'Sleeping The Haze Away'
Spaced-out pop maestro; blue-eyeliner wearing rock’n’roll genius; Australia’s answer to Brian Wilson - Luke Steele - aka The Sleepy Jackson - has already been called all these things and more. No wonder he lives in the most isolated city on Earth. Anywhere else, with all these critical garlands, he could end up suffocating.
Having established a foothold in Australia with highly collectible psych-pop EPs ‘Caffeine In The Morning Sun’ and ‘Let Your Love Be Love’ and a series of stunning, Hendrix-esque live performances, Luke announced himself on the world stage with 2003’s debut album Lovers.
A perfectly formed set seemingly beamed in from a starry-eyed parallel universe it boasted everything from sublime acid-country (superlative single “Good Dancers”) to Who-like power pop (“Vampire Racecourse”) it prompted a landslide of feverish reviews.
'Personality' is The Sleepy Jackson’s new album. Written over the course of the last two years and recorded over three months with producer Scott Horscroft in Sydney during the Spring of 2005, it is proof that the symphonies constantly playing in Luke‘s head have no equal. If his debut was a small screen marvel, 'Personality' is its wide screen equivalent, with all the trials and tribulations that entails.
Chatting recently with Luke, and noting that his press had stated that he currently lives in one of the most isolated cities on Earth, Perth, Australia, I first wondered what made it such and why did isolation top his list of necessities anyway? "Well , I guess 'cause I still ain't got no money, car or house. Maybe when we sell some records I can move to New York."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your upcoming 'Personality' CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Well, it's Tsunami in the city, series 2, girls with fishing lines hailing down cabs."
Your album title 'Personality' is an interesting choice (especially with the added edge of 'One Was A Spider One Was A Bird'), but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? "Yeh, it stems from the line I heard a preacher say once, 'I'm not all God called me to be, but thank God I'm not what I used to be.' Ben Lee has the song. We are all in this together. Everyone is not Jesus, but you’re a King too, I say. All special. One was a plumber, one was a janitor, one was an assistant, one was persistent."
If there was one track on 'Personality' that truly encapsulated Sleepy Jackson at his/their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "'Dream on.' Follow and fire the dream in your heart, keep your head up."
With you now having to leave your Perth pop laboratory to tour on the back of the release of this new CD, I'm wondering what you'll miss most about your home lifestyle and personal items of comfort? "I'll miss my dog circut board."
Garnering the feeling whilst listening to your new album that it is a veritable kaleidoscope of sounds, images and mini-symphonies, I'm wondering if you've ever considered producing music videos for bands in a full time capacity? "Yeh, I just got a few things to take care of first."
Please tell us about the artwork for this new CD and what it all represents! "The confusion of the world in war with the high treasures, surrendered soaked in grace."
Just for fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Miles Away' - If you could take a paid trip miles away back in time, where would you like to end up ... and why?! "Back to the early 1920s. I'd be part of a musical."
'Dream On' - Do you have any recurring dreams - or nightmares - that you can please share with us ... and what do you think this one of yours means?! "All my thoughts are dreams. Anything that enters my mind in the day falls into my dreams at night. I have to be very careful about what things play badmington in my mind. Sometimes you may not realize your thoughts are entertaining. A peculiar unfulfilling place. Then the next nite there's a few more stairs, like esher, you become confused. Got to rememer brainwashed is death. Washed pure is life."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "'Eye In The Sky,' by the Alan Parsons Project."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Yes."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Sleepy Jackson's new CD, just answer this easy question: Admitted by the artist himself, the new track “I Understand What You Want But I Just Don’t Agree” bears comparison with which of Prince’s hits?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: SLEEPY JACKSON SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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