An Interview With Invidia’s Brian Jackson

Written By: Anya Svirskaya

Side Stage Magazine: Hi thank you for taking the time to speak, how are you doing?

Brian Jackson: Doing well thank you.

 

In regards to the band name. Does the name stem from something to do with envy and the evil eye?

The name actually an idea Travis had, and yeah, you’re correct, it’s about the eye of envy. It’s just something that came about. It’s a Latin term. It’s funny because a lot of people seem to associate it with us. It’s a Latin term in a sense of envy, kind of looking on associated with an evil eye. It kind of went with the flow of what we were doing, kind of the haters out there and this whole thing Travis put together and it just stuck with us. As the band started progressing, it seemed to fit the format of what direction we were going with our music and the feedback we were getting from people and the haters and all that kind of stuff. It just stuck

 

It seems like the band came together rather quickly. How did you all come together, and what are you trying to accomplish with Invidia that you couldn’t with all the bands that you and the other guys were involved with?

The band actually did come together very, very quickly. I think all of us could agree that out of all the bands we’ve played in over the years, we’re all pretty seasoned musicians, it really started with the idea one night in the middle of the night, myself, I was looking to write some music, and the other band that I was currently in at the time wasn’t moving forward in the direction that I needed to. I had some music written.

I reached out to Travis, who had recently been on a break at the time with In this  Moment. He was tracking vocals. I just reached out to him on Facebook and asked him if he’d be interested in laying some tracks over some music that I had. We were just messing around. We really didn’t have a direction or even an idea to start a band. We exchanged music back and forth, we really liked what we heard. That’s how we got connected with Logan Mader in this project. Me and Logan were talking about recording some other music from another project. He was in Europe at the time. When he came back, we sat down for lunch and decided instead of working on this other project that wasn’t really coming together in the format that we needed it to, I laid down some music to him that me and Travis had been working on. When he heard it, he really thought that we had something special going on.

At that point in time, we got Matt Snell involved. We just said, screw it. Let’s just get into the studio. Let’s see what happens. Let’s take these three ideas that we have and we’ll go from there. Logan, with a lot of his direction and a lot of the input from me, Travis, and Matt, all of us collaborated and we came out with a pretty good record, I would say. It really did. It came together quick, much faster than we would have ever imagined. We pushed the thing. Once we got into the studio and started hearing the songs develop, we realized this was a band that we wanted to make into a real project, not just make a side project, but really form it into something special that we wanted to hear and we thought the fans themselves would also want to hear. It sounds nothing like any of our previous projects or our current projects that some of us are in. A lot of the media and the press has been putting a spin on it. Members of this band or this band, and at the end of the day, we really just took a collaboration with the bands that we were inspired by and took stuff that we wanted to hear and wrote it and put it on record, and that’s how it came out. We’re very happy with everything.

 

Is it true that the album was recorded in six weeks? Was there music that was already written? Did you guys feel rushed?

No, there was no rush. It flowed naturally. It was so natural. It’s kind of surreal when we look back on it now. The record has been recorded and finished for almost a year now. It comes out, as you probably know, March 31 is the release date. We wanted to shop. We didn’t want to just go release the music ourselves. We wanted to wait for a deal. As far as recording-wise, yeah, we recorded the music in roughly six to six and a half weeks. Then we had to work on editing and stuff like that.

None of the music was really pre-written. There was one song on the record there was music done for, but it wasn’t for any band in particular. It was floating around. Travis had some ideas, but as far as the record itself, it was pretty much written in the studio right off the cuff, off the top of our heads. We just got in there and started going for it.

 

You mentioned that you that Logan produced your record, he also manages you the band. What is it like to work with him?

I love it. I couldn’t imagine working with anybody else. Logan, he’s such a pro at what he does. He’s been in the industry for a very, very long time, not just as a musician but he’s produced many, many bands, done a great job. I don’t know. He’s different. For me, being with Logan just felt like I had been around him my whole life writing music.

He brought things out of me as a musician that I never knew I really had inside of me. More than just being a guitar player, he got me in that vocal mode that I ended up singing a lot on the record with Travis. We did things and experimented with things that I never would have even thought twice about, so working with him was amazing. Honestly, we owe everything to Logan as far as the direction of this record. He really found the best in all of us and he really molded this thing and helped guide us through everything.

I couldn’t be any happier of the outcome of working with Logan and the way the record turned out. He’s obviously a great friend as well, but you set aside all of that and it’s his pro level of the way he does things. His work ethic is solid. He gets in there. He doesn’t waste time. He’s amazing overall.

 

The album comes out on the 31st. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

The record, As the Sun Sleeps, I don’t know if you’ve seen the album cover. It’s kind of like a post apocalyptic thing. The music kind of resembles that. There are a lot of different elements that tie together, but when we were writing the record we didn’t have a concept we were going in with. We were just writing naturally. As the title track came about, As the Sun Sleeps, it summed up the whole direction of the record in my opinion. It brought it all together, so that’s how we got the title. There was no concept coming into the band until it really got finished and we started looking at the artwork and really started thinking about the band name and all of it. It just kind of presented itself. As far as a concept goes, it wasn’t something that we planned out at all.

 

Do you have a favorite song?

As a guitar player, yes, and then as if I was listening as a fan, I have my favorites as well. We have songs like Rotten and Feed the Fire, which is our current single that are really big choruses and more radio friendly, and something that a lot of people can related to. As a guitar player, personally, songs like As the Sun Sleeps and Truth in the Sky and Other Side, things like that, there’s a lot more guitar-oriented riffs, so when I think about it on that aspect, those are my favorites.

