I’m not a big fan of AC/DC but hearing Jaggedy Ann brought back memories of a sandy soccer field outside Copenhagen in 1990. Jaggedy Ann is bluesy, ballsy hardrock done the classic way. Interview answered by Leona Marie (guitar). Anders Ekdahl ©2011
In the last couple of months I’ve come upon more new bands than in my previous 30 years of being a headbanger. Is now a good time to be a band? When is it a good time to be a band?
-I think there’s pros and cons to being in a band in todays market. One of the pros is how easy it is to connect, promote, advertise, etc., through the convenience of having internet technology. Back in “the day”, we didn’t have the internet to, which makes it possible to connect to people all over the world. We had to do it the hard way. Also, it is more acceptable now to be female in the industry. It wasn’t always that way. It seems now it’s the “it ” thing to do. The cons are obvious. Now, ironically, because of music being so easily accessable through the internet, etc., it’s harder to sell your c.d’s, and now touring and selling merchadise is one of the main sources of income, and without it you can’t survive.
I get the impression that you seem to have thought of every little detail when it comes to Jaggedy Ann. Is it important to protect your intellectual property in a different way in this day and age than it was previously?
-In a way, yes. It seems like todays music industry is so much about image and youth than anything else, especially for women. Even though it is easier for us now, in terms of doors being opened, it has gotten harder with acts such as Beyonce, Lady Ga Ga, Rhinna, Brittany Spears, etc. to live up to. Even though they are pop starts, we still are held up to the image of absolutely unrealistic expectations as far as looks go. The thing that frustrates me is, if you’re a guy in a rock band it’s absolutely o.k. to be ugly or fat, or whatever, as long as the music is good, but if you’re a woman you’ll NEVER make it if you’re not “totally hot” along with the music being great.
Unless you live in New Zealand I don’t see why anybody would want to go there to record an album, with or without Phil Rudd. What little extra did you get out of that experience?
-Aside from the privilege of working with Phil, who is an amazing hero of mine, New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful, with such great tasting, fresh food, and really nice, down to earth people! We LOVE it!
The sound of Jaggedy Ann is pretty classic hardrock like it was played in the 80s before grunge hit big. When writing songs how conscious are you of what it sounds like contra what it needs to sound like?
-For me, I don’t care, I don’t think about if it’s “current”. I write from the heart, about the things in my life that are important, or have had an impact on me, like relationships, sex, family, love for music, etc. I am influenced by old school rock, and I feel it’s o.k., because some things never go out of style, like rock n roll!
Like I said your music makes me think of easier times when music was more about music and less about posing. What is it that inspires you to write and play the hardrock you do?
-That’s very cool! And my answer is exactly what you just said! It’s people like YOU who inspire me! Plus it’s just what I love. I only write what I can honestly feel, never just to conform to whatever is “in style”.
When putting together a band based on passion and love for music how much are you willing to compromise with your ideals and ideas? Is the wait for the right people worth more than the hassle of replacing those who don’t work out?
-This is something I am still learning. It was sooo hard to find the right girls. And now, even when it’s so hard to keep them, due to family obligations, or whatever life throws their way, there still is a chemistry so strong, that no one else can fill, that makes them impossible to replace. So, yes, it is priceless when you find the right chemistry.
When going out on stage, how important is it to have an eye catching stage show compared to just going out on stage in your street close? When does the stage show upstage the music side of the show?
-In JA, we are known for having a very explosive stage show, which I feel is very important. Yes, the songs have to be catchy, marketable, and radio friendly, but entertainment value is also very important to me. When I perform I want to connect with everyone, I want to reach out and lift the crowd up. I want them to leave thinking “Wow! That was amazing! I will never forget that! ” I want them to feel they got their monies worth.
From reading about how the music industry changed I understand that it is much tougher now to release an album and make it break even today than previously. What other ways do you use to spread your music convincingly to make people want to go out and buy your record?
-It is very hard. Again, that is where the internet age comes in handy! You have to be constantly marketing yourself, and be relentless.
How different are people’s ways of consuming music today compared to, say 10 years ago? How does people’s change in consuming music affect you as an artist?
-It affects us tremendously, in more ways than countable. You have to be so creative with ways to market yourself, and again relentless. I am so supportive of other artists and refuse to download songs for free because i know how hard it is to make a dollar now. I buy a c.d from every artist I like to help support the industry. I hate the way it is now, how you just download music practically anywhere.
10. To me the future for Jaggedy Ann looks bright. How will you go about maximizing the full potential of the band?
-Good question! Every way I can!!