The Kaje talks solo to Stevie Jackson

Stevie Jackson is best known for his work with the superb and celebrated Scots indie troupe Belle & Sebastian, who have dominated with their many musings since their formation in 1996 (though Jackson was not part of the original duo), but if his debut solo album “I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson” is anything to go by, he could well be set for success in his own right. Simply a side project at the moment, while B&S take a breather, The Kaje caught up with Jackson to find out just why he waited so long to go solo…

“(I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson” is your first full length solo recording-what made you decide to bite the bullet and give it a go?

It wasn’t so much biting the bullet, it just kind of happened as I had time on my hands  for the first time in 10 years and needed something to do.  I’ve always been a band kind of guy, I would do little shows just for fun but I never had any high ambitions for a solo career. I wrote some songs which were the result of getting involved in certain artistic endeavors and projects and it seemed like fun to record them.

Having built up a dedicated following as part of Belle & Sebastian, were you worried that your fanbase might not enjoy your solo work?

I certainly wouldn’t worry about anything like that.  Being in B&S can only be an advantage but I never take anything for granted.  I think some people might like it if they got a chance to hear it.  I guess I just have to get out there with a guitar and sing the tunes.  I always try and have fun and do things for the right reasons, I try not to worry about anything.

What were your thoughts-sonically and conceptually-for the record?

Conceptually, it’s a grab bag of stuff that I’d been doing, feels like a compilation rather than one concept…there’s songs about movie directors, songs from a public art project I was involved in, songs by the Company which is a songwriting arts workshop I formed with a couple of pals.  Sonically I wanted it to sound non glossy, lively and a bit rough around the edges, definitely achieved that.

Who/what would you say inspired the record? How?

My Collaborators..Gary Thom, Roy Moller, Nicola Atkinson…thinking out the box, having fun, not caring too much.

What for you is the stand out moment of the record?

I like “Man of God”…good changes, good tune, style and content quite integrated, it’s about seducing someone with your record collection, very young man’s conceit, obviously I’m playing it for laughs.

If you had to introduce your solo work to someone, how would you describe it?

Pop tunes, story songs for the most part.  It’s kinda my first go but I’m into it, wanna do more, keep changing.  The next one will be more avant garde

How have your ambitions altered since the early days of Belle & Sebastian?

Yeah I wanna have a family and decorate walls and get on a plane that’s not for going to a gig.  I feel I have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do.  I think that’ll help with artistic growth too.  That stuff is always equated with the death of Art, I totally disagree, that stuff excites me.

What are your hopes for the album?

It’s done, I’m thinking about other things.  Still, I’d like to sell a few obviously, I like it, I played it the other day, found myself well rewarded.

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