(Photo by Molly Dower)
Gracie describe themselves as a “bummer jam,” but are really just the opposite of a bummer. Soon they will be bringing their grungy soft-pop to you in the form of a full length release. Here, bandleader Gracie Jackson talks band names, her first hits, and Cookie Monster’s voice.
Boston Hassle: When did you first start making music and writing songs?
Gracie Jackson: I started dicking around on the piano when I was a little kid, I didn’t record any of that shit, but those were my first hits.
BH: What are some of your biggest inspirations and when do you feel most inspired?
GJ: I don’t really listen to music that much, Neil Young is alright but that’s about it. I feel a sense of overwhelming inspiration when my parents go away for a few days and I get to relax at their house and use their nice computer which has garage band.
BH: What was your motivation to start Gracie?
GJ: We call it Gracie because I wrote these songs, and Erik, Mike and Travis help develop these joints and make them sound dank ripe. I had this crappy band name, but it didn’t resonate with me or the boys so we dropped it. We also considered these bands names: Market Basket Drip Castle, Johann Sebastian Market Basket, and Chicken Connection. I decided to use my own name.
BH: Are there any certain feelings, themes, or messages you are trying to convey to your audiences or find yourself drawn too?
GJ: I write a lot from personal experience, and watching network TV.
BH: How did you meet and start playing with your bandmates?
GJ: Me and Erik (who shreds) have played together since high school. He showed me a lot of great music way back when and saved me from being obsessed with Audioslave. Travis I met through friends who went to Uni with him at University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Massachusetts. He played drums in Fat Creeps too. Mike who plays bass in Kal Marks (who are dope) also plays bass with me. He is a great musician and a lot of fun to play with.
BH: What was your process like for writing and recording your new album?
GJ: Me and Erik recorded a few of the songs off my album a long time ago, but then he moved away and they just got kinda got shelved until the time was right, which is right now. My process? I write a song, figure it out with the band, call my studio guy Doug, who recorded the Fat Creeps albums, I’ve been working with him for 4 million years. At this point he gets the weird way i talk and express what I’m hearing in my head so its really easy to get the sound I’m looking for, and I record it!
BH: If you could collaborate or work with any artist in the world, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
GJ: I love Cookie Monster’s voice, but I guess if i could jam with someone? Keith Richards taught me a lot of what i know, and Captain Beefheart too, and definitely Neil Young.
BH: What are you most excited about for Gracie’s future?
GJ: My album is coming out soon on a great label, big plans, big ideas. Big ideas. BUFU records hooked it up, and I have a casette release July 20th at Charlie’s Kitchen with Jim Leonard, Steep Leans, and Mini Dresses! Come pick one up!
Catch Gracie when her cassette drops on July 20th at Charlie’s Kitchen with Jim Leonard, Steep Leans, and Mini Dresses and be sure to pick up the new album on BUFU Records!!!