Jonathan Jackson is a five-time Emmy Award winning actor who can be currently seen on the ABC primetime drama Nashville. On Nashville, Jonathan plays Avery Barkley, an up and coming singer-songwriter trying to make it in Music City.
Along with acting, since 2004 Jonathan has also been the lead singer, guitar player, and songwriter for the rock band Jonathan Jackson + Enation, which CDBaby calls “One of indie’s premier rock bands”.
We sat down with Jackson prior to the show at Madison LIVE TONIGHT!
Who were some of your first musical inspirations?
Jonathan Jackson: Early on I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam and REM. Both Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe influenced my song writing in profound ways. Not long after it was U2 and Peter Gabriel. They both really blew my mind with the visual experiences in their concerts. I was incredibly inspired by U2’s Zoo TV Tour. That opened up a whole other world to me about what it means to be an artist and communicate in so many ways. Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are big influences on me as songwriters. They’re just incredible.
Has being on the show Nashville helped your music career?
JJ: It’s been great, both creatively and professionally. Working with T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller, as well as so many incredible musicians in Nashville has been amazing. Having a platform where music and film work together is great because the audience doesn’t have a disconnect between the two. With Nashville the whole show is based around music, I play a musician, so the audience watching the show is more open to hearing the songs I do with Enation because of that. My character isn’t country, he’s more Alt/Americana, which isn’t far from the songs we do in Enation. It seems to work really well.
What can one expect at a live Jonathan Jackson + Enation show?
JJ: Our favorite bands like U2, Pearl Jam, and Muse know how to put on an incredible rock show, with different levels throughout. Their concert experience lingers with you long after the show, sometimes years after. We want Enation to have that kind of impact on our audience.
What is next for Jonathan Jackson?
JJ: Writing is pretty much a year round experience for me, and the band is always working on new music. But we’re really excited about Radio Cinematic and want as many people as possible to hear the songs. We’ll also be touring on weekends supporting our new single, “Cinematic” while I’m filming Nashville Season 4. I do my best to take it one day at a time!