good example off the album is my song “Finish Line.” The story was very true to me and where I was in my life when I wrote it. For the music video, we decided to make it 100% autobiographical, showcasing a day in my life before leaving on my first big tour. Doing so was really an emotional, fun and rewarding experience. Making this album was such a learning process for me. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and to continue on this path I’ve chosen for my life.
I feel like people might be surprised to see you are a California Girl writing country music because they don’t realize how much of the state other than Los Angeles and San Francisco is very, well… small town and very country! How does that influence your music, do you think it gives you an edge that makes you stand out from other country music to have that costal edge? Or is it something that makes it harder for you to maybe “prove” yourself as a country artist that isn’t say from Tennessee?
My music has always revolved around my songwriting. Although my songs have been perceived as “country”, I didn’t write intending them to be so.
My hometown, located directly between Los Angeles and San Francisco, feels worlds apart from a big city. I grew up in the heart of the Central Coast with far more countryside than concrete and no hustle or bustle. The quietness and open spaces were a great canvas for imagination; I spent much of my childhood making believe, which eventually morphed into writing songs and creating music. I’ve never felt like I have to prove myself in any regard. My music is more of a therapy and performing is a passion. I’d sing my songs even if nobody listened.
It seems that country music is coming back around with a lot of younger artists like yourself really bringing it back to its roots and making such great albums lately. How does this make you feel? Are the years of people assuming country is singing about BBQ stains on white t-shirts behind ?
When I think about the roots of country music I think Merle Haggard, George Jones, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, etc. Early country artists are who I love to listen to, so I really appreciate you saying that about my album! Music is preference based, and personally I’d rather listen to Johnny Cash sing about box cars than the country music you’re referring to. Growing up listening to artists like Cash I was the minority, but I was okay with that. Lately I’ve noticed people are more aware of early country music and there also seems to be a rising appreciation for more current artists who are closer to the greats. Sturgill Simpson or Jason Isbell are both great examples.
You have been and are currently on tour with Southern California punk legends Social Distortion. Now, we have heard the Social D shirt you wear was your Fathers AND it was your first concert! So HOW COOL is it to be touring with them?! Oh, yeah side note Mike Ness produced your album, nbd. Should we pinch you?! Sounds like you really are living the dream right now!
Yes, the first concert I bought my own ticket for was a Social Distortion show back in 2005. I loved and appreciated music as a kid, but this concert is truly what planted the seed in my heart to want to be a performing musician and songwriter. Since then, Social Distortion has been on tour several times, and I’ve seen many bands open for them. At another show of theirs a few years down the line a friend in the audience told me that their opening band got to open for them because they’d hand written a letter to Mike telling him how much it would mean to them. By then, I had started writing and performing and seriously considered doing the same thing! But, I never did, and years later Mike was the one who contacted me about working together. Serendipity at its finest 😉
“Troubled End” is such a fun song. For some of our readers who might be country deficient, who were some of your influences here?
The first rendition of this song was written back when I was in a rockabilly band as an early teen. I originally wrote it with the title “Troubles End”. My band mates at the time and I recorded a demo of it that Mike heard. He thought it would be a great addition to the album because it had a faster tempo from most of my other songs. Together we re-worked it, co-writing a couple of the verses and putting together a different arrangement.
Can you tell us some of your other musical influences in general. It’s obvious you have extremely well rounded musical taste!
Why thank you! Hmm, there are many but I’ll give you the top ten off of the top of my head: Mazzy Star, The Cowboy Junkies, The Gun Club, Dwight Yoakam, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, James Intveld, The Rolling Stones, Tom T. Hall and Merle Haggard. There were also specific songs that I’d listen to over and over that I believed influenced me like, “Straight to Hell” by Drivin’ N Cryin’, “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley, and “The Virginian” by Neko Case to name a few.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! Before you go, one more question…. what’s your favorite Social Distortion song? 🙂
Gosh, it always changes depending on the mood I’m in. Right now, I’ve been really into their album and song “Prison Bound”.
JADE JACKSON Live Dates W/Social Distortion:
Jul 22, 2017 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 25, 2017 Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
Jul 26, 2017 Palace Theatre Saint Paul, MN
Jul 28, 2017 The Riverside Theater Milwaukee, WI
Jul 29, 2017 Bogart’s Cincinnati, OH
Jul 30, 2017 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
Aug 1, 2017 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
Aug 3, 2017 Stage AE Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 4, 2017 The Fillmore Philadelphia, PA
Aug 5, 2017 Paramount Theater Huntington, NY
Aug 8, 2017 Sherman Theater Stroudsburg, PA
Aug 9, 2017 College St. Music Hall New Haven, CT
Aug 11, 2017 Palladium Worcester, MA
Aug 12, 2017 Starland Ballroom Sayerville, NJ
Aug 13, 2017 The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD
Aug 15, 2017 The NorVa Theater Norfolk, VA
Aug 18, 2017 The Mill & Mine Knoxville, TN
Aug 19, 2017 The Fillmore Charlotte, NC
Aug 20, 2017 The Ritz Raleigh, NC
Aug 22, 2017 House of Blues Myrtle Beach, SC
Aug 23, 2017 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
Aug 25, 2017 House of Blues Orlando, FL
Aug 26, 2017 Revolution Live Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Aug 27, 2017 Jannus Live Saint Petersburg, FL
Aug 30, 2017 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
Sep 01, 2017 Concrete St. Amphitheater Corpus Christi, TX
Sep 02, 2017 The Aztec Theater San Antonio, TX
Sep 03, 2017 Billy Bob’s Texas Ft. Worth, TX
Sep 05, 2017 Tricky Falls El Paso, TX
Sep 06, 2017 Sunshine Theater Albuquerque, NM
Sep 08, 2017 Ohana Festival Dana Point, CA
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