They say write about what you know, and seeing as Luke Jackson has just only turned eighteen, the bulk of his debut album, 'More Than Boys', is about his childhood. Ironically it's one of the most mature debuts you are likely to hear from a teenager. Having already seen him perform live this year, Spiral Earth were mightily impressed with his sumptuous voice coupled with detailed and percussive guitar work. Here we get to question the Canterbury artist about his songcraft, festival life, and more.
What was the first song you wrote?
I honestly cannot remember the first song I wrote. I know the first song I ever performed in front of a crowd was 'House of the rising Sun' at my primary school leaving assembly. I write a lot, and have been since the age of 13, so most of the material I have written in past has been forgotten about. There are very few songs I play now which are more than a year old but 'Bakers Woods' is one of mine I have been playing on and off for at least 4 years now! Of course, it has changed a considerable amount. The way I sing and play the piece is very different to how it was originally, but like all things, it just evolved over time and I still really love playing it!
The album contains quite a lot of detail from your childhood. I know you are young but did you have trouble remembering some of it?
Not really! I wrote the songs about growing up and about how it feels to become an adult. I have always lived in the same village and I had the same group of friends throughout my childhood, so when I think back, I do not really find it hard to remember the details of it all. Although I speak about childhood in my songs, within doing that, I am mainly talking about moving on from it and I feel that is where I am in life right now.
I wrote 'Big Hill' just before I left College. Me and my friends had been talking a lot about what we were going to do with our lives now we had finished education and I found myself thinking; It seemed only yesterday I was a kid spending days without a care in the world, and now here I am about to take a step into adulthood. So although I refer back to my childhood, the songs are really about what it is I am going through now.
Has that exhausted your childhood memories as far as songs writing is concerned?
I would like to think not, I am sure there are a few more childhood based songs floating about somewhere in my head! You can say the same thing in a hundred different ways!
Tell us about 'Last Train', it sounds fascinating.
I wrote 'Last Train' after watching an old war film with my Dad. I do not remember for the life of me what it was called, but I just had this story pop into my head of a soldier going to tell his friends family some bad news, and throughout the song it tells you what is going on in the soldiers head while he is waiting for his train.
I remember I was playing a gig in Cambridge and that was when I first wrote the melody for 'Last Train' as I was sound checking, but it was the old war film, which really inspired me to write this song.
How did Martyn Joseph become the producer of the album?
I went to go and see Martyn play a gig in Maidstone when I was 14 with my Dad and I was blown away by his set. I handed him my CD once he had finished performing and soon after I managed to get a slot opening for him in Whitstable. We started doing more and more shows together until he asked me if I would like to do CD with him and he has now signed me under his label and has recorded and produced my first official album!
It is a wonderful feeling because I am a big fan of Martyn Joseph!