Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low. So, tell us about yourselves…Who are you – who who? We really wanna know….
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
I am my act, M. Jack Bee, I croon and growl, play guitar, loop rythms and build walls of melodic noise to aid and abet feeling something out of the ordinary.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parent’s record collection and why?
They had a pretty rubbish selection, but between ad breaks from my afternoon TV fix, I’d put Beach Boys on, ‘I Get Around’, it fit perfectly in the break time and I got to practice my harmonies. There was also Smokey Dawson, and Ike & Tina Turner; that had a disturbing impact on me.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
Gillian Welch’s ‘Revelator’ is the most played album on my pod, sometimes daily, and sometimes daily repeated. TVOTR’s ‘9 Types of Light’ has gotten a fair workout, and I also just acquired a skateboard, so you can’t go past Ratatat’s ‘Classics’ when rolling around town.
‘Home taping is killing the music business was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
You still had to work for it on cassette, it was all real time stealing, and you’d probably get quite into the record by the time you are done dubbing from one source to the next. I’m not sure which came first, our short attention spans, or the ability to just download whatever and whenever, which cheapens it. People will never pay attention to something they don’t have to work for. However I think artists will win out in the end, people can now choose the music they want to listen to, from wherever in the world without biased label marketing.
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
Greenday, Festival Hall in Melbourne. We were a bunch of ratbag country kids and somehow hooked up our own hotel room. We started a small riot after the show. It felt necessary.
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
I’m pretty illiterate when it comes to file sharing sites etc, so I’ve become pretty into buying from iTunes. They make it too easy, I always end up with offending pages and bugs on pirate sites, and there’s some disturbing shit out there! ‘No I do not want to play nude Texas Hold’em!’
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Do I have to be honest here? My first musical memory is standing on my toybox at about 3 years old howling ‘You’re The Voice’ by Farnsy, using a red Key-tar I’d gotten from Santa. Still gives me the shivers.
Have you ever been arrested?
No, I always get away.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
From this last tour Bourbon has become a bit of a ritual, it was in the last lighting guys rider and the new one doesn’t drink, so he handed it on to me, and I must say, there’s something to it.
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
A piñata shaped like Justin Bieber, filled with applause.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
There are two very different ones. First I’d love to sit in a room with Gurrumul and work up some epic loops and heavy drums and sing the sun from the sky. His voice and songs make me quiver like none before. I’d love to drink some Gin with Washington and sing some ragged showtunes but record them in a dumpster. She’s got so much spark that she could light my darkness.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next.
I got a 7” vinyl, Sound Of Love/She Said that will definitely work in the dim lights, and in the bright lights I’m playing Friday Nov 11th at Beresford Upstairs in Sydney, Nov 13th at The Workers Club in Melbourne, Nov 19th at Rics Bar in Brisbane, then Dec 2nd at The Northern in Byron Bay. I’ll put my clothes back on shall I? Cheers.