Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
When Glenn Hughes, ‘The Voice of Rock’, invites you to sing with him then you know there’s something special here. Of course, those who have been watching the career of Lynne Jackaman have known of the huge talent she possesses for some time as she made an instant, seismic impression fronting Saint Jude a decade ago.
It’s one of cruel twists of life that the band never really got the full acknowledgement that they deserved but their ‘Diary Of A Soul Fiend’ stands as a testament to just what a compelling act they were, their lives shows a feast to the senses.
Fast forward several years and Jackaman has hooked up with Quireboys six stringer Guy Griffin to put together her solo album ‘One Shot’, the soon to be released project recorded at the world–famous Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama.
Walking in such hallowed footsteps has imbued the singer with an added depth and, from the mouthwatering tasters of the album heard so far, this stands to be her finest work to date and one that will ultimately show the world what she can do.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY6Zd184egY&w=560&h=315]
True talent will always win out and whilst the ride has been far for easy, the soulful singer is a fighter, her determination and grit never in doubt. Having been through setbacks that would have finished the careers of others, it seems like nothing will stop her this time.
First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?
Well 2020 has certainly been interesting so far. I’ve been adapting to the new world like everyone else. Experiencing up and down days but I remain creative and positive.
How have you been keeping yourself busy?
With the release date of my album ‘One Shot’ quickly approaching (August 14th) I have lots to do behind the scenes. I’ve been trying to strike the balance between being productive and not wasting the down time we’ve been abruptly given whilst also knowing when to take the pressure off and simply absorb all the changes that are happening day by day. It’s been hard not being able to see family and friends but I’ve been channeling that frustration into positive places.
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
I haven’t yet but I plan to when the time is right! I’ve seen many artists I love adapt really well and do the best they can with the limitations we have. Online shows are a great way to express ourselves and maintain musical connection with the fans. You can’t beat the buzz and atmosphere of a live show where everyone is the same room and moment together. I can’t wait for that to return. Everyone is doing their best and doing it their own unique way. Some artists, off stage, are incredibly shy and don’t adapt well to the online shows.
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
Not really. If anything, I’ve had more time to do it. Knowing that ‘One Shot’ is on its way has freed up my creativity a lot more to feel ready for and focus on what’s next…
Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?
Yes. In the beginning of the lockdown it felt so surreal. Everyone seemed shocked and more insular, primal, I guess. Essentially when a virus erupts, threatening the lives of those you love, you visit places in your mind and soul that shakes you into a very philosophical state.
Your priorities change. Things that once seemed highly relevant suddenly tumble down the list of importance. My main, consistent desire and feeling through the whole lockdown experience is one of just wishing that all those I love stay safe and well.
What plans have you had to change this year?
Live shows. Album release date. Birthday plans. Personal celebrations. Travel. Filming. Recording, to name a few…[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afBeGMXs8NE&w=560&h=315]
What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas recently – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs as has just been announced by Live Nation?
I think we have to adapt and experiment. We cannot sit back and simply watch the industry shrivel up and fade away. There’s a great movement right now under the hashtag #letthemusicplay.
It’s highlighting the importance of the survival of live music/venues and jobs in the industry and is having a huge impact on the government funding for arts during these testing times. I believe the government have just announced a £1.57bn support for Arts venues which is an incredible step forward in recognition of the value of the arts industry.
I say a huge ‘’Good Luck’’ to anyone trying something new and keeping live music going whichever way they can, because without it the world would be a very different experience.
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
Hugely. Sadly, many jobs and skills will have been lost and venues face potential imminent closure. Fingers crossed this won’t happen.
Music will always survive even if the model changes.
We have no choice but to adapt and experiment, right now. Especially as Live music and venues look like the last places to reopen. SO much goes into a live show behind the scenes. So much work involving so many different people and skills.
You have the artist, and all the blood, sweat and tears they have poured into getting themselves and their songs onto that stage in the first place. You then have Promoters, Agents, Sound & Lighting engineers, Managers, the Merch crew, bar & door staff, rehearsal studios and many more areas of expertise all being stopped professionally and financially by the current pandemic.
And then you have the fans. I massively miss performing but being a fan of music, first and foremost, I also deeply miss going to live shows and feeling the energy and anticipation build in the room. We also need to consider the psychological impact of the lockdown. Even if everything reopened tomorrow some people would feel too fearful to go out and face the experience of large crowds. Social anxiety is rife. Especially when you consider that the virus hasn’t gone away nor has a cure yet been presented.
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
To make as much happen as is possible.
How can people support you during this time?
The main way fans can support artists right now is to buy their music and Merch. I currently have a limited run of special edition Vinyl and CDs on my website for pre-order which you can find here: https://lynnejackamanmusic.com
Without the ability to earn from touring, artists have really taken a powerful hit to their pockets and their lifestyles. It’s not natural to make music and then never perform or tour it. It’s seasonal and a huge missing component of the overall picture in making music. Essentially music connects people. It may be created in an insular way but it is inspired and promoted by life and experiences. Connection with others.