NICK JACKSON – VOCALS, GUITAR, WRITER, PRODUCER
In 1993, Nick Jackson embarked on what was to be a solo project from the ashes of his teen aged band ‘Illegal Tender’. After abbreviating the name to IT, pronounced it, not ‘i.t’. Nick released the first IT album on cassette, ‘The Stranger Inside the Self’. A year later Nick released ‘Two World’s’ with contributions from his brother Andy Jackson and James Johnson. It soon became apparent that IT was destined to be bigger than a solo project. In 1998, Nick began construction on Spacehouse Studio. A purpose built studio in his garden, which would become a base for IT and a career in music production. 2002 saw the release of IT’s first ‘proper’ album, ‘Over and Out’.
In late 2003, Nick met Andy Rowberry in London’s Denmark St. ‘Andy came along to one of our rehearsals and really like what we were doing. I had written 3 tracks for the next IT album, which Andy put some guitars down on. It was clear then that we had a special working relationship’. Nick and Andy co-wrote the rest of the album together, which saw ‘Departure’ release in July 2009. A body of work that set the bar high.
Nick also began producing other artists at Spacehouse, including The Fixx’s ‘Beautiful Friction’ album. 2 solos album by singer Cy Curnin, with one track featuring a vocal contribution from Canada’s Jann Arden. This year see’s the release of IT’s 5th album, ‘We’re All In This Together’.
ANDY ROWBERRY – GUITARS, BACKING VOX, CO WRITER, PRODUCER
Andy started playing guitar around 13, after spending time with friends who were all getting involved in music. He started a band with his friends and never looked back. He found himself working in Denmark Street, London, surrounded by guitars and guitar players from 15, and what started as a hobby quickly became a way of life. It was here that he met Nick, and they formed a friendship around music, showing each other different bands and realizing they enjoyed similar tastes! Nick invited Andy to join him at his studio, and they quickly started jamming, with Andy joining IT not long after. It was then they started working on the Departure album and gigging both in England and Canada.
“I have always been around music, as early as i can remember my parents played me music, in car journeys on holiday, or just at home, and their music tastes left an impression on me. I didn’t pick the guitar, it sort of found me. I always wanted to play the saxophone, but we couldn’t afford one, so when a friend played the guitar I latched on to it quickly, and soon enough I had managed to convince my parents to buy me one. Away from my parents influence in music, I quickly found I loved loud guitar, the louder, more aggressive the better! So, my influences really come from hard rock and metal, ranging from Deep Purple and Floyd, Nirvana to Gojira. If it riffs, I generally like it”
JAMES HAWKINS – BASS
James was about 13 years old when he started playing the bass. He was head chorister in a church choir so could read music at the time. One day after playing his brothers guitar, he sat down and worked out where the notes were by ear and then sight read one of his lessons (the melody from Take My Breath Away). His dad was so impressed he offered to buy him a guitar of his own. In James’ own words “I didn’t want to copy my little brother, so I asked for a bass”.
“When I was learning bass I sought out anything heavy with slap bass in it. It was the 90s, so the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine etc… But I also liked Mark King from Level 42 and Stuart Zender from Jamiroquai. My dad had a massive record collection from the 50s and 60s, so I ploughed my way through that. Growing up we listened to the Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen a lot. These days my biggest influence is probably Devin Townsend”
You can hear more from James, and his other project by heading over to his Soundcloud page.
WILL CHISM – DRUMS
Will fell into drumming by accident. At school he had joined a couple of bands playing guitar and the drummers would often be late or not show at all, so he would set the kit up and bang away. He fell in love with it straight off the bat and have remained there ever since.
“My earliest obsessions were The Isley Brothers, Jimi Hendrix – especially The Band of Gypsys, I was obsessed with Buddy Miles in that band and stuff like The Drifters and The Temptations. As I got a little older bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden became embedded into my musical DNA, there were great drummers during that period – particularly Matt Cameron and Jimmy Chamberlin respectively and then Abe Cunningham blasted through the door with Deftones. Also my constant companions have been The Allman Brothers, James Brown, Miles Davis and Little Feat, I love the drummers but ultimately the chemistry of these artists, particularly live …”
At the moment Will is getting ready to do some festivals with an artist coming out of Stockholm, Sweden called Steele. www.iamsteele.com/
RYAN McCAFFREY – KEYBOARDS/SAXOPHONE
Ryan started learning piano following his brother who was having lessons. He gave up at Grade 3 level but Ryan carried onto Grade 8. Ryan was studying music at GCSE level and part of curriculum was to study jazz and analyse Miles Davis ‘All Blues’. He was very influenced by jazz music after this and took a four year degree in jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire inspired by the styles of Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. Links to Ryan’s current projects can be found here.