Meet The Band: Andrew Jackson Jihad

Phoenix Arizona band Andrew Jackson Jihad are currently touring the UK vast and wide, alongside friends
and former tour mates Hard Girls.

“Musically it’s a pastiche of
American country and folk,” says 
singer-songwriter and former AJJ tour mate Frank Turner of the five-piece from Phoenix, AZ,”with a hefty dash of fifties Spector-esque pop and
Beach Boy melody thrown in, shoved violently through a lo-fi punk rock filter,
topped off by a frantic voice that sounds something like Neil Young having a
psychotic episode.”

year, Andrew Jackson Jihad released their latest full length record Christmas
. Recorded by John Congleton who has also worked with St. Vincent, The Mountain Goats and Okkervil River. Christmas Island
blends the real and surreal to create some of the most honest, fearless music
out today.  

Prior to the UK tour and their visit to Cardiff’s Moon Club venue, Andy Howells put questions to Andrew Jackson Jihad.

Whereabouts are you from & how did the band form?
We are a band from Phoenix, Arizona. Ben and I started the band in 2004 when we both worked at a coffee shop. Some time in 2011 we jumped Deacon and Preston into the touring gang, and in 2014 we demoted our merch guy Mark to cello.

Tell us about your latest album
Our latest album is called Christmas Island, it’s my favorite one so far. It was our first time working with John Congleton but it definitely won’t be our last. The album artwork is a painting we commissioned by Suzanne Falk, one of Arizona’s greatest artists.

What’s been your best live experience? 
The latest best live experience was either playing for a sold out crowd at The Metro in Chicago two months ago or playing solo to a small room of excitable Norwegians last night. I fully expect this Cardiff gig to blow both of those experiences out of the water.

What can people expect from your forthcoming Cardiff gig? 
Loads of energy, an amazing opening band called Hard Girls and probably an onstage knifefight with Future of the Left’s Jimmy Watkins.

What else have you got planned this year? 
After this tour we’re playing some festivals in the U.S. and then heading to Australia in September with the Smith Street Band and the Sidekicks. After that I think we’ll make the next album.

Where can people hear your music?
In the hearts of those who know love and terror, Spotify, iTunes, Tidal (maybe?), Bandcamp, You-Tube. Thanks for the interview!

  • For the latest on Andrew Jackson Jihad visit their official website.
  • A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells appeared on The South Wales Argus website on June 8, 2015. A shorter version was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on June 12, 2015.

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