Following the release of last year’s No Halo EP,Â Lynne JackamanÂ has been locked away in the studio writing and recording for her eagerly anticipated debut solo album.
National Rock Review recently caught up with Lynne Jackaman at Stone Free Festival in London to find out a bit more about the forthcoming Jackaman album, how she keeps her voice in shape and her plans for the rest of the year.
NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review, we really appreciate it. So you’ve just come off stage at the Stone Free Festival. How was it for you?
Lynne: I loved it, I mean the thing is that I love what it stands for. I love the promoters Kilimanjaro, they are brilliant and they are real supporters of just up and coming bands like myself, like The Virginmarys, you know they really champion people that they believe in. So to represent in that way is fantastic and I just found that you know it’s just great. As you can see like backstage now there’s just such a nice vibe. Michael Monroe came in here earlier like hey guys and blah blah blah and he said he would check us out. Also, it’s my first festival solo, and we didn’t have to worry about the weather.
NRR: Yes, well that was my relief as well after seeing all of my friends at Download Festival last week trudging through the mud and the rain. I was glad that the next festival I was covering was at The O2.
Lynne: It’s such a shame because it was a brilliant lineup, great bands but the weather over here is really atrocious.
NRR: It’s been about a year since the last time we spoke and that was around the time the NO HALO EP was released.
Lynne: Yeah, that was released on the 16th June, but then digitally in July.
NRR: Since then you’ve been in the studio recording your debut Jackaman album. I was just wondering how has the writing and recording process been going so far?
Lynne: It’s going great, I mean the thing is that I’m writing all the time. You know I wrote what I think is one of my best songs a week ago. So I have the ones that areÂ really close to my heart like “Honesty Can Be So Cruel,” those who were here today will have heard it. I write all of my lyrics so it’s all from the heart and experiences and stuff.
But yeah, I’m always writing and I’ve got this amazing collection of songs and now for me, the impetus is on finding it the right home. I don’t want to just throw it out there, but I do intend to get it out as soon as possible, but I want to give it the best chance. So I’m finding it a nice little home at the moment.
NRR: The sound on the album, I noticed you played some new stuff here today that I hadn’t heard before, like the track you opened with “Copycat” and the last track in your set “Nothing But My Records On,” which was sublime by the way.
Lynne: That’s my favourite track.
NRR: I was absolutely blown away.
Lynne: Thank you.
NRR: At first you kind of threw me off a little bit, there’s maybe a little bit of Ike and Tina Turner going on and then you finish off with that opera piece and I was like wow.
Lynne: I’ve never really had a singing lesson and I went on TV and there was a coach there and she got me in the studio and she said oh I’m just here helping everyone warm up, so I thought oh I will take that. She said to me you have the range and the power of an opera singer and it really got me thinking and I actually look after my voice in that way as well. I just kind of thought hmmm.
That bit was written in the studio when we were recording the song. It wasn’t there before, we just changed some chords underneath it and it really took off and then it was the (sings the high notes from the song) and it just kind of went from there.
It’s also where I see myself, I want to keep people guessing, not in an artificial way, but I’m not a one trick pony there are so many things I can do, which is why I went solo because there’s just so much that I have to get out and not necessarily just in the kind of classic rock guise, it’s kind of like I love Donna Summer, I love all sorts of people.
So I think yeah, it’s a very interesting time for me because I’m writing so many songs, that people know it’s me, but they are showcasing all different sides of me. There’s one song which is just practically spoken and I’m known for my power vocals. So I’m just saying hey I can do a lot of things, thankfully so yeah.
NRR: Like I said there’s kind of some funk going on, there are some soulful elements and at the end that operatic piece, there’s just so much going on musically it sounds great.
Lynne: Thank you.
NRR: So when can we expect to start hearing some more material from the new album in terms of a release?
Lynne: Well I would like to release a couple of singles, and I would like to doÂ a couple of videos and do it that way and drop it when people are really gagging for it, because you know it’s just the best way, because once it’s out it’s out. I’m just finding with the gigs and the exposure that I’m getting it’s also like a magnet for opportunities.
You know I go away from here and it’s like oh there’s an opportunity for a different way of doing it, so you kind of have to know when to say right, but when also to not jump too quickly. So this year, as soon as possible, but I think I’ve got a couple of songs that I’m working on getting mixed for radio and for release, so I think that is gonna be the next move.
NRR: Have you got a time frame?
Lynne: Probably in the next couple of months.
NRR: Have you thought about an album title or is that still in the works?
Lynne: Yes, I think about things like this all of the time you know. People will just look at that wall and see a blue wall, I’m seeing lyrics, I’m seeing all sorts of stuff. I write most of my lyrics on trains, in my dreams, I have loads of dreams about music. So yeah it depends, I’ve already decided definitely on the album title five times, so that kind of tells you what you need to know.
NRR: I know you’ve played a few headline shows in London recently and obviously you just played here today at Stone Free Festival, I was just wondering if you’ve got any plans to do a full UK tour at any point?
