Live Interview : Episode #413: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW JAC DALTON
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio


Music Biz Observations
If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about all day long is singing, performing, composing – and that’s what you do – then you already ARE an artist. It’s just a matter of tossing the rags and computer into the bag, slinging your instrument across your shoulder and diving headlong into the hurricane that is the music biz. The hard part is greeting every day of the journey with as much love, patience and optimism as you can muster despite the pelting disappointments, and torrents of resistance trying to push you into the thorns at every turn. The size of our hearts, desires, dreams should be what determines our successes, not corporate number crunchers monopolizing the rewards. Harsh reality.

Formula music which is the staple of TV competitions and FM stations geared to teens has been designed intentionally to take advantage of the repetitive way the human brain works, with but a single goal of those controlling the airwaves: liberating allowance monies from young, impressionable hands who as yet have no expenses. From a business perspective, this observation is brilliant, as billions of dollars change hands each year. Unfortunately, this repetitive style beating our ears into submission these days doesn’t affect the soul the way it once did. A rift in the corporate masterplan has started to develop because minds addicted to these controlled, predictable sounds have started to become bored and uninspired by them. Y’can fool folks for only so long. Minds yo-yo back and forth as part of our very nature, curious about anything perceived as ‘new’ or interesting. However, spirits and souls need nourishment. And current FM playlists are failing to curb the appetite.

Remember all those classic albums from the 60s, 70s and 80s you knew every word to – still do – and felt great hearing every time they played? Those bands, times, songs had something to ‘say’ that touched – resonated – with something deep inside us. There were messages in both the lyrics and the music that filtered all the way down to the depths of our souls, instead of just inflaming or piquing fleeting surface emotions. The world is starting to look for that type of message, passion – nourishment – once again. We need reminders in times as uncertain as these to instill ‘hope’ because with hope, we rise from and overcome the ashes.

Artists and bands feeling this are starting to emote, create, listen again to the backbeat of their hearts. And the soul nourishment they’re creating isn’t plastic junk food. It’s a veritable banquet for the senses and emotions that make us human. Life has a purpose for each of us. Often – especially in times like these – it’s hard to see, feel, even believe in. But no matter what happens to us on a frustrating daily basis – the most basic, essential part of the human journey and condition is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Some steps are muddy and stinking; some cut our soles all the way to the bone; but eventually, we come to places beside the road where the sand is warm, the breeze invigorates, and the waters quench. And that is what artists across the globe are reconnecting with and starting to create once again.


For Your Love…
Relationships have always been a numbers game – share enough kisses and you’re bound to eventually find someone that makes you tingle. LOVE, however can’t be fooled – for the heart knows what it wants regardless of the bruises, the sabotage or how hard we want it to work. And regardless of how much we acknowledge and accept the amazing spirit beneath the scars – if we don’t love ourselves, then all the intimacy, effort, patience, arguments and reassurance in the world won’t convince or save us from ourselves. Once upon a time I met an amazing girl who captivated me with everything in the world going for her: beauty, intelligence, sensuality, allure, kindness, spiritus – until absolute exhaustion made me realize that it was ‘me’ putting forth most of the effort that was supposed to be a shared pleasure. Simply, it just wasn’t in her heart to give – at least, not in our situation, and not with me.

My GrandDad told me once that ‘the higher up the mountain we go, the fewer hikers we find’. I’ve observed glimpses of this truth throughout the hurricane of my own journey – but it took pieces of a broken heart so fine they could thread the eye of a needle for me to truly understand.

‘For Your Love’ is a reminder to myself of the importance of loving someone with every atom of my being, while at the same time holding back a tiny morsel in reserve just for ‘me’ – for those occasions when I might need an ember to start all over again.

Background of ‘For Your Love’
The music of ‘For Your Love’ has a colourful yet tainted history because originally it was written as a healing exercise by a dear friend who’s brother was taken from her far too early in his life, leaving an unfillable void and an entire family in tatters. As one can imagine, such emotion would be quite precious to the composer – and my friend shielded it from the world for a long time through pain as thick as a vault door. Truth was, the music was magnificent no matter what the inspiration. However, it screamed for the passion of lightening – not the dust of cemeteries. So my producer and I waited for 6 years for a sign that she might allow us to turn it into what it was destined to be – for the love of her brother.

When finally she conceded, it was with hope that the song would help make the world just a little bit better place for all she and her brother had shared. As to whether we have been successful, we leave that verdict to the listeners.

About music/albums
‘For Your Love’ is a featured track from our 2nd album ICARUS which pushed the band finally from the fringes of the music industry out into the Oz Rock ‘A’ list limelight. The biggest event in South Australia each year is the Clipsal 500 – an auto race attracting more than 250,000 patrons. In 2015, we were invited to perform tracks from ICARUS, along with a teasers from our newest album POWDERKEG for this crowd. The progression from my Southern rock roots through to our present melodic hard rock style has attracted some significant attention overseas (truth is everything is ‘overseas’ when you live in Australia… haw). The reason for this is because with each production so far, we have waited for the all-spark of just the right songs and sentiments, in the right style, with the right intentions – trying not to get ahead of the inspiration.