Playing live, we developed our favorites as well. “Smell to Kill” is on the top of my list. It’s got a lot of energy. The crowd seems to love it. It’s fun to play. I’m kind of biased being a part of the record, but I like them all, to tell you the truth. I don’t really have a favorite, per se, but I do have my favorites to play live. Like I said, Smell to Kill, As the Sun Sleeps, and Rotten. I would pick those three if I was to choose my favorites.

 

For you as a guitar player, when you were recording, was there a particular song that was pretty hard to get to at first?

There is one song, it’s On the Other Side. It actually has a guest vocal appearance of Aaron Nordstrom from Gemini Syndrome. He actually sings the chorus with Travis on that song. That music had been floating around with me, quite a few of those riffs had been floating around with me for years. The main intro and the main verse riff and the main chorus riff, I had written years ago but never really had put it anywhere, had never found a home for it.

It was actually the very last song to get recorded on the record. Me and Logan went into the studio. I kept showing him this idea, and we kept working around it for whatever reason. There was no particular reason why we were putting it on the back burner. It just seemed to be the one that was last and we weren’t even sure if it was going to make the record. We had no vocals for it whatsoever.

Just by trial and error one night, Aaron was roommates with me temporarily for a while and he was at my house and we were listening to playbacks to the recording sessions. He heard this big vocal chorus and he goes, man, let me take a stab at it. I said, it would be amazing to have you on the record. He took a stab at the top line, the chorus, and we recorded it on my iPhone. I sent it over to Logan and said, hey man, check this out. What do you guys think? The next day we brought him in the studio. Travis came in with him and it was like magic. They did all the vocal lines, I believe to that song, in less than two hours. Tracked it, recorded it. It was done.

Beforehand, it was the song that was taking the longest to get done for whatever reason. I guess that was the only one on the record that seemed to have any trouble. I wouldn’t necessarily call it trouble. You know what I mean? It was the last one that got put together.

 

How is the touring schedule looking for you guys?

Right now, actually that’s a good question. We have been offered many tours recently. Our manager and our booking agent have been trying to line some things up. We have a couple in the works. I can’t confirm exactly right at this time, but it’s looking sometime late April, early May, going into June, and then we’re obviously currently working around some stuff with Travis’s schedule with In This Moment. We’re trying to make everything work, but we have been getting a lot of offers. We’re just waiting and picking and choosing the right offers that seem realistic for us. We don’t want to go out there and sell ourselves short, but we’re definitely looking to tour as much as we can on this tour cycle and hit as many festivals as possible, probably in the latter part of the summer or early next fall.

 

As far as promoting the record and trying to get the touring plans sorted, what else do you guys have planned?

Just to keep pushing this thing as big as we can. It’s taken up a lot of our time lately, which is a good thing. Everybody is just doing interviews and trying to get as much press as we can. We want the record obviously to do well, touring, and that’s pretty much it. We’ve worked very hard for this project, so I think a lot of our focus is dedicated to making this thing, putting it at the top, and see what can happen with it.

 

I’m from New York, and the music scene here is a little diverse, what is the music scene like in Las Vegas?

It’s been rough over the years. I personally have been here for 18 years. I’ve seen it go up and down. Back in the early 2000 era, there was a really good scene here, really good clubs. I really enjoyed some of the bands that were coming out of Vegas. There was a really big period of time where Vegas in general didn’t show a lot of love and support for the local musicians and there wasn’t clubs that were staying open. Promoters were taking advantage of bands, as we all know, I won’t say all of them but a lot of them do. Unfortunately there was no family of musicians out here that stuck together. It suffered pretty bad for a long time.

What I have noticed in the recent year or two is there are a few promoters out here in particular that have really been pulling together and showing a lot of support for the bands. Lately I’ve noticed it’s a pretty good scene out here right now. Currently I would say Vegas is doing pretty well. Some great talent out here. Some good clubs. I went just a couple days ago over at the House of Blues, and all local bands. It’s a local showcase they do called Envy. The tickets are free, but even getting people to go to free shows half the time seems like a battle. Believe it or not, the place was packed. There must have been 700-800 people there showing support for the local scene, which is unheard of. It’s amazing. It’s improved a lot over the last couple years for sure.

 

We don’t have that in New York. Usually when local bands come together, it’s more like, if my friends are performing I’ll go check it out. Everyone is afraid of the unfamiliar.

You know, that’s the case out here as well. It’s sad because as soon as the band that’s opening for you is done, their friends pack up and leave. The whole point is to go to a show and have a good time and meet new people. Like you said, they’re afraid of new things or afraid of something that’s unfamiliar to them, which is unfortunate. I have noticed, like I said, out here in particular, that seems to be changing slowly but surely.
To wrap this up, do you have any messages to your fans and to those who are not familiar with your music yet?

 If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, please feel free. We’re always wanting to meet new fans. We’re pretty interactive with everybody on social media to the best of our abilities. We’ve been getting a lot of great messages from our fans lately, a lot of inspirational messages and a lot of support. I just want to thank everybody that’s been giving us support for this band, considering how new of a band that we are. The amount of support has been pretty overwhelming with radio especially. Our new single, Feed the Fire, has been getting a great response on the local active rock stations. A lot of messages have been coming in. It’s been pretty overwhelming, so I’m very appreciative, very humbled by everything. I know the guys feel the exact same way. I just want to thank everybody for that for sure.

 

Thank you for your time. I wish you all the best for this record. I think it’s pretty amazing that you guys were able to pull this off in such a short time.

Thank you so much. We appreciate it. I hope you guys enjoy the record once it comes out, and for all the rest of you guys out there, March 31 is the street date. I hope you go pick that thing up and let us know your feedback when it does come out.

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