Lynne: Yes, what I would say to my fans is that the real emphasis with me is I am going to do things properly and I am gonna do things my way. So it’s all about when that syncs up, sometimes it can feel like how long is a piece of string, but I’m having meetings all of the time, it’s happening but I just want to give it the best chance. So for me, it really is when it’s ready. I’ve got brilliant songs, the album isn’t mixed the way I want it yet, so I’ve got to do that and serve the singles.
I’ve worked really hard and you know I haven’t come from like nothing, once I did Saint Jude, which was my baby too and so it’s like ok I wanna make some noise in the industry, so when it’s right and I think the fans will wait because they are amazing, I hope they will.
NRR: What’s the one album in your record collection that you couldn’t live without?
Lynne: Oh that’s a question. “Songs In The Key of Life” actually. It was an album that, it just has everything in it, it has “If It’s Magic,” which is harp and vocals, which is incredible, it has “Sir Duke.” It’s just incredible songwriting, it’s so musical and there’s so much going on, but it’s mixed perfectly, the lyrics are beautiful, it’s got funk, it’s got the soul, it gets heavy in some places you know, so probably “Songs In The Key of Life.”
I mean when I first heard that I was about sixteen/seventeen, because I’ve always gone on the road, and because I’ve been singing since I was fourteen in clubs and stuff, I’ve always been hanging out with people that are a good twenty/thirty years older than me. So I was introduced to so many great albums early on and when somebody just slammed that in front of me when I was about sixteen/seventeen it just didn’t go off the earphones for about six months straight, it was the only thing I listened to, so for me probably that.
NRR: If you could chose any artist to cover one of your songs, which song and artist would you choose?
Lynne: “Nothing But My Records On” Tina Turner, early Tina Turner.
NRR: One of your fans asked me to ask you how do you keep your voice in top shape between gigs, and is there any particular vocal exercises or songs that you sing to maintain that power and control?
Lynne: Well I’m glad they think that I maintain itÂ because I always come off stage going shit. As well as a singer I’m a nutritionist, so I’m very green, I have a very strong with …it sounds hippy but, animals, the planet, it’s all connected and for me it’s like my food is vegan/vegetarian, you know all these kind of things.
I’ve always been into how you know my instrument is in my body. So sleep, not very rock and roll, but if you are tired your voice is tired. Inhaler, steamer (pointing to the steamer in the room) so turn that on and then that’s me. I fast the day before gigs, so I just have fruit. Like the last week running up to the gig I didn’t drink, you know I just pick my times. If my voice is feeling tired I stay away from caffeine and I stay away from alcohol and I use those things as a reward, I don’t just take them as part of my daily thing. Then I have other quiet times where I go out and get wasted a lot you know, so for me, it’s just all balance. Sometimes I want the quiet and sometimes I wanna slam tequila shots and go dancing, which I love.
For me it’s rest, it’s loads of water, like I will have two or three litres a day running up to a gig and yeah vocal exercises. To be honest with you nothing like sophisticated just like (Lynne does some vocal exercises) all that weird shit and just stuff that I source off the net.
As I say I haven’t had lessons, so I’m kind of finding my way, also to try and sing in the right place. But the most important thing for me is to always sing from the gut and from the heart always and I would rather drop a note than an emotion you know. That’s why I have to write my own songs and do my own thing, because if you wanna come and see me, you will get me, I’m not session singing anything.
NRR: I saw you play with Saint Jude when you played at Download Festival and that came up on my Facebook memories a few days back.
Lynne: In 2012.
NRR: That was a horrible weekend of rain, it rained like crazy.
Lynne: We got there and there was all of the hay on the floor and it doesn’t make you feel very glamorous. I got changed in the back of a truck.
NRR: What do you remember about that particular show?
Lynne: I remember being after the show hugged by a very dear friend of mine Jo Ward and I remember getting changed on the back of a truck and thinking that the leak of the band over here was still really loud before we went on, but it all worked out in the end.
But I just remember getting there and kind of traipsing through hay and mud and as a woman you know I like my vintage dresses, I like my style and it just kind of depletes you a little bit. Also, it was acoustic as well, it just all felt quite rushed and kind of very muddy. But then everyone was in that position.
I mean I’ve got changed in cupboards before, I’ve got changed in literally all sorts of stuff, I mean in rooms like this I will just chuck the band out, but no I’m quite a tough girl, not much phases me to be honest.
NRR: What else do you have in store for the rest of this year?
Lynne: Just as much music as possible. On the 12th July, I’m opening for Simply Red at Kew Gardens, which will be a great opportunity to be exposed to a whole new audience. I think and for me to just get bigger, better and to kind of get the album out and a few singles and just to expand my fanbase and tour and obviously get out of London.
For me it’s just strategic because it costs money to leave London and also what’s the point unless I get a great support slot there’s not really much point in me going up and down the country on a shoestring without an album, to be honest. Also, I’ve got some great people around me that off the record give me loads of brilliant advice and they’ve just said stick to London for now and also it’s my home, so it’s not really a hard thing for me to wanna do.
NRR: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us we really appreciate it.
Lynne: It’s ok, thank you for your support.
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