10Qs with Tyler Jackson of Endless Jags & Foam Castles

Tyler Jackson at Picnic, photo by Stephen Quirk
Tyler Jackson at Picnic, photo by Stephen Quirk

Tyler Jackson, has many things in common with Oscar Romero, most notably they’re both members of Foam Castles and Endless Jags.  Tyler leads Foam Castles, who are currently working on a new album, “Through That Door,” which is hoped to be released at the end of the summer.  The band is working with Chris Cambra of Teenarena Records to record and mix the album  who will also be releasing a vinyl version of Foam Castle’s “Bonanza” (Teenarena also will also have releases from Metal Feathers and Brenda and recently released a Daniel Johnston 10″).  Endless Jags is busy writing a full length followup their recent EP, which is slated to be recoded in Boston this March.

Where were you born?
Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine

What keeps you in Portland?
Portland is a good place to live. It looks great and feels great 75% of the time. Sort of a microcosm of a big big music city. If it’s a thing in the world, someone’s probably doing it here. Lots of really good and cool stuff, some pretty frustrating shit too. It can be a real bummer one day and super inspirational and exciting the next. Most everyone’s pretty nice, too, even if you’re into completely different stuff. Lots of artists and restaurants and all that good shit.”

Do you have a day job, and if so, what is it?
I’m a cashier at a grocery store at the moment.

What was your most memorable gig?
The Endless Jags CD release show a few weeks ago was probably the most successful show I’ve been a part of, attendance and fun-wise. The boat shows were great. Some really fun house parties. Some really bad ones too!

What was your worst gig?
At a house in Brunswick. Sorry everyone.

What album or artist has most influenced you as a musician?
It changes with time, but John Cale has influenced me the most over the past four years or so. Everything he does makes sense to me. Robert Pollard, Dan Bejar, Eno, Bowie, Dylan, Scott Walker.

What’s the one piece of musical equipment you can’t live without?
Guitar! It’s how I write songs and play rock music. I want a new one. Considering trading my Telecaster for a Stratocaster.

Any advice for a musician starting out?
Recording matters more than anything. Write shit loads of songs and work on them all the time. I can’t really top Oscar’s advice.

What’s the origin behind your name/band name?
“Just words we thought sounded good together. Ritu and I came up with it when the project started back in 2007. I think we were on a bus. Later I heard that masses of foam floating down a river are sometimes referred to as foam castles. Google alerts also informed me that a piece of an electronic drum set, the little block that connects the trigger to the head (I think), sometimes they’re called foam castles, or Devo hats. Coincidental, but kind of funny.  Endless Jags, same deal, words that sounded good together to us. Choosing a name with 5 other people is a difficult thing to do, it’s a miracle we have one at all.

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
I don’t get embarrassed about taste. Nobody should care! You like what you like. Even if it sucks, you still might like it. Mostly I’ll just surprise myself. Been into the Eagles a little bit lately after hating them passionately my entire life. Cells regenerating or something, doesn’t matter.

Stephen Quirk

Prior to landing his dream job at Automattic, Stephen served as Associate Director of a Boston-based non-profit overseeing the organization's technology, visual design, social networking, and event planning. For twelve years, he worked in the Technology Department at his alma mater, Maine College or Art.

Additionally, Stephen has exhibited his photography in Portland, Maine, Boston, and California. He lives just outside of Portland with his wife and two children.

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