Harry Angus (The Cat Empire) and Jan Skubiszeweski (hip hop producer and film composer) met in 2002, when Jan was assistant engineer on one of Harry’s records. After four years of individually honing their talents and carving names for themselves in music, they decided to work together, and Jackson Jackson was born.
Their first album, 2007's The Fire Is On The Bird, was a musical achievement that tore apart genres, matching Skubiszeweski’s world-class wall of noise production techniques with the lyrical and vocal styling of a mad but funky prophet. Spearheaded by lead single Cats Rats and Pigeons, and followed by the turbo-ballad Eliza, the album was met with critical acclaim and an ARIA nomination, making many critics' best of lists that year.
On stage, Jackson Jackson feature some of the finest musicians in the country. With their rhythm section and a mini-choir known as the Jackson Jackson Five, Angus and Skubiszeweski have created a formidable live experience. Each member of the Jackson Jackson band is an accomplished solo artist in their own right. Together, they carve up dance floors across the country.
When the time came to begin writing for their second lp, Tools For Survival, Jan and Harry decided they needed to take full advantage of what the band could do, which took the music into new and surprising directions. The result is an album full of sweeping ethereal harmonies, undermined by dirty electro beats.
In the studio, the Jackson Jackson boys work fast. The album was recorded in various locations across Melbourne and beyond with a cast of talented friends. As well as refining the textures, Jan and Harry had a clear agenda about what they wanted to say with this music. Where The Fire Is On The Bird shows us the end of the world in all its fiery mayhem, Tools For Survival is about something much simpler, and perhaps even scarier – love. For inspiration, Jan and Harry mined their own lives, their own loves, good and bad.
Tools For Survival is packed with love songs that are dark and bright in turn; love songs with twisted thumping electro beats for heartbroken dance floors, interspersed with slower, more gentle and optimistic songs.