Jackson Firebird

Jackson Firebird

Jackson Firebird are back with their highly anticipated second record, Shake The Breakdown. Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Harvey (or ‘Harvs’ as he is better known) is basking in the sunshine on Williamstown Beach as we begin to chat about the new release. Composed of two best mates from Mildura in northwestern Victoria, Jackson Firebird are responsible for one of the year’s gutsiest blues rock records. After such a long time in limbo between recording, mastering and doing publicity, Harvey can’t wait for local audiences to taste the fruits of their hard labour.
“It’s great to finally have the album out mate, it’s felt like a long time coming for us,” he says.
“It’s not out in Australia just yet, and it seems to be going absolutely bananas in Europe at the moment, so that’s good. We can’t wait to have the record out here and be able to play as many shows to as many people as possible.”
Ever since their humble inception, Jackson Firebird have been known for their rowdy, party-oriented live shows. Harvey and drummer Dale Hudak dropped their debut single, ‘Bottle Bin’, just a few years back, and they certainly weren’t expecting all of the accolades that have come their way in the ensuing years.
“We were stoked we didn’t get glassed at our first gig at the local pub to tell you the honest truth mate, all because we were focusing on playing original blues and we didn’t play a Barnsey cover,” Harvey says.
“If you didn’t get the shit beaten out of you it was a good night. People like to hear songs they know, but we liked to push the boundaries of what we are doing since day one. It was a good way to cut our teeth playing in those venues and we are incredibly thankful for all of the opportunities that have come our way since.”
Going from the local boozer to the music conference circus that is South By Southwest, the band have certainly evolved a lot in the past couple of years. Their debut LP, Cock Rockin’, is essential listening for any fan of modern Australian blues rock. But full of charisma and high-energy rock songs, Harvey believes Shake The Breakdown is a step up.
“On the first album we recorded to just say we had a CD that we could sell to people if we were ever to play a gig,” he says. “We really knuckled down this time and focused in on writing lyrics that mattered as opposed to ‘Yeah’ and ‘Alright’ which is what the first record mainly consisted of.”
Those who’ve experienced Jackson Firebird live will be familiar with the fairly simplistic percussion device that gives the band their unique edge. Talking about the origins of it, Harvey reveals it came from a campfire sing-along.
“It’s just a recycling bin for your empty cans and I’m sure that every venue and household around Australia has one,” he says.
“We took it into the jam space and it just seemed so natural right from the beginning. We carry about three-to-four bins with us on the road in case Dale happens to go through one. We’ve got an insider guy at the Mildura tip that saves the bins for us, but the newer batches of bins don’t last as long that’s for sure.”
Written by Tex Miller
When & Where: Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival, Bendigo – November 5-8