AE: You once toured the US playing 50 states in 50 days, what were the highs and lows of such an endeavor?
JJ: The 50 states tour was amazing; it was such an adventure and a challenge. It was just me and my friend Kevin [McDermott, singer/songwriter] in a truck. We played a gig in every state, did 22,000 miles and didn’t kill each other! I loved it and made some good friends. The downside was 3 or 4 hours sleep a night. The upside … it was just awesome!
AE: How would you describe the sound of your new album Back to Zero?
JJ: This is quite a special album for me; it has little bits of all my influences in it. Some songs are quite radio friendly but still with a lot of meaning in them. I am happy with the album and very excited about touring it. It’s a little melodic journey!
AE: In Speedway, your musical style was quite indie-rock, but post Speedway your music has a much bigger country edge to it. Is the country more representative of the music you like listening to?
JJ: All of my influences are country artists. I grew up on Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Then in my later teens I got into Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin. I’m a hillbilly at heart.
AE: At your gigs you seem to enjoy a bit of banter on stage, especially your love for Cheryl Cole do you enjoy the interaction with your fans?
JJ: I think the interaction is really important and yes, Cheryl is my dream girl, I feel the need to share that with people.
AE: You are supporting and playing with Heather Peace on her first UK tour in spring. What can people expect from your set?
JJ: When I do acoustic gigs I try to make it as dynamic as possible by doing interesting covers, as well as old and new original material. Although I make jokes in-between songs, I do take the singing part very seriously. I’ll be playing songs from the new album and trying out some brand new stuff.
I’m excited about touring with Heather. We hit it off doing the gigs in Glasgow and she was really keen we go on the road together. We’ve done a few gigs now and we’re getting such a great reaction so I’m really looking forward to the spring.
AE: Since you’ve been playing with Heather your profile as a “lesbian singer” has vastly increased. Are you happy to embrace the new wave of lesbi-love?
JJ: I’m lucky to have had a great fan base my whole career. The people who’ve stayed interested in my music since Speedway and the ones who’ve discovered me as a solo artist. Certainly since coming out more and more lesbians have taken an interest. They’re so loyal to me and supportive- I do love a bit of lesbi-love!
AE: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
JJ: The album’s been getting some great reviews so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, promoting it and gigging this year. It’s been a pretty busy couple of months so before the Heather tour I’m planning a wee holiday with my girlfriend. After the tour I’ll be touring with my band to promote the new album then hopefully some shows in America. I like to do that every year!
Jill’s album, Back To Zero is out on 23rd February. She will be playing at a special album launch at The Ferry, Anderson Quay, Glasgow. Tickets are available from.ticketsoup.com
To see tour dates and ticket information for Jill’s and Heather’s spring tour visit jilljackson.co.uk
“Great LezBritain” authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.