Q&A’s: With ‘Happyman’ Jackson Carroll On His New Release + Upcoming Tour

Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer

Every now and then a press release lands in my inbox that gets me really excited. This happened recently with a presser about Jackson Carroll‘s newest musical gift to the world, his new single Happyman along with a fun video to boot! The song caught my heart immediately with it’s upbeat, storytelling style and I just had to know more! I sent Jackson some questions and this is what he came back with. Have a read and make sure you catch him on his upcoming tour! (All the details you need are at the end of the article!)

First of all, I have to say, THANK YOU for releasing your new song, Happyman – we absolutely love it here at Good Call Live. It is such an upbeat, catchy, happy song that gets stuck in my head. I love that. Can you tell me a little about the song? What is it about? Where did the inspiration come from for this one? 

The song itself is really about hope and trying to find yourself and your identity in a sea of other people and other identities. There’s a lot of joy and frustration and experimentation in that, and I think that’s a sentiment that comes through quite strongly on the song. A lot of the lyrics really echo how I feel about myself most of the time, about the kind of people I want to be, the kind of things I want to do. It’s all very simple stuff: clean; cool; tall; strong. Wanting to occupy myself, wanting to be comfortable, dealing with sadness and impatience. It all feels very personal but still broad enough that it’s accessible to a whole bunch of people.

The film clip is great & fun too! Can you tell me about that? Who came up with the concept for it? 

The idea for the clip that we landed on came together in about a half an hour after months of racking my brain trying to figure out what to do. We knew it had to be energetic, engaging, colourful and vibrant. We threw around ideas, locations, costumes. We wanted to do something that was instantly recognisable, instantly accessible, but something that still felt new and not overplayed or overly derivative. One night, between myself, my parents and my manager, Luke, we landed on the idea of shooting a nursing home, getting all the oldies together and getting them to play into the narrative of the song. We had ideas for different shots, the narrative arc of having all the oldies slowly get more and more enthusiastic as the song progressed. It was amazing how neatly it all came together after months of scrambling on my own.

Your sound reminds me a little of Jeff Buckley and a little of a band from the 90’s called Cordrazine. Who are some of your influences? and who inspires you to make music? 

I tend to harp on about a lot of the same bands and the same musicians, which is common knowledge to any of my friends and family. But I’d definitely say David Byrne, David Bowie, Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley. Even Michael Gira and Nick Cave to an extent. I always find myself drawn to these people as characters. The more I identify with someone’s story and their personality, the things they’ve done with and accomplished in their life, the stronger I resonate with and idolise them.

You are known as a ‘storyteller’ through your music. There are some wonderful storytellers in the music world, who are some you love? I recall interviewing Josh Pyke a few years ago, he is one that stands out for me, in fact I would love to see you both on the same bill sometime! What do you think? 

For storytelling, it’s hard to overlook Nick Cave. I think he’s a superb storyteller, he creates these vivid characters and places that are occasionally so foreign but so distinctive. A song like Stagger Lee, even though it’s predominantly comedic to me, albeit darkly so, still paints such a vivid portrayal of the characters and the setting. I’d also take into account tracks like Jesus Alone or Rings of Saturn, which range from these brief but evocative character profiles to these abstract depictions are so above and beyond in their construction. I think Nick Cave’s writing on every level demonstrates the most superior sophistication. As far as working and/or playing with other artists, I’m so open to it. I really value collaboration – particularly after reading David Byrne’s experiences with it in How Music Works – though I think I personally would need to develop my own competence as an instrumentalist before I launch headfirst into any big collaborative projects – mostly for the purposes of making sure I have a leg to stand on professionally.

Was music always your calling in life? Did you know from a young age that you would be musician? 

I have always loved music, and I’ve always been exposed to wonderful music. I’ve said recently that the earliest songs I remember hearing as a child are Jeff Buckley’s rendition of Hallelujah, and The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 and Do You Realize??. I didn’t know I was going to be a musician, despite getting singing lessons for a huge portion of my childhood and adolescence. I always thought it was a really cool idea but had next to no idea of how it would actually happen.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be? 

As of now, I’m undertaking a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education with the goal of being qualified as a high school English and Drama teacher. I really adore teachers and teaching, and I love my content areas. I got my first taste of teaching in an actual classroom in 2019 and I loved every day of it. I’d really love to pursue that outside of music.

Your ‘Happyman’ tour kicks off in December, it is quite an extensive tour! How keen are you to get into it? A lot of the shows you’ll be on tour with The Beautiful Girls, great band! How did that support slot come about? 

I’m really anticipating getting underway with the tour. That’s not to say I’m not nervous. I’m pretty terrified honestly. But I’m travelling with some really wonderful people, and it’s going to be unreal seeing more of Australia than I’ve ever had the opportunity to see previously. As far as I know, us landing the tour started with Mat McHugh stopping by to check out our set at Australian Music Week, After that, I found out pretty much day-by-day that Mat had thrown our hat in the ring to support on the tour and how everything developed from there. Honestly, it was really incredible to have Mat gunning so hard for me. He’s really had my back at every opportunity, and it’s been great getting to chat with him over the last few weeks.

After the tour, what’s next? Where will 2020 take you? 

It’s difficult to say. I anticipate more shows on the other end of the tour, I’m so excited to see where and how things are going to go and I really look forward to whatever’s on the horizon for 2020!


Thursday, December 19th Brass Monkey Cronulla
EP Launch
Thursday, January 9th Beach Hotel Byron Bay
with Clay Western
Friday, January 10th Sheoak Hotel Gold Coast
Afternoon Show with Clay Western
Sunday, January 12th Peregian Originals Sunshine Coast
with Clay Western
Wednesday, January 15th El Capitano Noosa
with Clay Western
Thursday, January 16th The Spare Room Sawtell
with Clay Western
Friday, January 17th The Aztec Forster
with Clay Western
Sunday, January 19th Flow Bar Old Bar
Lunch Show with Clay Western
Sunday, January 19th Harrington Hotel Harrington
Afternoon Show with Clay Western
Wednesday, January 27th Shire Vibes Festival Cronulla
Wednesday, February 26th Mojo’s Fremantle
with Clay Western
Friday, February 28th Indi Bar Scarborough
Supporting Caravana Sun
Saturday, February 29th – Sunday, March 1st  Nannup Festival, Nannup

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