EXCLUSIVE: Nashville Star Jonathan Jackson Talks ENATION, New Music, and Future

Jonathan Jackson is best known for playing Avery Barkley in the hit US drama Nashville, but along with being a star on the TV he is also an accomplished musician in his own right and is the front-man of post-punk rock band ENATION.

Here we speak exclusively to Jonathan Jackson to discuss moving on from Nashville which comes to an end this Summer after six seasons, touring the UK with ENATION, new music and more;

You recently performed two headline London shows with your band ENATION, what was that experience like?

It was incredible for us. We’ve been hoping to come over to the UK for many years now and to finally have it happen was very special and the response from the audience was amazing. It was just a beautiful beginning for our presence in the UK.

Was announcing the debut UK shows a big part to do with the reaction you received while touring with the Nashville Live Shows?

As I said, we have been talking and dreaming about this for many years even before Nashville began. The timing worked out perfectly having toured across the UK with the Nashville tour it certainly laid the groundwork for bringing ENATION over seas. 

Do you feel the British audience differs between a Nashville show and ENATION gig? 

One of the things I love about UK music fans is that they don’t seem to be as genre specific as people in the States. They could be lovers of Americana, Outlaw Country Music, Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Pop or what have you… and go to all of these various concerts. It’s less about genre and more about quality. There are many fans of Nashville who are really into ENATION but a lot people are also discovering the band on its own. ENATION fans are deeply connected to what we’re doing and we feel that at our shows in a powerful way.   

Now you have performed in the UK, can we expect more ENATION shows soon?

Absolutely, this is just the beginning as I said earlier. We are planning on coming back here in the Fall and playing in some areas that we weren’t able to this time around.

Along with touring you’re also releasing new music soon, what can listeners expect from your new record?

We just released “A Shock To The System” which we’re very excited about. Most likely we will release an EP for the fall tour and a full length album of new material next year. That full length album has already been recorded and we’re thrilled with it. We’re already playing some of those songs live and integrating them into set. We are a three-piece rock band and the recording approach to our new record was in keeping with that. We wanted to capture the feeling of immediacy of musicians actually playing their instruments and going out on a limb together.

So we shouldn’t expect the album to drop this year?

There still a possibility that we will release the full album in the fall… But as I said before we may release an EP and then the full record next year. 

Along with playing gigs with ENATION, you’re officially saying goodbye to Avery Barkley this year, how much has playing him changed your life? 

Well, it brought me and my family to Nashville which has been an amazing experience. I’ve also met some incredible friends along the way who I consider family now. Another unexpected way that it’s changed my life is the national tour across the UK over the last few years. It was a very unexpected thing and the love and support from the music fans here has been overwhelming. 

Do you and your fellow Nashville cast mates plan on doing any more concerts together?

There may be some one-offs that come up here and there or charity events and things like this… But in general there are no specific plans at the moment. 

Going back to the beginning, what was it that inspired you to get into music?

A lot of it was my fathers love of music. He plays bass guitar, sings and write songs. There was a real reference around the power of music growing up and I’m sure I inherited that from him. I was around the age of 11 when I really started to tune in to my own connection with music. I remember hearing Peter Gabriel‘s Red Rain and being transfixed. R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People was another moment. 

You’re not just a singer but also an accomplished actor, can we expect to see you staring in anything new soon? 

I’m not really sure… Six years on a series is quite demanding and I’m grateful to have a little breather away from that kind of schedule. I would love to find a film or mini-series that’s exciting to dig into. But, right now, I’m excited about having the time to tour with ENATION. 

Finally, what message would you like to give to the Nashville and ENATION fans around the world?

Thank you for all the support. Everything Is Possible!

Make sure you follow Jonathan Jackson and ENATION on Twitter @JonathanJackson and @Enation to keep up to date with all the latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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