Jackson cook is a natural entertainer who is making his mark in the world in a big way. He took a break from his concert tour to share a few words.
Q) I heard that you began creating your own songs after just learning a couple of chords from your mom, how do you think your lack of a formal music education has affected your music?
I guess I don’t think it did. To be honest not having any formal training has allowed me the freedom to be creative. In other words I don’t feel I have any bounderies that everything has to fit in a tidy little box.. I just do what feels good to me.
I know some of my friends when they were younger took lessons and a lot of them quick playing because they said it was boring and they weren’t having fun. Sometimes when I play with schooled players they seem kind of annual and won’t try different things and they seem to sound a bit technical. What I hear is what play. I don’t really know how I do it, I just find the notes
Q) You tackle some material that people might not expect from a sixteen year old performer like your song Street soldier where did the inspiration for that piece come from?
I get that a lot and at times I know it hasn’t helped my career, in that those that wanted to sign me wanted me to write and play POP music but I just couldn’t do it. I’ve wrote some songs in that vein, but it’s just not me. I find it hard to sing love songs when I don’t know the first thing about it. The things I write about are things I have experienced and I know a lot kids my age have too. The thing is they think we don’t know, or don’t see a lot that goes on around us but we do.
Street Soldier is still one of my favorite songs and it’s killer live. I know it’s not a hit or anything but I had to write it. It
came from a trip we made to Vancouver when I was fourteen. On our way into the city theres a street called Hastings street, its pretty much the biggest skid row in Canada, but no one really likes to talk about it. What I saw really disturbed me that this could be happening in my country, one of the richest nations in the world. Theses kids that were homeless messed up on drugs and prostitution were my age. I just couldn’t get that image out of my head and there I was hearing on the news all the abuse
that had happened with kids in churches and the song just kind of poured out of me.
Q) You were involved in performing at the BC Olympics how did that come about and did you approach it differently then other shows knowing that there was going to be people from so many different places listening?
know the people hosting the games were a bit nervous about some of my material, but I thought, well they commissioned me
to write the Anthem because of my message to kids then I need to be true to who I am. The fact that I got to play to so many people from all over made it that much better to get my message out to kids and it worked really well.
Q) Who are the bands you listen to for fun and inspiration?
I don’t know where to start since I like so many different artists. Right now it’s Howlin Wolf and and Hank
Williams senior. None of my friends know of them, their tune are pretty cool if you listen them. I know their is real stories behind the words and I listen to how the play their guitars, their style.
Q What is the next piece of music you have coming down the pipe and when can we expect it?
I’m actually working on a song about the BP oil spill. It will be a little bent and twisted.
Q) What is the next goal you would like to accomplish with your music?
I would like to perform one of my songs on the Grammy’s not so much to win but an opportunity to have those of
power and influence in the business see that my music from someone my age has a positive impact on kids, as much as the cookie cutter POP music does. I know it will never happen!
Q) if people want more info about you or your music where should they head?
When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
Writing a song about it as it unfolds with Jack White and Tom Petty!
Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
Jedi of course.
What one piece of art, be it music, book, film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
As strange as it might sound, KD Lang’s version of Halleujuh. It is without a doubt one of the most spectacular
vocal performances of a great song from a great talent I have ever heard. I only hope before I die I might be amble to deliver something like that. Every time I hear it can see all the notes just floating around me. Everyone who loves music no matter their listening pleasure should find a quite place and truly listen to this song! This might change later in my life, but for now it’s this version, this song.