ICARUS was an anthology of the ‘War and Peace’ I experienced of a relationship destined to expire no matter how much love and respect was brought to the table. It was a beautiful, bittersweet preface to what might follow once hearts were set free.

POWDERKEG on the other hand is an entirely different observation because it commenced during, and reflective of a time in the journey whereby open hearts were dancing in the reflection of aligning stars. The more of life we experience, the fewer things there are that make the hair on the back of our necks stand up, our stomachs do flip-flops, and our tongues trip over themselves trying to find words that simply don’t exist to describe what we’re feeling. But when something like having your ribs blown away by your heart in a massive internal detonation the instant you finally meet ‘The One’ it’s proof positive that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, and that there have always been larger hands directing. POWDERKEG is a tapestry of rollicking, fun, edgy, passionate, Rock reflection back to times of pure joy and innocence. Critics have coined the term ‘PosRock’ as a new subgenre for its uplifting feel and message. It is indeed a humbling thing when after such a long journey of testing, the river finally start to flow.

Jac Dalton @ Boom Boom Room April 2016

Where Jac Dalton comes from
The wings that carried me across the globe throughout the three decades of my career finally delivered me to Adelaide, South Australia where for the first time since I was a teen I’ve been in one place long enough to put down proper roots. A native of Brooklyn, NY, I was raised in North Carolina, but have been fortunate enough to travel, study and entertain in some of the most amazing places across the globe – all with an eye out for where I’d eventually like to claim as ‘home’. The first time I arrived in Australia as an entertainer, I’d left New York in -40 degree weather only to arrive in the Land Downunder to 110 degree humidity, sweltering towards a smirking Customs agent who inquired, ‘Got our seasons confused, did we?’ But upon melting across the tarmac to the van waiting to take us to the ship, I happened to look up at bluest sky I’d ever seen, and in that instant knew my heart had at last found what I’d been running towards all my life.

My town of choice ended up being Adelaide – a mystery attraction that was only resolved when my parents came to visit noting similarities between it and the cities nearest to our home – Charleston and Savannah. Funny how no matter how far we run towards the horizon of our dreams – there remains a part that resonates with familiarity.
Regarding the music scene here… Oz, primarily because of our isolation and population, is the world’s greatest music ‘aftermarket’ – as here tribute bands are king, followed closely by cover bands of every genre and description. For a country that has launched so many of the most successful original acts in the history of Rock, it has always been reluctant to endorse anything originating upon its own shores until someone overseas does so first. Gigs throughout Australia for the past several years have become more and more difficult to come by – especially for original bands – based largely upon collective global fear sending everyone running for the security and familiarity of happier days.

In the positive column, Oz is one of the best places on Earth to write, create and be inspired – as there’s plenty of wide empty space to be found, with access to the rest of the world via the internet if you want it. Unfortunately, the market for all this creativity and talent – for ‘us’ – is either interstate or overseas. Paramount to Jac Dalton plans for 2017 is securing as much video footage as we can collect performing in front of large audiences – proof positive for overseas Festival promoters that we have the goods and can deliver to the big crowds with the rest of the big boys.

The humbling journey of the band commenced 15 years ago with a collective commitment to careful planning, faith, tenacity – cherishing the lessons from every hard yard of the puzzle – as we’ve prepared for blastoff. All of those pieces are now in place, except for expanding our presence across social media to critical mass. Call it serendipity, or destiny if the term fits, but we believe we’ve been pointed towards Jacqueline Jax and AVA LIVE for this very reason. All we need is someone ‘somewhere’ to scratch the matchstick across the side of the box to ignite the bonfire.

Admired person
I’d simply like to shake the hand of Diaz ‘SugarMan’ Rodriguez and thank him for the example of his life – well-lived and well-loved – his peace with the journey, his patience, honesty of observation, and his grace through it all.

Forty years ago, his ‘spark’ was almost noticed by the world – only to be prejudiced away in favor of a rival artist. Modestly and humbly he spent the ensuing years unaffected and undistracted by this brush with notoriety, content to simply ‘be’ – dedicated to family, ever-vigilant with his observations, and continuing to compose extraordinary songs about things he perceived as worthwhile to remember. The awe of such surrender is that the love and lessons taken to heart intensifies to the point that they can no longer be contained and in a blinding flash, suddenly the world notices.

SugarMan is a poignant reminder of the adage that ‘it matters not what we do with our lives, but rather ‘how’ we do it’. My own career has been long, uncertain and arduous – all of which I too embrace. Because like him, I’ve realized that the only true reason to do whatever we do with our lives is simply because we have it within ourselves to give – and the world becomes just a little bit better place for that opportunity. Every moment we do what we’re driven to do enables ‘that which we’re all part of’ to fan the embers of our own spirits – guiding us, inspiring, expanding, improving – perhaps, like SugarMan, even one day igniting our own hearts into a bonfire that the world notices.

Thank you SugarMan for a beautiful life extraordinarily lived. To all of US, it has certainly been worth it.

And sincere thanks to Jacqueline Jax and AVA LIVE for noticing Jac Dalton amidst all the terrific artists and bands out there and providing both the opportunity and guidance to help us all hike a bit further up the mountain together.

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