By Tom Semioli  Jackson Analogue





This feature appeared in Amplifier Magazine, November 2007

“Trust me, the inside of a one-hundred fifty year old Victorian water tower is neither comfy nor distracting” proclaims Jackson Analogue brain-trust Jim Holmes. “It had a sixty ton steel roof with no windows…it was always dark and cold.”

No kidding! The structure Holmes speaks of served as a makeshift recording studio for JA’s gut-bucket blues drenched debut effort, ironically titled And Then, Nothing. The intention was avoid outside interferences, however the ghost of her majesty Queen Victoria prevailed. “We didn’t get a look at the old bird herself, but I have to tell you…we all heard strange things….footsteps up the staircase, knocks on the door. None of us will ever go there alone to this day!”

This Isle-of-Wight quintet, comprised of Holmes, brother Rob on guitar, bassist Matt Winsor, drummer Craig Watson, and a Hammond organist who only answers to the name “Beast” (“If you spend thirty seconds with him, it would make sense. The man is a bearded keyboard smashing monster!”) forge a sound as American as mom’s apple pie and great-grandpa’s musty old ‘78s.

“I grew up listening to the blues” reveals Holmes. “Artists like Robert Johnson, Skip James, Charley Patton and David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards. But I also loved Creedence  Clearwater and grunge as well… Pearl Jam, Soundgarden…”

The album title stems from the band’s two year battle to free themselves of their Island/Universal recording contract. Though details will remain secret for now, Holmes is noticeably upbeat. “By the time we finished the record we’d felt like we’d been through a fucking war! And Then, Nothing refers to that end point of coming out from the other side of the storm as ‘and then nothing went wrong, everything was fine.’ It’s always taken negatively but we don’t correct people,” Holmes adds with a sly wink “they can assume what they like, that’s half the fun of a good title.”

Co-producer and engineer Head (PJ Harvey, Massive Attack) was a major factor in capturing JA’s maniacal energy for posterity.  Coming into picture towards the end of the sessions for the purpose of recording vocals, Head wound up mixing the entire record. “As soon as that red ‘record’ button lights up, people do the weirdest things,” exclaims Holmes. “Sometimes you can struggle to re-create a vibe, especially if you do it over and over again. Head is a genius and the coolest person we’ve ever met. His confidence rubbed off on us and in a few days we felt invincible.”

As for Jackson Analogue’s immediate future, they’ve already commenced work on their sophomore effort, tentatively titled Snakes and Wolves. Bolstering their self-assuredness, the band recently opened for  The Who on a recent UK trek. “It was every bit as amazing as you could imagine. To hear a stadium cheer is a sound I’ll never forget…better than sex!” Holmes pauses after his last thought. “Well, better than sex with me!”

Jackson Analogue’s And Then, Nothing is out on Groove Attack December 2007