MARK “EVIL EDDIE” JACOBSON OPENS UP TO RIP NICHOLSON ON CONTROVERSIAL NEW SINGLE ‘QUEENSLAND’, THE WELCOME TO FLAVOUR COUNTRY SOLO ALBUM WHICH CONTAINS IT AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR HIS BELOVED BUTTERFINGERS.
EVIL EDDIE interviewed @ 11.00 AEST – 22nd November, 2010
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
“At the moment this is the new route,” Mark “Evil Eddie” Jacobson says of his current solo sojourn. “It’s kind of my main focus. I mean Butterfingers may do something again the future but it’s not definite and I don’t know how long it will be if there is ever a Butterfingers album. This is my main focus.”
Rather than the break up being a fractious one between the group, lead vocalist Jacobson insists it’s more a case of the band having run it’s course.
“Butterfingers had decided to start writing collaboratively and we’ve probably got a whole album’s worth of music there without words written to it, but it’s not like Butterfingers of before,” he admits. “It’s more band-orientated and more rock influenced and not hip hop by any means. But Like I said before we may get together,” Jacobson reiterates. “It’s not like we had a big fight and decided that we couldn’t stand each other anymore. I’ve been doing a lot of the work in terms of the writing myself. After the song is written a lot of decisions have to be made in a group and I felt that I would like to make those decisions myself.”
Slipping out of Butterfinger’s grip, Evil Eddie explores new corners to his artistic frame and persona, expanding out on his tentatively titled début album Welcome To Flavour Countrythrough his own Bewilderbeats label.
“Everything is feeling more exaggerated. From the photo shoot, I’m in a suit with girls playing my bodyguards with machine guns,” Jacobson laughs. “I’m definitely having more fun with the promo side of things now. I guess there’s a character forming there but musically it’s almost the opposite.”
This new position puts Jacobson in the driver’s seat to delivering the sound how only he perceives. “The main difference would be there’s a lot more – from what’s coming out of the demos so far – there’s a lot more programming going on in terms of the drums and the basslines which was never really an option before. Obviously Butterfingers was a full band so with programming they’re kind of out of a role.”
First single from Welcome To Flavour Country gives Jacobson a chance to test the new waters and serves as a re-introduction for the Butterfingers’ funny man.
‘Queensland’ leads off an album that is sure to go from comical to the cusp of cringing at parts. But on its own merits, ‘Queensland’ has received mixed reactions (from within his own inner circle) due maybe to the humour of the Evil Eddie persona. Was it a piss-take or a tourism ad for our state?
“That’s a funny thing because as I was writing it I thought that the lines are really blurry here. I don’t know if people are gonna get it. And I got to a point where I thought “I have to do something, I’m just gonna put it out.” And I really wasn’t confident about it to be honest. I thought it would bomb.
“I changed my mind when it was too late,” Jamerson admits on its selection as the lead single. “The wheels were already in motion. I had some negative feedback from friends of ours and they said it was the worst song they’d ever heard. I thought ’ fuck! Maybe I’m making a massive mistake here, maybe I’m going in the wrong direction.” thought Jamerson who points out, “there’s no message in it. It’s just a really one-sided, loose description. Its not a complete picture of how Queensland really is.”
There is no pre-meditated agenda to Jacobson’s songwriting process, just old-fashioned rhymes kicked over dope beats. “I don’t often sit down and say ‘okay, I’ll write a song about an election or a topic and try to write about it. It’s more subconscious. Usually it’s when I’m driving my car, playing instrumentals that I’ve made and I’ll start making shit up over the top of it, and that’s where it begins.”
Some people were shocked by the lyrical content of ‘Queensland’ while others were marvelled by rhyming in Joh Bjelke-Petersen. However, a certain misunderstood line may have offended some fans of Australian icon Steve Irwin.
“Well when I got the feedback off the demo for it a lot of people had a problem with the line
about the stingray – in reference to the Steve Irwin [death]. A lot of people who heard it thought I was dissing Steve Irwin for some reason, which I’m not. It’s just a mentioning that happened.”
As one of hip hop’s most celebrated once said “number’s don’t lie”, and it’s currently kicking arse on all fronts. “Triple J’s gone nuts on it, Rage has made it indie clip of the week last week and it’s going out of control. 7,000 views on Youtube which I’m really excited about.”
Playing at the upcoming Peats Ridge Festival and the Woodford Folk Festival over the summer, Evil Eddie will bring along friends and keeps the sound all in the family.
“The show is live, to me visually I like seeing musicians play, “ Jamerson adds. “So the record is not going to be the same.”